April 9, 2010

White Dog really pushes the boundaries when she growls threateningly to thwart Quinn's reentry through the dog door. She starts the vocal challenge when she sees his face ready to come in on the other side of the door and it freezes the boy mid step. Often he will just go away from the door and sit outside; other times he crashes into the door and runs past her and hides in his "cave" (aka the office closet). This is particularly aggravating in the middle of the night.

We do not want to be punitive and understand that there must be a hierarchy but we also want Quinn to feel that he is welcome inside as well. We have tried holding White Dog in our arms and gently talking to her as Quinn enters; rolling her on her back on the bed and firmly holding her there until he passes. On the advice of her trainer we even put her out of the bedroom wing and shut the door as a consequence for her action (she scratched and howled until Quinn went to the other side of the door whining for her to be let in)!

Nothing has stopped the growling...and I hate forcing her to sleep apart from us because punishment doesn't seem like a solution. Poor Quinn does nothing to provoke the action, he is merely going about nature's call. He doesn't ever try to get on the bed. Last night was particularly bad...no one slept.

Quinn has gotten the tummy glicks that White Dog had earlier in the week and was constantly trotting outside...and returning to a volley of meanness from his sister. White Dog has been an "only" child for 5 years, that is true, but we don't understand why her biggest "sticking point" is her unwillingness let Quinn can come and go freely (she has no problem if he goes out the front door for a walk or out the back door into the yard; it is just the dog door).

I throw my frustrated arms out to you, blog friends, and beg for suggestions/ideas.


The OP Pack said...

Any chance you couldmake a second doggy door?

Amy and The House of Cats said...

That is a very odd situation that it is only the dog door. Could it be because it is "her" dog door? The other doors are used by everyone but the dog door has, until now, only been hers - that is my guess but since I have cats it is just a guess. And if that is the case, I have no idea what the solution would be.

Prinnie and Digby said...

Just a theory: To Siku, the other doors belong to everybody. She sees everybody coming and going through them. The doggie door, however, has been solely hers for the past 5 years (except for an occasional visitor that she knows will only be there for a little while and certainly doesn't go in and out in the middle of the night.)

Brother and I don't have a clue about what can be done about your doggie door problem though.

Quinn, we hope you feel better soon.

Eskie Hugs,

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Sorry...no help from here...

Khyra doesn't have any issues when Merdie comes to visit and/or stay even though Khyra has been the only dog here...

I do think the others have made some excellent observations...

We hope Quinn feels better soon!

Cappy the Eskie said...

Hi Everyone,

This is a tough one. I like the idea of 2 separate doggie doors and agree with Amy and Prinnie's observations about the territorial issues.

We don’t have our own separate entrance. We just let it be known (rather loudly) that we have to go out in the middle of the night. It doesn’t happen very often.

I had a big problem when Oliver came. If he touched any of my toys, I wanted nothing to do with them. Mom had to wash certain favorites, buy new ones and keep them separate from Oliver. We had one-on-one play time apart from him. This lasted for 6 months.

We’re not velcro dogs, but we do get along now. I’m actually protective of him when he gets scolded for chewing on crochet hooks and other stuff (which SHOULD have been put away) and growl my disapproval.

Hope everyone gets a good night’s sleep.

Hugs and yips,

Teddy Bear said...

Oh what a toughie. That must be Siku's door and that is why she is so protective of it. We hope it gets better soon.

Teddy Bear

Ozark Mountain Cats said...

I am SOOO laughing here. You are suffering from pure Eskieness., or perhaps your Siku is just like my Princess. She's been with us for 10 years. She absolutely loves Grandma and sister Angel buuuut neither dare come within ten feet of my bedroom door when I am inside it. You can hear her growl all over the house.

Dogs being pack animals are used to having an Alpha dog around. Unlike cats it shouldn't cause any behavioral issues with Quinn.

TwoSpecialWires said...

How about trying a Doggie Door Training session, or two or twenty. Where you set up the situation for Quinn to come in and out repeatedly (he'll probably be confused, but hopefully it will be worth it) in rapid succession, reinforcing Siku with each satisfactory attempt. (With a small treat? Perhaps Quinn get a small treat, too?) Use the technique of saturation? Do it so many times (at once, and repeatedly over the course of a few days) that it get to be boring and old hand.

This whole subject reminds us of a favorite book (don't be put off by the title) called Don't Shoot the Dog. Moma used it a lot during her consulting days. It's a GREAT very easy-to-read little book on behavior modification. Appropriate for LOTS of arenas.

Keep us posted,
Jake and Fergs

Remington said...

Two doors might be the answer.

Kari in WeHo said...

i think consistency is the answer. We had an issue like that at our house and while we understand the need for a hierarchy we didn't let the dogs take it to where BC was not welcome in certain places so we had to use the "if you act mean you too loose privileges).

Dennis the Vizsla said...

I asked my wife this one and this is what she said: "For the quick fix, will White Dog sleep in a crate in the bedroom? If she could at least sleep in a crate while Quinn has the tummy glicks, then the humans could get some peace at night.

Ok, here's what will probably work best in the long run. The yummiest treats ever must rain profusely from the sky as soon as Quinn sticks his nose through the door. It must be an immediate reward. Make a big fuss out of it, lots of praise, lots of delicious treats (feed treats one after the other in quick succession). This must be practiced many times, with yummy treats always raining from the sky, but only when Quinn's face appears. Then White Dog will learn to be HAPPY when Quinn puts his head through the dog door, because she will associate this with wonderful, good things. Eventually, Quinn will be able to walk through dog door at night, and White Dog will now be conditioned to feel joy at his arrival, even if the treats are not forthcoming at 2 am in the morning."

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