Post # 1
Hubby and I adopted a Terrier Mix this weekend from the Humane Society. Our little Mary is a sweet, sweet puppy. She is 7 months old. She is a huge couch potato. Mary was adopted before and got brought back because her last owner was allergic to her. I’m not sure of her history before that.
Here is my sweet Mary:
Mary has huge abandonment issues. The first day we got her, we put her in the kennel so we could run to the grocery store and came home to a huge mess. She used the bathroom everywhere in her kennel. It seemed like she got nervous and scared and just went. I took a shower and she stood in the bathroom whimpering then I caught her going into the trash. If we put her in the backyard, she freaks out. She tries to climb the sliding glass door or jump the privacy fence.
Seriously, this is her climbing:
It just seems she gets destructive if we aren’t sitting on the couch right beside her. Plus, I would like to be able to leave my house without her getting scared that I’m never coming back.
Anyone have any suggestions to make her feel more confortable and that I’m not leaving her when I have to go to the store?
Post # 3
Maybe a little Rescue Remedy in the old water bowl? There are other flower essences that might work better.
How about making a recording of your voices speaking in soothing tones?
Maybe a new little pal?
Post # 4
She is scared of other dogs, big or small. We usually end up having to carry her past other dogs. Plus, we don’t want another dog.
Post # 5
One thing I’ve seen people do (and I did myself for my dog) was leaving and coming back repeadly, as in, go out for 5 minutes, come back in, go out for 10 minutes, come back in, etc, etc, gradually working up the time.
Post # 6
She’s probably not used to being in the kennel… which I’m assuming is a dog crate? You should sleep with a small blanket & a new dog toy, than put that in her kennel the next day so it will smell like you. I’d also put a blanket over the top of her kennel so she can’t see out of it when you leave. It might make her feel more safe. She needs to learn that the crate/kennel is a “safe” place. Being behind a cage might remind her of the cages at the humane society?
I’d walk her around the backyard… get her used to being there with you there. Maybe read a book on a chair in the backyard? That way she sees you outside & that its okay for her to be outside.
Post # 7
@snoie: That’s a really good idea!
Post # 8
I agree with PP we did the same with our dog. She was fine being home alone, but then we moved into an apartment and she was really bad when we left. We also would randomly do our “getting ready to leave” activities throughout the day. I would pick up my keys and purse, but then put them back down. This helped so that eventually she wouldnt flinch when I picked them up. We also would leave for 5 minutes and come right back. It took a lot of work, but it was worth it. Now she is totally fine with us leaving, and sometimes doesnt even get off the couch to see us to the door!
Post # 9
I suggest the “practice leaving”, too. Put her in her kennel and don’t close the door. Give her some treats and pet her while she’s sitting in the kennel. You can even feed her dinner in the kennel, with the door open.
Next, put her in the kennel with some treats/food then close the door. Sit outside of it (where she can see you, right up at the door, you can even pet her through the door) and don’t leave the door closed for more than a minute at first. She has to learn that being in the cage is totally not a big deal and it’s no big event when the door closes.
Then progress to closing the kennel and leaving the room. Again, treats and don’t leave for more than a minute. Try to open the door before she gets to worrying/whining and try to only open the door when she’s quiet. (Or else she’ll start to think that her whining means the door opens!)
You can gradually stretch the time that she’s in the kennel, but start small and work slowly. The goal is to make the kennel a safe and happy place– give her extra-cool toys in there and have her associate it with special treats. FI’s dogs love their kennels– they’ll go in there just to relax sometimes with the door open. (Or sometimes when they misbehave, they will go hide in their “den”!)
Post # 10
We picked up a puppy last week and she is about the same. A week in, there has been a lot of improvement, so suggestion #1? Consistency and time.
That being said, Darling Husband and I have said we recognize that if she was an only dog she would be “too much” for us to take on and some of her issues I don’t know how you remedy without a 2nd dog for her (thankfully she was dog #2 for us!). We can’t move or think about moving without her with jumping up to follow us. She was pure awful, feral insanity in the crate to start, and now she is getting through the night no problem, and is crated during the day (I go home at lunch) and she is finally not trying anything to get away to not get into the crate.
Main suggestion #2? Routine/schedule and over-exercise the heck out of her. The first two days at home I was ready to get rid of her (awful) because her energy level and what she did to our house, now with some routine and exercise (and some boundaries), she is a different dog. My dogs are out 4x-5x a day. Morning for one walk, maybe two, one is longer, the other, short. Lunchtime walk, after work walk, evening walk. The older dog does that. The new pup doesn’t get the bedtime walk (but a backyard play) and gets a lower intensity than the Golden, but when she is old enough, they will run the same routine. Walks are trails, sidewalks, fields, retrieving, lots of mixing it up.
Coming and going repeatedly was huge! What I used to take in my arms to the car with me, I am now taking out earlier and coming back in for a while, and then leaving.
Also, is she fully house trained? My recco would be to not let her in your yard alone. She should be out there, with you on a leash (or off leash if you are comfortable with that) and then not left out there for any other reason except for washroom breaks until she is fully house trained. Outside only becomes fun after they realize what it’s most important for. Treats and praise like crazy for what she does out there, and then inside you both go.
I hope that helps? Good luck.
Post # 11
Terriers like to be part of the family! Ours had a difficult time being separated from us, at first, as well. What worked for us was moving his crate to a more heavily-traveled area of the house. We moved it from the basement (where it was conveniently located next to the back door for potty time, but not near where the family “hangs out”) to the kitchen. Once in the kitchen, puppy could see us while in the crate and, thus, did not associate the crate with abandonment.
Once we moved living situations, there was not enough room in the downstairs “living area” part of our home for the crate. Now we keep it upstairs next to our bed. Puppy associates the crate with bedtime, or quiet time, and we rarely have a problem anymore. I think the biggest thing is just making sure the dog associates the crate with positive things, as opposed to with being abandoned.
Another tip- try feeding the dog in the crate at meal times. another happy association to go along with crate time.
Post # 12
Small crate with towel or sheet over it. White noise or t.v- some kind of background. Def practice it and monitor before you try leaving for real. A bored dog can pull towels and sheets through the cage and strangle themselves.
Also lots of exercise!! At least one long walk a day plus play ( ball, frisbee, something interactive) also consider mental exercise ( working for treats, doing commands,finding things, etc etc)
Also picking up the pup when going by dogs is a bad habit. You are reinforcing the fact that there is a problem and raising her up. Try to keep moving. Even if she has to just plant it and sit. Lift her tail up. Don’t baby her either. Also try enrolling in an obedience class so you can get her out and socializing. Dogs= fun
I have a German Shepherd who is a velcro dog and does not like to be left alone anytime outside. They are pack animals, so isolation without feeling safe like in the cave aka crate or a common familiar place causes panic. You could try hanging out with her outside and also feeding her there to help neutralize the area.
Post # 13
also give a treat when you put her in the kennel or when you leave her and say good girl – try to make it a positive thing and shell learn that! hopefully!
Post # 14
@Eva Peron: I agree with not continuing to pick her up when you go by other dogs. She’ll need to learn to ignore them or be friendly, because eventually she’ll run into some dog and won’t be able to be carried. (Leash breaks, you’re carrying groceries, stray dogs, etc.)
Post # 15
Ppicking her up when going by other dogs is just reinforcing a bad behavior. The best thing for you to do would be to just keep walking as best you can. Don’t let her win, eventhough you think you are doing her good, it is actually going to make it worse.
As far as the seperation anxiety goes, I don’t have any great suggestions. My cousin has a dog that has severe separation anxiety and has actually ripped through both plastic and metal cages. The best success she has had so far is to bring her dog to a trainer and let it stay with him for a week. He helped tremendously and it has gotten alot better. Best of luck!
Post # 16
1. Don’t let the pup sleep on you at night. They -need- to know they can have their own place, and it’s great!
2. Leave and come back before she crosses into panic mode. When coming back NEVER pay her any attention until she stops soliciting it. Coming back is NOT supposed to be a big deal.
3. Give her lots of treats in her crate. LOTS. Play some crate games.
4. Thunder shirts are great. Seriously.
5. Something called peace and calming helps my dog when I leave him in the car.
6. Something my behaviorist suggested is to give them a job. “Sit. Stay.” and then let them stay there until you leave. If they have a way to look for your out the window that’s great, otherwise just staring at the door is fine. She had a GSD that routinely threw himself out windows due to his SA, and he was also rehomed over and over.
7. For the fear of other dogs thing…. wait until you see a dog. Sit. Treat treat treat! Don’t let the dog close enough for her to panic, and move closer gradually until it’s no biggie. Also, maybe find a dog she’d get along with and introduce the two of them. Obedience is a huge confidence booster as well. If she knows you have her back, she should react better.