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 Screaming Puppy?

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Join date : 2013-10-27

PostSubject: Screaming Puppy?   Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:01 pm

In my life I have had 2 beagles and one other Husky (who is currently 5). All of whom I have raised from puppyhood, indeed the first beagle had to be bottle raised.  I have recently and rather unexpectedly acquired a puppy. I won't go into details as I don't think it's super germane to the subject (although I'm happy to supply more if someone has questions.)

However, I have run into a problem, and wanted to ask around to see what advice other husky owners might have. I did google and checked other dogs forums, but nobody quite seems to have tackled *this* subject and the forums were by and large full of holier-than-thou dog owners who seemed to be more concerned with being "right" than helping other members solve their challenges. Rolling Eyes 

Okay, so on to my problem... I got this puppy at 8-9 weeks from the breeder. She is a show quality puppy and seems to have a good working drive as well (last year my other husky and I finally found the local husky racing group and did our first race. So much fun!) The drive home was several hours, and from the moment I buckled her into the front seat she screamed and cried.

Well, moving can be a traumatic experience for a puppy. I got her a chew toy (and I some ear plugs) and would pet her and praise her on the rare occasions when she was quiet. I tried telling her things were okay, being calm and positive. I even tried barking "No" at her once or twice when she started back up. She barely noticed I was there. Eventually she cried herself to sleep. A while later she awoke and went right back to screaming, crying and clambering around (such as she could buckled in). About 30 minutes from home I stopped and took her out to go potty. She had the runs from being so stressed.

We got home and the family petted her and played quietly with her. I figured she would have another crying session when it was dinner time (dinner time is crate time for our dogs, to avoid begging and food theft.) Sure enough she went into another round of hysterics crated in the bedroom. I was completely emotionally exhausted and drained from the several hour stint we had done in the car. Although I didn't know it at the time my thyroid had also started to take another dive, this would lead me to seek more medical assistance in October, however during this period of time I was just unusually fatigued.

When bedtime came that night I placed her and a few towels in a rubbermaid tub next to my side of the bed. I have always done this with puppies so I can reach down and pet them reassuringly if they start to feel lonely at night. It has worked great previously and did a decent job with her too. Like all puppies eventually she wouldn't stay in the box and she graduated back to the large crate. While technically too big, her apparently severe dislike for crating or really any confinement where she wasn't free to do as she pleased made me think that perhaps a larger than normal crate would make this easier on her somehow? In any case, she would fit in a couple months.

Once she got to the 5hr mark, she was moved out of the bedroom. Mostly because she would get up in the middle of the night, even if she didn't have to go potty, and make a bunch of noise. I drive school buses for a living and cannot have broken sleep like that. I had planned to move her out to the living room which was the only other place the kennel would fit. However, my dad, who lives in the apartment downstairs (we rent a house with the daylight basement turned into a full sized apartment)  while very sympathetic to animals in general and dogs especially, also couldn't afford to have broken sleep (he's over 60 and still has to get up at 4am for work). And her screaming was still happening enough for that to be an issue. So she got moved out to the garage. Our other husky is already crated there (slight desperation on my part when we very suddenly had to find a new place to live, I advertised him as "mostly outdoor/some indoor" since so many people don't want to rent to huskies where we live. Our landlord was cool with it, so I arranged sleeping quarters in the garage to help this. Thankfully our older husky is a brick and not bothered by anything.)

We faced the kennels towards each other a bit so the dogs can see each other. We've got a pretty good routine set up. I take the puppy out to potty before I go to work. She and the older dog go out before my son goes to elementary school in the morning, they also get fed. After this they get outside time. We built a large dog run when it became clear that there were too much trouble to be gotten into in the landscaping (we knew this would happen eventually.) Our older husky previously had a tie out, but has been so good with her we allow them to share the large run (it's a rectangle, with 3 of the sides totaling 50 ft). Right now my husband is working from home, so while he can't play with the dogs, at least they don't have to be kenneled up while I'm gone like normal. I'm back for a couple hours in the afternoon (normally this would be when they get let out), then out again (normally kenneled again). When I return in the evening we let them back out.

Now, when I'm not dealing with my darn thyroid (which has happened the last couple weeks) we let them have run of the back yard during the evening as well as coming into the house to visit. This is great fun for all of us! I also go out with them before dinner and play fetch with the older dog to give him some good sprinting exercise. The pup chases him around and then when all is finished they come in and kennel for dinner (which they are very enthusiastic about). We also eat at this time. After dinner everyone is getting ready for bed, and the dogs get a final potty break before we go to bed. (With my thyroid acting up, the only change is that the free time is changed to dog run time. I still go out before dinner and play with them.)

Now throughout all this she still cries and periodically starts screaming hysterically, even giving herself the runs. Naturally we have been working on this. We don't allow her out of her kennel or dog run or inside or outside (or anything really) until she has stopped, although since it can take a full 10 minutes for her to calm down enough, if we're having to take her out before heading somewhere (like work) we don't have time to go through all that.

She has done this all 3 times she has been in the car (once to my sons baseball game the day after we got her, torn between leaving her home in hysterics to taking her out without all the vaccinations...gah such a horrible choice.) She calmed down once we were at the game and not in the car. In the car on the way to the vet 30 minutes away. Fine at the vet, lots of petting, treats and general fuss. Even took the vaccinations and stool sample with no issues. She freaked out in the shopping cart when I started pushing it (our vet is in Petsmart and I had to check on something while we were there.)

I will be honest, she has made improvements...just not much. While I understand puppies are young and somethings take time, I don't want her still doing this when she is 9mo old or older. The screaming is painfully loud and I'm even concerned about the hearing for our other husky (or getting the cops called on us if she is outside). We try to keep a pretty good schedule, but there are periodic changes (such as little league on a weekend, or a football game friday night. Normal stuff.)

I'm waiting for my test results on my thyroid, once I get my medication adjusted and I'm no longer shaking with exhaustion everyday nor is my brain in a complete fog (my apologies if any of this is disjointed) I plan to talk to the breeder too. But in the meantime I'm still researching and trying to find out what I can do..

Thought and advice are appreciated! Final shots are next friday after which I can start taking her out on walks.


/sorry for the novel! Just didn't want to accidentally leave out anything important! It's common, but not necessarily consistent in cause. (ie; Normally she sleeps fine, but last night at 1:30am she started screaming. Just in case, she was taken out to go potty. No dice. Still screamed afterwards though. Neutral )
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Female Join date : 2013-07-21
Location : Maine

PostSubject: Re: Screaming Puppy?   Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:17 pm

Do you know the breeder you got her from personally? Any red flags about her upbringing?

Have you ruled out any medical concerns? That would be my first thought, that something is wrong with her physically.
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Join date : 2012-06-13
Location : Denver, CO

PostSubject: Re: Screaming Puppy?   Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:40 pm

First I would rule out medical concerns, especially considering the runny stool.

Other than that, to me it sounds like a pretty normal husky puppy. Some are just more "spirited" than others. The best I can say is to try to stay consistent with waiting to let her out of the kennel until she has settled down. As for the car ride, some dogs never settle down in the car. For example, this thread: http://www.itsahuskything.com/t2668-take-a-ride-with-jack-in-the-car

I know you are busy, but from my reading of your info (I read it quick) maybe she could use some more "family time" stimulation?
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Join date : 2013-10-27

PostSubject: Re: Screaming Puppy?   Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:40 pm

I know the breeder a bit (same breeder as our other husky) and I have no reason to believe there were any issues there. They were a bit busier than usual with this litter (a surprise of eight), but that's all.

The runny stool is not all of the time, but is pretty consistent if she gets herself really worked up (hysterical). She'll also get it once in a great while from playing outside, but like most huskies she tends to eat everything in sight (our other husky taught her to eat fur, which I think is the main culprit.) Mostly her stools are fine though and she did have a stool sample taken at the vet which checked out fine.

I also was concerned about the family time component, I did make extra efforts in Sept (before I really went downhill) to see if that was a factor. So mid-day breaks and evenings were "free run" where they could both be inside or outside (we have a dog door) and I was around for extra pets if she felt like it. It didn't make any obvious difference, other than being a lot of fun and pretty hysterical. Laughing  I've been trying to keep track of when she really gets worked up, but I just haven't been able to make a connection as it seems a bit too sporadic (plus she has made some improvements).  

I'm not looking for her to be completely silent either. I never mind whining if you've really gotta go potty, or barks if you see something strange in the yard. I *like* that. I'm just concerned about when she gets worked up into hysteria. That's just doesn't seem normal.

I plan to take regular walks nearby during my mid-day break when I'm given the go ahead from the vet so there will be a better exercise component. I also always when possible, have my dogs do regular day camps at Petsmart so they get lots of socialization (and get used to the kennel area there before spending the night.) Our older husky absolutely loved it and would drag the associate to the back room without even a glance at me, lol. We also have a couple good dog parks around too that we go to.

We're still working on it of course. She's got a lot of great qualities and I think if we can get her over this she has some outstanding potential. Just never dealt with it before so I'm a bit flummoxed.
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Join date : 2013-10-27

PostSubject: Re: Screaming Puppy?   Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:02 pm

Whoop. Sorry forgot to note, her check ups at the vet have all been great. No issues (although I thought the wormer had given her the runs at one point, but that's not unheard of apparently.)

The only other thing I could think of is some kind of brain issue, like a tumor. But I'm not *that* concerned just yet, especially as she has been making progress.
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Female Join date : 2012-11-03
Location : San Antonio, TX

PostSubject: Re: Screaming Puppy?   Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:03 pm

Honestly, it sounds like really really bad separation anxiety. Some dogs only have this issue when their people leave the house. But it sounds like she has this issue when she's not able to be right there with you. Have you thought about maybe looking into some of the things recommended to help with separation anxiety?
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Female Join date : 2013-04-08
Location : New Zealand

PostSubject: Re: Screaming Puppy?   Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:45 am

Hi there Smile
I went through this with my boy Orion. He screamed bloody murder from the moment we put him in the car on the way home, was an absolute terror at nights and during the day anytime he was not with us. He went into hysterics and would just lose all reason, he would quite often end up shaking and he also stressed himself to the point of diarrhea multiple times - he is my first husky and while I was expecting it to be difficult I never expected it to be as bad as he was. I have to admit I felt like the worst person in the world, I was convinced that I must be doing everything wrong.
I had him completely checked out and there is definitely nothing wrong with him.
I tried everything, puzzle toys, stuffed kongs, thundershirt, rescue remedy, using clothes with our scent as bedding, leaving a radio and ticking clocks, giving him a heat pack to snuggle with at night - the breeder even offered for us to take one of her adult dogs for a few weeks just to help him settle. I read everything possible to do with crate training, separation anxiety and new puppy ownership, I got to the point where I was nearly hysterical myself.
The thing that has worked for me is time. He very slowly grew out of it (to an extent) as he got older. The only real "breakthrough" we ever had that made a significant change to his behavior was giving up crating for bedtime - he is just one of those dogs that cannot stand confinement. I realize that crating is strongly advocated and I'm not trying to say that you should stop it, certainly not if it is what is best for your situation - I'm just saying  it was not right for my dog.
As he got older and he got into our routine he came to accept bedtime, us going to work during the day etc (this took 2-4 months depending on the situ) but he still has issues with things that are out of routine and will often resort back to hysterics if things he doesn't expect happen - like us going out for the evening. He also seems to periodically regress every few weeks with bedtime and will take to howling and screaming again for a night then give up again. I try and shake things up as much as possible and keep exposing him to new things to continue to desensitize him and he is definitely making progress as he gets older - it's just taking time. Through this entire process he developed strong attachment issues with me, If I leave he will pace, cry and howl until I return. At one point it was so bad that this would happen if I was simply behind a closed door. We are working through it and again he is making progress it is just taking time.
I'm sorry that I cannot offer some sort of solution for you, I simply wanted to share my experience since you hadn't come across anyone who had dealt with it.
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Female Join date : 2013-02-11
Location : NYC

PostSubject: Re: Screaming Puppy?   Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:32 am

When I picked Diz up at 9 weeks he screamed his head off almost the entire way home from the breeder (3.5 hour drive). By the time I got home, I was questioning my sanity and decision making skills, I was also convinced he might be half demon. After that, he would scream and do these hyena yips every time we went anywhere in the car. Eventually, he just outgrew it. Now, he loves the car and realizes that when we go for a car ride, we end up somewhere fun. It took a few months of absolutely terrible earsplitting 'trips' to get to that point. He does get carsick though, so I have to make sure and pay attention and look for signs of that. One tip that works for him is to run the ac or have a window partway down. He gets restless if he gets too hot.

He also stress poops, or should I say squirts. He has mostly outgrown that as well, but it as Olivia suggested, exposure to new situations and routines is key. Recently we went to visit family and he was in the backyard most of the time if we were home, crated if we weren't, and was quite upset to be outside alone. We live in NYC and Dizzy has never been outside in a yard alone before. He definitely regressed and worked himself up into a pretty high anxiety state, but after a couple days he settled down and started to enjoy being outside. He is okay if left home with my hubby, or left home alone, but say we are out for a walk, and I walk away from him, he gets very upset. It's all stuff we are working through.

As far as the crate training, unfortunately, its just something that you have to suffer through if its important to you to be able to crate your pup. I know it's hard to have interrupted sleep, and this may seem harsh, but sleep deprivation is just the reality of having a puppy. It's absolutely necessary for us, as we have cats, so I just dealt with the crying for a few weeks. Eventually he outgrew that too, and now enjoys his crate.

I know you're an experienced dog person, but it sounds like you may need to reset your expectations a bit and spend more time with the pup. More time exercising, more time training, more time playing, and more time interacting. Small improvements are good, and they will build on each other, but as Olivia said, patience is required.

How old is your first husky? How long have you had him? Think about how your life was different when you acquired him. His unflappability may stem from that vs. being a drastically different temperament. I had to deal with this when I brought my pup home this summer. He's my second husky, and I kept thinking how amazing my first one was compared to him, how smart she was, how fast she learned, etc. The truth is that my life was totally different then. I was in high school, lived at home, she had a dog run in the garage, I spent tons of time training and working with her, we lived outside of town, and tried to spend all my free time with her. Our bond was deep. With Dizzy, I had to adjust what I expected, also her puppy hood was so long ago that I really didn't remember it being all that difficult. Now I have work, family and life obligations, not to mention I'm not 15 (as I was when I got my first pup) and I need sleep to feel good.

I don't mean to sound like a jerk, because I really do feel your pain (having recently gone through the puppy stage myself), but this all sounds like normal puppy stuff that she will outgrow with time and training. How did I get through the nights? Ear plugs.
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Join date : 2013-10-27

PostSubject: Re: Screaming Puppy?   Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:34 pm

@GeorginaMay: Wow! That sounds really rough. The pup isn't that bad thankfully, and it sure is helpful to hear that it's something they slowly grow out of. Very Happy

@wpskier222: My older dog is 5. I recall very well how surprised I was at his unflappablness over fireworks and me leaving. Yes, he whined some, even howled a few times, but it was normal puppy whining and he never (that I know of) went into hysterics. Like I said, I've had beagles before and I'm used to noisy dogs who also are afraid thunderstorms and hide under the bed and whine and pee all over when you come home after a short trip. I've just never seen actual hysterics except in cases of extreme pain.

I appreciate hearing about other dogs with similar problems and it sounds like we are on the right track with what we're doing here then and it will improve in time.

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