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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys!

Wow, this is like my 5th question I am posting here, but I am a new chi owner and find this forum very helpful. So thank you already in advance :)
My 8 month old male (fixed) chihuahua, August, rarely rarely barks when he is with me. He is calm, sleeps a lot, is not very playful and a cuddlebug. He barks a few times when there´s somebody at the door, but that´s about it.
We live in an apartment building with several units (among them older people that are home all day).
Somebody told me the other day that August barked for 1 hour straight while I went grocery shopping. I was shocked to hear that. I really don´t want to get into trouble with anyone about this.
Soon I will start a 30-hour-week job; so I will be gone several hours every day.
I will take August for a walk before I go and as soon as I come back. In between the walks he will use the dog´s litter pan if he needs to go (which he has gotten used to using whenever he needs to go between walks).
Now I am really concerned about the barking-when-I´m-not-home-issue though. I cannot control/monitor that, can I?
What do you guys do when you leave your little chis at home? How long are your chis by themselves? Do they bark then? How could I stop that from happening?
It would be wonderful if you could share your experiences and opinions with me! I am worried sick.
Thank you again - you guys rock!
Regards,

Carina and August
 

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I don't have as much experience as the others, but here goes. I think they get used to the routine for starters. I am HUGE on routine. Mine known when Mom goes to work, she WILL come home. I keep a radio on with an AM station (talk). I know others use televisions, too. I have also used a "dog sleep" CD with some success, played continuously. I have an old dog with sever anxiety from separation, and she got used to our routine. Of course walking and play time before and after are great.

I do recognize your concern about your neighbors. I hope things can work out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Finn,

Thank you so much for your advice!
What you said sounds very logical. He does/did get used to other things fairly quickly.
I think I might use the TV on (we don´t have a radio), just so he doesn´t feel too alone.
Also, I´ll have to look up Dog-Cds, that sounds like a really neat idea. I also heard that there´s a "dog channel" on American TV now (sadly I still live in Germany) - how cool is that?
I am really interested and hopeful about starting the "new work life" with my dog.
Thanks again!!! Your answer already helped me!
 

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Fulfill his needs before leaving the house, feed him, walk him well, not just for his
business but for the sake of exercise as well, play with him. So when you are
gone he is too tired to cause trouble/bark. Leaving the radio on is a great idea
and often helps. Also when you are home you can practice with him, by
leaving and coming back shortly, first after a minute, then after 5, after 10,
ect. Soon he will understand that even though the door closes it will open
again and mom will come back home. Also when you do come home do NOT
pay any attention to him, pretend you were home the whole time, like it's no
big deal, do the same thing when you leave, just quietly sneak out without
talking to him or saying goodbye, it has to be a casual thing instead of a big
deal. Also you can have a polite talk with your closest neighbors and explain
that your pup is in the middle of training and you are working very hard on
keeping him quiet, just so they know it is temporary and you are working on
solving the issue. Sometimes people are more understanding if you take the
time to approach them and apologize for the nuisance. Good luck.
 

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Fulfill his needs before leaving the house, feed him, walk him well, not just for his
business but for the sake of exercise as well, play with him. So when you are
gone he is too tired to cause trouble/bark. Leaving the radio on is a great idea
and often helps. Also when you are home you can practice with him, by
leaving and coming back shortly, first after a minute, then after 5, after 10,
ect. Soon he will understand that even though the door closes it will open
again and mom will come back home. Also when you do come home do NOT
pay any attention to him, pretend you were home the whole time, like it's no
big deal, do the same thing when you leave, just quietly sneak out without
talking to him or saying goodbye, it has to be a casual thing instead of a big
deal. Also you can have a polite talk with your closest neighbors and explain
that your pup is in the middle of training and you are working very hard on
keeping him quiet, just so they know it is temporary and you are working on
solving the issue. Sometimes people are more understanding if you take the
time to approach them and apologize for the nuisance. Good luck.
Everything LS said! I also wanted to elaborate on the walking thing. If your pup is tired they wont have the energy to get into any trouble! Before you leave make sure you take a nice long walk. It will tire your dog out physically and they will be entertained with all the sites and sniffs they see on the walk.

I also found that if one of my dogs is given access to the whole house while I am gone he barks and paces. If he is contained to just one room he is more likely to just settle down and sleep while I am gone. Maybe try containing your guy to just one room- a kitchen, bedroom or bathroom while you are gone. They don't need LOTS of space because you mostly just want them to relax while you are gone.

Good luck!
 

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Can you use a stuffed Kong with his kibble/canned food in it? Freeze it, and it will last longer. Only give this 'goodie' when you leave. Say calmly, 'I'm leaving; here's your kong' and go. He'll get something to suck, lick, chew on for awhile. I second leaving him in a bathroom, or just one room. A playpen? Too much room and he panics. I made the mistake of leaving our Sheltie (in the kitchen) with the porch door open, so she could have more room. Came home to diarrhea, as she had obviously gotten so upset from having the 'extra room', that she had gotten very upset! Oh well, I tried to give her an extra room, but........ . Good luck with him
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi guys, bad news. Had a test day at work today. Was gone about 8 hours. Took August for a 20 minute walk before I left and right after I came back. Left the TV on for him, hid treats for him, food and water, prepared his puppy pee pad, left him toys and let him run through the whole apartment.
My neighbors said he barked so much their son got scared. And there´s several more ppl in the building that can´t stand barking dogs.
One of the things our landlords told us before we moved in was, that the dog wasn´t allowed to be loud, as that could lead to trouble.
I am really super concerned now. I don´t know what else to do. I´ve practised leaving him alone at home for a few minutes, a few hours etc before too.
I will probably have to cancel the job due to this issue. Not a long-term solution - he can´t always bark when he´s alone forever.
What should I do now? :(
 

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Oh what a terrible situation for you to be in. Can a friend have him at their place during the day? Anyone in the building, perhaps an old lonely person who would appreciate company during the day, handing him back in the evening (bit like grandparents with kids :)) I suppose it's impossibe for you to take him to work with you?

Don't forget neighbours also tend to exaggerate how much dogs bark - I know I do when it comes to the idiots across the street who bark before their shadow appears - I'd say they bark all day every day but, in reality it's not that bad at all. Still, in your situation, you won't have a leg to stand on if 2 or 3 residents complain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Unfortunatley there´s nobody that could take him during the day; and I don´t really want that to be necessary either. He needs to learn how to be alone sooner than later....
And also, I cannot take August to work with me as I work in a kindergarten and it´s very stressful, busy, so I really can´t have an eye on him.
I just ordered an "anxiety wrap", some patented dog-shirt that is supposed to relieve anxiety.
I also decided to practise leaving him alone for a few minutes, then half an hour, then a few hours; and testing how he reacts; asking neighbours about his barking etc.
He will have to learn it. It would be great if he could learn it in time for me to accept the job...
Thanks again for all your tips!!! It is soooo much appreciated! I felt so alone in this.
 

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I know you said you hide treats and perhaps I missed it but does he have toys that he could be playing with while you are gone? I would not provide him with any chews while you are gone because they should really be supervised with those but perhaps something where it would not hurt him. I usually leave Jaxx's stuffing free toys, ropes, and balls when we have to leave him. They are always in his bed when we leave and when we come back they are scattered over the floor. He is usually in the chair that he has claimed for his when we get back cuddled up sleeping because he wore himself out playing.
I would also talk to your property manager or landlord and explain that you know he has been barking while you are away but you are working on the issue. Sometimes it is better to address these problems with them before they get a complaint from a neighbor.
I hope that the anxiety vest works!
Good luck!
 

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I also decided to practise leaving him alone for a few minutes, then half an hour, then a few hours; and testing how he reacts; asking neighbours about his barking etc.
In this regard, I would take a chair, a cup of coffee and a good book or magazine, plant myself outside of the apartment and sit and listen for his reaction. As the time extends, you may want to take a whole Thermos of coffee/tea so you can sit out there and observe for a couple of hours. That way you can hear if he starts up immediately you close the door, how long he barks for before he settles down, whether he starts up again if he hears someone across the hallway etc.

I don't suppose it would be possible for you to borrow a friend's or aquaintence's toy dog for a few hours here and there during the day to do a test and see if he plays with it instead of barks when you leave? If that worked, then my suggestion would be to get another, or perhaps even a dog friendly playful cat as company for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I wish he would play with toys; he really doesn´t. I guess his previous owners never played with him so he doesn´t know what to do with the toys.
Yeah, waiting outside the apartment is going to be interesting :)
 

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I wish he would play with toys; he really doesn´t. I guess his previous owners never played with him so he doesn´t know what to do with the toys.
Yeah, waiting outside the apartment is going to be interesting :)
Having a giggle, I said "toy dog", meaning a real, live, teeny, weeny dog, eating, peeing, pooping dog (they're called "toys" in terms of breed, show classification etc in USA, UK, AU) - borrow someone's for a few hours here & there, smuggle it in in a purse if you have to, see if he barks & carries on whilst he has a playmate. If you are allowed 2 Chi's in your apartment, then there's your answer.

Also have you tried the Citronella anti-bark collar and also the ultra-sonic devices that sit on a bench etc. & go off if they bark - humans can't hear them. They do diddly squat for mine, I point my USA made Dazer at them from 10' away with brand new battery in it & they just look at me. I've heard great things about the citronella collars from some though, others not so, but the fans outweigh those who claim no success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
haha, that´s funny. I didn´t really want two dogs now...and I don´t know anybody who has a dog that could stay with August all day.
I have just ordered the ultrasonic collar - I can´t wait to see if it works on him. It actually might, since he is very sensitive and listens quickly.
 

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If the ultrasonic one doesn't work (it may not, especially if it's a cheap mass produced chinese piece of rubbish) then do try the Citronella one - at least you'll have no flies or mosquitos lol.
 
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