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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19591
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My cross lapsa/shitzu aged 1 year has started squaking/yelping

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My cross lapsa/shitzu aged 1 year has started squaking/yelping at the top of her voice when she hasn't seen me for a while. She has been left since 3 months old in lovely kennels for a few days a month when I had to work and never did it until this month. Also she has started doing it with people who come to the house that she hasn't seen for a long while. She has a brother from the same litter who is very laid back. I think they recognise me as pack leader.
Very sadly my 13 year old daughter passed away 3 months ago, and it is since this event that this behaviour has occurred. I wonder if she thinks the people coming to the house are my daughter returning as it is mainly with females that she starts squaking.
When full on in yelp mode she cant be consoled, and trembles and seems out of control. I pick her up and cuddle/sooth but it takes several minutes to calm her.
Any advice please?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
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My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
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Many dogs get very excited when people come to visit and when they have been gone for a little while. Many do vocalize, yelping and shaking with excitement. In addition, when you started reassuring her by picking her up, she saw that as positive reinforcement. In other words, she has figured out that you will pick her up and cuddle her if she acts in this manner.
It may have started when you were first mourning and picked her up to help console yourself (which is very natural). If you haven't been practicing her commands with her, then I strongly suggest you start this daily training sessions. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html
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.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm
This is to keep her obeying your commands and strengthen that obedience so she obeys regardless of the situation. Then you will start giving commands when you return and reward the good desired behavior with special treats like hot dog slice or liver sliver.
If possible, keep a short light weight leash on her for training though don't attach it to a neck collar but a harness and don't leave her alone for too long with it. You want it to train. If she yelps, you have to ignore the behavior or reprimand her with a short tug and firm NO. I know it will be difficult for you to ignore her but you really need to.
Initially, she will be worse as she figures she just isn't being loud enough and it has worked so far for her, but as she realizes it isn't getting the same response from you anymore, she will stop. This is where the obedience training will help. You can start giving her a command that she usually obeys and it may start her obeying that command especially if you give her the special treat and then give her nice calm praise. Of course, you have to continue giving the treats and praise when she is calm and you come in.
This means that if you come in after only being gone a short time, reward the desired behavior even if it isn't the exact situation that would set her off normally. It helps her learn what behavior you do expect.
I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
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