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 Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!

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ksheen
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PostSubject: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:07 pm

I have a 12 week old husky, and he does great in his crate at night and in the car. He is potty trained (well hasn't had an accident in two weeks!) and he asks to go out side.

I am trying to crate him for when I leave the room because I need to for school next year and he FLIPS out whenever I leave the room. He actually a really calm puppy and isn't too hyper, and very quiet, but when it comes to the crate he freaks out. I have tried everything there is and he just will not stop. I have tried to wait it out but he can scream for hours and I don't know what to do. I have been trying to train him every day for the past month and have gotten no improvement. I just don't know what to do anymore. If someone could help with ANYTHING it would be so appreciated.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:21 pm

Well, definitely keep waiting it out, if you don't he'll just learn that eventually you will cave. If you can't wait it out, then leave the house. Something that helped my puppy was to cover his crate, and setup a low speed fan. For whatever reason he loves that fan and will relax when I go to work but lets me know if I forget. I also leave him a couple of safe chew toys. Lately his favorite is the himalayan chew. Now, I don't need to cover the crate anymore and he's fine as long as he has the fan. He only cries or howls when he has to go out. Smile
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cinnamonbits
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:23 pm

Start off by not leaving the room...sit next to him with him in the crate. Feed him in the crate for every meal. I know he's doing fine at night, but he's not associating it with good things. Once he calms down with you next to him, move further away til you can leave the room. Then stay out of the room for short periods of time. With Karli, it helped if we covered the crate with a blanket, it made it feel more den-like and she has never had an issue going in it since we did that.
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ksheen
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:28 pm

I have sat next to him ha and he is okay while I'm there and he gets treats and a Kong yet the second I walk away (I even give him treats right before I walk away to associate me leaving with treats and then the screaming begins). I have read lots of training sites and I figured this place would be the best because everyone here has a husky and some may have even gone through the same things I am with Balto!
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:34 pm

What kind of crate is it, and how big is it? Smile
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ksheen
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:02 am

It's a wire crate called aspen pet and it has a divider and right now its big enough for him to lay comfortably, stand up, and turn around. We left him home alone yesterday and his kong kept him entertained for about half an hour and then after that he just screamed until we got home (How we know is we filmed him). Would just keep leaving him in it while we leave get him used to it?
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ksheen
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:53 am

it also has a towel over it and a fan pointed at it and bedding. also I leave the TV on because I have it on when he's in there

I just don't know what to do anymore because if I leave him out he will destroy things, I leave him in there he screams and cries. I just hoped that he would eventually get used to it
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heather.jane19
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:36 am

Mila was like this, and kind of still is, but I have to crate her when I leave for work, I don't have a choice. I just don't trust her to leave her out in the house all day. When we first got her, she was TERRIBLE in her crate when we left. She would howl and scream and dig for hours and hours on end, the entire time we were gone. We actually got her a smaller crate, the plastic kind instead of the wire and I really had no choice, she was just going to get used to it or she wasn't. She hates going in there now and plants her feet and I have to drag her into it but she's just laying there when I get home now instead of losing her mind. I would say Balto will just get used to it eventually. Sounds like your training him correctly in the first place though, so you already have an advantage. Whoever initially crate trained Mila did not do it right. She absolutely loves rawhide bones, but she won't touch them if I give her one in her crate. I tried feeding her in her old wire crate and she just looked at me all confused like I had 3 heads.

Kelsey, do you live in a house or an apartment?
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:20 pm

Hi Kelsey!

I am kind of experiencing the same thing. Our pup has separation anxiety too, and we were bringing him to daycare. But he has giardia, and can't attend daycare until it's all clear! We have been giving him access to the whole apartment (except for the bedroom), and he would howl on and off throughout the day. The past 2 days though, he has started peeing on the couch! We started crating him at night to sleep, and he seems fine in there. However, crating him when we leave the house is a nightmare. We have tried the following when we leave the house:

1. Crate - it's almost an instant howling fit and clawing, and pee.
2. Confinement in a tiled area - he was ok with this for awhile, but then eventually jumped over the gate and terrorized the apartment.
3. No confinement at all - again, he was ok with this for awhile, but has since started peeing on the couch, and carpet.

We are going to try and crate him in his "room" (the confined tiled area) at night to see how he does overnight. If he is ok with this, then i might just try a taller gate and see how he does. We thought it was confinement anxiety at first, but the fact that he sleeps nicely in his crate without any protest at night kind of kills that theory Sad
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phoenix.solis
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:53 am

I'm having the same problems! Chess knows how to get the door off of his kennel and he freaks out when he's in it but I start classes on Monday. I won't be gone for very long periods of time. The worst will be tuesdays and thursdays for 3 hours. Chess used to be ok with being left alone out of the kennel but one day I came home and there was a hole in my wall so I started crating him in his old wire kennel that was a little too small (He was rarely in it and we were trying to find a new kennel without spending $100) and he managed to bust out of that one by tearing it apart then tore apart my apartment. I can get him in it with no problems (he's motivated by cheese) and I can close it but as soon as I walk out the door, he panics. He'll scream and dig. And that's when I just put him in there to go check the mail. I take every chance I have to crate him for little periods of time so he'll see that it's not a bad place and that I'm coming back but even a 2 minute stint in the crate causes panic. I have to feel safe leaving him in there by Monday! He's fine being out of the crate at night but that's because he knows that I'm home. If he knows I'm here, he sleeps all day and is just fine. If he knows I'm gone, he thinks I'm abandoning him. Help?
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:06 pm

Chess sounds just like Gus! We had him sleeping out of the crate at first. No problems. No destruction. But when we left him out of the crate when we left the house, he would howl and cry, and pee on the couch. What we've ended up having to do is put him in a gated area of our home. We bought an extra tall gate, and that still wasn't tall enough. So now we have mounted the gate ON TOP of his kennel. No way he's jumping out of that now! He still howls sometimes, but it is MUCH better than what it was before. He will probably howl for the first 10mins, and then eventually settle down and fall asleep. He still does an anxiety pee, and we are hoping that this goes away as he gets used to being alone. We still crate him at night because I still want him comfortable in a crate, although i don't ever plan to crate him when we leave the house anymore.

Is there a space in your home where you can just put up a gate? He might feel too much anxiety in his crate. But a gated area might help calm him down a bit, and also save your home from being destroyed while he gets used to being alone.
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phoenix.solis
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:10 pm

Sadly there's no space that I can gate off. I have an apartment. I tried putting him in the crate at night when I first got him but he would scream and cry and I didn't want to wake up my neighbors so I let him out and he was fine. I just did a test run with him for 15 minutes and when I came back, he had moved his kennel forward about a foot and had chewed through his harness even though I put his favorite bone in there with him. I'm about to have to leave again in a few minutes and I don't know what to do because I'm going to be gone about an hour and I know he won't stay in that kennel that long but I can't leave him out because he'll demolish things.
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:24 pm

We also live in a condo, so the space that we have for him isn't huge, but it's still bigger than his kennel. we put a gate up near the front door where it's mostly tiled. Gus also completely ignores his tasty treat when we leave him alone. Or once he's finished it, he goes back to being crazy!

If the crate is your only option though, maybe you can get a bigger one for him? If he's not peeing in it when you're away, then a REALLY big crate might be a good option too.

We also have a DAP diffuser, and give him a calming treat (http://www.petnaturals.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=700864021) when we plan to leave him for long periods of time (up to 4hrs right now). I can't say whether these are actually working or not though because his anxiety is pretty inconsistent, but when we stopped daycare because he got giardia and we had to keep him at home, we got kind of desperate. The first couple weeks were really bad, he pooped and peed on the couch. Once we started putting him in his room (the gated area), he would still howl and cry a lot. But he is SLOWLY learning that it's not a big deal if mom and dad aren't home Smile He still has his bad days sometimes...

You could also consider a big exercise pen. i have a friend with a husky that uses this. But if your husky is fearless and jumps, then that might not work for you. my friend's husky is scared of the exercise pen fence so she never tries to climb or jump it.
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phoenix.solis
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:19 pm

If i had room for an exercise pen, I'd put one in here but sadly I don't. I put him in his crate for an hour today to while I went to physical therapy and when I came back, he was out, my curtains were down, my curtain rod was bent past repair and my couch had an even bigger hole in it. I'd gate him up by the door but then he chews on walls. That's why I quit leaving him out. I came home to a hole in the wall. I love my dog and the apartment is just until I get married next year. I just called my mom about putting up a dog run in her backyard for him but my step dad won't allow it. This wouldn't be such a problem if I had a husky proof kennel. One he couldn't bust out of. I know that most dogs eventually calm down after enough practice with being in the kennel but thats generally because they just accept the fact that they can't get out. Mine knows that he can. Even if I use bungy cords to hold the door on. . I have an absolute last resort and that's taking him next door to my neighbor's but I have early morning classes this semester and my dog isn't her responsibility (although I may not have another option in the spring when I student teach), he's mine.

If he'd stay calm out of the kennel and stuff, I'd just let him hang out but it doesn't seem to go very well. I may make a run to the dollar store for a new curtain rod (one he cant take down) and see what happens when I close the doors to the other rooms and then leave him in the living room for 10-15 minutes unsupervised. I'll just make sure that the couch cover is on the couch so that he doesn't see the tape on the couch and tear it off again. He loves the stuffing in the couch and the duct tape only hides so much.

Do you think that a rescue remedy or something like that would help calm him enough to put him in the crate for an hour at a time? If I'm gone for 3 hours or something, he can go to my neighbor's if need be. I just don't want to rely on her every single day multiple times a day. I'll probably let my neighbors watch him in the evenings once rehearsals for the musical pick up since they are during his normal run/exercise time with the neighbor's son that way he still gets that workout and I don't have to panic about my stuff being torn to shreds. Thoughts?
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:17 am

I have no personal experience with rescue remedy, so i can't really say whether it works. I did try to get some though... it's hard to get a hold of in Canada haha. So i ended up just getting a DAP diffuser. It's worth a shot though i guess!

In my opinion, desensitization works the best. Separation anxiety is REALLY difficult behaviour to kick, and i think it just takes a lot of time, patience and MORE TIME. You just need to figure out what works best for him. We used to bring him to daycare during the day, but when we got home at night, we practiced desensitizing him every night. Whether it was leaving him for 5mins, or 30mins.

If he really is being really destructive, maybe you can look into getting a stronger crate? I think if you search on the forum, some other people have suggested strong crates for huskies who were able to escape. And i guess for absolute worst case scenario, you can talk to your vet?
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:29 am

I've come to the conclusion that he's claustrophobic. He loves his kennel...until you close the door. He eats in there, he lays in there but if i close that door, he screams and panics and busts out. I tried putting him in the kennel for about an hour yesterday, treating him for calm behavior but it didn't work
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:12 pm

He's in the kennel right now!I'm in my room watching stuff on my computer and Ive put him in his kennel after giving him Rescue Remedy. He was spazzing out until recently. He's still digging a little bit but he's a lot calmer right now.
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:13 pm

Hiya! Is the rescue remedy helping? Gus just recently learned how to bust out of his room. So now I am going to buy a SECOND gate to mount on top of our existing gate.
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:14 pm

It calms him down in every situation EXCEPT the kennel! He'll go in there and eat and everything like that but he refuses to stay in there with the door closed.
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:06 pm

My 5 month old Ellie has been having similar issues but I've yet to try her out of the crate. Currently, she has no problem with her crate. She goes in at night to sleep (which is next to our bed) and will willingly get in when I prepare to leave the apartment especially when there's a Kong in my hand. However, when I come back, she has peed on whatever bedding was inside (even if it was just an hour). She finishes the Kong but then leaves the rest of her toys. She'll pull in the blanket we have on top of her crate. Radio and TV didn't seem to help either. She has plenty of busy treat dispensing toys that she loves so I'm wondering if I should attempt to leave her out of the crate so she can focus more on those toys with more space. We tried an exercise pen once but within 5 minutes had climbed out of it. We have yet to record her so I don't know if she howls/cries for long when were gone because when we come back she is quiet but with all her bedding pushed to the other side of the crate. We've been attempting separation anxiety training and have gotten up to 15 minutes alone but that's about how much time it takes her to finish a FROZEN Kong.

Do you guys leave the room light on or have the room completely dark? How else do we extend the SA training without a Kong? I don't want to keep refilling the Kong for every session especially since a non-frozen Kong lasts about 5-10 minutes.
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:23 pm

It doesn't sound like her anxiety in her crate is THAT bad, so I think you should keep with the crate training. We gave up on crate training pretty early on because we literally could not even throw the garbage out (down the hall!) without him peeing and scratching his nose on the door.

It definitely does sound like anxiety though. Have you tried putting her in the crate, and just walking out the room, then coming back in? Perhaps you leaving the apartment completely is too much for her right now? How long do you leave her crated by herself at home?

We no longer leave anything on for him. No lights. No radio or tv. We keep the light in the next room on so he's not in complete darkness. Just dim. We also no longer leave him a treat to keep him busy. Our experience with this was that once he's finished his treat, he's all hyped up from the excitement of eating that it translates quickly into anxiety! Gus still will not play with his toys when we leave him at home. He will just sleep. He's not perfect still. We have now had to mount two baby gates on top of each other to practically make a WALL to confine him. He will still have some bad days where he'll cry and maybe pee. But i would say that 80% of the time, he is good now.

I would suggest that you start really slow. Start with just leaving the room. Then leaving the apartment for SECONDS. Then for minutes, and just slowly build her up to the cues of you leaving. I definitely suggest the Skype webcam too! If you have a smartphone, it's a great way to spy on her while you're away Razz When we started the separation training, we spent many evenings in the hallway of our condo spying on Gus haha. It's a lot of work. And it takes a lot of time and patience. But it's worth it!
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:57 pm

Have you tried not leaving bedding? My pup would pee on bedding if I left anything in there, so I just stopped putting anything in the crate with him aside from chew toys and a stuffed husky friend. Smile Once I did that, he stopped peeing in the crate. Eventually I was able to leave an old pillow in for him, and after he went a couple months without destroying or peeing on the pillow, I got him a nice bed.
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:08 pm

We have been leaving the room and coming back in with decent results. Every morning/night we will feed her in the cage and leave her be and then come back 5 minutes later to take the bowl away and let her out. I think we may be expecting too much too soon. It varies how long we leave her alone but so far 30 minutes was the longest where I've returned to her still laying down enjoying the Kong. I don't think she even knew I left or came back, which was quite funny.

I think we'll start leaving the hallway light on for her and practice opening and closing the front door rather than the bedroom door. I have not tried taking the bedding out as I thought she wouldn't be comfortable but it is worth a shot. I can't blame her completely for this anxiety though. We moved into our apartment in September (had her since August) and within the first week had to leave her alone for 9 hours while we went to work. She caught us off guard because the first few days she didn't have a single accident in the crate. Mind you she was only 3-4 months old at the time. But now, there's an accident every time. Thankfully, she only pees in the crate. We are starting day care next week because it's unfair that she spends all that time in the crate.
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:35 pm

Great idea with daycare! 9hrs alone in a crate for a 4-5mth old is definitely too long to go without a stretch and a potty break. Gus used to go to daycare everyday, and then in the evening, when he was nice and pooped out, we would practice our separation training. Now, we have the dogwalker (same people from the daycare) come and he gets to go to the beach for a 1.5hr hike! He comes home a little dirty sometimes, but tired and happy Smile Also, daycare was a great way to get him socialized! When we first brought him home (he was a rescue) at 4mths old, he was very timid around other dogs. You should see him now! He's the annoying one at the park now that keeps bugging other dogs to chase him haha
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PostSubject: Re: Seperation anxiety and crating... HELP!!!!!!   Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:45 pm

That's what I'm hoping the daycare will do for her but in no way is it going to be a replacement for exercise since I like our walks everyday and games of fetch/tug. Looking forward to my running partner one day. We are hoping she will be better socialized with people through day care. Dogs, she's a friend to all of them. People, she won't let them pet her. She will go up to people and sniff and sometimes lick their hand but any movement from the person sends her back tracking towards me. She is quite the instigator at the dog park and then looks back at me like, "Why aren't they playing?" Very Happy
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