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Separation Anxiety

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by Drgnrdr, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. Drgnrdr

    Drgnrdr Big Dog

    Best book so far for all experiencing Sep anxiety Nicole Wilde's "Don't leave me" excellent book check phantom publishing
  2. rpcrescue

    rpcrescue Puppy

    I know what everyone is going thru. I rescued my girl in July she was about 6 months old. Her whole life except the last 2 months of it she was kept in a crate and never let out. I mean never..no cleaning of the crate no potty breaks. When I got her she had lived with 3 families in 2 months and still looked disgusting..urine burns, caked on don't want to think about what..It's been a long road. I never in my life have crated a dog but in 30 mins my house was trashed top to bottom and filled with urine and diarhea I was in the yard mowing. You could just see my older dog looking at me like..I tried to calm her down I did. So I tried the crate against my wishes(horrible results with injuries), tried the medication(if she wasn't comatosed she acted like she was hallucinating and things we're trying to get her). As of last night I went out for 1hr 45 mins and came home to find nothing chewed up but things from the tables on the floor and 1 pile of reg poop non runny! It's still not what most people would like to have their dog do but I was so happy I almost cried. So everyone stick in there...it might be a long want to throw things and cry road or hopefully it's a short happy one. Think about how happy you and your dog will be when everything is finally dare I say close to perfect. For me when she is settled it means time to find another horribly abused baby to bring into our home and make sure they know humans and their new adopted pittie brother and sister loves them.
  3. BlueBaloo

    BlueBaloo Big Dog

    My recently rescued 9 month old pit mix is having the hardest time with being confined. The first night we ever got him We put him in the bathroom with a chewy toy and a kong full of peanut butter and we came back an hour later to a a door frame chewed off.

    He seems to be getting a ton better with being left alone, but he still HATES the crate or any small room.

    Well we decided that it meant we would just have to move into leaving him by himself slowly. We tried putting him in a crate in a room with us while we watched tv. Again chewy toy and a peanut butter filled kong. Licked the kong a little til he realized what was happening and then proceeded to try to destroy the crate.

    We've left him in the house all by himself before and he's fine with that. No accidents no trouble. But the second he gets confined to a room or a small space he has the problems.

    I'm just worried that when he comes with me to my apartment, if I ever need to put him somewhere if the plumber is there or whatever, that he'll have problems again. Is this something I can work through him with? That he'll have to get used to? Or should I just assume that he's claustrophobic.
  4. Sherman Red

    Sherman Red Puppy

    Escape Artist

    Not sure what to do? We have only had our dog for two weeks and have been trying to do all the right things. We have left her in the living room kitchen area while we are at work - all bedrooms have gates on them with the other dogs in them. She has gone out the window two days in a row. The first day she let herself out and then back in so we thought maybe it wasn't her it must have been the cat that knocked the screen off the window. The second day she lifted the window and knocked the screen off and jumped out - she couldn't get back in so she proceeded to scratch up our brand new door. We were real glad that she left the mini donkey and mini goats alone since during the day its their yard time. We keep her in her crate at night and think it would be way to cruel to leave her in their all day long too. Any ideas? Is this separation anxiety or just boredom? Hopefully when I get home she will be on the couch - all the windows are closed up tight!
  5. Jaida

    Jaida Puppy

    This is a great thread, very helpful and informative :)

    I had read before on the "umbilical cord" tactic being very effective.

    Our rescue DDB X has dreadful Separation anxiety, we were his 5th home, so I could completely understand why, it's a daily work in progress with him, and like a human being who suffers with anxiety, he has good days and bad days, so bear that in mind that some days dogs just do worse than other days.

    We have a nice laundry room with a stair gate on and I have tried to make this in to a nice special cosy place for him to feel safe and settled in when we go out. I always feed him in there so he associates it with nice things ;) and when he is really tired, I will gently steer him in there so he has a nice sleep in there and sees it's a place of safety and comfort.

    It's a hard thing to break as it can be deeply psychologically set in.

    Try not to make any fuss when leaving the house, do it quietly. My boy was extremely clingy with me and I was concerned about this. This has settled down A LOT since we rescued our little pittie girl who he adores. I noticed that this diluted the intensity of his clinginess with me ;)

    we have had our boy 8 months now and have seem some improvement but it's a slow road with him due to his traumatic and unsettled past.

    I also buy nice marrobones from the Grocery store for him to keep him occupied whilst we are out (they work a treat!).

    The other thing I have just purchased is this:

    Amazon.com: Through a Dog's Ear: Music to Calm Your Canine Companion, Volume 1: Joshua Leeds, Lisa Spector: Music

    It gets some really fantastic reviews and I just leave it playing low on repeat on my Ipod for him.

    Whenever I return to the house lately, I have not heard him howling and barking (which we always used to be able to) so hopefully it is working!

    I hope my suggestions from my experience are of some help to you all. From experience of our boy, all I can say is patience is the key, it can be deeply set in and as they say, time is a great healer :)

  6. SaintsMom

    SaintsMom Puppy

    I have a question about separation anxiety and the two week shut down....
    I just got a dog from foster care that exhibits whining (escalating to barking) when I leave him crated and leave the room...
    Fosters say they crated him whenever they left the house. Maybe his problem is that I am still in the house?

    None-the-less he is still in the crate.

    Any advice?
  7. lsmonkey

    lsmonkey Puppy

    Thanks for the post. My dog has separation anxiety she was getting into the kitchen garbage, or chewing anything that is paper or cardboard and has had some adventures in counter surfing. Simple human makes a plastic garbage can with a locking lid. We got one 3 months ago so far she cannot get into it. I walk her every morning before work, hide treats for her too. She follows us around the house and reading this article helped me put some more of her behavior into perspective. Thanks we will keep working and playing
  8. allie_earp

    allie_earp Puppy

    It sounds like boredom but don't feel guilty for leaving her crated at night and during the day. your dog is safest in the crate.

    My husband & I have to go through some of these steps again as our newly adopted rescue dog was fine in the crate for a month but now we've had her for 2 months and she's refusing & even chewed a small piece off of it. We have her in obedience training so we're going to ask our trainer what else to do. My husband left her on a tie-out today and to my surprise I came home, and here is the dog on her tie-out but no accidents and nothing was chewed up.
  9. i'm so desperate for help! Duke is only 11 weeks old and he has the worst case i swear! everytime i leave the room or move he starts howling and windging. from day one when i first brought him home, it happened. i made the mistake of giving in and letting him sleep in my bed, BEST CUDDLES EVER THOUGH! lol, but now he will be awake till 1 or 2am crying for me.. what should i do????
  10. Drgnrdr

    Drgnrdr Big Dog

    taking him away from his known home is traumatic, but he will adjust, not sure how long you've had him, usually 8 wks is the best time to get them but I know not every breeder does the right thing and some are not the best in breeding a stable sound temperment. You need to read the article and get Nicole's Book I mentioned, "don't leave me" you need to figure out if it's sep anx or sep distress or isolation distress..etc..
  11. monkeys23

    monkeys23 GRCH Dog

    I still need to get a copy of that... It looked really good!
  12. Drgnrdr

    Drgnrdr Big Dog

    It is so far the best I have read for this issue, I do tell tons of ppl with stressed dogs and anxious dogs get ALL corn out of diet, it could help with the dogs anxiety and to get this book
  13. i hope you dont mind if i share the worst case of SA i have ever seen:

    i adopted a bully mix dog. almost 2 years old from a rescue. no mention of SA at all. well we left one day for 20 mins and came back to a chewed up couch, poop every wheres i mean everywhere(explain how a dog gets poop on the ceiling?). So we cleaned up next time we left we put her in a crate when we came home we came home to a bloody dog, bloody chewed up crate(plastic airliner kind). Called trainer, said put her in a metal crate when we had to leave(we didnt leave often and if we did it would only be one of us and the other stay home with kids/dog got to be a problem). SO i spent 130 on a new crate...you guessed it she destroyed the tray, bent the hell out of the metal and yep she was lose and poop all over, house trashed. SO trainer says: clear a room put her in a room. so about 3 weeks after the second crate incident we went to go shopping-while we where gone she destroyed the room ate the linoleum pulled down curtains chewed up the closet door and broke through the window-we were in an upstairs apartment mind you-she was pretty injured too. we took her to the vet and he suggested euthanising her as he state 'no dog should live in fear and behave like that when an owner leaves' BUT the rescue swooped in and wouldnt let us 'if she can be saved we can place her in another home that doesnt want to 'murder' her'....well they took her. i heard through the grape vine she was adopted out and again no mention of SA this time when left alone she went through glass doors in her panic and died before the new owners returned home...

    this is the worst case of SA i have ever encountered. ive encountered mild SA..but nothing prepared me to deal with a dog like this.
  14. aliseveri

    aliseveri Puppy

    So, my dog came to my house with 28 days... I know to early, but his mother had some problems and couldn't take care of him anymore. As it was winter here I had to let him stay at my bedroom for a few days. Everyday I would take him to play where he would stay. After 1 week I started to put him to sleep there in the afternoon. I have another dog so it was very easy to him accept everything.

    Ok, so since he's very young he stays at the garage without any problem. When he completed 9 months we have to start to separete them, because my other dog was becoming agressive with him and I wasn't going to wait him to bite or get into a fight (he would kill my other dog).
    I started to do it very slow, until the day stopped to complain about it and was ok without the other dog. He's so ok that he doesn't care about her anymore when he sees her.

    But since he's a little he would EAT stuff. When he was 6 months he ate a big piece of fabric and almost died. I walk him every single day! We play after our daily walks and I do it in the morning.
    I don't have a job right now, but when he was a puppy I was studying and working! So I try not to change this "routine". I take care of him twice a day: morning/night. I spend a lot of time with him, playing, walking and cleaning everything :P he doesn't bark or anything during the evening... but STILL he eats stuff. You can't let a fabric or anything different where he can get it! But if I'm near he won't do it.
    When I get him to play in our yard if I let him alone, he won't play. He'll come after me or just stay there waiting. Really. I can't make him play while I'm away! :S I've never seen something like that... But I think it's some kind of separation anxiety.... I really don't know what to do...
  15. lauraeast

    lauraeast Puppy

    I have had my rescue for 3 weeks, they say she is a lab cross and I am pretty sure that cross is pit bull. Anyways the first week I left her at home whilst I went to work for 4 hours came home at lunch and then left her again for 4 hours, she was perfect, no chewing or misbehavior. However now she has become destructive at home, anything she can find to chew on she will (except furniture, yet!).

    I make sure that I put everything away but sometimes I forget like today she stole the remote from the tv cabinet and chewed it to bits, I have put them in the same place for the last three weeks but today she takes it. She gets a 2 mile walk every morning (always beside me never infront and corrected if she starts to drift in front) and we play for around 10 minutes then I feed her, she gets a 15 minute walk at lunch time and of an evening we either have a 3 mile walk/run or I take her to the dog park where she swims and retrieves for 2 hours.

    I am pretty sure I have her exercise is sufficient, and she has toys to play with and chew on, I also leave the tv on, so now I am thinking seperation anxiety ? She was in the shelter for 3 months, the only information they had were that she came from a family that had a baby and didn't have time for her.

    I haven't crated her yet, whilst I have nothing against them I like for my dogs to have the run of the apartment (1500sq ft) but I'm starting to think that I may not have any other choice, for her own safety..?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2013
  16. cduprey

    cduprey Puppy

    My 4yr old does this he doesnt destroy the house or anything but if I'm watching t.v and not paying attention to him keep paws at my feet and arms and tries to get in my lap I think it is so sweet my husband thinks he needs a xnax..he's really good when we're not home we leave a TV on for him its more when I'm here and not paying a complete and total attention to him
  17. _unoriginal

    _unoriginal Cow Dog

    This isn't anxiety of any kind. Your pup is demanding attention and you are doing exactly as you're told. Every time you give attention for this behavior, it reinforces to the dog that this behavior gets him attention. He will continuously do it until you stop rewarding him.

    When he does this, ignore him. No verbal praise (or discipline), no eye contact, no patting, nothing. You'll see an extinction burst of negative behavior where it gets much worse as the dog tries desperately to get your attention. This means that it's working so DO NOT give attention at this point or all work will be lost. Be strong and eventually he'll stop demanding it.

    He doesn't need to be drugged. He needs to be trained.
  18. Girsmomma

    Girsmomma Puppy

    Big boob Ate his crate and hid his Kong

    Thank you so much for this article I am going to start on this tomorrow. Must find Kong, lol. Gir has this bed, we had a Chihuahua with sep anxiety which was bad but a 1yr old 100lb pitty who eats the trash, the door frame and destroys the house is much worse. I see how we contribute to the problem though, excessive attention. I use to crate all 3 dogs when we left to Not have them get anxious Wow I never thought it would make him More anxious, makes sense though. He figured out how to push out just 2 Inches of the metal frame and wiggle his body out, I came home Christmas Eve to a wrecked house, trash, pillow fluff everywhere. I fixed his kennel and a few days later same thing except no wrecked house Gir ran around the house like "look mom I was good!" Ahhh puppies. That $200 crate is Destroyed. I don't know if he/they barks whine or howls we had neighbors who dogs barked from 8am to 9pm but neighbors called Animal Control on me because as one said "That girl over there has Pitbulls" I have 1, a Lab/pug & a Spitz. It's so bad now we leave the house in shifts because we are afraid to leave him/them alone. Tomorrow I will go out and do some yardwork, 5 minutes at a time. Gonna try him on some Norah Jones too while I'm gone, I like the music idea.
  19. ethanmadsen

    ethanmadsen Banned

    very interesting topic, and useful too. i have noticed few of the symptoms mentioned above in my dog.
  20. MindyMGerber

    MindyMGerber Banned

    5 tips to help dog separation anxiety-
    1. Before you leave the house, take your dog for a walk.
    2. No touch, no talk, no eye contact.
    3. Say goodbye to your dog long before you leave.
    4. Stay calm and assertive!
    5. Start out small by leaving your dog alone for just five minutes.

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