Post # 1
My Fiance and I adopted a one year old dachshund mix from the shelter a few weeks ago. He is adjusting well except he FREAKS out when we are gone, which is understandable because he has bounced around his whole life. His previous owners only had him for a month before bringing him back to the shelter. I am trying to be patient and work with him, but nothing is helping… and I live in an apartment and don’t want to be THAT neighbor.
I need advice on how to calm him because I have tried, what feels like, everything. He gets a good walk in, I don’t make it a big deal about leaving, he gets a kong filled with snacks. I also had to get him a crate because he chewed up my front door, thankfully he likes it. I even bought a pheromone diffuser that is supposed to calm dogs. None of it works and he howls and destorys his bed until he either passes out from panic exhaustion or we come home.
Thanks in advance, bees, for any advice you can give me!
Post # 3
aw my rescue did this too. she even escaped from a metal crate somehow. Sounds like she has separation anxiety. It will take a lot of patience and hard work to get her over it. Honestly, this can’t be done unless someone is able to be home with her 24/7 for a few weeks to work it out with her. There are desensitization techniques you can use but I’m not going to lie it takes ALOT of work.
Post # 4
I would contact a dog trainer and get some advice or maybe a visit or two.
Post # 5
Make sure he is in a small kennel, dogs feel more comfortable in tight spaces. I would also suggest having a blanket or some stuffed animal toy that you can get to smell like you (sleep with it for a few nights) and then have it in his kennel. He is just so afraid of being alone. It took our dog about three years to get to where he liked his kennel. He would hide from it and then destroy it once we left. I have no idea what changed in him but now he hangs out in there because he loves it so much. It just takes time. We also keep the kennels (we have three dogs) in the same room where they eat so it’s in a place they know. It’s all in the basement. He eats down there alone all the time so maybe he feels comfortable being doing there.
Good luck. If nothing else, get a trainer to help you. Please don’t give up on him, he needs you! 🙂
Post # 6
It’s only been a few weeks, that’s not really enough time yet to settle into a routine. Just be calm when you’re crating him, tell him he’s a good boy and off you go. The calmer and quieter the goodbye is, the less upset he’ll get. If he’s tearing up the bed, take it out. Chewing and eating beds can lead to foreign bodies and blockages. Also, when you get home, do not greet him when he’s crying/howling. Ignore him competely until he calms down. Once he’s calm and quiet, let him out of the kennel. Don’t do the “OMG, MOMMY’S HOME!!!” thing, just let him out, quietly say hello, give him a little snuggle and move along. The less of a big deal that you make coming and going, the less of a big deal that he’ll make of it.
Post # 7
Baby steps, and patience. Remember, when you rescue, you’re cleaning up someone else’s mess…and since the dog can’t tell us what’s going on, you have to bang around and find something that works. When you’re dealing with dogs that have separation anxiety, the best way to acclimate them is by being away in small increments….have the dog be in the crate in one room while you are in the house in another room….if that works out, dog in crate, you outside in the yard, after that works, dog in crate while you run to the gas station, then the store, then out to dinner…..it’s a building process where the dog figures out that you’ll always come back….when you come back there’s lovies and treats and so much attention….I get that not everyone has the time to do this, so if you have to work, look into doggy day care for a while, so the dog won’t be alone it until it learns to be alone.
Post # 8
I don’t have much advice, unfortunatly, but I would definitly recommend getting him a thundershirt. My pup has SEVERE storm anxiety and she’s actually prescribed xanax for it. I hate drugging her up unless it’s extremely bad. The thundershirt works fantastically at calming her nerves!
Post # 9
Luckily, I have some time off right now so I can work with him. It is just hard because I have to get stuff done 🙂
@MrsWBS: @Birdee106: I am reading up on desensitizng techniques and will definitely try! I also like the idea of something that smell like us. He is a part of our family now and we are willing to do anything to make him comfortable. They truly are like your children 😉
Post # 10
@Missknicole: You’re not alone! While difficult and heartbreaking, separation anxiety is extremely common. I recommend professional help at the outset – ask your vet for recommendations on a trainer or behaviorist who has experience working with anxious dogs. You can also ask your vet about possible pharmaceutical treatments – many of the dogs I know with separation anxiety have been (or still are) on Prozac or similar.
I also highly recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/Leave-Step—Step-Separation-Anxiety/dp/0981722733/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1368042478&sr=1-1&keywords=dog+separation+anxiety
A mid-day dog walker is another great tool once you’ve worked your way up to longer stretches of time alone – it gives your dog something to look forward to, plus it gives you the peace of mind that someone’s checking on him and making sure he didn’t do anything crazy or dangerous while alone.
Lastly, don’t expect anything to work overnight, or even in the span of a week or so! For example, it took about two weeks for the DAP diffuser to start helping my dog – but it did help eventually. Good luck and let us know how it’s going!
Post # 11
That sounds like my puppy when I got her. What helped her was making sure she was in the smalled crate for her size because it made her feel safer and secure and also we covered it with a blanket. If we forgot to cover it she would cry and whine. As long as that blanket is over her it immediately calmed her down. Not sure if that would work for every pet though. Good luck!
Post # 12
@loveandapitbull: Thank you I will look into that book. Yeah, we just purchased the DAP diffuser on friday, so I will give that more time to kick in and just keep working with him in the mean time.
@maloussii: I was just looking at that in the pet store, but haven’t heard anything until now. I’ll research that as well 🙂
Thank you all!
Post # 13
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Missknicole: Take some time off and stay home with him for a few days. When we adopted our pup, I was on hiatus from class so I stayed home with him. He needs an adjustment period and it might take longer for him tor ealize you are coming home at the end of every day.
Post # 14
@Missknicole: A tired dog is a GREAT dog. I think you need a longer walk, what do you consider a good walk? I would suggest upping it as much as you can, make sure his tongue is dragging before you start towards home. (We don’t always have alot of time in the mornings, but I bought a dog backpack and would load it up with full water bottles to make the walk we did take, that much more intensive) YES it takes up time, and I know its easy to forget or go shorter, but it will work. good luck!
Post # 15
Check out this site: http://positively.com/forum/index.php
Their forum has great training articles. You can search through other posts to see advice given to other people with the same SA issue.
Post # 16
have you tried leaving, for 10 seconds, re enter, repeat 5000 times until that’s cool. then leave for 30 seconds for 100 times. slowly increase the intervals. that’ll take months most likely… but I can’t see ANYTHING working viola just like that.