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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a 1 year old male who is an absolute angel when I'm around. Although he's a bit hyper, as expected at this age, he does listen pretty well and never causes any trouble.

I used to crate him in my bedroom, but he started barking and yelping when i would leave (even after coming home a few hours later, still yelping), so i tried leaving him out. I did this because I live in an apartment complex, and was afraid people will complain if he's making too much noise.

For the first week or so he was completely fine. I would come home and he would be sleeping on the bed or floor. Over the past couple days he has started getting destructive. It's mostly just taking pieces of paper off the table or out of the trashcan and shredding it, or chewing strings/buttons off clothes or shoes. I'm sure this could escalate if i don't do something though.

So, first question: How should i react when i come home to torn up paper, clothes, etc? He KNOWS he's done something wrong because as soon as i walk in the door he goes and hides under the table. Should i scold him, just ignore him and clean everything up, or what? I've been telling him NO and BAD DOG, but it obviously isn't working.

Second question: He doesn't seem to play with any of his toys when i'm gone. Even when i crated him, he would leave treats inside his kong, then once i got home play with it. Is this a sign of separation anxiety? How should i deal with this?

Finally, would confining him to the kitchen with baby gates be a good first step?

TIA

Here is a picture of the seemingly innocent pup
 

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Hudson's girl
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Baby gates are life savers (and house savers). I highly recommend getting one and letting him slowly get "house privledges". That innocent pup could never do what you said he does though. I think it's something else:p:.
 

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I would strongly suggest working on the crate training. Most dogs will protest the crate at first. That's to be expected. I would start practicing with him while you are home by putting him in his crate and leave the room. Let him have his tantrum. Once he has been quiet for a solid minute, then go and let him out. Don't pay any attention to him while he's barking and whining. Don't even say anything to him. Just wait it out. Keep practicing this and he will eventually learn that barking and whining will not result in him being let out of his kennel. Also, try to make the crate a fun place for him. You could put a couple of safe toys in there with him and even a Kong with frozen peanut butter, which will keep him busy. You can try the baby gate, but I'm a huge advocate of crate training. Not only will it protect your belongings, but it's also a safe place for the dog when you're not home. I would also try to exercise him a bit before you have to crate him when it's time for you to leave. Maybe play fetch with him outside and let him run around so that he can have a chance to tire himself out. A lot of dogs actually grow to enjoy their crate once they get used to it. It's like a den to them.

As far as finding the things that he has destroyed after it has already been done, there is nothing you can do. It's too late to discipline him. He will have absolutely no clue why you're upset with him and yelling at him/scolding him will do absolutely no good. It seems that he may be a bit afraid of you for some reason if he is running under the table when you get home.
 

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Are you walking him in the morning before you leave? Even if you have to get up an hour earlier to do it, it's SO worth it. Gets rid of some of that excess energy.

I agree with the other poster that babygates are great tools. Definitely block off an area for him to use while you're gone if you can. And take anything out that he might get into....trash, papers, etc. I used to leave a radio on for Merlin when he was young just for extra noise. Try and set him up for success. IMO, if they don't have the chance to learn them, bad habits can be avoided.

Scolding him when you get home and find a mess isn't going to do any good. If you don't catch them in the act, they don't understand what they did.

Merlin (as a pup) didn't play with anything while I was gone either. He did lick the peanut butter out of the kong, but after a while he didn't even do that.

Your best bet is to burn off some of his energy as often as possible. Tired is good! He's awful cute.....hard to be mad at them when they look so innocent! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. I walk him about a 1-1.5 miles every morning. I used to go more like 2-3 miles each morning in the summer, but it's starting to get cold. Then we do another mile in the evening.

I leave animal planet on the TV for him:) and sometimes a fan on in the bedroom since that's where he likes to sleep. I will definitely try out the baby gates. I've already got one, but need another to completely block off the kitchen.

I agree that crating would be great, but it isn't that he just barks for the first 15 minutes or so. I've literally come home after being gone for 3+ hours to him still yelping. The other problem is he's very inconsistent. Sometimes he will be completely fine, other times barking and yelping.

Maybe getting him a really fun toy that he only gets when I'm gone would help? I used to do the frozen PB in his kong, but he was only interested in it if i was around.
 

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chew chew chew
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Are you sure he's making noise the whole time, and not hearing your car? I was at a friend's place and they put their dog in a crate so I could take a nap, he barked when they left till I went and told him to cut it out, but as soon as he heard the car started freaking again...

You may need to go to crate training again and really work on him being QUIET in his crate, don't let him out if he's making a bunch of noise. My dogs may not like their crates but they know to be quiet in them. I have six year old border collie who is very distructive so he's never really had much for house rights - he's happier in a kennel when we're gone.

Lana
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just wanted to post an update. I got a couple baby gates and have him confined to the kitchen, hallway, and bathroom (it's not as big as it sounds, i live in a 1br apartment). Things have been GREAT so far. He can see me leave, so he doesn't cry or whine (i think that was the problem with crating him..crate is in my bedroom), and i can easily move or remove tempting items from the counter, etc. so he hasn't torn anything up in over 2 weeks now.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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Hey, that's great! Good work!
 

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Just wanted to post an update. I got a couple baby gates and have him confined to the kitchen, hallway, and bathroom (it's not as big as it sounds, i live in a 1br apartment). Things have been GREAT so far. He can see me leave, so he doesn't cry or whine (i think that was the problem with crating him..crate is in my bedroom), and i can easily move or remove tempting items from the counter, etc. so he hasn't torn anything up in over 2 weeks now.
That's fabulous news!! Glad that things are working out. And thanks for updating us! Babygates are wonderful, cheap barriers!

I had two crates (one was borrowed) for Merlin when he was a pup so he could be crated in the living room during the day and, like you said, see us when we left the house. He also could see outside too. I think not knowing what's going on would be frustrating and I'd bark too! :)
 
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