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Discussion Starter #1
My fiance works in construction and it's not consistent...some days he works for weeks at a time and there are others when he's home. He's been home this week (his first week with us) so that helps in getting used to his environment. The only problem is that we are afraid that he will bark like crazy when we go to work...and next week my fiance has to go to work. We tried placing him in the bathroom with a gate while we are home but he goes really crazy...we tried the kitchen and same response. I'm afraid to let him free roam b/c he doesn't do the potty well (I found a thread dealing with that and think we can now work with the right tools). What should we do?
 

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There's not much you can do about the barking except to wait it out. Try not to pet or play with him just before you leave. Take him for a long walk if you can in the morning. Also, give him lots of toys and one with treats stuffed inside to keep him busy while you're gone.
Also, when you have time you can put him alone in the room for little time increments at the time. And let him get used to it.
My Pudding used to bark when I'm out too. But now I think he's more used to it. He only barks for a little while and stops. It took me about a month.
 

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My husband works for Greyhound so we don't have consistent hours with Puddy either. Somedays someone is there 24/7, other days Puddy is alone all day. I leave a couple of tv's on to keep him company and his toys easily accessable. But I agree with not making a big deal when you leave or get home. I did with Puddy and that was the worst mistake ever! Everytime I left was like I was leaving him for ever. But we are getting better. I can now leave and he'll look out the window as if to say goodbye and then he goes and lays down in his bed.
 

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I got Peanut after I was put on bedrest for a month and Peanut got so used to having me home. When I went back to work he had terrible separation anxiety. We started with leaving him home alone for literally 2 minutes. He was gated to one area of the house and he would whine like crazy. We would randomly leave just for a few minutes many times a day. Slowly work it up to longer amounts of time. When we got back we would get settled in and only go to see him after he settled down. The trainer told us that we shouldn't make a big deal when leaving the house or when coming home. Just go about your business and leave/come home quietly. Basically if you don't act like leaving and coming home is a big deal the dog won't think it is either. Also, if Matrix is barking and you go right to him, he will learn that barking will get you to come to him and it will reward the barking. I think that's all the trainer said. It took a while, but it really helped us. Hope it helps
 

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This is what I learned from the training articles. Start getting him used to being away from you while you are IN the house with him. Separate him in another room for a few minutes and increase gradually. Don't make a bit deal about leaving and don't make a big deal when you get home. I let Max out of the kitchen AFTER I take off my shoes, take off and put away my coat...put down my bag and THEN I let him out and ignore him for a few seconds. Eventually, I casually pick him up and say hi Max, give me a kiss...calmly. It have been working wonderfully.


When I had my lhasa I didn't know better and the FIRST thing I would do is excitedly say Where's my cocoa!! In a high pitch voice. Well, let me tell you...the MESSES I would find...torn stuff, chewed shoes...you can't imagine....I did it ALL wrong. Well, now I know better.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I got Peanut after I was put on bedrest for a month and Peanut got so used to having me home. When I went back to work he had terrible separation anxiety. We started with leaving him home alone for literally 2 minutes. He was gated to one area of the house and he would whine like crazy. We would randomly leave just for a few minutes many times a day. Slowly work it up to longer amounts of time. When we got back we would get settled in and only go to see him after he settled down. The trainer told us that we shouldn't make a big deal when leaving the house or when coming home. Just go about your business and leave/come home quietly. Basically if you don't act like leaving and coming home is a big deal the dog won't think it is either. Also, if Matrix is barking and you go right to him, he will learn that barking will get you to come to him and it will reward the barking. I think that's all the trainer said. It took a while, but it really helped us. Hope it helps
[/B]

Wow thanks...I got him that toy that is supposed to keep him occupied but he wouldn't even look at it. I told my fiance to work with him some more with the ball today. I also told my fiance to use the techniques that you guys suggested. Thanks!
 

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You're very welcome! I really hope it helps you guys, I remember how hard it was to ignore Peanut's cries


My guys can be very picky when it comes to toys. One that worked great for us was recommended highly by Lady'smom. Here's a link to Busy Buddy Twist and Treat.
We have two in size small. The opening is totally adjustable, so you can fit different things in there, and also you could keep the opening larger in the beginning to show Matrix what goodies are inside and make it easy for him to get to. I keep the opening quite small now and the boys work on it for however long they need to get out all of the good stuff. I even put some kibble in there mixed with a few tiny crumbles of treats. I know you mentioned Matrix not being too fond of treats, but maybe put a small dab of peanut butter inside and stick some kibble pieces in there too. I found the Busy Buddy at Petco, but I'm sure lots of places carry it. Sorry, I rambled about a toy
It's one of the favorites around here
The best part for me is that it's dishwasher safe
 

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Puddles Vet said do not, kiss, hold and play with him prior to leaving the house. Right before leaving, we go on a potty walk, come in give a treat and I get purse and walk straight out the door. It's funny when I don't have my purse, Puddles will follow me. When I do pick it up, he goes to the sofa and lays down with no crying or jumping.
 

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My dog has been on separation anxiety medication for a while now. The Vet gave me a six month prescription for Bijou. I do the things that have been listed before plus I have him play and run for toys in the house or outside because a tired dog is better to leave than one with a lot of energy. According to what I have read that the first 30 minutes are the most crucial as far as your leaving. My dog had a severe case and he would act startled even when I would just get up to leave the room and now he will leave the room to play. If he is in a crate and close the door separation anxiety is worse and he could hurt himself acording to "The Power of Positive Dog Training" which is absolutely correct for my dog. I also make sure that he goes to the potty pad or outside before I leave. I have also left a Kong Toy with peanut butter inside to keep him entertained. Also according to this book having a certain ritual before you leave will make it worse because it builds up the anxiety knowing that you are leaving. Another good book on this topic is "The Culture Clash".
 

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My dog has been on separation anxiety medication for a while now. The Vet gave me a six month prescription for Bijou. I do the things that have been listed before plus I have him play and run for toys in the house or outside because a tired dog is better to leave than one with a lot of energy. According to what I have read that the first 30 minutes are the most crucial as far as your leaving. My dog had a severe case and he would act startled even when I would just get up to leave the room and now he will leave the room to play. If he is in a crate and close the door separation anxiety is worse and he could hurt himself acording to "The Power of Positive Dog Training" which is absolutely correct for my dog. I also make sure that he goes to the potty pad or outside before I leave. I have also left a Kong Toy with peanut butter inside to keep him entertained. Also according to this book having a certain ritual before you leave will make it worse because it builds up the anxiety knowing that you are leaving. Another good book on this topic is "The Culture Clash".[/B]

Have you considered getting a second puppy? We ended up doing that because Lucky just cried and cried... his nose was even wet when I came back after 4 hours! I also made the mistake of making a big deal leaving and coming. Corrected that but he still cried. Now it is wonderful. They play together and could hipnotize anyone with their crazy running in circles! I give them both a treat as I am getting ready to leave, then they go to their beds and start munching while I get keys and coat and head for the door. And even now, I have to admit that I am not as great at ignoring them when coming back home, they act so happy to see us! I really enjoy having two puppies as Maltese seem to be very much "in your face" kind of dogs which is why they are so adorable!

Good luck to you both!
 

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When we got our little Naddie about 2 and 1/2 months ago from rescue group, I was warned she suffered from severe separation anxiety. I was told to start working on this right away which I did.
She wouldn't even let me walk across the room without being right at my side.
I started going out the back door for a matter of seconds to begin with... and returning.
I also worked with he within the house... leaving her in my office for a minute then returning.
I did this several times a day... every day.
the first time we had to leave her to go to church, I did all the suggested "routines and she was good for the hour or so we were gone.. we then go to 2 hours. I thought we "had it made"...but one night we went out for dinner with friends and were gone just under four hours... naddie had scratched the door to point of leaving grooves in it, she chewed the molding leaving deep gouges, and the hardwood floor at the base of the door was down to bare wood.
The one mistake we did make was to make a fuss. .. more when we came home than we left... I also think in her case... the confinement to the office was stressful to her but since she also had potty problems we felt it was necessary.
I tried the natural "calming-agnets' like rescue remedy and also melatonin..neither did anygood.
We simply continued with the training process... but started to be less 'excited' and more 'matter -of-fact' when we returned.
Little by little Naddie started , on her own, to spend a bit of time away from me within the house. Not a lot but some which was "progress".
Finally this past Saturday, we decided the last minute to go to mass sat PM rather than Sun since the weather was predicted to be snowey on Sunday. Naddie has gottne her potty down to where she'll go on the papers if we don't have the timing right to take her out ( she doesn't seem to know to let us know to let her out)
We decided to let her have full range of the house when we left for church.
I did what I did for her when confined with a bit of a twist, regarding leaving her treats. I did what i did for Missy and that was to leave her treats, broken into pieces in 3 area of the house. When I walked out the door...she saw me but wasn't concerned....too busy seeking the treats I had left down.
When we returned.. there was no scratched doors.. no chewed moldings, no damage at all.
We quietly, and matter of factly said "Hi Naddie" as we proceded to carry the few groceries we had picked up after church into the kitchen. We put our coats away.. then we "officially" greeted her.
Thsi week she has spent even more time "away' from me which is great progress. She has even decided to stay in bed for a bit after I get up which is another sign she is becoming more self-confident.
There are different degrees of separation anxiety.. Naddie happens to be afflicted with a more severe form so will take a longer period of time to overcome. I have not wanted to resort to medications if we can at all work without it.
I think we are 'getting-there".
 

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Discussion Starter #12
wow everyone's advice has been helpful. just to update...we left him for a couple of hours in the bathroom on monday with a baby gate and when we got home he had chewed through the gate. so we placed him in his travel crate yeserday and he seemed to do well (wasn't crying when we came home) but i knew he was thirsty because his crate was too small to add water...we remedied this by getting him a bigger crate so we can put some food and his water in there...again, he didn't cry this morning but he whined a bit...i think he's getting used to the idea. i also put the tv on for him and have it turn on and off a few times. this seems to help and even though he tears up the pee pad we left with him (he refuses to go in the crate)...he's not crying or barking as much.
 
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