> I've just bought a mid-terrace house, and have been here a few weeks.My dog,
> howls when I am out. He howls even if he's only left for an hour or so. I
> don't think its just because of the fact that he's in a new place because I
> have now found that he howled at the old one too.
> My neighbour works nights. This is not good.
> PLease Help ME! What can I do to occupy him all day long so he doesn't howl
> and howl?
This was a horrible problem for us for such a long time. I think we
have finally overcome it. Thank God!!
If I left her alone with the run of the house, she'd howl and try to get
at every window, destroying everything in her path, looking for me. So,
I crated her. She would still howl her head off, even if I only left
for a few minutes, but at least my stuff wasn't getting demolished and I
knew she wasn't hurting herself. I'd leave her with bones, kong, buster
ball (which didn't work), whatever. Nothing worked.
I bought a kennel and dog house, against the advice from the people
here. The neigbors thought that she was howling from some kind of
injury. They were ready to call the SPCA. She escaped from it anyway,
and it was a total waste of money. BTW all, thanks for your advice,
even though I didn't listen to it. I guess I just had to go through the
motions myself, and learn the hard way. :-\
So, I think this is was is working for me:
1. I give her Clomicalm twice a day. It's an anti-anxiety med that was
developed specifically for dogs with separation anxiety. Talk to your
vet about getting some, and about dosages.
2. I just moved, so this part was relatively easy to accomplish. My
bedroom is very sparse, austere even, to say the least. This is where I
leave her. (Her crate is also in my bedroom, which she chooses to go
into, though I leave the door open to it. It's entirely her choice
whether she stays in it or not. I guess she feels safe in it.) I have
nothing on the dresser, or anything else she can get at. I make my bed
tightly with a "Zuki"spread over it. Pillows are tossed into the
closet, out of her reach.
3. I spray anything that she can possibly chew, like the edges of the
bed, door knobs, dresser knobs, window sills, anything, with Bitter
4. I give her rawhide chews, or bones, or Greenies, something new every
day, so she can be e***d about it when I leave. It gives her
something for the first critical minutes while I'm leaving.
5. I do not gush over her with love and pets and "I'm sorry's" when I
leave. Or, when I return. I make it NOT a big issue. She still tries
to jump all over me, making a howling racket when I return, but we're
working on that. I tell her "lay down", using my hand signal, and keep
turning my back to her until she lays down. After a few minutes of
this, she plunks down onto her back for a belly rub. At which point, I
say hello and give her the rubs she so desires.
6. I feed her in my bedroom, giving her the food with the special treat
in the bowl just before I leave. I also give her a big bucket of fresh
water every morning.
7. Windows are closed, and I leave the AC on for her so she doesn't
bake. She may not know it, but this is the very most comfortable place
for her these hot days.
I know this all seems very outrageous, but as I said, it was easy to
accomplish because I just moved. And, it's only temporary, until she is
used to being left alone. Then, I'll give her the run of the house,
which would be preferable because she is a very large, indimidating-
looking GSD/Husky who should be guarding my house just by her presence
I know this is working well, because I left a voice-activated recorder
in the top dresser drawer yesterday, slightly ajar so it would pick up
noise, and left. When I got back, the only noise she made was about 20
seconds, as in SECONDS!!! of whimpering, then nothing until I returned
after work 8 hours later. She did chew the rawhide. But she slept most
of the time. This was great, because previously she had completely used
up the tape on the voice recorder. Major progress.
When my neighbors came to visit me, introduce themselves, and ask about
my howling dog, I told them I was really working with her on this, and
to please be patient. Zuki is a GSD/Husky that rarely barks. But,
she's got a loud howl that is so disconcerting if you don't know what it
is. Sometimes, when we're playing she howls from e***ment, and I
encourage it. It's fun, and she seems to really pick up on my happiness
over her vocalizing. I'm not torturing her, or otherwise abusing her in
any way. They completely understood, and I know they felt completely
comforted that she is really OK.
Good luck with your dog. And your neighbors. Separation anxiety is
really a tough problem.
"May all your weeds be wildflowers."
dabell at optonline dot net