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A little over a year ago I rescued a beautiful whippet mix from a local organization. She was about 4 years old and had severe emotional issues. When I first met her and saw how timid she was I knew that I had to bring her home. When she first came she was heavily medicated and the long term prognosis for weaning her off of the meds for anxiety and depression was grim. I knew that if she and I both put in the hard work it could be done.

Fast forward a little over a year....I now have a bright eyed, energetic, loving dog who is medication free. She still has moments when the world is overwhelming and scary but she fights through it like a trooper.

About a month ago I left to take her for a walk. When I got to the end of the driveway a very friendly dog came up to meet us. I took him into the house and fed him and he got along so well with my girl. Keep in mind my rescue whippet really dislikes other dogs. They played for hours and in the process overturned tables and trash cans but it didn't matter as long as she was happy. The next day I had him scanned for a microchip and he had one! I contacted the owner who happened to live just across the street and two houses down. He picked up his dog and we talked about how well the two got along.

The next day there was heavy breathing at my front door and wouldn't you know it, the neighbors dog was back. The day after that he broke into my back yard by knocking down a fence board. This continued for a couple of weeks with his owner doing all he could to keep him in but you just can't stop love can you?

I then received a message that he had gotten out again and had been picked up by the dog catcher. The owner wasn't going to go and get him since he had exhausted all ways of controlling him.

I made the decision to go and rescue him since he has done wonders for my shy whippet and she loves him so.

A couple days after picking him up and formally adopting him I left to go to the market. While I was gone he destroyed the house and was so loud with whining my neighbors were concerned. So I decided to crate train him and followed all of the guidelines and techniques I had read when doing so. He destroyed the crate! He chewed it and the water dish and bracket that holds it. He chewed all around the gate at the front and made it almost unusable. Meanwhile my Whippet was cowering in the corner.

I have a vet appointment on Tuesday to talk about medications to help his separation anxiety.

Leaving him in the yard is not an option as he is an escape artist and I cannot leave my whippet in the yard due to her emotional issues and the temperature sensitivity they have. I can't leave them in the house because he will destroy my house and I am afraid he will muscle his way though a window (many of which go all the way to the floor).

How do I help this sweet boy with his separation anxiety? How do I maintain my sanity and that of my emotionally fragile whippet? How do I keep their love story from turning into a tragedy ?

Quick info: he is 75lbs black lab and pit mix. When I am home he is calm and sweet as sugar.
 

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What did the previous owner do? Or maybe just left him in the backyard (which he obviously could get out of)? Maybe he'd do well in a smaller (5' x 10' or 6' x 12') kennel in the backyard, with a topper and dig-proof flooring to prevent escapes.
 

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The old owner left him in the yard during the day. He was chained to a fixed point in the yard. The chain was attached to a harness and leash. He would still get out of the harness and the collar and go so far as to break down whole fence panels or climb the fence to get out. I can't leave him in the yard even in some sort of kennel because I can't separate him an my whippet like that. At night the old owner kept him inside but he has developed an awful habit of waking me frequently and taking a spot next to me essentially confining my whippet to the floor. I am at my wits end here not to mention exhausted.
 

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How much exercise are you giving him? How much was the previous owner giving him? Labs and pits tend to be very high energy and very bright.
The destruction could be due in part to boredom or excess energy.
 

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The prior owner never walked him. He was chained in the yard alone during the day and in the house at night. He and my whippet are constantly running around and chasing each other. I have a large yard on three sides of my house and they use it as a racetrack. Then, in the evenings we all go on a long walk or to an off leash dog park. I would have to say he is getting far more exercise here with me than he ever did where he lived before. Plus, he has a buddy to play with now that he didn't have before.
 

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Oh lovely. I have no doubt that a lot of these destructive tendencies have simply become habits now that exercise alone will do little to change. It is just a very familiar behavior pattern for him. Break it up by investing in some sort of run (that's really the cheapest option here, aside from putting him in a room where he can rip up carpet and drywall). It looks like some hardware stores sort of carry a kit-type deal that sets up into a chainlink run. Whatever you do, don't give him any opportunity to dig while you're gone. Keep him on concrete. If he really likes to dig, it's easy enough to make a dig-pit in your backyard with a shovel, some cinder blocks, some play-sand and a bit of elbow-grease.
 

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The problem with a kennel is I would have to keep my whippet in the house or out with him in the kennel and I don't see either as an option. Whippets are very sensitive to temperature and she has so many emotional issues that being in the house is best for her. I am just at a loss here
 

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In my opinion, just running through the basic options in my head, you need to make one of them work. And clearly it isn't going to be leaving the whippet outside. Before you call a behaviorist in (which may very well be needed, after all), try some test runs while you are home and see if you can keep them distracted by the absence of each other with a self-rewarding activity, such as chewing an edible chew, licking treats like peanut-butter out of a kong, playing with a puzzle toy, etc. Some upset is natural but this should settle out when they're distracted with food. Trying desensitization and clicker-training may also be an option here.

If it is the case that they won't leave each other alone and that the stress does not taper off as they settle down with something tasty, you've done all you can and you will need to call a behaviorist. Just whatever you do, don't leave them alone together (well separately, really) until they have this thing down-pat. A pet-sitter or a dog daycare may be an option.
 

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Sounds like you've had him 3-4 weeks now? I think you're doing the right thing going to a vet and considering a behaviorist. In the meantime, can you invest in an outside cyclone fence type dog kennel with a top and set it up indoors, maybe on some plywood? Just as an added option while you're working thru this?
 
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