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Howling to wake the house up question

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Hello all,

Just a quick question if you don't mind. My 9 month old has taken to barking and howling when I leave for work in the morning. It is only 10-15 minutes before my wife gets up but it is still waking them earlier than needed. He sleeps in the kitchen without any problem from around 10:30 until 6:00am when I get up. I usually take him for a short toilet walk before I leave and also give him some treats to occupy him. I tried Bully sticks but he doesn't like them. Any suggestions on how to change this behaviour as I am not there when it happens????

Thanks,

Brian

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With our 8 month old Harry we have the same scenario, so I either have the option of having him up with me or getting up with him. Harry is very lively in the morning, but we are just pleased he now sleeps to 6 am as since October when we clocks went back, he was waking at 5am. Funny how my 2 adult sons never seem to hear him barking at 6am.

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Hi Mandy, Strangely my adult daughter doesn't hear him either lol. He is fine during the night and only complains in the time between my leaving for work and my wife getting up.

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Not much you can do about this in terms of stopping it the way you want to, since the only way to diminish howling and such is to ignore it. If it is only a matter of  10-15 minutes, perhaps your wife can simply tolerate the interruption. If he doesn't get any attention from his making noise, he will most likely stop doing it eventually. Best thing would be for your wife not to get up when he starts, or at the least not go to him, because if she does she is rewarding him for the howling. If she can wait until he stops before going into the kitchen, that would help. If she can't do that (me...I like my coffee as soon as I wake up!) then consider putting him into a crate in another room, cover the crate so he cannot see out, and then your wife can do what she needs to do and not let him out until he stops making noise. But be sure to let him out as soon as he stops, so he gets the idea that quiet will be rewarded.

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1 hour ago, D'Elle said:

Not much you can do about this in terms of stopping it the way you want to, since the only way to diminish howling and such is to ignore it. If it is only a matter of  10-15 minutes, perhaps your wife can simply tolerate the interruption. If he doesn't get any attention from his making noise, he will most likely stop doing it eventually. Best thing would be for your wife not to get up when he starts, or at the least not go to him, because if she does she is rewarding him for the howling. If she can wait until he stops before going into the kitchen, that would help. If she can't do that (me...I like my coffee as soon as I wake up!) then consider putting him into a crate in another room, cover the crate so he cannot see out, and then your wife can do what she needs to do and not let him out until he stops making noise. But be sure to let him out as soon as he stops, so he gets the idea that quiet will be rewarded.

This is good advice! 

Another alternative is to give him something that *will* occupy him for that short period of time. If a bully stick or something similar does not, try a Kong that is stuffed and frozen - maybe with his kibble meal in it, bound together with a bit of cottage cheese or broth (no pad in the crate in case it gets a little messy but usually they just lick it as it melts so little is wasted if any). There are recipes for "stuffed Kongs" on this board (use the "search" function) and on the internet. 

Best wishes!

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Howling in dogs is a remnant of wolves' howling behavior. Sometimes wolves howl to announce their territory, but most of the time it's to connect with other pack members who are leaving, have left or are returning to the pack.

Your pup doing it in this circumstance is most likely his trying to connect with you. He's probably feeling lonely that you've left -- a kind of separation anxiety -- and wants you to know where he is so you can return to him. When your wife gets up then his other human leader wakes up and joins him and he's not feeling insecure anymore.

Since he sleeps in the kitchen away from the rest of the family I'd suggest one of 2 things. One is that someone else gets up at least 15 minutes earlier so that at least until he matures and gains more confidence he doesn't feel left behind. The other would be that for that 15 minutes you take him to where your wife is sleeping so that he's not alone.

I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that unless it's already become an ingrained habit with him that one or the other of these would help.

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How about setting a radio alarm to kick in just after he starts howling so that when he howls the radio comes on and he can listen to that for a bit. You could even have one of those smart switches to turn it on remotely haha! 

Oddly our 9 month old did a howl yesterday while I was out and hubby went and did chores in another room. He’s always done a little sing song whimper when we’ve left (for about five minutes) but this time it was a wolf type howl. 

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Thanks to everyone for the advice. I have left him this morning with a frozen Kong. Fingers Crossed.

Brian

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Our boy used to cry at the door when anyone left, whoever was at home would rush to distract him. Now he's a bit older if I leave early he takes himself to find someone and lies down on the floor next to their bed quietly until they wakes up. I think when he was younger he thought if someone left he was all alone, know he seems to know where we all are at any given time.

I also always give him a good-bye biscuit, it seems to be just enough that he'll carry it to his bed to eat it rather than follow me to the door.

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Our Ben sometimes howls when we go out at an unusual time. 

Say if we go out for a meal or the cinema in the evening. He’d usually expect us to be in at that time. So he does wolf howls for 15 minutes or so, mixed with the odd bark. 

When he realises it isn’t working he stops. He doesn’t do it at night because he probably knows we are upstairs so there’s nothing to worry about. I suspect your dog will grow out of it. And may just do it occasionally, like mine does. 

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