Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
Hello, we have a 2 year old Goldendoodle name Fozzie who is the world's best dog. My husband loves him so much that we decided to get a second. Yogi is six months old and joined our family 3 weeks ago. We are having two problems with Yogi which we are hoping to resolve quickly.
Yogi has separation anxiety when placed in his crate. He barks (which is lessening and we know will stop eventually) but what concerns me is that he drools to the point that his face and paws are soaked in the morning and there are actual puddles of it in his crate. We are trying to make the crate a pleasant place by giving him treats and he will go in and lay down in it at times during the day, so I don't think the crate itself is the issue. Looking for ideas on how we can help him with this adjustment.
He is a shy dog but does OK with people. The longer he is with us the shyness is improving. He is also fine with other dogs. Yogi does not like our son, Brad who is 17 years old. Brad went with us to pick him up. When Brad comes into the room Yogi barks, growls and backs away. Brad is very tall (6'6") not sure if that has anything to do with it. Every time Brad is around, we are having him get a treat and sit on the floor. Yogi will eventually take a treat from him but is not comfortable with him and the next time he sees him he barks, growls again. Yogi is going to be a big doodle, so I really want to get this resolved.
I know getting him at six months may be part of the situation. Other than these two things he is a very good dog. He has the normal puppy behavior but we know how to handle that. Hoping for some suggestions to help us develop Yogi into the world's second best dog!
Sounds like you are doing the good thing to get Yogi to be used to your son. If he is not comfortable with taking the treat from him, you can give it to him eveytime Yogi looks at Brad and look back at you from a distance. It would have to be the very second Yogi looks back at you. Also it helps to give him a marker word, like "Yes". So, Yogi looks at Brad --> Yogi looks back at you --> Yes, and treat. This way, Yogi will associate Brad coming in to the room with good thing happening ( Treat) And gradually raise the criteria to something like Brad comes 3 ft away from Yogi --> Yogi looks at Brad --> Yogi looks back at you --> Yes and treat. 3 ft is just an example. if Yogi is not comfortable and began barking, that means he passed his threshold, so you would have to lower the criteria a bit. ( distance Brad and Yogi a bit more.)
I am not sure about the crate anxiety thing. I am not very knowledgable about this....But it sounds like he is really stressed being in there... ( Drooles to the point he is soaked in his face and paws) Will he take a nap in it while people are at home? Does he seem to be stressed when the door is shut? Also do you know how he was kelp and where he was kept prior to coming to your home? How long does he bark before he settle down in it..?
Also he may take little longer than 3 weeks to get used to the new home and family.
He is lucky to come live with such a caring family!
Thanks for your advice with Brad. We will continue working and add your suggestions. I almost wonder if Yogi associates Brad with being taken away from his first home.
Typically he barks for about 10-20 minutes and then quiets down until he hears us moving around in the morning. He had barked longer when we first got him. Last night was a particularly bad night - seems like he barked all night. Of course he is sleeping like an angel now.
He doesn't go as far as napping in his crate but he will go in and lie down for 5 minutes. We have to force him in at night or if we leave during the day, won't even go in for treats. Doesn't start to bark until we leave the room. He came from Berlinview Kennels. They are kept in a kennel type building but I don't know if he was in a private space or not.
Foz came from the same kennel. He barked initially and it stopped. Can't remember how long it took but maybe 4-6 weeks with it decreasing regularly. It is more the drooling that concerns me.
Going to go out and buy pheromones (?) today to see if that helps. He is a sweet guy. I just don't want to cause him to start having more or worse issues if we don't help him.
Thanks again. I look forward to learning more.
The crate situation sounds awful. A dog with this much drool and anxiety in a crate sounds like this dog probably doesn't get much rest or have any good feelings of safe and security.
Is there any other way?
Several dogs I know just could not do a crate.
I don't know where Yogi was for the first six months of his life, but three weeks is probably not long enough to see his true personality. He may still be confused and scared and adapting to his new surroundings. Part of the barking may be he just doesn't feel safe and secure yet. If it were me, I would find a good trainer (maybe a behavior consultant type trainer) and get some help in working with these issues. I had a dog with separation anxiety and I worked with a trainer on de-sensitizing her to when we were leaving, etc. She was old (10 years) when we got her and a little nutty and I eventually found a great pet sitter. Good luck!!
Just wanted to add, have you tried leaving a TV on for Yogi when you leave or a fan to mute noises? A Kong stuffed with some yummy treats? There are just some dogs who do not do well in a crate. Our Honey was one of them.
Nice reply Laurie. I was not awake when I first read this but I still wanted to reach out. This situation sounds so familiar to me.
I agree with Laurie. Seek out a patient and well-established trainer as soon as you can to work through some of the issues Yogi is having.
Some dogs don't destroy. I had a dog who could not be crated. It got so bad she hurt herself. I was fearful at first too having her outside the crate when we were not home. But, surprisingly, she never got into a thing. I had a simple camera setup and could watch her from my phone ($4.99 app).
Some dogs who have been kenneled for the first few months of life do not get the critical socialization needed those first few months making their situation challenging for new owners. Again, this is where a good trainer can help you, help Yogi, establish himself comfortably into life with you
Did I mention he is also an escape artist???
We have a dog with separation anxiety. We got him at about 10 weeks. We were never able to crate him. We ended up blocking our den/kitchen area's two entrances - one was a door, the other was an open hallway that we eventually blocked with a hutch. Gordie also was an escape artist who lived to climb out of the ex-pen or over it when we tried blocking the hallway with it. If left alone, Gordie howls and slobbers all over himself, and those long Springer ears and his chest are soaked by the time we return. We got BAD advice from a trainer when he was young so we never resolved the problem and have had to adjust our lives around this. Your pup is young enough and if you are diligent enough, I think you can resolve his issues.
Boys, especially teenagers, command a lot of space, have LOTS of energy and loud, yet deep voices which, I think, can scare some dogs. If Brad is willing to continue to sit on the floor and be 'non-threatening' Yogi will eventually settle in. Think of ways Brad can leave his scent in places that Yogi likes to hang out in. How about if he leaves a worn shirt as a placemat under Yogi's food dish?
We have a dog behaviorist coming on Saturday. From initial discussions on the phone she seems confident she will be able to help us. Fingers are crossed. Thanks for all of your advice. I'll let you know how things go. We love our boys.
This sounds great. Keep us updated and good luck!!
The dog behaviorist came on Saturday and we really liked her. She gave us a lot of good advice and doesn't think she needs to come back - I took that as hope he will be OK if we keep working with him. I'm glad we had her come because we really weren't dealing with either situation correctly.
With Brad we are to work with desensitizing Yogi. We have identified the threshold where Yogi is in a relaxed state. Every time he looks to where Brad is (even if he isn't in the room) and then looks away without growling, he gets a treat. Hopefully the threshold will continue to decrease. I did feel some relief in that one of her dogs didn't like her husband and they had to do the same thing.
We are also working on getting him comfortable to walk into the crate. Using treats now to bribe him. Need to work on closing and opening the door without him feeling trapped and eventually close it and leave his sight for a few seconds and come back quickly. Eventually he will start to feel comfortable for longer periods of time. She did recommend that we continue with the pheromone spray and suggested we buy RescueRemedy from GNC. We are also playing classical music for him (good grief). I will say that the drooling seems to be lessening already.
Seems like it will take some time for both issues but hopefully we will get them resolved with some patience. He is such a sweet boy.
Everyone comes to our house for Thanksgiving, so I'm sure that may be a bit overwhelming for him but hopefully all will go well. Enjoy your holiday!