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Date Posted: 18:42:18 02/04/05 Fri
Author: Kristin
Author Host/IP:
Subject: Re: New puppy - Deaf?
In reply to: Donna L 's message, "New puppy - Deaf?" on 10:48:06 02/04/05 Fri

Hi Donna,

Actually, you've sort of answered the crate issue yourself. By going back to your dog after she pitches a fit in the crate at night, what is she learning? The more often you do this, the more difficult it will be to break this behavior. She is, in effect, training you very well.

You say letting her bark isn't an option. Well, actually it's your only option. You're just going to have to put up with it for a few weeks, until the behavior extinguishes due to lack of reward. Returning to her crate is her reward. This behavior will only get worse until you determine NEVER to return to her crate while she's pitching a fit. Even returning occasionally will be reward enough to keep the fit going.

You don't mention how old Lola is. If she's over, say, eight months old, she should be able to hold her bladder all night. By pitching a fit when she wakes up, she's also training you to come to her crate to let her out. Then she gets what she wants...You! If she's old enough, I wouldn't let her out of the crate when she wakes up. Yes, there's a chance she really does need to go out, but the worse thing that will happen is she'll soil her crate. Better that then continually training you to come when she throws a fit. If, however, she continually soils her crate, then you must get up to let her out. She really does need to do that.

Something else to try, in case she really is scared when she wakes up, is to put her crate in your bedroom, positioned so she can see you all sleeping. My deaf Sheltie's crate is right next to my bed. When he wakes up at night, he can see me sleeping, and he knows I haven't left him - a fear he has. He goes back to sleep. Because I'm a light sleeper, I've had to get a soft-sided crate with a sheepskin mat to keep the crate noise down. This works well for him.

He has always had huge crate issues because he can't hear me in the other room. I found he didn't develop "object permenance" (ie. if mom leaves the room - she's a permenant object and will return. She hasn't fallen off the face of the earth) until much later than my hearing puppies. Because of this, he would get very frightened when I would leave the room and leave him in his crate where he couldn't follow me. This fear lingers for him, I think, and sometimes his crate issues reappear.

When he was a puppy, his crate manners were so bad that I had to put him on the opposite end of the house from the bedrooms. I shut ever door between him and me that I could. I would put him in his crate at night, and he'd just throw a fit. I'd put in a Kong, stuffed with something VERY good (what are you stuffing your Kong with?), and then I'd go to bed. He'd finish the Kong in about 20 minutes, and the barking would begin. He'd sometimes bark for an hour. I never returned.

Over time (and yes, this took months), the barking went from an hour to about 10 minutes. Then, I moved him to a room next to mine, so I could hear at night if he was in distress. I don't normally like my dogs to sleep away from my bedroom. I want to know if they're in trouble during the night. His barking got a little worse with the change of habit, but soon, he was back to Kong for 20 minutes then 10 minutes of barking.

After another couple of months, his barking was pretty minimal, so I moved him into my bedroom. He doesn't bark, ever, now during the night.

When you take on the responsibility of a dog, it does sometimes mean sleepless nights for the whole family. This is what must be done to train the dog. If you do not, the dog's behavior will only get WORSE.

As far as the biting goes, this may be normal puppy biting, depending on the age of your dog. However, just because it's normal, doesn't mean we shouldn't train it away. I've found the best method is when the puppy bites (and usually this is during play or petting), your play or petting stops. You just IMMEDIATELY quit, make a no sign and walk away. You can resume playing in a couple of minutes, if you'd like, but only resume playing if it's your idea. This will probably take care of the situation, because the puppy will find that biting isn't rewarding.

However, sometimes the above doesn't work. If in two weeks of CONSISTANT (that means EVERY time the puppy bites ANYONE in the household, the above is done) training the puppy isn't showing any signs of improvement, write back, and I'll give you more ideas.

Everyone in the house must do this, everytime, or it won't work. If you're not consistant, then anyother system won't work either.

I'm pleased you're looking into a trainer. Check out your local Petsmarts. Some Petsmart trainers are good - others not so good. Talk to the trainers there and see what experience they have aside from the training they get at Petsmart. See if they do doggie training activities away from the store (like showing in performance events), and see what experience they had before becoming a Petsmart trainer. Some Petsmarts hire their most outgoing cashiers or groomers to train who don't have any previous dog training experience. Some Petsmarts hire great dog trainers with loads of previous experience. Check it out.

Good luck. Keep us updated on how it goes and what trainer you've found.


We have a new Boston Terrier, Lola and I think she may
>be deaf. She doesn't respond to voices at all and
>seems oblivious to noise. The only responses we've
>gotten to our at home hearing tests seem to be related
>to vibration or movement more than sound. I'm taking
>her to the vet next week to see what he says.
>In the meantime, I'm having trouble with two issues,
>barking at night and biting. I'm not good at training
>animals. Our last Boston was managable, but I think
>she trained me more than I trained her. So I really
>need some guidance. I know that without being able
>to hear there are extra considerations and the margin
>for error is different and I really don't want to mess
>up here....
>At night we put her in a crate. Some nights she
>sleeps fine until 5:30 or so. I then get up take her
>out to the bathroom, play, get her some breakfast, and
>move on with our day. Our usual wake up time is 6,
>so 5:30 is fine. Other nights she wakes up at 1 or
>2, yelping in a high panic. I get up take her
>outside then try to get her back in the crate. She
>goes into high panic whenever I put her back in the
>crate. I've tried putting her to sleep by holding her
>before I put her back in, but she wakes as soon as I
>take my hands off of her. I've also tried giving her
>treats, a kong to play with, clothing that smells like
>us, putting a blanket over her crate, basically
>everything I've found suggested in books or on
>websites. Nothing seems to work. With our last
>dog, I just put the crate in the laundry room, turned
>off the light and let her bark for a minute. When I
>didn't come back she'd settle in and go back to sleep.
> With Lola, she just gets more frantic, barking for
>over half an hour, waking everone in the house and
>making us all miserable. We've never managed to wait
>it out long enough for her to go back to sleep. I
>always give in so that the rest of the family can rest
>and wind up sitting dozing in the recliner with her in
>my lap until I give up at 4 or 5 and make coffee. I
>know this isn't the way to go and I'm letting her win,
>but I don't know what else to do. Letting her bark
>and keeping the whole family up isn't an option. Any
>suggestions on how to help her quiet herself?
>Also, she sometimes bites too hard and isn't
>responding to "no". I usually get her to stop by
>giving her a chew toy to bite on but it feels like
>maybe I'm accidentally rewarding her with the toy and
>encouraging the biting rather than discouraging it.
>The other biting problem is that whenever any family
>member lays down on the floor Lola views it as an
>invitation to attack. She bites noses and ears HARD
>and growls and snaps. I've told my family to quit
>laying on the floor around her, but it seems like I'm
>training the family and not the dog. What should I
>be doing?
>I feel incompetent and lost. I am looking for
>trainers in our area, but haven't found anyone so far.
> Any suggestions on what to do until I find someone,
>would be really appreciated.

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