(Closed) Dog Seperation Anxiety

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
2607 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Why is she still on medication?  If the medication isn’t working, it seems silly to keep her on it.  Stop the meds, and use the money from that to hire a trainer or a behaviorist.  The fact that she was fine at your mom’s (and at the apartment before that) leads me to believe this is more than seperation anxiety, especially since she has had periods where she gets better, then regresses again.  

Are there loud neighbors that are scaring her?  Is there constuction going on at the times she seems to be at her worst?  SOMETHING is triggering this, and I think you owe it to her to figure out WHY she is doing this, because this dog is NOT a good candidate for rehoming, unless your mom is willing to take her.  You’ve had her for years and are considering giving her up because of her issues…do you really think a new family would want to take that on?  There are dogs in shelters/rescues across the country that have NO issues that are being euthanized due to lack of homes; unfortunately I don’t think your dog would have much of a chance without professional intervention. 

I am not trying to be mean here, I am just trying to be honest about this dog’s chances with a new family or in rescue.

Post # 4
Member
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I have two dogs with high anxiety, so I can imagine what you’re going through. Have you tried switching to a different medication to see if that helps? Seperation anxiety is common and usually very treatable in dogs, but each dog responds to medications differently. Prozac is usally the most effective medication for seperation anxiety (in dogs), but there are others that work just as well. Talk to your vet, or maybe even try a new vet who might know more about anxiety in dogs.

If her anxiety started when your other dogs left, it could be that she just needs more interaction with dogs. Obviously adopting a new dog is out of the question for now, but maybe you could foster a dog short-term to see if that helps.

Also, even though a backyard is great for dogs, they still need stimulation or else they start to do things like chew, bark, etc. I have a dog with severe separation anxiety and we have to take him on regular, long walks/jogs, or else he flips out when we leave and throws up. If you don’t have time for long walks everyday, try dropping her off at a doggie daycare during the day a few times a week. That should provide enough stimulation to help calm her during the off days.

Good luck!

Post # 6
Member
1775 posts
Buzzing bee

I think you need to spend the money on the behaviorist. I understand the wedding has finances pretty tight, but she’s your buddy. =( She needs this.

Post # 7
Member
664 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Can she go to live with your mom? She has a buddy there, and she seems to get along with your mom already. Plus, you could still see her and spend time with her.

I had a friend whose dog went crazy like this when she got pregnant. Things haven’t gotten much better. They ended up taking the dog to grandma’s house with their daughter during the day for babysitting. I doubt that’s an option for you.

ETA: I’d go stir crazy too if I were used to having friends around… even in different cages… and then suddenly was in a new place with no friends.

Post # 8
Member
686 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@mrsc630:  We’re about to run out the door, but I had a horrible encounter with a neighbor about 6 months after I got my dog.  She SCREAMED at me because unbeknownst to me, my dog was barking incessantly as soon as I left the condo.  Our dog was a rescue and had terrible separation anxiety whenever we would leave.

I tried keeping her in the kitchen, tried meds and talking to the vet, tried leaving her with treats to distract her, silent bark alarm, leaving lights on…

I was sick with worry, and also thought I’d have to give away our dog.

Here’s what worked for me:

  1. CITRONELLA SPRAY COLLAR.  Holy cow, this was a godsend.  It’s not cruel (recommended by our vet), they just dislike the spray.  Very quickly, she learned how to sooth herself quietly so she wouldn’t set it off.
  2. LEAVING HER IN A SOOTHING PLACE.  She gets to sleep in our bed all day, lucky stiff.  There’s a potty patch in the bedroom in case she can’t hold it.  If you can’t do that, you may want to consider the kitchen with a dog gate, and a nice doggie bed.
  3. DO NOT MAKE COMING HOME OR LEAVING A BIG DEAL.  If you come home and you say, “Oh, puppy, I missed you, I’m so sorry I left you…” etc, you reinforce the idea that it was a terrible, traumatic thing your dog experienced.  Instead when you come home, make it a non-event.  Put the dog in a down-stay, and then don’t make eye contact for 15-30 minutes.  Go about your evening and let the dog work it out and self-sooth.

DM me if you want any other info.  Good luck!

Post # 9
Member
686 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@Miss Apricot:  With regard to meds, it takes several weeks for doggie prozac to have an effect.  Not sure how long the dog has been on it, but it’s helpful to keep her on it until the other behavior therapy has a chance to work.  It gives the dog a better chance at being successful.

I forgot to mention that the citronella collars can go off during banging, so it doesn’t need barking to be set off.  Again, the point is just to teach the dog that there are consequences to getting worked up and allowing them to learn how to self-sooth.

Post # 11
Member
2550 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I recently adopted both of kiddies in the past 3 months and one of them had severe separation anxiety.  I tried crating w/ toys and music.  He got out of the crate and left gifts on the couch.  So I realized that he was lonely.  This is what has helped:

1.Adopted a sister for him.  He was lonely.  Although he is only by himself for 8hrs one day a week, he needed a playmate.  His new sister keeps him busy and now we’re one big happy family.

2.Baby Gate-  He loves to chew on wood and lick screens/windows so I block the front door.   They have the living room and kitchen as their playground.  My couches are dog friendly and I have several pillows as well as blankets for them to lay on.  Also the living room has huge windows so they get to look outside all day. 

3. Doggie Pads-  They are both under 15lbs so they can’t hold all day.  I leave pads in strategic places so that they can go anytime.  It took my girl a good month to get it right but now they’re both potty trained.

4. Backyard time-  Before I leave in the morning, they get a good half hour in the backyard to do whatever.  When DH gets home, they spend a good two hrs in the backyard and then we go on our nightly walk or play a game of chase in the backyard.

5. When I come home- They are soo excited.  So I do what they tell you not to do, I pick them up.  Hold them for a minute and we go about our business.  I have two toy furbabies that are hyper breeds and they want attention.  So, I give them a moment just like I give DH a kiss. 

6. Treats and toys-  They have toys in their crate that they can get whenever they want.  I leave them carrots and other low cal treats through out their play area.  Tons of toys that they can chew on.  When I see something unique and on sale, I add to their collection. 

Good Luck!!!  I know how frustrating it is but I’m sure you’ll be able to find away to calm her down.  I know for my baby boy, it had to do w/ him being a surrendered as well as an only child.  Now that he knows that he has a family and this is home, he’s calmed down alot.  Now, I just have to get him use to car rides:) 

 

Post # 12
Member
2607 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

@zagora:  With regard to meds, it takes several weeks for doggie prozac to have an effect. 

Reading the original post, it was my impression that the dog has been on the meds for several months.

@mrsc630:  I guess when I try to talk this stuff over with FI- he sees it as bologna… she’s just a bad dog- costing us money and nothing is ever going to work for her- and I’m just making excuses for her.   I don’ tknow how to explain this stuff to him. 

Good dogs, and bad dogs, aren’t born, they are MADE.  The other day, I told our dog “Go upstairs,” he went, and a visiting neighbor was surprised because he listened.  He listens because I put time, energy, and effort into training him, (not saying you’re not trying, just using it as an example that good dogs don’t get that way on their own).  I understand he’s frustrated, especially since he’s not a dog person AND often has to clean up his mess.  But things are not going to change on their own, and he’s going to have to be on board with any treatment/training you do with her.  Does he play with her, train her, and otherwise bond with her?  It might make him a little more forgiving when she makes messes, and be more willing to work with a trainer or behaviorist to help her.

Again, I know he’s frustrated, but he needs to have patience with her…pets SHOULD be like children in that you make a commitment to them, and don’t just throw in the towel when things get tough.  He especially needs to understand that this dog does not have a lot of other options at this point.  

I really, really hope you guys can figure out what will help this dog!!!

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