Howling - What do I do about it? Questions

Discussion in 'Border Terrier' started by Brian Springthorpe, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. Brian Springthorpe

    Brian Springthorpe New Member

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    Howling - What do I do about it?


    I'm new to the forum. I have had the pleasure of the company of my Border Terrier dog, Barney for nearly 13 years now. He's my best friend.

    I'm hoping other experienced owners can advise me and empathise with the problems experienced with a senior dog.

    I have an immediate problem at the moment.

    I know Border Terriers have a propensity for "singing". Barney, up till now has never, what I would call sang. he didn't really find his barking voice for nearly 9 months as a pup. That's what makes what I am going to try to describe so unusual and out of character of him.

    Within the last 6 or 7 months, Barney has become a howler! We have debated the reason for this behavioral change to the continual lockdowns through the Covid pandemic and the fact that he is now getting on a bit, so there are possibilities of dementia.

    Both my wife and I are retired. Through circumstance Barney is very rarely left on his own. Either one or both of us is there 24/7. He goes everywhere with us. Holidays, (always taken in the UK), days out, down the pub, everywhere. He is a stalwart of the family. maybe that's where we may have gone wrong - I don't know.

    He is usually OK for most of the day, certainly at night, when he's kipping up close. He's always had freedom of movement around the house. If one or the other of us goes out on our own he starts howling. It sounds worse than it is, I feel. Its a very lamentable howl.

    At night he kicks off at around between 7 and 8pm. He has his routines which consist of an early evening walk, three biscuits given as rewards for a few old training commands and then his dinner.

    he has always been a finnicky eater. he doesn't "wolf" everything in sight. In that respect he's more like a cat. He has a sniff a taste and eats what he wants and leaves the rest. Not greedy by any stretch.

    At around 7pm he wants his fish bits. Dried crunch fish bites. He loves them.

    Then he wants to play. So its a half hour rolling balls or kongs or knotted ropes and he goes fetching them.

    He then disappears in to the bedroom for a nap, while we watch TV.

    Up till 6 months or so back, it was a case of him occasionally wandering back in the room to check up on us and then he'd disappear again for a while. The later it got, the more you realised he was actually herding us to bed! He wanted us all together.

    Wind the clock forward to now and he doesn't so much come looking for us, but starts his lamentable howling routine. Its very upsetting seeing him go down like this. Even more so for my wife, as I seem more able to ignore it for longer.

    I know the lockdowns have caused me to be really down and my wife despite her inherent strength is also suffering. I am frightened that Barney has picked up on our moods and as a result the intense time we have had to spend worrying about staying healthy has affected him.

    But what the hell do I do? I do not feel I should pander to him in case it makes things even worse. But I want to do right by him.

    Has anyone else had similar experiences?
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
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  3. Queensland blue

    Queensland blue Member

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    Hi Brian , i don’t know what to tell you really , although I found what you wrote interesting , I wanted you to know you are not being ignored however with no replies yet .

    I can see Barney is your best mate and can feel through the post everything , imagining and trying to come up with a solution .

    everything sounds regimented and I know dogs do like routines too , I’m wondering if there is a way to pacify him .
    As children get pacified (pacifiers) ,like a chew .
    Although at that time of night perhaps he is only interested in bedding down .

    I am clutching at straws (chews) however , I try to imagine what I would do with mine .
    I think I would move one of the two of our activities closer at that time , his bed or my time .
  4. Chris

    Chris Member

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    Has your vet checked him over?

    Rosie, my Border Terrier, is 9 now and she's slowed down and has started to struggle jumping up on the bed and sofa. She has become more vocal because of it. She is telling us when she needs a hand. Being a Border Terrier :) she also takes advantage of this at times and gives a bark just to get us off our backsides. Once achieved there's a happy wag to go with it

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