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Hey, guys!

I just recently got a new roommate who has a 12 year old lab mix. I immediately loved the dog. He is very low-maintenance, loveable and good company. He is trained enough to know to stay on the front yard and is incredibly well potty trained.

I love him to pieces but I am starting to get annoyed. The only bad thing this dog does (which I consider myself very lucky) is he howls incessantly. Not just a howl, a blood-curdling wall defying screech. We tried to put him outside one night and could literally hear him through the walls; we live in a brick house. I am an at-home worker and student. I sit with him all morning and only go upstairs to my study from 1p-5:30/6p. Even when I work upstairs, I make sure to come down every 2 hours and let him out and pet him. The howling is just an inconvenience during the day but a huge problem at night. He will howl at all hours and wake us up. One week, I only slept 3 hours a night because the howling was that constant.

I read online to try to discourage the howling by ignoring him when he does it and giving him attention when he is quiet. I've been doing this and it has helped, but is there anything else I should be doing? The night howling absolutely needs to stop.

I am also worried about his hygiene. He licks his front paws constantly to the point the hair is thinning. His breath also smells like Satan's *******. Other than delicately enticing his owner to get him a bath and teeth cleaning ASAP, is there anything else I can do to stop the licking and improve his breath? I'm especially worried about the teeth as I know dental disease can kill dogs, and even though this guy has his flaws he a sweet, loving companion and I want to make sure he's getting the care he needs to live and have a good life. I'm sure it's weird I am asking about so much stuff for my roommate's dog, but I'm with him so much he feels a lot like my dog. I've never had a dog my whole life, so I'm not sure what's normal vs not or good vs bad.
 

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Buy minty dentastix or equivelent for the breath & get his teeth checked at the vet in case there's a rotten tooth that needs to be pulled. Smell his food if it smells like satans butt then that would explain it & switch to a better smelling food. Howling is sadness- greif- lonliness- afraid. Treat the cause not the behaviour, what would you like if you were feeling those things? That will give you a direction to what you might try.
 

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When was the last time he was seen by the vet? Dog's breath should not reek to high heaven, when it does it means that there is a dental problem going on, usually rotten teeth is the cause of it and nothing that you can do at home will help.

Paw licking can be anything from a self soothing behavior, to some type of allergy. It can also be due to something like a pinched nerve. To stop it you'd need to get to the bottom of what is causing it.

Is the howling new behavior, or is it something the dog has always done? A lot of the time it's from anxiety. Sometimes it's the precursor of canine cognitive dysfunction, aka doggy alzheimers. Again stopping it will mean figuring out what might be causing it. I'd try keeping him with you at night, maybe making up a bed for him in your bedroom, and see if that soothes him enough to get him to stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update--Still need help

Hey, guys!


So I talked with my roommate and he said he didn't let the dog sleep with him because it would howl more. I tried making him a bed and having him sleep in my room and let me tell you, he definitely howls more. I mean every freaking hour. I am EXHAUSTED. Clearly, having him sleep in the same room as a human isn't the answer.



My roommate said the dog used to only howl at sirens but the howling has gotten progressively worse and worse.



Is there anything else I can do to try and get the night howling to stop or at least not be every night multiple times a night? How do I differentiate if its being lonely vs a physical illness?



I mean I am basically home with this dog all day, so how could it possibly be lonely?!



Also, any suggestions on how to bring up the last time the dog had it's teeth cleaned with my roommate? I don't want him to think I don't like the dog, but the night howling has to be fixed asap. At this point, I am being woken up almost every night.



Has anyone else ever been in a situation like this? Any tips on how to sound proof my room more?
 

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Seperation anxiety can be from separation. This dog could be missing some one or another dog, not you or the owner if putting him in with you or the owner makes it worse. Is it still dark in the rooms? they can be scared in the dark too. Background on howling, originally in the wild wolves howled to gather their pack together. Its saying come here - here I am to each other. The sirens sounds like another dog & to howl in response is to call the other dog. As for how to aproach the dental issue, its neglect to not get them checked, so it needs to be checked asap! Just say, could you book the dog in to the vet to get his teeth checked please because his breath isnt good & a rotten tooth needs to be ruled out as a cause. If you have ever had toothache you will know how much pain he could be in. Also the howling may stop, so there is your motivater to bring up the subject. If the dog will allow without growling or biting, you can lift the lips up on the sides & have a look for how brown, & check the gums. You could show the owner if its yuck & they can see for themselves that he needs them checked.
 
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