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Help with my Lab mix.....

264 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  russhw

I am signing up because I need advice on how to help my lab mix Porter. He is 7-8 year old rescue that has always had anxiety issues. We always need to put him in a kennel while we are away or he will tear everything up. Since we lost our golden about 9 months ago Porter started peeing and pooping in his cage on a regular basis. We have tried several things to keep him from doing this (anxiety meds, feeding him in his cage, giving him treats in his cage etc) non of this has seemed to work and the last 2 days he has urinated in is cage (It isn't a matter of him being caged up to long as sometimes he does it after only being in there a hour)

As of today (cleaning it up again) I have had it. we are purchasing a igloo outdoor dog house that I will insulate and place under my deck so he is out of the elements. We have an invisible fence so he wont be able to get out of the yard, and live at the end of a culdesac with woods on each side and behind us on a 3/4 acre lot (he will not have access to the front yard) So instead of him sitting in a kennel inside while we are away he can be outside roaming, sleeping, and using the restroom. He will not be an outside dog as he will be with us inside while we are home I just cannot keep cleaning up these messes when I get home.

So after my long winded explanation here is my concern. After being outside for awhile he tends to bark and bark and bark..... Now he will be outside much longer will he eventually stop? Is it just something he will need to get used to? Any help offered for us to help him get acclimated would be greatly appreciated. I love my dog and just feel that this is the best option for us and him.
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It sounds like your dog has some separation anxiety issues, and I don't think your plan of action is going to work. It may even make the issue worse.

First, the barking is likely to irritate your neighbors (if you have any nearby). It's also very easy to steal or torment a dog from a backyard, and since you have no real physical fence, the dog will likely run right through the shock in his panic, or see a deer or something and decide to chase it. Many dogs escape invisible fences that way. Since he destroys things, he'll likely destroy the dog house, dig holes, and get into anything else he can get his mouth on. Also, the shock may increase his anxiety and give you more problems.

So, to answer your questions, no, he will not stop barking if he's suffering from separation anxiety, which it really sounds like.

You probably need a professional to evaluate his situation and get him the help he needs. The can suggest a training regimen for him. Also, how long did you try meds? They typically take a couple months to fully work. I'm sure someone else who has more experience with that can help, or perhaps a behaviorist can help you decide what's best for your dog.

I understand the frustration with the peeing in his crate. These are not ideal scenarios, but they're certainly safer than leaving him in a backyard with an invisible fence. I would consider these short term solutions while you deal with there real underlying issue.

1. Can you dog-proof a room of your house and let him have that? Will he be less anxious if he has more space? Some dogs get really anxious when left alone in their crate, but are okay if they only have a single room.

2. Can you create a kennel type area in your garage, if you have a secure one? That is certainly safer than being outside, and it's less of a deal to clean up if he has an accident.

3. Is daycare an option? It might be a short-term thing while you deal with the anxiety issue, but it will relive you of some pressure.

4. If none of the above work for you, a small outdoor kennel/run area might at least keep you from having to clean up (and you still have to clean out the kennel periodically, its just not in your house), but your dog is still going to be anxious, and will probably still bark, so it's not fixing the underlying issue. You must make sure the run area is locked and secure to deter thieves, has shelter, and your dog can't dig out of it. Really not ideal, I might add, because horrible people slip poisoned food into there, especially if the dog is making a racket, but safer than an invisible fence.
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I agree with everything Lilith said.

You say he's a 7-8 year old rescue, but how long have you actually had him?
We have had him 4 years. He was fine when Jake was alive. He has been on meds for months now with no help and he has never went through the invisible fence.
My dogs would bark all day if I let them outside, and I would never ever consider having a dog outside without supervision with just an invisible fence.

Have you considered getting another dog?
We have had him 4 years. He was fine when Jake was alive. He has been on meds for months now with no help and he has never went through the invisible fence.
Just because he hasn't before, doesn't mean he won't when let out there for an extended time on his own, ESPECIALLY for a dog who is exhibiting signs of separation anxiety. Because of horrible people who enjoy tormenting dogs, wildlife that may want to hurt a dog (even deer can be nasty if young are involved), and just hazards in general, and invisible fence is probably the worst confinement option.

Have you considered talking to your vet about different medications? Have you talked to a behaviorist about paring the medication with a training program? Meds in training typically work hand in hand.
i'm sorry but are you that friggin stupid as to why the the dog is barking he wants to be with you he just lost his buddy and you want to put him outside shame on you yes its a bitch to have to clean up what would you do if it was your kid put them outside suck it up or rehome him
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