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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just want to know if what I am doing is correct...

We are dog sitting for 10 days. The owners said that the dog has no problem being alone as it is rarely in there house due to a family member having allergies (discovered after they got the dog). They told us that she goes into her crate on command ( in there garage) and they have never had a problem with her making noise other than the first two nights of getting her (rescue) a little over a year ago. I will say that we were warned and (we thought) prepared for a dog to be extremely anxious, nervous, scared and unsure

The first night, I slept on the couch (miserable) and the dog was off and on with whimpering in her crate in the next room.

Since my husband doesn't want me to sleep for 10 nights downstairs, we decided to bite the bullet and have no one downstairs. We do not want the dog upstairs, and said this to the owners who told us that when she was in their house, they would not allow her upstairs, either, and they had no problems (we installed a baby gate just to be sure).

Anyways...she was exercised to the MAX yesterday, had her peeing time, had a toy and a treat in her crate. My husband comes upstaisr and for 2 hours she goes off (howling, whining, barking), finally quieting down. throughout the night she would settle down and then try again. Several times we almost went down and "rewarded" the howling, barking, and whining, but we didn't. We felt that when we did get up, we had take some sense of control of the situation.

This morning, I tried some SA training and put her in her crate with toys and treat, left for 5 minutes with the intent of returning in that period of time. She was going off again, so I felt that I could not enter for "rewarding" the howling, barking & whining. So I sat outside and waited for quite. A couple of times, I thought I had it and reached for the door only to have her start again...

Here is my question...What is the best way to do this type of training (ignore the noise, reward the quiet) if she doesn't stop? It also happens when I go upstairs to get something. When I am out of sight, she whines. I need to come back down but I don't want to reward her whining by coming back downstairs just because I have to. (I really hope this makes sense).

I am interested because my husband has left for a business trip for four days and I going to do what we did last night, again, tonight. I want him to see progress on this SA and I would like to feel good about leaving my house to run errands without having a choir singing their sorrowful song to our neighbors.:confused:

Thanks, much!
Chris
 

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Unfortunately , we're not to explain things to dogs. She doesn't know this is temporary so she must feel very lost and unsettled.
If this were me, I'd crate her in my bedroom. It's only for 10 days.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you to everyone for your posts...

After a week, our house guest has settle a little at night...we do not want her in our bedroom (we do understand the 'pack mentality'). She does her noise making for about 30 minutes, after she woofs down whatever is in her Frozen Kong toy, then sporadically throughout the night. My husband was not here the first week for the worst of it, but now that he has returned, the dog has actually regressed some.

She is better when one if us goes upstairs, but still take about 10 minutes to quiet down...which goes back to my original post question of ignoring and rewarding. I find myself waiting for 10 minutes when I only wanted to go upstairs to retrieve something quickly.

We love dogs, thought this would be a fun experience to see whether this would be a road we would want to travel. Unfortunately, this has not been a fun experience as our household has been unhappy and stressed (which, we know, carries over to the dog), HOWEVER, this has been a goodexperience in that we know that we do not want to be dog owners. We feel that what we are feeling is not the dog's doing, as she is, well, a dog, doing what dogs do, but rather our desire to lead a particular lifestyle in a particular manner. Call us selfish, but that is what we have come to realize.

While we have another 6 days, we are going to do the best we can with a more positive vibe.
 

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Not every dog is like that dog. She has had a very unsettled life, changing homes, etc. I have never had a dog with separation anxiety and I have had a lot of dogs both puppies and older dogs. Most of them after the first little while settle down. I would not wait upstairs if you only went up and then wanted to come right down. I would just ignore her when I came back down, no eye contact or anything, just continue on with what you are doing. Is she always crated in the house?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Her owners crate her in a garage, only for night time, with another dog (point 1) the rest of the time she is in a fenced in area with access to the garage and her yard area. While dog sitting here, she is in a crate in the house (no way she goes in the garage...its way to hot!). Needless to say that, this sweet thing is on one of our hips like velcro (more to me since MDH has been out of town)
 

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I really hope that this horrible experience doesn't ruin dogs for you, because dogs can be wonderful wonderful things!

It sounds like this dog has pretty extreme separation anxiety, which is abnormal so I wouldn't expect it out of any dog. As a dog sitter it isn't your job to train this behavior out of the dog, but I would try to make the best of the dogs stay and make it feel as comfortable as possible, while alerting the owners of the alarming separation anxiety and explaining how stressed the dog was. It sounds like it may need more time away from its owners to learn that they WILL come back.

Like I said, dogs don't normally do this and having a dog is a great thing! I wouldn't suggest a puppy for you because they will definitely make you want to rip your hair out, but getting a 1+ year old rescue could be great for you if you want to get a dog in the future! I'm sorry this was a bad experience for you though!
 
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