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My 8-year old mill dog rescue Pom, Sweetpea that we have had for 5 months, has two very challenging behaviors. #1. She barks constantly; sometimes hours on end. Particularly shrill when her “daddy” is around. #2 She will not sleep. We’ve tried crates, pens, allowing her free roam. Nothing helps unless I sleep with her on the couch. I feel as if we are fishing around and being inconsistent.
Feeling sleep deprived with shattered nerves.
It is unfortunate that Sweepea had to go through what she has. Some people only care about making money and don’t care about the welfare of the animal. Unfortunately most dogs used for breeding like this are pretty messed up mentally due to lack of experience with the world. If they ever do get the chance to live a normal life, it is very tough for them. It is such a big adjustment to go from living your entire life in a cage every day, to experiencing the everyday life of a “normal” dog.
Part of the answer is, time. It is going to take time for her to adjust to her new home. Another part of the answer is, patience. Patience is going to be very important. I would give her a good amount of exercise. I would do physical exercise, like taking her on walks. I would also do mental exercise, like teaching her new tricks, or working on basic obedience. The more tired you can get her, the harder it should be for her to stay awake. Have you tried having her in your bedroom? Also, what has her Vet said in regards to this. I am going to mention some all natural things that could help her relax but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to talk to your vet to see what s/he recommends.
Some “all-natural” options to make her more comfortable include Thundershirts, DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone, comes in a collar, a wall plug in, and also a spray. Using multiple forms has proven to work better for some dogs.) and different calming music. You can try to put these all together as well.
For the barking I recommend increasing exercise just like I mentioned above. That alone probably won’t fix the issue so I recommend doing some confidence building exercises as well. The link below will provide you with the answers to that. I have a feeling that the barking is a nervous response. Probably from living such a sheltered life for so long. Help build her confidence and it could start to fade away.
I hope this helps. Thanks again for saving Sweetpea.
Additional advice at this link: www.dogingtonpost.com/ask-the-trainer-building-your-dogs-confidence/#.UtcjM_0SPFI
Thank you for the question!
Kevin Duggan CPDT-KA
Kevin is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT.org) and is a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator through the American Kennel Club. He currently resides in Ohio with his dog, V, a six-year-old Shepherd/Lab mix, where he operates All Dogs Go To Kevin, LLC, specializing in helping build positive relationships between humans and their canine companions using clear communication, not pain and fear. For more training tips and tricks, and to meet his amazing dog, V, follow him on Facebook by clicking here.
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