My dog is driving me crazy - help?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, May 9, 2011.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Well, I knew from the beginning Tesla was a handful. Than I found out she was an American Dingo/Carolina Dog and her high energy made more sense. Given the fact that these dogs hold the rare dog ability to vocalize 16 different sounds, I knew she would be a talker, which she is, for sure!!! She sighs, she purrs, she truly tries to talk - but she also barks like a mad dog.

    I am getting beat down now. Anytime I am not walking around the house doing chores she just sits there and barks at me. If I am on the computer, or reading, or watching tv, bark, bark, bark.

    I think a lot of it is that I am unemployed and it is just the 2 of us, and somehow I have set up some type of enabling relationship? (I seem to be good at this - it is so built in to my character it is nauseating). It is obvious she wants me to not sit down and relax - yet she does not want to be petted either.. I walk her 3-4 miles a day, sometimes more - and she still barks.

    So now, as a trial I am placing her in the garage every time she barks. Do you think this is the best solution? It sorta works for a bit when she comes back in, but it doesn't last. I tell her no, and that does nothing. I started the garage idea yesterday, so it could take time. I don't know.

    I do not want to reward her bad behavior by taking her on another walk when she barks, which is what I think she is used to me doing. I do have a backyard, which she loves, but she barks there too. And as you remember I live in a town home and I have psycho neighbors so I can't have her barking.

    I am beginning to feel bad, like she is trying to tell me she is lonely and bored. But I really can't afford another dog, nor do I want one. I do know Dingos are pack animals, so it may be she needs more playmates - but I can only do so much. I give her kongs at night, and other toys that keep her pre-occupied for awhile - but I can't do that 24/7.

    I think the big indicator that this is for attention is that in the garage or when I am not home she does not bark. Sigh.

    Any suggestions from all you dog experts out there???? I really am frustrated. I could take her on a ten mile hike, (which I have done) have her drop dead in exhaustion for 3 hours, and then she is back up and full of as much energy as she was before. I know this is her make up, but I need a way to channel her energy into other avenues rather than only walking
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have often watched episodes of DogTown, the National Geo Channel show about that huge no kill sanctuary in the Western US. One episode worked with a dog who was super high energy and got bored and barked nonstop. One of the things that worked REALLY well was to NOT feed the dog from a bowl. Meals were food put into a toy like a Kong that holds the food and they have to roll it or shake it or whatever to get the kibble out. the dog was NOT undernourished by any means, nor overfed. The dog just had to really WORK for her food. It was a big success. Maybe it would work for her also? Any type of toy that will keep her busy would be your best friend, in my opinion. Could she need an animal to keep her company? My Gma always had several cats because if she only had one the cat was bored and pestered her too much. She had one that would follow her and meow non-stop. So she got a younger cat, same sex, neutered, and they fought the first ten days then played like bffs. We always used to joke that she needed to get them construction permits because they would be in her basement and climbing around all the ductwork, the furnace pipes, etc... chasing each other. Years later when she got a new furnace the poor cats almost went nuts because the new furnace was so much smaller and had so many fewer ducts etc.... to climb on.

    Amazon has several that come up if you search on feeding toys, including the Kong Wobbler, the Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble dog toy, and the Smarter Toys IQ treat Ball. These seem to be around $10 each. The tv show also had one that looked like a pipe with a hole on one side that had to be rolled around to get food out of it.

    I think changing meal time to work/play time might help you keep her occupied. Another episode with a high energy dog had one of the trainers teaching the dog to dance. Yet another said that agility training is excellent for dogs like that. I know that Border Collies are super high energy and they LOVE agility training. I have a cousin who got into it when he was married to his second wife. They divorced and he kept it up with his dogs because when he wanted to stop they almost went nuts because they were bored. So try to get her to fetch or go through obstacles, climb up rocks, whatever she likes.

    I do think that putting her in the garage when she is barking for no reason is an excellent idea. Praise the behavior you want and ignore what you don't want. So when she is in the garage she must be quiet or you don't take her out. Also if she is barking you don't go for a long walk. She can tell you she needs to go out, but not the nonstop barking, Know what I mean??

    You have to teach her that it is good for you to not be doing things. Give her treats when she is quiet while you are on the computer, watching tv, etc..... . If you know how to use a clicker, they can be very ehlpful also. Click when you are going to treat her and eventually you won't need to use the treats because the click will be the reward. Or so I have been told. I have cats and am NOT a dog person. So if my advice doesn't work I am sorry - it is what I have seen and heard.and not what I have done.
  3. seriously

    seriously New Member

    Well, it sounds like you both could benefit from some training. She has decided that she is the "top dog" in the house - not you. And you need to take back your position as head of the pack.

    I can give you some ideas but it would probably be a good idea for you to check the local SPCA website for classes that might be helpful.

    I'm assuming she is not crate-trained. This is something you could consider that should put a stop to the barking.

    Do you have a yard where she could go and stay by herself for part of the day? One that's secure with shade, water, etc.?

    She needs to work for what she gets. For example, she needs to sit and wait when you put down her food dish until you have given her a verbal and/or hand signal that she may eat. You go through doors first - she follows. If she begs for attention you need to give her NONE. That includes putting her in the garage.

    Since giving her any attention for the barking will only reinforce the barking and her mistaken idea that she is in charge you must take action before she starts barking. Crating her. Having a schedule that you keep so she knows when she will get to go for a walk, when she will be crated, when she eats - all that will help.

    been there done that - I found the hardest thing to change was ME - not the dog.

    Good luck
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I didnt know there were products out there that make them work for their food. That is an excellent idea. I just gave her a pork hock and she has been working on that 2 hours which is great. I have to remember her instincts are pretty feral and tap into that. I totally would get a second dog, but my concern is how much travel I have been doing and how much that costs to board them both.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Do you have a dog crate? If not, invest in one.

    Each time she does the unwanted "bored" barking, put her in the crate and ignore her for a specific amount of time. (at least until she is quiet for a while) A sort of Time Out for doggies.

    If she's like our Precious'll want to double a sheet and drape it over the kennel when she's inside so she can't see you. (think bird)

    If you're consistent, she'll eventually stop.

    I use dog crates as playpens for dogs. Also a Time Out for dogs. I don't raise my voice or anything........they just go into their crate when I can't get them to stop unwanted behavior. It's worked for 4 dogs now without fail, just takes patience, especially if she's not used a crate from the beginning.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Got any remote control toys she can chase (that it doesn't matter if she destroys)?
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Be careful with remote control things. The little parts can be very dangerous. They can also be traumatic for some dogs. A friend got a roomba and it totally terrorized her dogs. Major trauma, after that even the sight of it in the closet would make them cry and wet themselves.

    But making them work for food is very natural and there are a lot of different toys out there. Plus you can mail order from amazon or wherever if you don't live near a good petstore. I do think the garage can work like a crate if you don't want to use a crate or cannot get one for a while.
  8. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I know they make remote control toys for cats, figured they had some for dogs, too. Maybe not.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Although none of my dogs bark nonstop, I do have one who likes to hear himself (always has). If anyone walks by, he starts barking as if somebody is breaking into the house to kill us. For a really bad barker, I think barking devices are a waste of time. NONE of them made Rufus stop barking. Didn't even quiet him a little bit.

    One thing I've heard about certain breeds, such as border collies who are smart and high energy, is that they HAVE to be stimulated. Kongs are good. Long walks and running time are good. Fetch is good (if the dog fetches). Smarter dogs need to be busy. Some like jobs. Maybe you can teach the dog to clean your house?

  10. ski10

    ski10 New Member

    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  11. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I like the idea of finding ways to keep her challenged as well as setting up a structured daily routine that includes quiet time.

    One thing we enjoy doing is getting out a laser light and having our puppies chase the light. You can do this in your back yard at night time. Gives your dog time to run off energy that you may not have enough of yourself to match.

    Before we lost sweet puppy, I was trying to come up with challenges for her such as putting a toy under a cardboard box for her to figure out how to get it out.

    Even practicing simple commands of sit, stay, heel uses up some dog energy as they focus on what you want next. Then keep adding skills as one is mastered.("school" time) This would include the agility training time.

    I am certainly not a dog expert so do not know which order and how far apart to have meals and "school" times but think your scheduled day should include, "walk", "play", "school", and meal times. If they are set times, then she will learn to wait.

    Sweet puppy was starting to ask me to play with her and I was told to make sure it was on my terms. That I set the time.

    Does she ever play catch with herself? Diva dog does all the time by throwing a sock or light toy in the air, picking it up, and throwing it again. I don't think sweet puppy did that so much but she did chase her tail alot. :)

    Are there any kids in the neighborhood who may like to play with her? If there is a more responsible one you can have him/her help you by each standing on opposite sides of the yard and take turns calling Tesla. difficult child and I would use whistles and as sweet puppy was running toward difficult child, I would walk to a different location to get ready to blow the whistle - sometimes half hidden behind a tree so she had to think where the sound was coming from.
  12. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    My beautiful Miss Molly Doodle (schnauzer mix) was the worst puppy ever born...until I got her (and us) the sweetest pup ever born, Chelsea (lab/husky). Molly watched over and disciplined and loved Chelsea like she had given birth to her. It was truly the sweetest relationship I've ever been lucky enough to witness and it calmed Molly's wild ways.

    For Rufus' endless barking, the citrine-spraying collar has worked wonders. Plus, as a stray he is almost the embodiment of the "grateful pound dog" who will do almost anything to please me.

    The trick is to find Tesla's motivator. For Molly, it was feeling like she was responsible for another being and having another pup to love. For Rufus, it's the desire to please, plus hating to be shot in the face with spray when he barks. lol. Good luck finding Tesla's motivator.

  13. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Ski that is my dog - totally!!!!
    I am using the garage as a crate because in a crate she barks non stop and i cannot have the neighbors calling the police again like they did with my dog that was dying and yelping.
    Backyard is too much stimulus, again too many things to bark at, ie, neighbor problem again.
    I will try the work for food process, and more obedience training, and continuing to use the garage as a time out of sorts.
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Sorry, I didnt see the other posts after ski. Suz I thought about a spray bottle with water, that is supposed to work, and the calming collars.
    Andy she will play for hours and never tire. I truly think it has to be that I am more of a pack leader to her, although I have tried. I will work on making sure I leave the door way first, and work on more training with her. She is very very stubborn and that makes this all more difficult.
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911


    When you originally posted the dingo post - I gave you a name/link to a lady here in SC that deals with wild dogs & Carolina Dog behavior. I would highly recommend emailing her and trying to hit her up for some suggestions. Dingos, Carolina Dogs and wild dogs are not trained the same way that domestics are. I'm at a loss to tell you anything because their mind-set and behavior is quite a bit different than your average house dog. In essence? Yes - they're the same but they are more (not able to think of a really good word here) - maybe more clever, cunning? They are more predatory. Basic training like a regular K-9 will be helpful but you are going to need an expert with Tesla.

    It's not 'just' that you two are home together. There is a great deal to owning a primative. They are not for first time dog owners, and she may prove to be a lot more than you want in the long run. But she's still young so I'd call this lady I spoke of and get an expert behaviorist. Not something you want to mess around with - I've been reading a bit more about Dingos and WOW - even their teeth are longer, and stronger than I knew.

    If you can't find it - google Carolina Dogs - and her name will come up. It would be interesting to see what this gal makes of your pups howls, yips and talking.
  16. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yea, her teeth are crazy scissor like tools. Unlike anything I have ever seen in a dog. Do you mind pm the link again, I think I know who are talking about, and i was thinking about calling her too, but I just want to make sure we are speaking of the same woman. I cant imagine giving her away, so I have to make this work.
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I'll look it up sure - and it's not giving her away. I think whomever sold her to you did you dirty. Primatives are what they are. It's not that you can't handle her - it's that they take an ENORMOUS amount of time and knowledge and a lot of times even with people that have had them? They can't keep them - they can be EXTREMELY hard to handle, destructive, and a liability. It's really not you.

    This is why it infuriates me when people advertise WOLF puppies or 3/4 wolf, and people flock to go get them. Wolves dig, and I mean DIG - Like burrows under the ground - they need organ meat - like liver, kidneys, etc. And they can't eat dog wrecks their digestive systems. people just don't know their mind set, their pack mentality, their strength. Of course with Tesla it's different because they didn't say Dingo but it certainly was unfair to you - and to her, not to give you a heads up and now you're both used to each other. I'll look up her name. Gimme a minute.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Star, you have a very good point about primative breeds being different than regular breeds. I have known people who had wolf mix pets and invariable they had problems. One friend's dog could NOT be kept in. He ate through a solid core door in less than six hours. their FRONT door. He also went through 2 interior doors that same day. Animal control picked him up so often they would just pull up, open the front door of the truck (where the driver sits) and call him. The guy didn't even have to get out. The dog just hopped right in. If he didn't hop in, there was no catching him. Getting him on a catch pole (the pole with the loop to catch the animal safely) was NOT doable. If they managed to get him, he broke out of it. Pit bulls couldn't manage that but it was easy for this dog.

    You need to be very sure that you are ALWAYS the alpha in the home. Calling Star's person is an excellent idea.
  19. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hey sorry i'm late to this.... i have a difficult child dog myself, 110 pounds who began sleeping on the dining room table when i went to portland and hasn't stopped yet bizarre.

    each night i have to put the chairs up likea restaraunt.

    one thing i know for sure is good toys. their like kids they require stimulation. the 99 cent store actually has some decent toys. as far as barking is concerned in store the other day i saw this thing you plug in that i'm getting that is a high pitched frequency that stops the barking.

    good luck!!!
  20. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yes - the modern domestic dog has been bred to be more "juvenile". IOW - his basic personality is more child-like....he's a pup...he looks to a person to direct him and care for him.

    Whereas, a wild dog is an "adult" who is perfectly capable of caring for himself, thank you very much. Wild dogs do not look to people for direction, comfort, or care. That puppy-dog neediness is just not there.