September 23, 2009

Gatsby's first day of training.

Our dog Gatsby has a horrible habit of barking and howling anytime we leave the house. This goes on for as long as we are gone. When I was teaching last year, he would yell for the full three hours I was gone every single day. It is a horrible situation, and one that causes me anxiety every time I have to leave him alone, especially because we have very nice neighbors who I would like to keep as friends.

So today I am buckling down and starting a training plan. I will be leaving my house every hour on the hour for five minutes. This will continue everyday until Gatsby has gotten used to me being gone for that amount of time. Then, I'll up the time to ten minutes, etc. This is the perfect time for me to start doing this with him, seeing as I have not found a job yet and Rudy started school again this week. No distractions and no excuses!

Say a little prayer for the both of us. We'll need it:) And if you have any advise or similar stories, please feel free to leave a comment.


  1. This is what they say to do with babies when you're training them to get to sleep.

    Oh, and promise we'll stay friends even if he howls all day long :) He's not THAT loud

  2. we had the same problem with a dog that we rescued off the street. it ultimately led to us having to find a permanent home for him, even though really wanted to keep him. we rescued several dogs in the city we were living in but he was perfect for us aside from the fact that he howled constantly if we left which put us on the edge of eviction. we never found a way to get him to stop. we put him in a kennel because that was supposed to help, but it didn't, all it really did was keep him safe from getting into trouble while we were gone. we tried leaving him at increasing increments of time, nothing ever worked. it could just be him, but if it doesn't work for you i would recommend going to a professional trainer or asking the vet/behaviorist. it's a separation anxiety issue as i'm sure you know. i'm just so sad that we couldn't keep our pup, he was so sweet, but our landlords were ready to strangle us.