Training Dogs And Humans For A More Enjoyable Life Together
By Susan Smith, East Valley Dog Training
Answers to questions are based on the information provided. It’s always a good idea to have your pet thoroughly examined by a veterinarian when having behavior problems. Although I can give general information and management suggestions on serious behavior problems such as aggression, issues such as these can be a very serious problem and a certified dog trainer should be consulted.
We have a three year old cockapoo and had a complaint from our neighbors that when we are out she constantly barks and whines. She has her crate so she can go in whenever she likes. We leave the radio on for her and leave a Kong but she doesn’t touch this until we get home. She is walked daily and has plenty of attention. She is also very destructive and will pull paper off the fridge, get into the cupboard, and chew the door mat.
There isn’t really enough information here to address this problem; however, it appears to be some type of separation distress. This is a fairly common problem among dogs and it can take different forms.
You don’t mention whether the destruction only happens when you are gone or all the time. If it happens only when you’re gone, it may be an indicator of the distress. Also, not eating (the Kong) is an indication of distress – this is very common in dogs with separation problems.
Separation distress is a serious problem and can affect your dog’s overall well-being. I would suggest contacting a professional for help. Meanwhile, the first thing I would try is putting her in her crate and not allowing free access to the entire house while you are gone. Sometimes, just the fact that she can’t move around will help resolve the issue. There are now apps you can get for your phone so you can watch your dog at any time, while gone. If this doesn’t work, you’ll probably need a formal behavior modification program, which a professional trainer can help you with.
If you have questions for the trainer, please send them to:
Susan Smith, CDBC, CPDT-KA, is a dog trainer in San Tan Valley, AZ, specializing in pet dog training as well as cat and parrot training—from obedience behaviors to serious problems such as aggression. She can be contacted at:
Sue is also the owner of Raising Canine, LLC which provides professional education to animal trainers.
She has her crate with her bed and blankets on top so she can go in whenever she likes. We leave the radio on for her and leave a kong but she doesn’t touch this until we get home. She is walked daily and has plenty of attention. She is also very destructive and will pull paper off the fridge, get into the cupboard and chew the door mat.