Mild Seperation Anxiety?
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Thread: Mild Seperation Anxiety?

  1. #1

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    Mild Seperation Anxiety?

    Hello all,

    I just adopted my first solo dog (since moving) from a shelter. He is 5 years old, housebroken, does well with my cats, etc. I've only had him for 2 days. As I understand he has not been in a crate before.

    I have noticed that he seems to be a little nervous, or perhaps annoyed, when I leave. He loves to go out with me and explore the farm so he gets excited when I head to the door but knows "stay" and will do so. However, I can see where he has scratched the door a bit. he takes down the baby gate (i have a baby gate with a little door so that the cats can access their food and he can't) but he doesn't eat the cat food while I'm gone (he will eat it if he can get to it while I'm home) and that is where the exit door is. In the morning, I go out to feed my horses and give him his breakfast to work on while I'm gone, which he will eat without issue and waits patiently the half-hour I am gone (baby gate does not come down). However, I was just outside for about the same amount of time and the baby gate came down. He is ok being seperated from me in the house (right now I am closed in my room and while I'm sure he's right outside the door, he is not scratching or whining to get in). He follows me around the house generally but doesn't demand any attention. I have let him sleep with me but maybe this isn't such a good idea if me leaving him makes him anxious like this.

    I guess my question is, is he just adjusting to new surroundings, etc, or is this something that will get progressively worse? I could close him in my room but as it's not my house (rented) I am more concerned he would ruin both the carpet and the door if he did get to trying to get out. As it is, he can only scratch the door at the exit point now.

    Any help/advice would be appreciated. I have read up on how to deal with seperation anxiety but I am not sure that's what I am actually dealing with at this point.

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  3. #2

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    Re: Mild Seperation Anxiety?

    Based on two days it's hard to make any judgements. But I do believe you should take this seriously, so that you'll minimize the change of him developing seperation anxiety. Do you know anything about his background, how he lived etc.?
    That he doesn't scratch the door when you're inside a different room is a positive thing, but no guarantee that it's not separation anxiety or can become that. The situation is different, he hears and smells your being in the other room. My first thought is start at the beginning. Leave the house only for a short moment, and come back before your dog starts scratching the door. Don't pay attention if you come back and don't make an issue of leaving. Build up from there slowly and regularly. Sleeping together, I don't think that will be a problem. Again, this is a different situation.
    Off course your dog is going to need adjusting to his new environment and this will take weeks if not months. Perhaps the problem will dissapear on it's own in time, but I wouldn't take my chances and start training.

  4. #3
    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Mild Seperation Anxiety?

    Separation anxiety (SA) is a neurological disorder that requires medical treatment in conjuction with a behavioral modification program.
    SA is diagnosed with a combination of blood work which shows the neurological imbalance and the symptoms which can include: Extreme anxiety (pacing, whinning, barking) destructiveness, self mutilation, inappropriate urination and defecation, plus others.
    It's normal for dogs to want to be with people...they are highly social animals and they need the contact. Social isolation is very hard to cope with.....not only for dogs but also humans.
    Following you around won't make things worse. Mine follow me everywhere but, when they've had enough they wander off to some quiet room and sometimes I don't see them for hours.

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  6. #4

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    Re: Mild Seperation Anxiety?

    Can you take him outside with you when you feed the horses? I let my puppy sit with my one year old Grandson in the shade where he can watch me feed my horses, goats and poultry.

  7. #5

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    Re: Mild Seperation Anxiety?

    Quote Originally Posted by CinnamintStick View Post
    Can you take him outside with you when you feed the horses? I let my puppy sit with my one year old Grandson in the shade where he can watch me feed my horses, goats and poultry.
    I wish, but he is vicious with the horses. I will be working with that too but for now, I definitely can not.

    In addition, I am not working right now but will be, so obviously I cannot be here with him all the time. I also will be getting a roommate shortly (end of two weeks) who has a dog which I would imagine may help. I was told he lived with another dog and had free reign of the house when no one was home.

    I should find a way to spy on him, I think, to see just what happens. He is not causing tremendous damage while I am gone. He calms down quickly when I get home and he follows me around like he is excited to see me (I ignore him, as indicated I should) but no jumping or frantic behavior. He settles down within I'd say 3 minutes and just lies down nearby.

  8. #6
    Senior Member Darkmoon's Avatar
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    Re: Mild Seperation Anxiety?

    you might want to contact a BEHAVORIST about your dogs behavior. It cost a lot more, but it sounds like your dogs has a lot more issues then just possible SA, and a behavorist can help you with a lot of the issues your having. A full Vet eval would also be smart to do. You never know there might be something medically wrong that is causing his behavioral issues.

    I'm not at my home computer but I know someone here has the link to the Dog Behavoriast website. I can't seem to find it by google today....

    Trainer = trains the dog to do a trick
    Behaviorist = changes the way the dog thinks

    UWPCH DM's Nutter Butter Nub CGC
    DM's Burnt Peanut Butter CGC
    Make sure to Check out The Nut House for all your Nubs and Peanut updates!
    RIP--Carter--4/08-- You are truly missed Bud.

  9. #7

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    Re: Mild Seperation Anxiety?

    What bred is your dog? There is many breeds that I would never have around horses or livestock. My lastest puppy was raised in a home very simular to mine. Lots and lots of the same animals that I have. Most of my dogs where adults when I got them. I have had some be very distructive dogs when they are first brought to my home. I have also had dogs along time that have gotten pissed when they were not allowed to go out with me to feed. I have a hole in my bed to prove it. I am a stay at home grandma that does not drive. My dogs are use to me being here 24/7. I did have one dog get so stressed one time when I was gone that she bloated. She was not alone, she was left with my daughter but it was not me. She was a good dog that did not wake up from surgery. Dogs like her need medication. I wish I would have had her on meds at the time. Your dog might be fine in a week or two. It is highly stressful getting a new home at her age. Good Luck!

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