View Full Version : Argh, spoiled dog won't stop whining in kennel. Dog training help needed.

06-19-2011, 08:44 PM
Long story short, my mom keeps bringing my dog, Kasza, onto the porch. The porch is more human-traffic-y than the 50 feet back in the yard that the dog's kennel is. Dog has started whining, only when in the kennel, and the more I ignore her the more emo her whine gets.

What to do? I've tried giving her treats and attention out there, but when she's alone (or with her pet cat) then she won't stop crying. Argh.

Step 1: Stop bringing dog onto porch (I'm still trying to convince my mom of this as the dog was on the porch again last night.)

Step 2: ???

Step 3: Peace and quiet and no separation anxiety issues for the dog.

The worse part is that Kasza is a livestock guard dog and should be oriented to animals, not people :(

06-19-2011, 09:18 PM
Is there a reason not to keep the dog on the porch? It sound like she is oriented to human company now and that, IMHO, is unlikely to change if she spent her sensitive socialization period around people.

06-19-2011, 09:23 PM
If you want to keep the dog in the kennel, then ignore the whining. If you keep going out to the dog, then, from the dog's point of view, the whining is working. So why should she stop?

06-19-2011, 09:23 PM
Make sure when you do give her treats that you aren't doing it when she's misbehaving, only if she's sitting quietly. One of the biggest training mistakes I've seen people make is to give a treat for a behavior that isn't desired (for instance, giving a dog food when they're begging to make them be quiet). It conditions them to know that they can perform the negative behavior and get their way. It's even worse if this is done sporadically because variant schedule is the type of reinforcement most likely to cause a repeat of the behavior.

I'm not really sure what to do about this one, though. My boyfriend is great with training, though, and I'll ask him for his advice when he gets back. I'm sure he'll have some good tips for you. Otherwise, I'd be for just moving the kennel for now. Poor doggy (and poor you). :(

06-19-2011, 09:30 PM
It depends on the age of the dog whether it'll be possible to convince her to be alright with the kennel. The only sure way I've found of acclimating a dog to a kennel, large or small, is simply to put her in it and leave her there no matter how much she whines. Don't go back there, don't give her treats, don't pay any attention AT ALL to her while she's whining. In her mind, doing all that means "whining=getting what I want." It's hard, especially when she's your beloved companion, but you have to close your ears to the whines. And then when she STOPS whining for a while, that's when you give her treats/love/attention. Reinforce the "whining=being ignored" and the "being quiet=being paid attention to" thing in her mind.

I did all that with my dog when she was little, and now she loves her kennel (a smaller house-sized variety) and will go into it to sleep on her own. She'd still rather be with people than closed up in it, but she won't start whining/carrying on unless she's been in for a couple hours and she hears people. She just wants to be part of the party. :)

Anyway, good luck. And I feel your pain about the thing with your mom. We have relatives who ignore us about how to treat/train our dog, and it drives me insane because I refuse to have the little bit of training I manage to get into her ruined by others. Especially since my girl is a german shepherd, and without proper training she can be dangerous. :(

ETA: Heh, Miranda and Kaitie beat me to the same thing. :tongue

06-19-2011, 09:33 PM
Brief answer: The dog decided a foot stool was her chew toy and in the 30 seconds between me hearing something crashing around and going to the door she'd started shredding it and tossing it. She's 100+ lbs.

She didn't spend her sensitive socialization time around ppl much. She was outside 24/7 and around other dogs and goats. People came by to feed her and look at her and very little else. Then she went to a farm and lived out with livestock.

When she was at my house she didn't whine, only barked when the dogs across the street barked.

I know the ins and outs of being careful with positive reinforcement, but my mom doesn't get it and is slowly realizing the error of her kind ways.

06-19-2011, 09:39 PM
I know the ins and outs of being careful with positive reinforcement, but my mom doesn't get it and is slowly realizing the error of her kind ways.

Yea, unfortunately it's much harder to reverse badly-thought positive reinforcement. My only solution would be to give your mom a sort of laundry-list of do's/don'ts that you very firmly impress on her. "Mom, this is MY DOG, and I would appreciate it if you treated her the way I ask you to" sort of thing. Otherwise...can you move the dog out of your mom's house?

06-19-2011, 10:30 PM
I'm considering moving her to my friend's house for the 3 weeks I have to live in a hotel, but that means more instability for the dog, and since my friend's house is dog heaven (other dogs, farm, etc) she'll NEVER transition to my new house :(

06-19-2011, 10:49 PM
Feed me her steak. :D

06-19-2011, 11:55 PM
Get her a doggie playmate. I know that's a huge deal, but it really is the best thing, imho.

Or maybe it's possible to have her 'work' back there? With my guard dog, he wants to come in sometimes instead of staying out (I switch it up) but I tell him he's working and he understands. He loves to guard things, so it was a natural behavior of his that I just rewarded. The difference probably is that we have lots of things here I can reward him for alerting to!

For example, someone is walking up the street at night. He alerts. I go out and tell him how awesome he is for letting me know, and tell him whether he can hush or not, depending on what he's seeing. Just a lot of rewarding over time for him letting me know what's up outside. So he's working when he's out there, and he does enjoy that (he's Chow/Heeler-Aussie, so guarding is a natural inclination to start with).

Good luck!

06-20-2011, 06:19 AM
I probably should get another dog, but adding another 100lb critter to my life just now is frightening. Maybe Ill find a nice senior LGD to adopt. Thanks folks for the tips. Kasza did well tonight and no one will be home most the day tommorrow.

Oreo, the cat , has alreadyshowered her with affection so hopefully that's helping.

Sheila Muirenn
06-20-2011, 06:27 AM
She's a working dog without a job.

Find her a job. Task her. Search. Sit and guard. Carry things for you in a backpack. Whatever.

Walk her. Get her a lot of exercise (like running next to you when you ride a bike). A lot of training to drain her mentally (that's discipline).

And start watching Dog Whisperer.
http://www.cesarsway.com/dogwhisperer/ (http://www.cesarsway.com/dogwhisperer/)

(And yeah, don't give her treats unless she is calm and submissive. Submissive is NOT whining. Oh, and dogs whine, they can't cry. Though they can certainly yelp and whimper).

Exercise. Discipline. Affection.

In that order.

06-20-2011, 01:09 PM
When you do leave her with a treat (having followed all the above) leave her with some thing time consuming. Kongs are good - they are rubber toys in which you can stuff food (any food - usually a handful of biscuits and a smear of something sticky like pate). The point is that it is hard to get the treat out (especially the sticky stuff) and so it occupies the dog's mind a lot and they forget to be concerned.

Our dog used to fuss and whine when we went out and left him alone so we started giving him one of these before we go out (and before he whines) and now he no longer fusses because he is busy trying to get that piece of pate from inside the toy which is *just* out of reach of his tongue for several hours :)

06-20-2011, 04:41 PM
A dog is a pack animal. It needs to be with a pack. A working dog needs to have a job to be happy. Remove either of those things from an LDG's life and you have a miserable animal. If you are not going to have livestock for Kasza to have as its pack and its job, then bring it in the house and make it part of your pack. Train her not to destroy things. But don't leave her alone. A dog was never meant to be a solitary animal. It makes the animal insecure, lonely, and bored.

Why do you have a LGD?

Sheila Muirenn
06-20-2011, 04:47 PM
Agree. Bring her inside and train her. Supervise at all times. When you have to leave, kennel her in the house until she can be trusted. (Make it a safe 'den,' not a punishment).

You are a pack member. But you need to become the pack leader.

A good life is not being regulated to a backyard, a porch, whatever (not the same as an outdoor working environment). A good place is with her pack members and pack leader.

She will have no problem 'transitioning' from your friend's house back to yours. The problem will be in how you react. You dog reacts to your energy and state of being, and if you perceive that as a problem, so will she, though she doesn't have the ability to know the cause.

Dogs live in the 'now,' and staying there won't be a problem.


I had a Border Collie for 10 years. I learned a lot from the Border Collie Rescue website.

This 'Dominance Test' is a good thing to learn and apply (it is what the Dog Whisperer actually does, he uses innate dog behavior to communicate with dogs):

http://www.bcrescue.org/dominancetest.html (http://www.bcrescue.org/dominancetest.html)

More training and tips: these things actually apply to all dogs, but tend to be more difficult to handle in herding dogs.

http://www.bcrescue.org/book/index.html (http://www.bcrescue.org/book/index.html)

The quality of this dog's life is entirely up to you.

Give her a good one.

Sheila Muirenn
06-20-2011, 05:15 PM
Here is a backpack that should fit her:


My dogs have many things from the Ruffwear brand, including backpacks. Very well made and lasts forever. Backcountry K-9 has the best prices. Ruffwear is not cheap, but definitely worth the money.

Plus, Backcountry K-9 takes returns with no problems.

You dog can wear a harness when you walk her loaded with some weights. This will give her a purpose, she'll look forward to doing it.

06-21-2011, 02:48 AM
Apparently my dog turned into a cannonball and punched through the chain link fence of her kennel :Huh:

Plus side: Dog didn't run off but went right to the house.

Going to call in some favors (+pay for dog sitting) *sigh*

06-21-2011, 02:57 AM
I've been walking her with a heavy marine rope dragging behind her and teaching her (bit by bit) to be a cart dog too.

I got her to guard, but thanks to some personal issues, I haven't been able to get set up. She has the cat, and until recently she's had me.

I've watched some Dog Whisperer in the past and have applied it (with caution- dominant training styles aren't perfect, but I'm more a horse person than a dog person, so his stuff has been VERY helpful)

*sigh* Poor doggie. She will be so happy once I get set up at my new home.

Mr Flibble
06-21-2011, 03:07 AM
Things to help doggie like bed more:

A shirt/jumper of yours that smells of you
A clock (they like the ticking, like their mum's heart when tehy were wee)
A radio (human voice)

A toy that is jus theirs. My daughter gives old stuffed toys she doesn't want any more to dog. He usually shreds them. One of them - a pink elephant....- he's fallen in love with and takes it everywhere. When he's on his own, he cuddles it.

And you know the other factor- be firm, be consistent, he'll get used to it. Train family members if necessary. Be consistent with them too.

Sheila Muirenn
06-21-2011, 03:11 AM
Oops, I meant to say put weights in the backpack, not 'harness.' Dragging a rope is a good task for that type of dog though. (Note to anyone else reading, this is only done under supervision, as the dog can choke themself. Also, this is only for very large working breeds).

Good luck. Dogs are a lot of work, especially working dogs;)

I've had some experience with horses, and I applied my dog behavior knowledge. It worked.

06-21-2011, 03:50 AM
Yeah, she likes dragging her rope. She also likes going for long trail rides with me and the horses, which isn't going to happen for awhile.

She's good at the barn- I can mostly let her loose and she stays close. That took just a few training sessions. When we head out on the trail she follows right along and sometimes blazes ahead but I can call her back if she goes down the wrong trail.

I really need to get her up here with me and back into a routine.

06-21-2011, 05:44 AM
Yeah, they get bored without a routine. I'm sure she'll be great if this is just temporary, anyway. Here's hoping she doesn't break anything else! It's just alleviating boredom, I'm sure, but it's amazing what all a big dog can do! Heck, a little one, even ;)