puppy yips while lying or sitting away from family
Pet's Gender: Male
Pet's Age: <1
Type of Animal: Newfoundland
Name of Animal: Saxby
petted him, talked with him, groomed him,
or just waited to see if he would stop or go to sleep
Hi Sir or Madam,
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It sounds like you may be making a common mistake that many puppy owners make. When a puppy whines, cries, yips or barks while in a crate or otherwise away from the family, a you talk to the pup, reassure it or show it any attention at all, you reinforce the behavior you are trying to stop. As I mentioned, it is a common mistake. The pup is trying to get your attention or to get you o let them be with you. When you go to them, they believe that yipping is how they can get you to come and they continue to do it.
Put Saxby where he should be sleeping. If he cries, you have to let him cry. Don't look at him, talk to him, yell at him, just totally ignore him. When you do anything else you are giving him attention which is what he wants. It doesn't matter if it is negative attention. Once he stops whining and crying and barking for 5-10 minutes, go to the crate or area and let him out and praise him. As he stays quiet more often, you can extend the time necessary for him to be let out. He'll learn soon that he gets out of the crate when he is quiet. You might even give a little treat for being quiet as well. The first couple of days may be rough, but this method has worked for me even though for one dog I could only do it when my husband was gone (He couldn't stand to hear the crying). Every one of my dogs voluntarily enters their crates or area and stay for hours without a peep. Hope this method works for you as well as it has for me over the years.
Ear plugs are a good training aid for the first day or two. Remind everyone to not tense up, look at the pup or in any way acknowledge the cries or yips. You can help speed the process by giving an extra special treat like freezing peanut butter in a kong toy and giving it to him when you first leave him alone. It may help stop the yipping from even starting. I hope this information is helpful to you.
Um, guess i wasn't clear: Saxby is no longer in a crate. I understand a puppy's whining, etc. while in crate, but Saxby is just lying on the floor a few feet away from the family. He could get up and come over and get skritched or played with. I keep thinking i am (retired and older and) not being responsive and he will grow up to be a Newfy serial killer. Or autistic. Sigh.Thank you in advance for any ideas on this.
Janet,It really doesn't matter if he is being crated or not. Even his age doesn't make much difference really If a dog learns that yipping or whining gets him attention or gets his owner to talk to him or come pet him, then he will do that. Dogs are great at training humans. How many dog owners do you know that rush to the front door to let their dog out as soon as the dog goes to the door and give a signal? Most owners will. The dog feels he has "trained" the human to let them out when they go to the door and whine. Dogs quickly learn what behavior gets a response from their owner and they use it. .However, depending on his age, he might actually having a litte discomfort. Some dogs do experience growing pains or Panosteitis which you can read about here:http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1561&aid=466.If you feel his vocalization may be from discomfort, I would have his vet take a look at him to be sure there isn't an underlying medical issue to blame..There are several activities you can do wit your dog that will give him attention while gaining you a well trained dog. I recommend obedience classes even if he's already been through puppy classes. Before you can get into classes, I am including links to a couple of other sites that teach some good methods of training. Be sure and read both.
The following site is helpful. Be sure and click on the link to the left on obedience. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well your dog does with training. Dogs like knowing what is expected of them and they love the little paper thin slices of hotdogs that I use for treats while training. This will allow you quality time with your dog and dogs are very happy when working obedience with their people.
Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist