My cockapoo pup, Chewie (short for Chewbacca — chosen because he looks like the Star Wars character and chews everything) has been acting up, and putting him in the figurative and literal dog house isn’t working — nor am I.
My fellow working-from-home girls with pets can attest that it’s difficult to crate-train and house-break a nipping, crying, curious and sometimes whimpering puppy while trying to creatively contribute to a conference call and meet multiple writing deadlines. (How am I supposed to write about women busting butt in the workplace AND keep my puppy from tearing open the presents under our Christmas tree?)
At first, I tried taking him out more often, running with him for longer distances, hoping this would help him get more energy out so that he’d be calmer in the apartment. This only led to power naps for Chewie that, once finished, energized him for another round of terrorizing his loving owner (that’s me). Because he’s half poodle, our vet says he has separation anxiety, which is evidenced by the fact that he cries most nights when he has to sleep in his toy-filled, cushioned crate. (My, that deprived dog!)
So, I tried leaving the TV on to give him some noise, putting stuffed animals next to him so that he feels like he’s sleeping with someone nearby and setting a clock close to him so that the tick-tock would soothe him like a heartbeat. Nothing worked. We thought that his getting neutered would help too, especially with his habit of marking territory. Nope! Well, it helped just a little.
In conjunction with signing up for obedience classes, we started using a few sprays from Comfort Zone that contain D.A.P (Dog Appeasing Pheromone), so says the packaging, that is supposed to eliminate stress-induced destructive behavior. Since it takes about 90 days to see a change in your pet, we’re now starting to see the results. So, of course I had to pass it along to you, gals!
Though there are still some behaviors that need to be fixed, it’s nothing obedience school can’t handle. Using the calming spray in his crate and travel carrier (you should have seen how good he was under the seat on the plane) and plug-in for the room he spends the most time in (the living room), I saw a huge difference in the way he reacts to visitors, rearranged furniture and my attention on something else other than tug-of-war with him, like work. How huge of a difference you ask? I’ll put it this way. I was able to write this entire blog post in one sitting without having to yell, “No, don’t, stop, you’re hurting him!”
For your viewing pleasure — but really for proof that this spray really did work on my little Chewstopher – here are the many ways Chewie naps. NOTE: this is all in one puppy slumber. I’m guessing all the movement is due to puppy dreams.