I recently adopted my very first dog 3 weeks and 2 days ago. Her name is Madison, a 1 year old German Shepherd Mix, and she is AMAZING! I would like to say first off, that I finally understand what people mean when they say that it is like NO OTHER feeling owning a dog. She was instantly loved and my fiance and I are very happy.
We made a decision when we got her that I would be the primary caregiver for her because he works long hours and I am more flexible. I have more time to train her as well. I have had a ton of support from my friends and family that own dogs and get good advice from them but there are a few problems that they are all not able to really help me with.
1) She isn't fond of my cat as of this moment. The MD-SPCA did not say she shouldn't be around cats and it has been a nerve racking experience trying to get them acclimated to each other. My cat is the definition of a scared-y-cat and Madison is soooo interested in playing with her and when my cat swats at her she starts to lunge and bark. Any advice?
2) She is showing signs of separation anxiety. She follows me step for step most of the time and when she is put in her crate she cries and barks and looks incredible anxious. The first time we put her crate together the first day she knew exactly what is was and HATED it. I read a lot online about making it her "den" and putting her favorite toy in there with her during the day or a cong with her favorite treats or yummy dog recipes. So far I have done that all and she now 3 weeks in is starting to react worse, not better. I bought her the ThunderShirt that you see in infomercials. My co-workers best friend tried it and said it was a life saver for her. It should be arriving today or tomorrow. Does this really work? What else can I do to calm her. I feel so guilty putting her in there when I know she is hating it.