Post # 1
My husband and I moved about 3 weeks ago, and for the first 10 days or so our dog was doing just fine – perfect really! Since then he has developed major separation anxiety. Darling Husband and I work opposite schedules, so the longest period of time that he is alone is an hour, max.
However, when we leave he has started chewing the door of his kennel to the point that there is drool/puddles EVERYWHERE – he is wet with it! – and a couple of times he has peed/pooped on himself. We’ve tried a radio for sound, t-shirts that smells like us, blankets that smell like us, a Kong with peanut butter, you name it. Darling Husband is starting to wonder if he just won’t do well without another dog (DH had a roommate w/ a lab til we got married) and thinks it might be best to re-home him… but I want to give him every shot in the world before that’s even on the table! I just need ideas to soothe him 🙁
Post # 3
Oh, additional info: We cant give him the blankets or shirts anymore because he shreds them and eats pieces. We’re terrified of something getting impacted in his tummy.
He’s almost 9 months old and is a pug/lab/beagle mix rescue. OBSESSED with other dogs/human attention. Has always been terrible by himself 🙂
Post # 4
He might have become like that at this age even if the environment didn’t change. I recommend continuing with the kennel, lots of walks or doggy day care to get him tired, and obedience school, which will develop his confidence.
Post # 5
This might sound nuts, but if you don’t want to re-home him & have tried everything else (it sounds like you’ve given it an honest try!) take him to the vet. They do make a doggie-prozac. They might also have some other suggestions of things you haven’t tried or thought of. Good luck- I hope you come up with a solution that lets you keep the pup in his own home! Rehoming might be even more stress for him 🙁
Post # 6
Are you exercising him prior to leaving? Something you could try next is getting a good walk or run in with him, and play a bunch before you leave. A tired dog usually helps out with some issues.
Also, how about leaving for 5 minutes, then coming back, and then add to that. Just start adding more time. We did this with our dog when we first started trusting him to be out of the crate. We gradually made it 8 hours, and now he’s fine out of the crate (but gated in one area). It would work up the time he is alone, and would show him that you are not gone forever.
Post # 7
Post # 8
Victoria Stilwell from the show “It’s me or the Dog” did a podcast on seperation anxiety. We have used a ton of her training tips and they have all worked like magic. Here is a link to her podcast site
Post # 9
I looooove Victoria Stilwell!
Post # 10
@Grizz: I HAVE THE SOLUTION! My dog had the same problem! He actually destroyed 4 cages!
Get one of those huge knuckle bones and let him play with it and chew it in the cage for about 30 min… DO NOT let him take it out of the cage! After about 30 min take him out of the cage and shut the door. Everytime he goes into the cage he has a bone. It’s a cage treat only.
After about 2 weeks almost everything had gone away! It was a miracle! He still has some accidents but nothing major. Message me if you need more help 🙂 I have 2 problem dogs! Good luck!
Post # 11
@JRL2012: I’m not familiar with the bones you’re talking about – they may be 100% fine, but I just wanted to add that dogs should probably be supervised with a lot of bones/chew toys. At least I know I’m not comfortable leaving my dog with most chew toys when I’m not there to watch her (so no bully sticks, etc. unless she’s eating them in front of me). She does have kongs, an extra strength nyla bone, and a deer antler that she’s allowed to chew on unsupervised.
@Grizz: I think everyone has provided good advice and it sounds like you’ve already tried a lot. My understanding is that puppies go through different “fear periods” during their development, and ~9-11 months is one of them. It’s possible that this will pass with time, especially if you are doing everything you can to help him.
It seemed like Hailey was starting to develop seperation anxiety as well, I think it’s especially common in pups who have changed homes… the things that helped her were: crating her for brief periods and leaving the room, gradually extending this to leaving the house; downplaying coming and going and actually ignoring her for the first few minutes of coming home; exercise – lots and lots of exercise; doggie daycare 1x per week & dog walker 1-2x per week; kong prepared with frozen wet food (lasts much longer this way); deer antler to chew on – she’s been working on the same one for 6 months and she’s barely made any progress, lol; and obediance training (more than just the puppy classes).
I’m assuming he was crate trained before this? How was he in the crate while you were away before the move?
Good luck! Hope the situation improves.
ETA: I agree that the doggie prozac might be something to look into, also the thunder shirt or a DAP diffuser (I’ve read mixed reviews on both but some people swear by them). I’d also recommend dogforums.com – there is a lot of good info. on that site’s boards. In the dog training section there are some “stickys” that might also be relevant.
Post # 12
He is young and just went through a major life change!
I take it your husband isn’t a dog person? lol
Your boy is going to need lots of consitency, like a schedule that he can depend on. Lots of excercise coupled with rules and boundaries. I second 78h2o with her advice on the crate and also fear periods 🙂
Best of luck!
Post # 13
. . . could you get an additional dog? LOL. Probably not the solution you were looking for but it’s true, some dogs just need that companionship.
Post # 14
Not sure if this will work for your situation – but we give our dog a really yummy treat whenever we leave. Like, every single time we leave the house. Its these duck jerky things, and he only gets them at that time. So now, when we put on our shoes or open the garage door, he actually gets excited bceasue he knows he is getting a treat – he starting hopping around and hangs out by the drawer where the treats are. Anytime else we want to give him a treat (not too often), we give him other boring ones (like cracker types) – so that he always looks forward the the duck jerky when we are leaving.
Post # 15
@78h2o: The knuckle bones are ok to be unsupervised as well. I don’t leave my dog with other treats… not even a kong! He can destroy those! And Nyla bones! He has a very strong jaw so I made sure to get something he couldn’t hurt himself with. I actually got this information from when I took my dog to a animal behaviorist when I took my dog for his anxiety/a few other issues.
@Grizz: The behaviorist also said that medication should be the last resort! Even more so for a 9 month old pup. It is at the point for my dog now that he can have blankets in the crate with him… but still no toys :/ And I now let him take the bone in and out of the crate and he is great! I’ve never had to purchase another crate since!
Post # 16
@JRL2012: oh good! I figured but was just checking 🙂 I know someone who leaves her dog with pig’s ears and rawhides which terrifies me. Mine would choke or swallow the whole thing and get a blockage. Hailey is ok with a kong since she’s only 9-10 lbs – she has strong jaws but not stronger than the kong or the tough nyla bones. 🙂