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Discussion Starter #1
Here is a quick overview of my situation:
I am fostering a dog and whenever I leave him in his crate when I leave he starts bark nonstop. When I come home (even if its only been 20 minutes) he has pushed his blankets to the back of the crate, there is drool, sometimes he has peed, and it just looks obvious that he has been completely distressed. I always leave a bone or Cong for him to work on while I am gone but it doesn't seem to matter. My apartment landlord called my fiance and said that he can hear the barking all day while we are away at work and it needs to stop.
Before I fostered him his previous foster said that he was used to being crated for 10-12 hours a day. But he cannot seem to stand being crated just 20 minutes with me! (And do not worry, he is not crated for longer than 8 hours with me).
So on the days I work I am taking him to doggie daycare so he doesnt sit there and bark all day in his crate.
I asked the owner of the daycare how I can try and fix this problem. She say maybe since he was crated for 12 hours at his old foster he is terrified of being locked in there. She said try to leave him in a room with his crate open. Give him the bone before I leave, leave for 15 minutes, come back take the bone away. And keep doing this exercise while increasing the time i am gone. My fiance and I are going to start trying this this weekend while we are home to see what happens. I am scared he is just going to tear up the room I leave him in...
So after all this, I was wondering if anyone had additional advice? Or if anyone has had a similar experience and what did they do about it? I really want to continue fostering this dog! I do not want to be forced to give him back to his old foster where he is crated all the time! I would appreciate any and all advice! Thank you for your time!
 

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Don't leave him in a room that is not dog safe. Pick a room, it can be a bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, etc. Dog proof the room so that there is nothing for him to get into. Then, get a baby gate to block off the door. Leave him in that dog safe room, with the crate (open), water, toys, etc.

We used the kitchen because it has easy to clean floors.

Some dogs with separation anxiety like crates best because they are a cocoon-like place where they can feel safe. But, others (like yours) feel too trapped or confined, and do better with an open space. BUT, you can just leave him to roam the house freely, because there is a lot he can get into.

The system the lady at the daycare mentioned is basically ok. You could do the same thing to get him used to his crate. But, because of his severe behavior, you might want to try LESS than 15 minutes. Maybe even just 1-2 minutes. You can do 1-2 minutes as many times a day as you want, gradually, over time, increasing.

I wouldn't "take" the bone away when you get home, though. If the dog is really enjoying the bone, and you take it away, it could cause other issues, like resource guarding. So, give him a bone or long lasting chew of some type. But, don't take it away when you come back.

Also, separation anxiety is a true disorder. And, if he's having that bad of a reaction to you leaving, I suspect he had been behaving that way at his previous foster home, as well. Usually, SA is related to a chemical imbalance. There are anti anxiety medications for this.
 

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Thank you for your suggestions! The only room I have in my apartment that could be safe is the guest room. Tonight I was going to try to doggie proof it the best I could and try it out... I will take into consideration everything you suggested. Thanks again! I really hate, hate, hate having to give mind altering drugs to dogs, but if the vet thinks its what is best for him I guess it needs to be done.
 

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You're welcome! If you do chose the guest room, make sure you use a baby gate for the door. Shutting the door completely can cause some dogs with SA to feel even more trapped or isolated.
 

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Thank you for your suggestions! The only room I have in my apartment that could be safe is the guest room. Tonight I was going to try to doggie proof it the best I could and try it out... I will take into consideration everything you suggested. Thanks again! I really hate, hate, hate having to give mind altering drugs to dogs, but if the vet thinks its what is best for him I guess it needs to be done.
Speaking as a human with an anxiety disorder, allow me to assure you that the drugs aren't mind altering, they're mind fixing. Without drugs, I am a ball of tense worry. I can't think straight. I can't calm down. I spend all day and all night in a spiral of worry and fear. With the drugs, my mind gets to work like yours does. I'd definitely talk to the vet.
 

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Haha! It's probably ironic to you that you just read my post about my dog Deuce I had to put down eventually mostly because of anxiety... and now I am trying to foster a dog who ends up having extreme separation anxiety also. I feel like I can't win!
I guess the only reason I hate giving drugs to dogs is that when I gave them to Deuce, not the prozac but the xanex made him act "drunk" and he would fall down and bump into walls. It was scary to see him like that. The whole darn thing was hard. Thank you for your comment about the drugs. You're right in the fact that they help brains think normally. If it comes down to it, and it is what the foster agency thinks is best, drugs may just be the best way to go.
 
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