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Old June 16th, 2010, 12:25 PM
Kellygreen Kellygreen is offline
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
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Question Help! Dog keeps howling now during the day...

Hi y'all, newbie here....at my wit's ends...

While we go to work for 7:30 pm and home by 4 pm, for the past 3 yrs, our Dog (a 3.5 yr old choc lab retriever), has been doing fine...we have 2 little boys in the house that keep him busy when at home from work and at nighttime, they're 7 yrs old and 2.5 yrs old...

In the past 3 mths, our neighbor who just started working from home, told us that he has been howling nonstop all day, some days really loud and others just moaning...she is now having to go back to work in her office as she can't take the howling (we live in semi- detached home and she lives on other side)...she felt really bad for telling us but I am glad she did...

Hubby started walking him for 10 min in morning before going to work for 6 am, I let him out one more time before I leave at 7:15 am for the day with the boys to bring them to daycare and then off to work...we also walk him and let him run for a bit most nights, pending on cirmcumstances...

We are planning on getting a dog walker for twice a week to help, maybe he is lonely and just needs to get out and wear himself out and socialize and have a little fun too...Hubby is home on MOndays as it's his scheduled day off....so we were thinking Wed and Fridays for dog walker...

Is there anything else we can do to help??I feel so bad hearing about it as I love him to death, he is my baby, albeit a furry one at that

Thanks in advance...
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Old June 16th, 2010, 12:58 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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From what I read, your dog is experiencing separation anxiety. Part of the problem is that the dog is understimulated and not well exercised. 10 minutes in the morning is not going to do the trick.

When you leave your pet, do you give him a puzzle toy or maybe a nylon bone or even a kong stuffed with goodies? This is something to explore. Also, is the dog crated or have free roam within the home?
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Old June 16th, 2010, 02:07 PM
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Melinda Melinda is offline
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I have a lab shepherd and she is walked for 2 1/2 to 3 miles once in the morning and once at supper time, and she still has energy to burn, labs especially need a lot of exercise, can you hire a walker daily say twice a day? or have hubby ride a bike and really give your dog a good work out
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Old June 17th, 2010, 12:54 PM
Floppy Dog Floppy Dog is offline
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Is your work schedule long or short term? If it's long term, would you consider getting a companion for your dog? Our dog can spend to whole day at home without a fuss, but that's only after a good 1/2 hour walk or vigorous game of fetch the ball, a chewy bone and some treat stuffed toys to keep her busy and the company of her cat. Having a window to watch the world go by is also very helpful.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 01:22 PM
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Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
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Just my two cents to Floppy Dog's reply, which may have merit, but if the dog in question is suffering separation anxiety a second dog may not be the answer. Trust me I learned this from experience! Before running out and getting a second pet, I would seriously exercise this dog every morning and night and provide some mentally stimulating toys for during the day. A second dog did not help my dog to settle into being home alone, now one stays at work with me and one stays home with my husband. Although I love having two dogs it didn't solve the problem, and commonly does not.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 01:31 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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I have to agree with Dog Dancer. I have 3 dogs in my home and my GSD continues to have separation anxiety even with the other 2 dogs and 6 cats. The only time he is calm is when mommy is in the home. I admit that his behaviour is because he does not get enough walking in the morning which is 45 minutes. If I were to be honest, he should get a minimum of 1 hour but time does not permit...my fault.

What I do give him however now is a puzzle toy along with a stuffed kong. Neighbours have told me that he does not cry as much when I first leave the home. It went from hours of whining to 10 minutes of caos for him.

I am certain others have great advise to assist you.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 01:41 PM
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14+kitties 14+kitties is offline
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Maybe your neighbour who is working from home would be willing to dog sit during the day? Just a thought. You could hire her to take your pup for a walk a couple of times a day. Good exercise for both.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 03:30 PM
FlamesGirl FlamesGirl is offline
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How much exercise (out of house/out of yard) does your dog get a day? Sounds like he's a little bored and creating noise from frustration/boredom/anxiety all which are linked back to being understimulated.

A dog walker is a great idea for your guy to burn off some energy and get his mental/physical needs met by playing with other dogs. I think waking up a little earlier in the morning and taking him out for a good 45 - 60 min brisk walk would also really really help. Ideally, people would be able to walk their dog at least twice a day (morning and night) but in real life, sometimes only one walk is doable. If that's the case, then I highly suggest making the one walk a morning walk.

Dogs sleep all night and then wake up full of energy to burn. It's not fair to leave them in a house by themselves and expect them to be calm/well-behaved until owners get home and then go for a walk. Try a 45 min walk in the morning then give his breakfast in a treat-dispensing toy (my favorite is the kong wobbler but there's also the buster cube, a-maze-a-ball, etc). I'm a huge fan of using mental exercise/stimulation to tire out a dog instead of just physical exercise. Make them think and they are way calmer and relaxed. After he's had his walk and breakfast from the treat dispenser, give him stuffed frozen-for-a-day kong when you're on your way out the door. That way your dog has had physical exercise and mental exercise to tire him out before the day has even begun.
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