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Discussion Starter #1
My neighbour alerted us yesterday to the fact that our 5 month old pup barks loudly for long periods of time when we are not home.

To put it into perspective, I am a shift worker. I work 2 morning shifts, 2 afternoon shifts and 2 night shifts, followed by 4 days off. The only shifts that result in pup being left for a long period of time is when I work a morning shifts Monday-Friday. Hubby is the last to leave for work at around 8am, so makes sure pup goes to the loo, has some time outside and a play of fetch / tug of war etc. He then has his breakfast in his Kong and another frozen kong is hidden amongst his toys. A friend calls in around 10.30-11 with her dog. They will generally have a play in the garden and she'll take them both for a walk together. He will then be in the house alone until I am home around 3.30.

Any tips on how to deal with the barking? The neighbour says he sounds quite distressed and it normally goes on for around an hour at a time.
 

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Lots of energy in a 5 month old pup. He will survive, just has to learn the routine and that it isn't always about him.
Playing a radio when you are gone may help.
 

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I always leave the radio on for my dog whenever I am gone.
I normally have it on a majority of the day when I am home.

Where does your dog stay while your family is out?
Is he crated, do you confine him to an area such as a laundry room or is he left out in the house?

I always crated my girl whenever I was gone, she could not be trusted not to get into something.
I would definitely either crate your boy or confine him to an area since he's 5 months.
 

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If you can, try more outdoor exercise time before you go. A good hour of play might make him tired enough that he will maybe bark a bit when you leave, but then go to sleep. I found it really useful to get a puppy cam and watch my pup when I left. She also barked and cried in her kennel, but it lasted only about 20 minutes at its height. She would use a Nylabone to chew and self-soothe - it was very interesting to watch. I found she was better when I moved her kennel to a place where she could see out the front window. Can you move his kennel? Really good that you have someone coming in and taking him for a walk and play with his pal. I think he WILL get used to it. Try to keep the routines the same, whether you are gearing up for your morning, aft or evening shift - dogs thrive on routine. Same order of things, same words.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Lots of energy in a 5 month old pup. He will survive, just has to learn the routine and that it isn't always about him.
Playing a radio when you are gone may help.
We leave the radio on for him. Hate listening to him barking at the best of times and now its an added worry knowing that the neighbours aren't happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you can, try more outdoor exercise time before you go. A good hour of play might make him tired enough that he will maybe bark a bit when you leave, but then go to sleep. I found it really useful to get a puppy cam and watch my pup when I left. She also barked and cried in her kennel, but it lasted only about 20 minutes at its height. She would use a Nylabone to chew and self-soothe - it was very interesting to watch. I found she was better when I moved her kennel to a place where she could see out the front window. Can you move his kennel? Really good that you have someone coming in and taking him for a walk and play with his pal. I think he WILL get used to it. Try to keep the routines the same, whether you are gearing up for your morning, aft or evening shift - dogs thrive on routine. Same order of things, same words.
Its difficult to give him any more exercise before a morning shift as hubby has to get 2 young children ready for school as well. I have tried taking him out around 5.30am before I go to work, but he has no desire to leave the house at that time of the morning and refuses to budge!

He is crate trained and does well in there for 3-4 hours at a time. When we are out of the house for an extended period of time, he is confined to the kitchen and has access to his crate. I try to close the curtains so that he can't see out, as everything I've read before says to minimise distractions. May be worth trying him with curtains open though?

Not sure how I feel about the pet cam as I will struggle knowing that he is doing something that he shouldn't be and I have no power to do anything about it.
 
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