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I will try to keep this as brief as possible:

I rescued my boston terrier/pug mix 5 years ago from a puppymill (they were going to start breeding her). she was 1 year old at the time and a total mess. not house trained, dirty, beaten up, not spayed, chronic bowel issues, worms etc. Today she is happy, healthy and sweet except for her separation anxiety and thunder/fireworks phobia.

I know these are two separate issues (although they work in conjunction sometimes) so my main focus right now is working with the separation anxiety and its been getting worse. we have found that xanax works for thunder (as needed) and she has also been on prozac for 2 weeks which has helped to decrease but not eliminate the symptoms. i am not against crate training, however i dont want her to hurt herself so i know it has to be done right. She is fine ALL day if its part of her normal routine...but break up her routine and we come home to a mess and a freaked out dog. (we have another dog who is calm and well behaved so adding a companion wont make a difference)

My main question is this: is is possible or even a good idea to kennel a dog only when you know the dog will have a SA episode? I have tried everything from lavender sprays and music to, flood training (in and out of the house), hour long treadmill walks and thunder shirts. we are moving into a new house (which i know stresses her out even more) and we will have some new furniture and flooring. my wife and i are at our wit's end with our things getting destroyed and vet bills for fixing her teeth that she yanks out on doors. i cant afford a behaviorist (someone quoted me at 400 for a 2-3 hour visit).

so again bottom line: can i kennel an SA dog part time (as needed) and/or how can i fix this? any input is helpful!! please and thank you.

:juggle: maddie1.jpg
 

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As long as the dog isn't trying to hurt herself on the kennel then I don't see anything wrong with it. Sometimes crates can cause more anxiety depending on the dog (crates do not work for our SA dog). Have you done any desensitizing training for her SA? We have had good luck with training in combination with Prozac for our dog's SA. Sometimes it can take longer for the Prozac to work. You said the you use Xanax with thunder, can you use the Xanax at times that you know that she will be more stressed out? Our dog also has set backs when we do things out of our normal schedule.
 

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In my experience, using a crate for containment, as a direct response to some sort of fear or phobia based behavior, only makes the situation worse.

It served to allow the dogs I've come into contact with, to continue running that loop in their heads that tells them there's a reason to freak out --- unless they were taught otherwise.

Ultimately, what's worked for us is any sort of game or training that builds confidence in addition to building trust. Flooding, in my experience, overwhelms the dog & I've never seen one 'get over' whatever is freaking them out. It deepened their distrust & built additional phobias. It's much easier to manage one or two irrational reactions to normal everyday situations than multiple -___-

You really have to know your dog & pay attention to behavior patterns. Learning the levels of heightened excitement & the things that trigger it will help you figure out where your dog's threshold is. Work to build trust below that threshold.

It may be helpful to take video of your dog's reaction to your normal leaving the house routine so you can analyze it without having to put the dog through it multiple times. Find the point in time where the dog starts to indicate stress and work backwards. The conventional advice we followed called for the reverse, but the dog was so worked up in the first place, they'd shut down & we were never able to reach them.

Good luck & consider clicker training to form new and positive associations with your leaving.
 
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