Author Topic: I like to get dressed sometimes  (Read 1756 times)

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Slartibartfast

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I like to get dressed sometimes
« on: September 15, 2012, 01:47:54 AM »
Haiku, the sheltie in my avatar, lives in fear that one of us humans is going to leave the house and won't take him with us.  He communicates this by barking.  It started out small - when he was a pup, he only barked when we were actually headed out the door.  Then (and he is a smart dog) he started picking up on other "the humans are leaving!" cues.  So far:

- sound of the door opening
- sound of keys jingling
- DH or me putting on shoes
- DH putting on socks
- me kissing DH (yeah, this got old REAL fast, since before work isn't the only time I like to kiss him sometimes!)
- sound of Bittybartfast's carseat buckle snapping
- sight of me picking up my purse
- the words "Goodbye," "Bye," "Have a good day at work!", "See you later," "I'll get going," "Need to get Babybartfast to school," etc.

Now he's developed a new one.  See, a) Bittybartfast is still three months old, b) I'm breastfeeding, and c) I don't get out of the house all that much because of a) and b).  So now Haiku barks if I put on a shirt because he figures I must be about to leave  :-[ :-[ :-[

sidi-ji

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Re: I like to get dressed sometimes
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 06:20:19 AM »
Would something like the Thundershirt help?  Your clever pet is a piece of work.   Just thinking out loud here, Slarti,  but dulling his response to the triggers might help.  For  instance carrying your keys all the time so Haiku won't concude  that  jingling keys= abandonment.  What do you think?

Slartibartfast

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Re: I like to get dressed sometimes
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2012, 11:13:56 AM »
At this point he's just old and cranky most of the time, so we put up with the barking.  He's outsmarted the bark collar, too  ::)

Mental Magpie

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Re: I like to get dressed sometimes
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2012, 01:24:31 AM »
sidi-ji is right, try to desensitize him.  I have to laugh at your description of what putting on a shirt means, though  ;D

Leave for about five minutes (even just stand outside where he can't see you) and return; keep doing this for about an hour.  Carry the keys with you to desensitize him to the jingle meaning you're leaving.  Open the door and close it; keep doing this without rewarding his barking by even paying one single iota of attention to him.  Have DH put on his socks, leave them on for a few minutes, then take them off *without leaving*.  Repeat.  Pick up your purse but don't leave; repeat.  I think you're getting the point by now...
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Bijou

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Re: I like to get dressed sometimes
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2012, 01:55:19 AM »
Years ago my then husband had a furry jacket I would wear to go outside every evening when it was dark to look at the stars.  We had a dog and she would go out with me and run around the yard in the dark.  It got so if I even picked up that jacket she would get real excited and get a happy doggie look on her face (you know how dogs look like they are happy?) and run around the house and in circles knowing we were going out.  I loved that.
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AngelicGamer

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Re: I like to get dressed sometimes
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2012, 02:55:31 PM »
I swear my dog knows the difference between the keys to unlock the back gate and mom's keys (car).  For, when I pick up the keys to go unlock the back gate for the lawn people, he gets up and races to the backdoor.  When mom picks up her keys to go to work in the morning, he's up and by the front door unless he's really out of it due to being let out late or a vet visit that involved meds. 

It used to be that he got excited whenever I put on my shoes.  I got him out of that by wearing my shoes around the house - they're insanely comfy and have a roll bar in them so I won't roll my ankle.  :)




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Sophia

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Re: I like to get dressed sometimes
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2012, 03:18:48 PM »
Since he's old and cranky you might not want to bother, but I remember a Dog Whisperer where a dog went nuts barking over a long list of things.  It involved letting the dog smell really good smelling meat and getting the dog focused on the good smelling while the person did the trigger.  I think garbage disposal was one.  While the trigger was happening I think he had the dog totally focused on the meat.    I think he also had the dog sit or something.