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Between my boyfriend and I we have 3 dogs, one I had before we started dating and he adopted two "sisters" right before we started dating. We now live together and everything had been great, the dogs would play and all got along until recently. One of the dogs has just gone crazy to best describe it. Our dogs are inside/outside dogs but for the most part when we are home they inside with us. Her issues began when we would put them out after being in for a while and she would freak out on the door scratching and knocking down anything we tried to block it with until we let her in. Any type of scolding or discipline seemed to be un-fazed by her she would still just go right back to the door to scratch after we went back inside. A couple weeks later she completely scratched her whole face up to bend back the metal gate we have on the side of the house allowing her to nudge the whole gate up and open it, also allowing the other dogs to get out. It was like the pain of scratching her face did not matter to her just as any scolding we attempted did not matter to her. When we returned home to find them all we put her in a kennel which she clawed, bit and scratched until she freed herself from. Since nothing disiplinary was working we installed a doggy door as her anxiety seemed to be around being outside. Now during the day the doggy door goes into our bedroom and they can go in and out while we are not home (and while we are home). I came home one day to find she had vomited everywhere and blocked the dog door while I tried to clean it. Two minutes later she had bent the gate back again and got out. She has also destroyed her bed, tried to destroy another dogs bed and continously tries to get out. I have always been a dog lover and the dog I have had previously to this dog is very well trained. This dog also never had issues like this until recently, she is about a 1.5 years. My boyfriend is talking of taking her to a shelter because she is so un-mananageable, we lose sleep and stress way too much but I cant stomach the idea of doing that and her possibly being put to sleep. Any suggestions on how we may work through this would help preserve my sanity. :help:
 

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You should have the dog checked by the vet for any underlying medical conditions. Sudden changes in behavior are always followed by this bit of advice. It would be shameful to dump the dog at a shelter without taking the responsible step to check your dog's health.

There's too much we can't see here to speculate about the behavior. Therefore, it would be prudent to hire the services of a certified behaviorist, after the vet check has been done.
 

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What kind of dog is this exactly? How long have you had the dog? Has anything changed in your house hold to cause stress?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I completely agree, I cry just thinking about taking her to a shelter. They need shots soon so hopefully we can get the vet to help us. We have tried the anti anxiety treats from the pet store that were recommended but they didn't se to help any. Thank you for the advice !
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
She was a rescue, the adoption shelter thinks she is lab/Shepard mix but personally I think she looks more like a lab/pit mix. We had her for over a year, got her when she was a puppy. Nothing has changed besides the new dog door but that was a response to the behaviors already existent. They have always had free roam of the yard and always been inside with us when we are home.
 

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so she is 1.5 now? hitting maturity?

I would get her to a vet for a full check-up, as mentioned above. Then I would look at working with a trainer (or just a training class) and see how she responds to training (formal training). I would work on her confidence as well, get her some one on one outings, walks. Look at her exercise (how much is she getting, what kind) and mental stimulation.
 

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If she's a Lab mix, especially with Pit, then she is probably very pain tolerant... but you've learned that. She also needs something like a Kong or hard rubber bone to chew, just like an alcoholic needs a drink :) I imagine that she's energetic and needs at least a 30 min. walk ... if not a 60 min. jog. Finally, both breeds are tremendously people-friendly, so that might help to understand her behaviors.

Get her a chew toy or two, and walk or jog with her for 30 min./day ... and see if that calms her... before taking her to a shelter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes she is about 1.5 yrs now as well as her "sister" we adopted at the same time but her sister, while she is not the most trained either, does not have as many behavioral issues and is definitely not as destructive. We have made a vet appointment but we will see. They always have bones, ropes, chew toys (that she usually destroys so we constantly replace). I have thought walking her more may help but it just seems that even on days when we do walk them all or take them to the dog park once night time hits she has to be inside or she panicks or if we leave for an hour she finds something to destroy. I am hoping this is just a phase and if we are patient enough we can work through it but my boyfriend has become pretty fed up. The vet appointment is today so fingers crossed they can help us come up with some sort of solution. Thanks for all the advice !
 

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It sounds like separation anxiety to me. If you look around you'll find a lot of info on how to handle it. Ask the vet about anti-anxiety meds. . .I would prefer to try other things before going to meds but it doesn't hurt to get the vet thinking about it now.

Keep in mind that if you take her to the shelter it will be a death sentence--nobody wants a dog with anxiety issues. If you must get rid of her it would be kinder to take her to your own vet and hold her while she dies, instead of dumping herr at the shelter to die alone and scared.
 

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It sounds like separation anxiety to me. If you look around you'll find a lot of info on how to handle it. Ask the vet about anti-anxiety meds. . .I would prefer to try other things before going to meds but it doesn't hurt to get the vet thinking about it now.

Keep in mind that if you take her to the shelter it will be a death sentence--nobody wants a dog with anxiety issues. If you must get rid of her it would be kinder to take her to your own vet and hold her while she dies, instead of dumping herr at the shelter to die alone and scared.
I was thinking the same thing! Especially with the vomiting and destruction. My one dog Abbylynn has SA ... she is on calming aids and recently ... melatonin. She has destroyed crates and walls and woodwork .... Ask your vet about meds. Please do not send this dog to a death sentence in a shelter without first trying other methods.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah we have tested the low dosage anti anxiety treats from the pet store so we will see what the vet says today. I don't want to take her to the shelter that is why I am trying to see what others have done in similar situations so that we can keep trying to come up with alternaties.
 

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Don't even consider taking her to the shelter to be a possibility. If you think it's an option, you may not try as hard as if you put it out of your head entirely. "Not wanting to" dump her doesn't really provide enough motivation sometimes. "Not an option" is more compelling :). And, like I said, if she must die, it's far kinder to have your own vet do it while you hold her. Dumping her at a shelter shouldn't even be in your head.

The "anti-anxiety" treats don't do much at all, IME. Even if the active ingredient is good, the number of treats she'd have to eat to do any good would be way too high. Melatonin might be a good thing to try first. 1mg per 20 pounds, but start with less to see what it does. And there are several different prescription drugs, so don't give up if the first one doesn't work. Keep trying.
 

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It's possible that she's had a really bad experience with one of the other dogs, or even something else while you guys were gone.

You guys are definitely going to need to be patient and work this out in a good fashion. If it turns out it's not some sort of medical issue like a thyroid problem then ask about separation anxiety and everything.

Also, work on more training, more exercise and more mental stimulation.

It can be amazing how much a dog can change with good training and proper exercise.

Good luck! =]
 
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