Well behaved puppy except...

Posted by Dex123
Dec 6, 2010
I have 9 mos toy poodle puppy. He is very well-mannered, calm, not afraid of other dogs or people, not whiny, seemingly very independent. He does not have to be in the same room with us, content to wander around and play with his toys when we are home. He does not bark at sounds in the hallway or people coming to the door. He talks on command. He gets tons of exercise. The problem? He barks and howls his head off when we leave him alone. It's quite distressing to my apartment neighbors.
We leave the TV on, we ignore him when we come home until he quiets...I would be fine to let him work it out if we lived on a farm in the middle of no where. But we live in an apartment building and the neighbors won't have it long.
He only weighs 7 pounds and some sort of shock collar seems extreme.
Any thoughts?
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Dec 7, 2010
Hi Dex123,

Is your puppy crate trained? If not, you might want to try it.

I never have crated any of my dogs and my foster dogs because I didn't like the idea of confining them in such small space.

However, I crated my current foster dog for the first time and he loves it. He doesn't have separation anxiety like your puppy though. I can tell that he feels comfortable being in his crate when he is tired or sleepy because he goes in on his own.

What you might want to do is to have a crate in the main living area and throw in some treats and toys in the crate so that your puppy will go in and out. Don't close the door at the beginning until he gets really comfortable.

Eventually, make him sleep or take a rest in the crate with the door closed. You might want to put your old sweater or something along with chew toys, etc.

Once he is in a crate, his bark will be less loud even he barks, and you can even put a light cloth over to buffer the noise if it's not too hot in the room.

Everytime you put him in the crate, play with him or take him for a walk beforehand so that he is rather exhausted.

I know it sounds it would take a long time and you cannot wait that long but I think it's worth trying and you can tell your neighbors that you are working on the issue.

Good luck
Posted by KOPCaroline
Dec 7, 2010
Hey Dex,

Does your pups seperation anxiety start when you get ready to go? That is, do you see a change in his behaviour/mood as you're walking out the door, or is he totally ok until you're off the property?

Have you tried leaving clothes that smell like you around the apartment, to try and make him a bit less anxious about you being physically gone? You could also look into anti-anxiety medication or a DAP plug in that you could use during the week when you're out.

Is there a friend/neighbor/family member nearby that could pop in randomly during the day, just to see how things are going?

Just a few ideas, let us know what you think, and if you could give a bit more detail about how your pup reacts to you leaving, I can think on it more
Posted by Dex123
Dec 9, 2010
thanks for thinking about this for me.
He is crate trained...goes in and out all the time. Naps in there, seems to like it. Sleeps in crate at night. I have not locked him in it during day, but it's in the room, open for him to roam in and out like he does all the time.
He does notice our routines and can start to ramp up. We have changed our routines and that has improved things. He tends to be very calm now when we leave...settles on mat or in crate and chews on kong. The howling reportedly starts when we are gone for a bit. I have given him our tshirts to snuggle. He was a dog walker that comes couple times a day...gets checked in a lot.
He gets hour walk with me every morning (keeps me in shape!), gets walked 2 other times and then long walk with me at night. Romps around all day playing...more energy that we can wear out.
any more ideas