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 Separation Anxiety.. Help

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CloverField
Puppy
Puppy
CloverField

Female Join date : 2017-11-15
Location : Tampa, Fl

Separation Anxiety.. Help Empty
PostSubject: Separation Anxiety.. Help   Separation Anxiety.. Help EmptyThu Mar 22, 2018 5:33 pm

Alright, I know I've posted about it before along with some other things, but I'm back again to ask for any and all ideas that might help me with this. Tetra's separation anxiety is seeming to get worse. I don't want to have to medicate her, but I actually leave pretty much every day for school or work while she stays home with my boyfriend all day. She doesn't have much of an attachment to him even though she spends most of her time with him and not me. Every time I leave she has a fit for 30-60 minutes till finally calming her down and nothing can distract her from the fact that I left. I understand I'm her pack and she doesn't want to be away from her pack, but you'd think after 4 months of living with us, he'd be more of her pack as well. She's learned how to open the top latch of her cage(we're getting locks to keep it shut), which isn't a big deal because she still can't get out still and she's never hurt herself in it before, but last night she tore off some of the black on the top of her nose and scratched the side of it while in the crate. No blood from what I saw, but I'm still putting ointment on it to make sure it heals well. She also pooped and peed in her crate and she hasn't done either in at least a month. After I left this morning, she was scratching at the door so much she bled on the door. We aren't sure if it was blood from her nails or not because I haven't been home to check yet and he didn't see any blood anywhere on her. He also told me that she can now open doors and opens them when I leave to try and get out to find me. I REALLY don't want to have to medicate my dog all the time when I leave, so I need some other ideas. We've tried the calming gummies and she won't eat them. We've also tried me leaving for a couple minutes and coming back and slowly increasing how long I'm gone for, but she got the hang of the fact that I was coming back after a little bit since I kept doing it over and over in the same time period. We're going to get a thunder shirt tonight and see if that helps her, but aside from that we don't have any ideas. If anyone has any ideas or know of anything else that has worked for your pup, please help me. I don't wan't my little girl destroying herself just because I leave.
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R_shepsky
Puppy
Puppy
R_shepsky

Join date : 2018-01-11
Location : North Carolina, USA

Separation Anxiety.. Help Empty
PostSubject: Re: Separation Anxiety.. Help   Separation Anxiety.. Help EmptyThu Mar 22, 2018 9:33 pm

That sounds tough!
Our shepsky ( a rescue )has some mild separation anxiety...things that helped him:

- keeping a routine. Everything the same order. Same words leaving. Very predictable and boring.

- leaving a consolation prize - a chewy or a stuffed Kong, some bits of cheese around on floor

- Rumo responds better to a command than comforting. For instNce, “ I will be back soon” in a babying soothing tone makes him anxious, if I command him sternly, “STAY” and give a hand signal...he is much more calm.

- maybe your boyfriend could take her for a good walk right after you leave. It will tire her out ( so she will rest and vent her anxiety ) and also make her more bonded to him.

Good luck!! I hope you can find some things that help her out.
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aljones
Senior
Senior
aljones

Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

Separation Anxiety.. Help Empty
PostSubject: Re: Separation Anxiety.. Help   Separation Anxiety.. Help EmptyThu Mar 22, 2018 11:16 pm

@cloverfield  Tiana I'm the forum curmudgeon, so I hope you don't mind too much if I pick your post apart.

So far, you've mentioned yourself, your boyfriend and your dog - so I'm going to assume that's the extent of your 'crowd'.  You, all of you, make up the pack.  Your boyfriend is not excluded from being part of it, nor can he assume that "she's your dog, so she's your problem" (You didn't say that, I'm just expounding a bit.)

It doesn't surprise me that she's objecting to the crate when there's someone home ... he is part of your pack and she should be allowed to be out when he's home.  If you all insist that she be crated while you're gone and he isn't - even if she "doesn't have much of an attachment to him" he should step up and be responsible for her when he's home and you're not.

Your attempt at resolving her attachment sound more like you're exacerbating the problem.  Desensitizing her isn't going to be a few days work.  Your comment that "she got the hang of the fact that I was coming back after a little bit since I kept doing it over and over in the same time period."  

You're going to have to put her in her crate:

  • and then just hang around.  Treat her when she's calm and (try to) ignore her when she isn't.  Work the time on this up until she's content being in there for 30 minutes and up.  
  • leave for a few minutes - and then come back.  After a while (an hour or more) do it again.  You can't do this once and then 5 minutes later do it again. If she's calm then gradually increase the "few minutes".


I also like @R_shepsky comment about you BF taking her for a walk when / after you leave.  It will tire her out some and will improve the relationship between them.
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CloverField
Puppy
Puppy
CloverField

Female Join date : 2017-11-15
Location : Tampa, Fl

Separation Anxiety.. Help Empty
PostSubject: Re: Separation Anxiety.. Help   Separation Anxiety.. Help EmptySat Mar 24, 2018 11:25 pm

He doesn't crate her every time I leave, it's only when he goes somewhere when I'm already out. She's fine in her crate as long as she can see me. I can put her in there overnight as long as the crate is next to the bed so she can see me till she finally falls asleep. I think the thunder shirt is working a little, but w aren't sure yet since it's only been once that she's worn it. She doesn't like when my boyfriend takes her outside to the bathroom or on walks when I'm still home, I'm assuming it's because he's taking her away from me. We did try the walking when I left thing once but she had already realized that I was leaving and cried the whole time then came inside and frantically looked for me for half an hour. He's been doing a lot more with her since we started her training and I think it's slowly strengthening their bond because she's started following him around when I'm not home now and she never used to do that. She even cried a little when he left while I was home yesterday.

When I leave I don't say anything different to her because I don't want her to associate words I say with me leaving and freak her out even more. I've been trying to desensitize her from me putting on my shoes and picking up my keys because when she sees me do that she starts crying because she knows that when I pick up my keys I'm going to leave and obviously she doesn't like me leaving haha.

I've tried to leave things like kongs with peanut butter and treats of all sorts, but as soon as she notices I'm leaving, nothing matters anymore. We try to keep her entertained by having his play with her, but same thing goes, as soon as she hears the garage door open she flips. We're just starting with the me putting her in the crate and leaving then coming back soon after so it's work in progress, but it's been hard finding time to keep working on it a ton lately since I've hardly been home lately unless its late at night since I have school and work all the time. Should I just increase the time I'm gone by a lot so soon then?
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aljones
Senior
Senior
aljones

Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

Separation Anxiety.. Help Empty
PostSubject: Re: Separation Anxiety.. Help   Separation Anxiety.. Help EmptySun Mar 25, 2018 12:07 am

Thanks for not being offended by my post ... to me it sounds like you're doing everything you can to help her accept that you just aren't going to always be there. (( Sorry dog, facts of life and all that. ))

If he's doing more with her and she's warming up to him then you're making progress and separation anxiety is always a work in progress.

I have three pups here - and when I get ready to go somewhere, it's obvious. I put on a shirt, get my coffee, my cigarettes, my sun glasses - and by this time:
Sasha's heading for her crate
Sky doesn't really care, she goes out front off the porch
Avalanche is having a fit of excitement because of the three, he's the one who goes with me most often (he likes to travel and he's a good traveler - whether I'm going to town or up to the city "Just, please take me!" He's also willing to accept that "It's hot, I'm not taking you!" (outside temp 95+ you can imagine what it's like in the Jeep.)

But Sasha doesn't like her crate during the daytime - she's getting better, but it's still a "work in progress" to get her crated without a problem.

Avalanche and Sky are my "outside dogs" they seem to want to spend most of their day time hanging out watching people, cars, rabbits ...

But it hasn't always been this easy to get them settled when I leave (and I live alone)

Even though I say it's a work in progress (for you and me) it's not a hopeless progress - - it just takes time! Eventually she'll settle and know that you're really coming back.

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