Separation Anxiety from the other dog

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chelle784
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Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by chelle784 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:18 am

So long story short with Pepper- she used to have separation anxiety but we managed to sort this out before we got Phoenix. It was a combination of using training methods including those that Kylie sent to us in the paper she wrote (thank you!) and I also think as I think it was Tracy who mentioned, it was an age thing as well.

Now we have Phoenix. When I take Phoenix out, I can leave Pepper home alone with no issues. However the other way round, when Pepper is taken out, Phoenix howls and cries really loudly.

With training methods you can ignore certain behaviours and go to them when they they are quiet. However, I am not sure what to do when it is with another dog, when the other dog responds to the behaviour. Bottom line is, when Phoenix cries, Pepper comes running.

If Pepper goes upstairs and Phoenix is at the bottom of the stairs, she will bark/make noise at Pepper to come down (even though she is capable of climbing the stairs too). She lets Pepper be alone upstairs on her terms but when she wants Pepper to come see her, she calls her. When she's crying when left home alone, she will make noise as soon as Pepper is back and Pepper will come running so I have started to try and not let Pepper go straight to her but I don't want to stress Pepper out (she doesn't like it if she can't get to Phoenix when Phoenix is crying). While we as the humans ignore the unwanted behaviour, Phoenix knows that she will get a reaction out of Pepper.

I know she gets separation anxiety with Pepper only because there were 3 of us in the house yesterday, my husband took Pepper out and Phoenix wouldn't stop whining until Pepper was back (despite 3 people in the same room as her).

My plan is to do the whole leave with pepper and immediately come back and then get the time in between longer because there may be times in the future where they can't be together. Does anybody else have this problem with their dogs? Phoenix is 4months and she is left alone without Pepper every day between 2 to 5 mins every day since we got her in an attempt to get her used to it.

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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by Booma » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:25 am

Do you have someone that can take one dog for a sleep over every now and then? Or some good kennels near by?
If start doing a lot of separate work with them. Walk sep, feed sep, crates in diff rooms etc.
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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by chelle784 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:38 pm

They get separate walks every day at the moment but I always come back to Phoenix howling/barking when I take Pepper out. They go to kennels sometimes and are in separate enclosures (because Pepper barks when a stranger touches Phoenix...we have a separate trainer to work on this issue). My worry is that if a neighbour complains, they can apparently ask us to remove the dog within 2 weeks. I have apologized to the neighbours but they have said they haven't heard anything and not to worry but I still do!

Since my first post there has been slight improvement - Pepper can go upstairs without Phoenix freaking out. Pepper and I can also leave without Phoenix freaking out and we sneak out but the at some point Phoenix realizes she can't see Pepper and starts barking. I have also started keeping the leash on Pepper when we return so she doesn't immediately go to Phoenix and I take her to another part of the house until Phoenix has calmed down.

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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by Tana » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:20 pm

What kind of feeding ritual do you have? I would feed one with some high value food, treats (teaching tricks-clicker session) and in the meantime, when one is distracted and focused on you/food, asked a friend/husband to take another one for a walk and feed, play with her on a walk. So they will see that most funny things happen, when they are separated. And that people (you) are funnier than dogs. And also I would put them in crates in different rooms.

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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by chelle784 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:59 pm

pepper is fine being separated from phoenix and doesn't cause a fuss. She can be separate from the pup. Phoenix who is 5 months has issues being separate from pepper. We try that - one person training/ playing with phoenix who responds and listens to commands but she's crying as she's playing/ listening to the commands until pepper is back. We can't crate in separate rooms as only phoenix is crated and our house is open plan apart from the bedrooms. However pepper does go upstairs and phoenix is fine downstairs by herself which she wasn't like before so I guess that's some improvement.

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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by Tana » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:05 pm

chelle784 wrote:because Pepper barks when a stranger touches Phoenix...
That is also not good, overprotection. I think they are (still) too attached to each other and the best thing you can do for them is to attach them (especially Phoenix) to you (and in the meantime teach how to be alone). Simple, but requires a lot of work and time with all separated walks, trainings and everything. Keep Phoenix busy with walks, trainings, play so she will be tired and won't have much energy to miss Pepper too much, and have her crated, so she won't have a chance to follow Pepper everywhere.
chelle784 wrote:I guess that's some improvement.
Good to hear.

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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by Booma » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:40 pm

chelle784 wrote:They get separate walks every day at the moment but I always come back to Phoenix howling/barking when I take Pepper out. They go to kennels sometimes and are in separate enclosures (because Pepper barks when a stranger touches Phoenix...we have a separate trainer to work on this issue). My worry is that if a neighbour complains, they can apparently ask us to remove the dog within 2 weeks. I have apologized to the neighbours but they have said they haven't heard anything and not to worry but I still do!

Since my first post there has been slight improvement - Pepper can go upstairs without Phoenix freaking out. Pepper and I can also leave without Phoenix freaking out and we sneak out but the at some point Phoenix realizes she can't see Pepper and starts barking. I have also started keeping the leash on Pepper when we return so she doesn't immediately go to Phoenix and I take her to another part of the house until Phoenix has calmed down.

If you come home from a walk and you can hear her, don't even go in the house - walk around the block again until you can't hear her.
With the kennels, I mean just put one in kennels and have one at home.
You shouldn't have to sneak pepper out of the house. I agree, You need to break this bond, and you also need to put a stop to Phoenix barking at people approaching pepper. Dogs learn VERY fast that aggression works, and unless you are brain dead, when a dog snaps at you, you bloody well move.
Have a look at some articles on sibling syndrome. There is an age gap between them, but you will find some good suggestions in the articles.
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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by chelle784 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:16 am

You are right - I need to not go in the house. If she's howling I do because I'm worried about neighbours. If she is simply whining, I can't hear her until I get inside the house as the front door is on the ground level and the living areas are the second and third floor.

With Pepper barking when people approach Phoenix - this is a bit of a weird one and why the trainer is coming to our house and on walks with us. Her barking doesn't scare about 90% of people. They just say aww she's jealous and go over to Pepper and pet her. We have to tell people not to because this is reinforcing her bad behaviour. If a stranger pets both at the same time, pepper is silent. The barking happens if Pepper sees them near Phoenix at a distance. One of the reasons we have the trainer is because we don't want this to escalate into something worse. She only does this with strangers which is weird as she never sought attention from strangers before. She does the same thing to dogs (if they go to Phoenix first) but in the case of dogs if they are off leash, they will come running to play with Pepper and therefore reinforces the behaviour. So we have to walk Pepper off in the other direction just before it looks like she's about to bark. The bark is not a 'bark bark bark' it's a single one bark if that makes sense.

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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by Booma » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:11 am

Introduce a negative marker (eg no). Mean it when u say it.
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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by chelle784 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:39 pm

The negative marker for Pepper works depending on her level of excitement. If she's too excited then it doesn't work. The 'engage- disengage' which we have been trying for the past few weeks has been far more effective and it has now got to the point where she sees the trigger and automatically looks at us and so more often than not, a negative marker has not been required as the behaviour of barking incidents has gone from every day to maybe once a week and that is if we aren't quick enough with acting/ don't see it coming.

http://www.clickertraining.com/reducing ... ngage-game

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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by Booma » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:57 pm

You need to be able to back the marker up. It's the same as a little kid. If they think you don't mean it the first time, they will just keep asking, or touching whatever you've told them not to etc.
James lamb free- "I don't have to beat my dog, my dog just has to think I might"
Your dog needs to know that if they don't listen to that marker you will do something about it - and then, when they realise you mean it and stop, take the pressure back off them.
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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by chelle784 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:13 pm

Oh of course - that is a given - if we use the marker and she doesn't stop, she gets walked off in the other direction immediately which stops the behaviour. We never give the 'no' and then let her continue barking.

I'm saying that when her levels of excitement are so high, a 'no' will not prevent her from lunging/ barking if the distraction is still in front of her face. as an example - if there is a squirrel in front of her, a 'no' will not stop her from trying to get to that squirrel,we have to continue walking and remove her from the situation.

If she starts getting too excited, but isn't quite at that high level yet, usually a sit stay will work and once she has done that, she can go say hi to the person or dog.

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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by chelle784 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:23 pm

To give more examples of the level of excitement that Pepper goes through - if you give her a single piece of kibble she's like YESS OMYGOSH AMAZING. If it is a normal biscuit treat she takes it and starts playing with it, talking to it and then eating in one bite about 5mins after. She play bows to every animal (including skunks, cats, racooons) and cries when we don't allow her to go near the raccoons. If one of our friends goes upstairs then comes down 2 mins later, it's the most exciting thing ever when they come back down and she grabs the nearest toy to give them.
The dog park is something else.... people can play with Phoenix then and Pepper just doesn't even notice - there's far more interesting things to do!

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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by Booma » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:57 pm

chelle784 wrote:Oh of course - that is a given - if we use the marker and she doesn't stop, she gets walked off in the other direction immediately which stops the behaviour. We never give the 'no' and then let her continue barking.

I'm saying that when her levels of excitement are so high, a 'no' will not prevent her from lunging/ barking if the distraction is still in front of her face. as an example - if there is a squirrel in front of her, a 'no' will not stop her from trying to get to that squirrel,we have to continue walking and remove her from the situation.

If she starts getting too excited, but isn't quite at that high level yet, usually a sit stay will work and once she has done that, she can go say hi to the person or dog.

When she's excited a simple "no" might not cut it. "NO!" or maybe an "OOIIII!!!!!!" and really put some oomph into it. And just walking away isn't enough.
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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by chelle784 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:21 pm

Yeah - that's right a simple no doesn't cut it. It's always a loud 'uh uh!' or an OII! side note, people here don't say 'oi' and have no idea what we are saying/ what it means haha. The walking away combined with a positive interrupter (that Tatzel linked in a previous post) works a lot better because she is food motivated and we use lambs lung as the food distraction which we will phase out.

It's really hard to describe what it is that happens so I'll describe the last instance. We had a trainer come to our house, she walked through the front door and the dogs have to wait until they hear the release word 'ok' before they can say hi. So both dogs after releasing went up to her and said hi, licking the woman's hand etc no bad reaction from Pepper (but Pepper was with the woman and there's never a reaction when she's near the person). Outside, I stood still with Phoenix with my husband holding Pepper a few feet away. The trainer went over to go near Phoenix and just before Pepper looked like she was about to bark, my husband treated her (in the whole disengage- engage thing that I linked but also someone on here mentioned it too). She basically repeated this until it got to a point where she approached Phoenix and Pepper just looked up at my husband without him giving a cue. At the end of this exercise, Pepper was not reacting to the woman coming over and petting Phoenix. We are putting this into practice on walks and it seems to be making a difference. Another weird thing is that Pepper will only react if she is sitting/ standing still. So if she is walking this will not happen which is why the areas we need to watch for are sitting at traffic lights / waiting to cross the road or if one of us stops to wait for the other as this is where people stop and start to interact with Phoenix.

When you say walking away isn't enough, what do you mean exactly? What exactly would you recommend? Pepper reacts best to positive reinforcement which is why all 3 trainers we have had with Pepper have taught only positive reinforcement methods (which I know don't work on all dogs). She hears the 'NO' and if the behaviour continues for a split second, she gets removed because that is what she wants and her barking should not get her what she wants - she wants to be part of the interaction with the person and also wants to observe them. This method has worked in the past with things like cats. She knows now that if she sees a cat, if she immediately sits, she's allowed to look at them and that they may come over to say hello if she does this (because she LOVES cats)

As an update for the other thing, Phoenix hasn't cried the last 2 times I went out with Pepper only. I think she is possibly passing the 'I'm a puppy and have to follow Pepper everywhere' stage. This week she has spent most of the day upstairs with me (as a choice) while Pepper has stayed downstairs so I don't think this is anything to do with me but most likely starting to be a bit more independent on her own and also she is starting to get irritated at pepper's want to play 100% of the time.

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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by chelle784 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:35 pm

Just came back from another walk with just pepper (leaving Phoenix alone nobody else in). Walked out the house in front of her and she seemed content playing with her toys with no fuss. Came back and she looked up once then carried on playing with her toys as opposed to getting really excited when she sees Pepper. Perhaps Pepper isn't cool anymore or more likely she's growing out of it.

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Re: Separation Anxiety from the other dog

Post by chelle784 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:35 pm

Tana wrote:
chelle784 wrote:because Pepper barks when a stranger touches Phoenix...
That is also not good, overprotection. I think they are (still) too attached to each other and the best thing you can do for them is to attach them (especially Phoenix) to you (and in the meantime teach how to be alone). Simple, but requires a lot of work and time with all separated walks, trainings and everything. Keep Phoenix busy with walks, trainings, play so she will be tired and won't have much energy to miss Pepper too much, and have her crated, so she won't have a chance to follow Pepper everywhere.
chelle784 wrote:I guess that's some improvement.
Good to hear.
Thank you for all your tips (to you both) :)

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