My 7 month old lab has been barking SOMETIMES in his kennel when we leave (but when he does bark, he's very persistent and I'm worried about annoying the neighbors). He's very used to his kennel when we're home, he sleeps in it at night, he gets treats in it and will sometimes lay in there without me even telling him to go, so I don't think it's a kennel problem. But he also doesn't bark every time we leave, we're really big into wearing him out before we go so a lot of times I think he just sleeps, but sometimes, even when he is worn out, the neighbors tell us he is barking the entire time. I don't want him to be upset, and I want to be a good neighbor.
Also he stops barking the moment we're in the house or he hears us through the window. We can walk around and leave him in there for as long as we want and he won't bark or whine, as long as we're home. I read stuff about separation anxiety, but I want to see if you guys think this is it because the info I read said that the dog will freak out EVERY time you leave, and he just doesn't. Any ideas? Advice? THoughts? Please help and thanks!
What's in his kennel with him, he sounds bored to me?
Sometimes he gets a frozen pb kong, sometimes just a biscuit when we leave. We actually don't always have a toy in there for him and we can't leave bones cuz he'll eat the whole thing if we don't watch him.
But maybe there's a toy we can leave in there with him - I've been worried he'll destroy it/eat it and then we'll have tummy issues. Any suggestions?
You should be able to leave a frozen Kong in there with him safely, provided it is the right size for him.
Kong is the safest thing for sure. I would freeze him one every day, change up the filling to keep him interested. You can used plain yugort, apples etc lots of stuff can but shoved in those thing. I had a foster with S/A it's terrible, to me your guy sounds more bored than stressed. Keep us posted I'm sure others will post about safe toys, kongs are all I use. Gunny seems to be able to chew up anything else..luckily he never swallows anything. I think he enjoys spitting little particles of toys out all over the rugs.
Thanks for the ideas, I'll probably buy another kong to keep one on hand at all times so we'll be prepared if we have to leave.
We used to leave the squeaky pig with him, but he ends up chewing out their stuffing : That seriously can't taste that good. I'll keep you updated on how he's doing! If anyone else has more ideas about toys to leave with them I'm all ears, thanks!
Is he well exercised before you leave?
Barking when you are gone does not necessary mean separation anxiety. If he is understimulated his behavior could be down to nothing but pure boredom.
I very much agree with Trickster.
A Lab sufficiently exercised will usually sleep when no one is around. Also, leaving a radio on to soothing music helps. (My Puff's taste, fortunately, is for classical, the same as mine.)
The "five minutes of vigorous exercise per month of age up to 12 months" rule of thumb suggests that at 7 months age, he needs 35 minutes. That's not 35 minutes of walking or being in the backyard -- it means exercise like fetching or fetching while swimming.
My Puff (YF, AKC, field line, 63 lbs., dob: 8-'01) was a little hyper and need TWO periods of that amount a day up to a total of about 70-80 minutes.
With that amount, she dozes quietly through the day but becomes instantlty alert anytime I move or act like I'm going outside or that there's any possibility of a ride in the van.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
Zakk has so many toys in his kennel. Most of the time he chews on the crate water bowl - today when I got home it was completely upside down. However, he has plenty of choices when it comes to toys, and I have never heard him bark when we leave. I think he usually sleeps. We run his little brown tail pretty good at night time.
When we go to bed at night or leave for a while we do use the kong!
Zakk's Mommy<br />Allyson<br />
Thanks for the advice guys. We're trying to increase his "high energy" exercise now. In addition to that he gets one or two 20 minute walks a day. I've been taking him to the dog park for an hour every evening. I haven't come home to him barking yet, but he hasn't been in his kennel for over an hour (which I think the frozen kong lasts most of that time) yet either. We'll see what happens this weekend!
Zakks_mommy - what kind of toys do you have in there?