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 SEPARATION ANXIETY!!

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courtmacgillivary
Newborn
Newborn
courtmacgillivary

Female Join date : 2014-11-15
Location : Sydney, NS CANADA

SEPARATION ANXIETY!! Empty
PostSubject: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyWed Dec 03, 2014 12:10 pm

This issue isn't with my Husky, Marlee, but with my mixed breed Baby.. I have searched the internet for solutions and nothing seems to work. When I leave the house, even for just 5 minutes the entire time I am away Baby cries, barks, paces and destroys everything in her reach. I know she is stressed, but she isn't alone. Marlee doesn't make a sound and usually is laying in the exact same spot when I get home as she was in when I left. Baby on the other hand has destroyed crates & cages (both metal & plastic), cupboards, garbage bags & even doors. She knows when I get home that she was bad, she greets me excitedly at the door and immediately runs to her cage with her tail between her legs before I even open my mouth. Everything I have read says not to yell at her or scold her in anyway because it will cause more stress and make it worse so I have been trying to keep her from doing that but at the same time, the 25-50 minutes of cleaning up the mess she has made as soon as I get home everyday is easier while she isn't under my feet so I kinda like that she disappears thinking I'm going to be mad at her.

Does anyone have any tips they used to help their dogs with the same issue? I have been trying to avoid a bark collar because I believe that will cause more stress, but my neighbors have had enough.. Baby needs some help.
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lillith87
Senior
Senior
lillith87

Female Join date : 2013-05-26
Location : Michigan

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PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyWed Dec 03, 2014 12:15 pm

I am going to find an old post that I made, give me a second.

It might pertain to things specific to the other poster needing help with Anxiety, I will try to edit it for you if needed.

Give me like 5 minutes
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lillith87
Senior
Senior
lillith87

Female Join date : 2013-05-26
Location : Michigan

SEPARATION ANXIETY!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyWed Dec 03, 2014 12:21 pm

Make sure your crate is in a room of your house that you occupy a lot of your time in. Living room, bedroom etcetera. (I actually have 2 crates, one in the bedroom and one in the living room.)
Huskies are a pack minded animal, and like to be with their family. If you isolate them, they get lonely and bored, which could lead to crying.

To start off, make sure the crate has positive stuff inside. Toys, chews, maybe a dog bed... anything to make it fun, comfortable and safe. Huskies look at their crate as a "Den" much like wolves do. It is where they sleep, and have their own space to be themselves and relax.
So to achieve this you need to simulate the process of the crate becoming that. Keep the door open and throw a toy in there and play fetch. Once the pup gives you the toy back, give a treat... after a little bit of prolonging this, it will become a game... hitting two birds with one stone, fetch and crate conditioning in the bag! yay! So. Now. You want to start getting that door closed. Get the pup to go in the crate, and shut the door. Stay in the room. You may get some expected whining, crying... Like a toddler, DO NOT GIVE IN! You teach your dog that crying gets them their way. I don't care if it takes hours, and neither should you. But the very second that crying stops, you let that little pup out and give them a treat, they deserve it! Then play the crate fetch game again for a while, maybe go outside and play a little, and what not. Now, do it again. The same process. Crate with door shut, wait till they stop crying let them out and treat, then play. This will seem repetitive, and energy draining. It is worth it. Because eventually, your pup will accept that door being closed..... Because you are still there, your pup can see you. You are the comfort. However, it doesn't quite solve the anxiety problem.

So onto step two.
You want to get your pup relaxed in the crate with the door closed. And you want to start prolonging the amount of time before you open the door. Start with a couple of minutes, and work up to 5, then 8, then 10, then 13, then 15.... etcetera. It may not seem like it, but dogs have a weird sense of time. They know when something has been a long while vs. a short, they can tell the difference most of the time. So the more you condition the calmness in the crate with prolonged time, the more they accept the crate.
So now that the dog has a calmed demeanor in the crate, you need to start leaving the room. At first walk out, you will probably get an instant whine in the first few seconds. Do not come back until the whining stops. When the whining stops, come back in and let them out and do the play and treats stuff. Then once you can walk out of the room with out your pup crying, start doing the prolonged instances before you come back. Work it up to a couple of hours.

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but in the end result, you will have a crate trained dog, that now has the knowledge that you will always come back, and you will play with them when you do.
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courtmacgillivary
Newborn
Newborn
courtmacgillivary

Female Join date : 2014-11-15
Location : Sydney, NS CANADA

SEPARATION ANXIETY!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyWed Dec 03, 2014 12:48 pm

Thank you, many helpful tips. Unfortunately I cannot find a crate that can keep her contained.. I have tried travel crates, she chewed through the plastic, I tried the metal cages & she bends the bars and squeezes through lol I have been leaving her to roam because Marlee roams and doesnt cause any problem. I hoped that maybe she would see that and start behaving sort of like a monkey see monkey do scenario but thats not the case. I also have 2 crates, one in the bedroom and one in the living room and when I am home Baby will lay in them, Marlee avoids them possibly because she is blind but she isn't a problem to leave out anyways lol

Where you say to stay out of sight until she stops whining, that is where the issue will come.. When she can't see me she doesn't stop crying and barking, My neighbors have recorded her barking for 6 hours with the only break being when I stopped by for 15 minutes to take them outside in the middle of the day. That breaks my heart, she is so stressed and must be straining her "voice" barking for such an extensive period of time Sad Also this barking takes place outside of the crate for the most part because I am scared she will get hurt if I lock her up while Im out
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lillith87
Senior
Senior
lillith87

Female Join date : 2013-05-26
Location : Michigan

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PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyWed Dec 03, 2014 1:14 pm

I have to put carbine clips on my crate, else Okami will escape too. And not the cheap Carbines either... I have to get the heavy duty made for climbing ones... The one from Alpineoutfitters.net is pretty good... I have had those for over a year now and they have been troopers!
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lillith87
Senior
Senior
lillith87

Female Join date : 2013-05-26
Location : Michigan

SEPARATION ANXIETY!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyWed Dec 03, 2014 1:20 pm

Well it is something you have to work up to over time.
You have to get her used to seeing you while in the crate and being around her while she is in it,  before you can work up to walking away.

Mine had Anxiety issues as a pup, and to a certain degrees, she still does, but getting her crate trained was the key to getting her to loosen up a lot.

You have to get your pup to know you are coming back before you can really see any progress.

Others have tried these tricks to you can try, stuff a pop bottle with one of your shirts or socks and leave it in the crate, because your scent is on it.. or try getting a crate cover, because the sense of darkness calms them.... Have you tried freezing a KONG stuffed with peanut butter? That usually occupies them for a considerable amount of time before they even really care about their surroundings.
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lillith87
Senior
Senior
lillith87

Female Join date : 2013-05-26
Location : Michigan

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PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyWed Dec 03, 2014 1:23 pm

Also, a way that you can work up to leaving, stay in the room till they fall asleep, then leave. Then when they wake up they have more of a chance to just be themselves, because they don't actually *see* you walking away.
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courtmacgillivary
Newborn
Newborn
courtmacgillivary

Female Join date : 2014-11-15
Location : Sydney, NS CANADA

SEPARATION ANXIETY!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyWed Dec 03, 2014 1:32 pm

I'll have to give crate training another shot, she has one of my tshirts in the crate & I have tried the Kong but never frozen.. I will also give that a try, hopefully that will keep her occupied longer !
For the last week I have been trying "No touch, no talk, no eye contact" for an hour before I leave and an hour when I get home and I think I hate it more than she does, plus it doesn't work loll

Thank you Smile
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lillith87
Senior
Senior
lillith87

Female Join date : 2013-05-26
Location : Michigan

SEPARATION ANXIETY!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyWed Dec 03, 2014 1:38 pm

But yeah look into carbines for the crate though too, even though mine is crate trained... without them she is a loose and free dog, breaking things and chewing on things haha.
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lillith87
Senior
Senior
lillith87

Female Join date : 2013-05-26
Location : Michigan

SEPARATION ANXIETY!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyWed Dec 03, 2014 1:39 pm

Keep me updated on your progress. If you hit any bumps along the way, I am sure people here, plus myself can guide you through it.
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courtmacgillivary
Newborn
Newborn
courtmacgillivary

Female Join date : 2014-11-15
Location : Sydney, NS CANADA

SEPARATION ANXIETY!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyWed Dec 03, 2014 1:45 pm

Thank you, I appreciate it ! I was worried that because it wasn't a husky problem I wouldnt find much help her either , personal experiences are much better than article after article on separation anxiety ! loll
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Danzig's Mommy
Senior
Senior
Danzig's Mommy

Female Join date : 2012-08-10
Location : Thornton, CO

SEPARATION ANXIETY!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyWed Dec 03, 2014 2:31 pm

Our GSP has this issue whenever both my husband and I leave for work. I agree with crate training (we did that for our husky) but for Wyatt that wasn't an option. So we started giving him Valerian root on a treat before we leave for work. It calms him down without having the drugged up effects of doggy Xanax if you will. It seems to have helped him a lot. He has several nervous tendencies and we started having to have to use it at the dog park as well.

Just another option if you're comfortable with it.
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Barczewska
Puppy
Puppy
Barczewska

Female Join date : 2014-07-21
Location : Ottawa, Ontario

SEPARATION ANXIETY!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyThu Dec 04, 2014 6:42 am

Sinatra also has extreme anxiety...he has completely made his crate non-usable. When he was at his foster home, he was in an "Indestructible" crate, thicker steel bars and pretty much impossible to escape from. At our house, he was in a regular wire crate which he has managed to bend so badly that he can escape very easily. So this could be something to think about. They are pretty pricey though. I am lucky though, as he seems fine when he is out of the crate now. He and Kesler are in their bedroom with the door closed, Kesler is in his crate (he is a very busy boy so can be destructive when he gets bored). Sinatra has not shown any signs of mass destruction yet, knock on wood..

I still do everything that I did when he was crated though, to curb his anxiety when I leave. Most is mentioned above but I will just list some of the things I do that work for me

-I prepare a Kong every night before bed with a layer of soft food, kibble and cookie-type treats then seal it with peanut butter and pop it in the freezer
-Every morning the boys get some exercise to wear off some of the zoomie energy
-Before I leave, I put him in his crate with the door locked shut, and wait until he calms down (about 10 minutes for us now)
-When I am ready to leave, I go in their room and also long as he is quiet, I open the door to his crate and pop his frozen kong in. Like I said, I don't keep him is the crate all day any more, as he just escapes right away, so I just close the door without locking it (you would lock it)
-I make sure not to make a big deal about leaving. It is a routine, every day thing, not the end of the world.
- If I sense he is having a bad day, I will put some music on
-When I come home, I get myself settled before I go and let them out. If I hear any sort of nonsense coming from their room, I wait until he is calm before going to let him out. I don't make a big deal about the fact that I am home. (That was the hardest part for me as I am just as excited as them that I am home)

Our vet also recommended a DAP collar, which has done wonders for Sinatra. He did warn us though, that they generally have very little effect on high-strung dogs. It works great for Sinatra, who is mellow to begin with, but has absolutely no effect on Kesler.


It can be really hard some days....especially when he does really well for several days, and then has a relapse. But it is totally worth the extra work in the end
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TheBadGuppy
Teenager
Teenager
TheBadGuppy

Female Join date : 2013-06-20
Location : Toronto, Ontario

SEPARATION ANXIETY!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyThu Dec 04, 2014 2:08 pm

We had similar issues with our husky when we first brought him home. This is what we did to help him get over his separation anxiety.

1. Daycare. We felt that letting him cry it out or destroy things, or injure himself was not worth it, and likely doing more damage to his separation anxiety than helping it. So during the day, he went to daycare. In the evenings after work, we practiced being alone. We did daycare for 4-6mths.

2. Desensitization. It works! For a week, we would get up put our coats on, put our shoes on, play with the door, open and close the door, etc. I would add in a step everytime he stopped reacting to something. So at first, i literally just walked towards the door and back. Once he ignored that, i walked to the door, put my shoes, and walked back, etc. I did this until i could stand outside the door, and i would walk right back in.

3. A gated area. He did not like his crate. We were also crate training in the evenings during bedtime, but we were ok with just leaving him in a gated area of our home where he could not get to anything to destroy. We fed him in there. We started with putting him in the gated area, and sitting on the other side of the gate. Petting, praising and treating him only when he was calm and quiet.

4. Then came the tricky part. Actually leaving him alone! We set up a webcam and used Skype to spy on him when we left him. For months after work, i spent my evenings sitting out in the hallway of our apartment watching him on my phone. I would leave him treats or stuffed kongs to keep him distracted. We started with just seconds, then built up to minutes (30-60minutes). We only ever came back in when he was calm. We tried as much as possible to come back in before he even had the chance to freak out.

5. Eventually, we stopped daycare, and we just got a dogwalker. We still had the webcam on him so we could spy on him during work. The first couple months were rough. He was fine waiting for the dog walker. His walker took him to the beach, and he RAN for 1.5hrs. That's the key! exercise, exercise, exercise! He would come home exhausted. Sleep for a couple hours. For a couple months, he still did an anxiety pee. He would pee if we left him for too long, if we weren't home on time for his dinner, and especially if we went out at night since he was no longer used to being alone at night. We moved the gate forward a bit as part of his gated area had carpet and of course, he was only peeing on the carpet! And since mid-October, he hasn't peed (knock on wood).

He is still pretty excited when we come home. But the peeing has stopped. And the howling has stopped. I think the other thing to note is that this takes a lot of time, and a lot of patience. I'm writing this now, and it was only 2 months ago that Gus stopped anxiety peeing. We brought him home 1.5years ago. Granted, we probably could've stopped the anxiety peeing before this. But in total, i would say it took us almost 1 whole year to get his anxiety under control.

we've also tried calming treats, and rescue remedy. But whether those worked or not, i can't really say for sure. I can say that spending the time to build up their tolerance to being alone does definitely help. But it takes time. I hope this helps! Our first year with Gus was rough. I was really frustrated most of the time. I wanted to train other obedience things with him, but instead, i found myself training separation anxiety every night instead! It was worth it! Smile Keep at it!
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courtmacgillivary
Newborn
Newborn
courtmacgillivary

Female Join date : 2014-11-15
Location : Sydney, NS CANADA

SEPARATION ANXIETY!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyFri Dec 05, 2014 1:42 pm

Thats very helpful ! Desensitization is something I never thought to do in steps.. When I think about it the whimpering does start when I start getting my jacket and shoes moved from the closet to the kitchen, and when I put them on.. I guess nothing is working because Im trying to fix it in the middle of the problem instead of when it first starts .. Thank you !
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TheBadGuppy
Teenager
Teenager
TheBadGuppy

Female Join date : 2013-06-20
Location : Toronto, Ontario

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PostSubject: Re: SEPARATION ANXIETY!!   SEPARATION ANXIETY!! EmptyFri Dec 05, 2014 1:54 pm

I don't know if this is a result of our desensitization to the door with Gus, but he also doesn't react to any noises in the hallway. Our unit is pretty close to the elevator, so you hear people in the hallway pretty often.

Another thing i read was to ignore them when you come home until they're calm. This was a bit difficult for us because Gus likes to howl and talk to us and mouth at our hands Razz

It's all about baby steps Smile Good luck! keep us posted on your progress Smile
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