Samoyed puppy barking for attention

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Samoyed puppy barking for attention

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Old 10-22-2015, 01:17 PM
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Samoyed puppy barking for attention

-- Sorry this might be a long post, but I like to be thorough! --

My fiancÚ, Eric and I have had Albert since he was 9 weeks old. He is now going on 13 weeks. Some of his behaviors have had me a little overwhelmed especially since I'm the one home with him all day. Even though Samoyeds are a vocal breed Albert is good in the fact that he doesn't bark when people, cars or animals walk by our backyard or when someone comes over or is at the door. Hopefully this behavior remains the same..but he does have barking fits when he's not getting attention.

1. The BIGGEST problem is when we're eating -- Eric and I eat on the couch, in front of the TV. The second Albert sees something in our hands (it could even be a cup with water) he will place his front paws on the couch and shove his nose into your plate and lick it. When he does this we gently nudge him off and calmly tell him to "get down." He'll retry a few more times and sometimes he gets the hint and just finds a toy to play with. Recently, there will be moments were he starts to bark. Like CRAZY.

Most times we tell him to "be quiet" and after a few times repeating it to him sternly he will whine and lie down defeated. Other times he only gets worse so we'll tell him "that's enough!" and if he barks once more we place him in his crate. Once in there he will whine for a couple seconds, maybe give one bark but then he calms down and goes to sleep.

Sometimes we'll try ignoring him but he'll get more insistent and try hopping onto the couch or will actually knock into our plates. I know it's normal puppy behavior but my gosh you'd think he wasn't getting fed 3 times a day.. It also doesn't matter when we eat. He could have literally just finished his meal and he'll be coming after you.

We've been working hard on getting him to enjoy his crate because he didn't like it at first but now once he goes in he calms down. Sometimes it takes a couple minutes and a stern "quiet" but he'll be fine! I really don't want to have to put him in the crate every time we eat. I would like him to learn to be well behaved even with the temptation. Am I going in the right direction and just need to be patient or should I try something else?

2. When he wants attention in general -- I know this is again puppy behavior but I'd like to start correcting it the right way. I play with Albert as much as I can but he likes the session to go 30 minutes non-stop. After that amount of time I need to get things done so I place all his toys in front of him and either sit on the couch or go to another part of the house. (We have a gate up and I keep him in the living room) Well if I'm on the couch he will start barking and trying to hop up. Same issue as before.

If I'm somewhere else in the house I still have eyes on him and I see him just stand by the gate and go bark crazy. I've noticed that if I'm somewhere he can't see me and I tell him to "be quiet" he'll usually calm down after a few more barks. If I'm in the kitchen where he can see what I'm doing there's no stopping him. He'll try to hop on the gate or jump on the couch (which he's not allowed to unless he gets permission - that'll be in another post), but the barking won't stop. If I put him in the crate, he's fine.

Bottom line -- he does very well in his crate, with the occasional moments of whimpers and barks to see if I'm still around. Usually if I tell him to "be quiet" from a different room he's quiet for hours. But I feel bad putting him in the crate all the time. I try not to use it as a punishment but more of a place to calm down which works because he'll fall asleep and just lie there silent but I still feel bad.

I know Samoyed's love to be near their owners at all times but it's not possible. If I'm in the kitchen or the laundry I don't have the patience to keep watching him to make sure he's not eating random pieces of food or lint. And I only leave him (in the living room) for about 15-30 minutes at a time to do chores. Lately I've been leaving him for 2 hours a day (in the crate) just get him used to being in there longer during the day for when I go back to work. But again in the crate = sleepy, quiet pup.

Is this something I can correct? Am I on the right track? Is there something else I should be trying? I'm a first time dog owner (Eric's had dogs his whole life) and I'm just not used to things like this so I'm worried I'm going to mess him up forever. Any help is much appreciated!
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Old 10-22-2015, 02:47 PM
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Training a new puppy starts from the first day, don't expect results quickly... The first place to start is to begin training your puppy to respond to his name being called. Start by calling the puppy’s name as you feed him his meals so that he starts to associate his name with his food.. A puppy can be calmly accomplished as you can advise him a specific behaviour you wish him to possess. Crate training puppy is the a lot of able and able way of training a puppy..
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Old 10-23-2015, 04:09 PM
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If you look at the top of the "training and behavior" sub-forum, you'll find a link to a whole much of training stickies. A good one to start with might be: https://www.dogforum.com/training-beh...lmness-168218/

Personally, I don't want to have to constantly control my dog's behavior by telling her to be quiet, stop that, knock it off, do this. I like to teach her to control her own behavior, by teaching her that behaving calmly in certain situations is the only way to get what she wants. The link above has a number of suggestions on how to do this, but one great place to start is with the first video, the "It's Yer Choice" game.

Teaching self-control takes time, but it's worth doing now while he is still small. An adult Samoyed behaving in the way you're describing is going to make eating on the couch seriously annoying! Which I know from personal experience, because when I adopted my dog she was already that size, totally untrained, and amazingly determined to get whatever she wanted RIGHT NOW. A few weeks in, I was running some errands and a cashier looked at my arms and said, "OMG! What happened?!?", and I looked down at the mess of bruises, scratches, scabs, and teeth imprints, and could not quite figure out what to tell her.

I also suggest investing in some Kongs. Fill them 2/3 with his regular kibble and the rest of the way with something gooey (peanut butter, canned food, leftovers, whatever). When he's figured them out and has started licking them clean in under five minutes, you can start freezing them to make them last longer.

For crating him, or leaving him behind a gate while you do other things, teach him that the experience is pleasant by always giving him something yummy (like one of those Kongs, or some other kind of long-lasting chew that he loves). As a bonus, having his mouth busy means he'll bark less. But feeling happier about the experience will also reduce barking, because that kind of barking is usually driven partly by anxiety/distress. Cut down the distress, and you cut down on the barking.

For eating meals, I would do one of two things. Either crate the puppy, with a yummy Kong, before you sit down on the couch, or temporarily stop eating on the couch. I had to eat at the table or standing up in the kitchen for 3-4 weeks after bringing my dog home...these days, I can fill a plate of food, carry it to the couch and set it down on the side-table, remember that I forgot my glass of water in the kitchen and go back for that, and return to find my plate untouched and my dog lying calmly on the floor, without having had to actually say anything. Training may take awhile, but it makes a big difference!

During that period, play It's Yer Choice (and any other impulse control games that suit you) in lots of different places, including while you're sitting on the couch. Eventually, when he's really good at the game, you can play it on the couch with some food on a plate or bowl (popcorn works really well for this, if you don't mind sharing!). When he's good at that, you can start eating meals on the couch again...but remember that you are still training him, which means you still need to pay attention and reward him for being calm! It takes some practice to learn to train a dog and watch television at the same time, but it can be done. Personally, I'd keep that training up throughout his adolescence, and expect to have a terrific dog when he's finally grown up.

Finally, I'd stop punishing him altogether. Saying "quiet," putting a dog in a crate, pushing him away, or almost any other response are all forms of attention. Many dogs learn that they get a lot more attention by "being naughty," because that's when people actually notice them. Teach yourself to notice him when he is calm and quiet (or, during particularly overwhelming days, at least notice his "least awful" moments), and reward him with attention, food, play, and other meaningful opportunities at that point. When he barks, ignore him. If he gets physical, stand up and fold your arms, and stare at the ceiling until he stops. When he does stop, glance his way, but wait until he has fully settled down before calmly telling him he did a good job. Expect some of the behaviors to get worse before they get better, because it can be very stressful to a dog to suddenly find that something that used to produce great results has suddenly stopped working, so they often try it again and again, or louder, or more roughly, until giving up. You can reduce the stress by making sure you actively teach him what you DO want him to do, such as playing It's Yer Choice five times a day, for three minutes at a time.

Good luck to you and your cute puppy!
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:04 PM
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I just recently heard about impulse training but never got around to reading into it. That actually looks like some great stuff to stimulate his mind and get him to learn to be calmer. I also prefer to not have to constantly tell him things and have him do them on his own - I guess I just never knew the right way to do it. I'm excited to start doing some of those games!


When I put him behind the gate though, he does have all his toys with him and especially his favorite chew. However the second he sees me get up and close that gate behind me he has a fit and none of the toys matter. I've even tried throwing a toy away from the gate right when I walk out so he gets distracted with it instead. He usually picks it up, brings it to the gate, drops it and barks for me. (Funny because when I ask him to retrieve a toy for me during playtime, he refuses to come back in my direction and hogs it instead lol)


Most of the time I will let him bark it out and I'll just go into my bedroom and put the door ajar to keep myself from going crazy but the issue is that I live in an apartment. During the day when I don't expect anyone else around it's fine but later in the day around 7pm-ish I don't want to disturb my neighbors who might have just come home from a long day at work, so I figured the best way to quiet him is in his crate. I'm sure if I work more on ignoring his barking during the day, he'll also behave better at night so the crate won't be needed. He's strange because sometimes he'll be fine after a minute of barking while I ignore him and I'll find him playing with his toys and other times he won't stop even if I do the same thing. I just have to be consistent I guess. You think it would be alright if I left him more often for short periods of time and only return when he's quiet? I don't want to stress him out but I also want him to learn to be independent and not need Mommy around all the time.


I have been a little overwhelmed with him lately that I have overlooked the times to reward him for good behavior. He just starts getting demanding if he knows I have treats on me and I'm not giving him any. I feel like the impulse training will help with that and allow me to better reward him! Thank you so much for the advice!
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:07 PM
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Puppies (or new dogs of any age) ARE overwhelming! We've had my girl for just about six months now, and she's only just starting to feel like a part of the family...it's normal to feel stressed out, and sometimes regret the new addition. Dogs are great, but that doesn't mean they're always easy to live with!

I think you'll have a lot of fun teaching self-control, because it's pretty satisfying to see the little wheels in their heads start to spin. I do think practicing leaving him for very short periods of time, and returning quietly is a good idea...making sure you don't make a big deal out of departures or returns can help too.

For waiting until he's quiet, I think it helps to first make that easy for the dog, versus just letting them bark it out, which can create a whole bunch of stress for everyone, especially if you're in an apartment. I personally like Dr. Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol (link: http://www.dogdaysnw.com/doc/Protoco...en_Overall.pdf), which slowly works up to longer and longer absences while making sure the dog has a really solid understanding of what to do. It can get a little tedious & repetitive for the human, so if you decide to give it a shot, I recommend using the audio version (found here: championofmyheart.com/relaxation-protocol-mp3-files/) and just following along. But read the first link thoroughly, since it explains the program thoroughly!
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Old 10-27-2015, 04:24 PM
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Well it's been a few days but already I've seen improvement in him! He was most likely lacking the mental stimulation his breed requires. It is so much fun watching him just tilt his head thinking about the best way to act in order for the treat. I was worried that I'd get impatient with impulse training but I have to say that I have been much more relaxed without having to tell him commands. I just make sure I train him when I have a few minutes to spare and I'm in a calm mood. Just as a fun experiment I've tempted him by eating some meals on the couch and even then he's gotten much better! In the morning he's much more hyper after having been in his crate all night - but at lunch and dinner time he'll sit and watch us until he decides to just find a toy.



We've also been ignoring him when he barks and hops up. If he's behind the gate he'll give up and I'll usually find him just calmly lying down in his crate (we leave it open for him for naps). Sometimes he'll do this automatically even without barking BUT, if Eric and I are doing things around the house together and he's not getting attention he'll pee right in front of us.

We've increased the time between going out for potty to 2 hours, about two weeks ago. He hasn't had an issue except for a few puppy accidents in the beginning or a select few times when we weren't paying attention to him. This 'attention' peeing would take place less than 30 minutes after he'd just been out and we know we can hold it for at least an hour.

When he did it we'd yell and take him out right away then make a big deal about it when we got inside (out of frustration). So since we've been ignoring his previous behaviors for attention, I have a feeling he's doing this as a last resort because he knows he could get a reaction. Funny thing is that I've also gotten smart about not reacting to this act either. When I catch him (only when I catch him which I have every time because he's doing it in front of me) I rush to him and he stops IMMEDIATELY and actually starts waggling his tail but without saying a word I take him out to pee, praise him gently when he does then bring him in. No more attention for him. Not until he's calmed down.

Today he piddled 3 times inside.
- Once when Eric and I were hugging he did it when we didn't react to his barking or hopping.
- Another when we ignored him while he was behind the crate and Eric and I were talking.
- Then finally when we ignored him on the couch.

He doesn't do the peeing when I'm home by myself. But when Eric is home and we're talking, or hugging or kissing he immediately starts hopping up and barking, wanting some of the love too. I actually laughed to myself when he peed because I know he's now trying everything to get our attention because what used to work doesn't. So I'm expecting this behavior to worsen for a little bit, but I'm willing to do it if it'll correct the behavior by him realizing on his own what behavior gets him what he wants. (We do praise him and pet him the second he sits and is quiet)

(And as clarification - We don't think this is excitement or anxiety piddle because he's never done this before even during very excited or anxious episodes. Or maybe now he's anxious that we're ignoring his usual attention behavior, it's possible. We also don't think it's a UTI because he doesn't do it all the time or anywhere, just where we are. And it's not an issue of him holding it, when he goes inside it's a tinkle then outside it's another tinkle. He can hold more than that.)


Am I heading in the right direction with this behavior too? I have loved your previous advice and would appreciate some ideas with this
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Old 10-28-2015, 01:56 PM
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Great job!!! Isn't it great to see them start to think?!

I think you're doing the right things with regard to peeing inside. I'd make a couple of tweaks. One is to take him out more frequently, and the other is to give him a treat as well as praise when he does go outside. That way, he has more chances to practice getting it right, and gets a bigger reward when he does, which might speed the process up a little.

As far as why causes the indoors-peeing, my guess would be stress more than attention-seeking. But I can't see inside a dog's head to really know! One reason I think that is that I have known several dogs who learned to pee as a kind of "trick" (for attention and/or cookies), and every one of them did a whole bunch of fake-out dry squatting at various points ("look, I'm practically peeing, do I get a cookie!?"). Actually peeing every time, but only in certain situations (and especially situations that have resulted in punishment, like yelling), suggests an emotional cause. But regardless of the reason, the things you're doing are likely to produce great results. I love that you know it won't be an instant change, but are on the right trajectory for long-term improvements!

Oh, and human beings hugging & kissing can totally be stressful for dogs. My dog used to panic when we got affectionate, and fling herself onto us with her usual excess of violent enthusiasm. One reason might be that the ways human beings show affection (putting our arms around each other, pressing our faces together, standing chest-to-chest) are signs of affection among primates...but among canines, like dogs, those same gestures are almost universally very threatening! If two dogs are standing with their arms wrapped around each other, they are either fighting or playing intensely (and play involves a whole bunch of signals so that everyone involved understands it's definitely play, not a fight...signals typically lacking from human romantic rituals). So I think sometimes dogs get nervous because our body language seems inexplicable or scary, though it's certainly possible that they also feel a bit left out.

I incorporated affection into our impulse control games, so my dog could get used to us doing weird stuff and learn that good stuff comes from ignoring it. And if we don't have time for training, like if my SO is heading out the door and I am trying to get my own stuff together, I toss a couple dozen bits of kibble on the floor right before we kiss goodbye, so the dog is distracted (and can learn that good things happen when people smooch). Always fun when training can involve things like kisses
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