Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi Laura, if the dog has been doing this since a pup it may be some sort of comfort seeking behaviour, especially if you got him from a pet shop, shelter, back yard breeder where the dog was taken away from mother too young.
If the behaviour has started recently it could be due to stress of some kind. We dont realize, as humans, how much our own stress affects our dogs. It could have been started due to new neighbours, visitors, changes in the home, illness in the home, change in routines etc.
What this needs to be seen as, if a cry for help, if a recent behaviour. Although he has company of other dogs, it is vital that dogs receive additional stimulation by way of walks, mental stimulation by way of games, varied chew toys, and human socialization - you are part of the combined human/canine pack.
From a management point of view, I would suggest both leaving the door of the room closed and also to sprinkle pure citronella oil on it. Dogs, on average, do not like the scent of this and will avoid it. At the same time, supply him with a nice chew toy in which you have smeared in a little peanut butter and some bits of biltong.
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