Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I have an extremely high maintenance dog and I am at my wits end with him. Basically I think he has separation anxiety and as I have to work, I am at a loss as to what to do with him during the day. I cannot take him to work.

When I got Ace as a pup (4 months old) I gradually started leaving him outside in my fenced back yard on occasions when I went out. He was happy for a while and so started to leave him out there for longer periods. soon he was digging and has made many escape roots for himself all over the yard. He is an escaoe arstist and the slightest raised voice in the house, such as my teen, the dog finds a way to escape. I often find him trotting down the road or chasing a cat. He has been brought home many many times by the dog control people and even once in a taxi! I have to leave the house all shut up, windows, even the slightest gap he escpaes out of, diving into bushes form quaite high up, just to escape. So now working full time, I have had to leave him inside with the house completly ACE proofed. My neigbours have informed me he yaps all day and I discovered that he sits on the dining table yapping out the window all day long at no one and at nothing in particular, he just yaps, howls, barks whatever. It seems he is just waiting with anticipation all day for his people to come home!! He settled down for a while according to my neighbors but then he started pooing all over the house. Chewing remotes and anything else he can get his paws on. He is now 4 years going on five and still does this. I walk him every night for about an hour and he is let out in the morning and quite often during the day if my partner comes home for lunch. I have been recommended many times getting ACE a crate. So after many months I did, he spent all day yesterday casually walking in and out of the cage ( yes we were home). Today I got home and ACE had chewed all the blankets i had left in there ( baring in mind I had left several chew toys in there with him aswell) and I had a rather ugly note left from my neighbor saying that he had howled and yapped all day long and that I am to do something about this!!!! I am absolutely at my wits end.

I will now give details. he is a small male Tibetan terrier, not spade, 4 1/2 years old. energetic, obviously loves being with people. My partner has tried taking him to work but he chews everything in the van if left alone, inlcuding hoses, wires, seatbelts etc. He yelps if he is tied up outside for even one minute, even if he can see us in the distance. He will refuse treats on the chain, in the crate and anywhere where he senses being left alone. I have spent an absolute fortune it feels sorting out his particular diet problems which are due to a wheat allergy and I am so sick and tired of cleaning up what ever mess he decides to leave behind for the day. I really am in need of some good advice. I wont put him in doggy day care, though I have considered de-voicing him. What about getting him spade, will this settle him? Valium? Something has got to make this dog calm. Even if I get him de voiced he will still be anxious in his cage?? ARGH please help me
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,534 Posts
Have you tried a Doggy daycare where he can play/socialize with other dogs? Have you left frozen stuffed toys in the crate to occupy him?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
my dog, a JRT cross, had really bad seperation anxiety. Whenever we would leave, the second we would leave, he would start barking and howling, and would not stop till we returned. Our neighbours hated us, called the city on us. He would pee in really obvious spots the house, even though we had just taken him out, and he would NEVER do that when we are home. Whenever we left it was a big deal, he would get all anxious, and whenever we can home it was a big deal, he would be over the moon to see us.

We were the problem. He was our baby. The second we got home we would be all over him, when we would leave we would be all over him. I found so many articles on seperation anxiety, and there are so many things you can do to help, but the one we found to be the most successful was this; When we come home, we ignore him. He does not get any attention for a good 20mins. We calmly come in the house and go about our business. When he is calm, we calmly greet him. When we leave we ignore him. Leaving is not a big deal, we will be back, so we do not need to make it a big deal by getting him all excited (anxious) with petting him, saying goodbye, etc.

We did this, and within weeks, our leaving was no big deal, our coming home was no big deal. Now when we leave, he doesnt even see us off at the door. When we come home, he does not coming bounding down the stairs. He calmly comes down, and sometimes he even finishes his sunbathing and waits for us to come to him.

He is still our baby, we still cuddle him, he still gets crazy excited, just not before we leave, or right when we come home.

Hope that helps...just try whatever feels right for you, work at it, it doesnt change overnight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,350 Posts
I'm sorry, it must be so frustrating.
First, if it is truly separation anxiety, it is a disorder. He doesn't really have that much control over what he does when he's experiencing separation anxiety. So, try to keep that in mind, it's not as if he's misbehaving just for the heck of it. And, if it truly is separation anxiety, it's just as upsetting for him as for you.

Second, if there are remotes ("and anything else he can get his paws on") then the house isn't truly ACE proof. I know it's a hassle, but, get in the habit of putting remotes and any other loose items away, in a cabinet that he cannot open. There are lots of options, you can get a cool trunk or box that latches, or you can get a cabinet that shuts and latches.

Another thing to try is to walk him in the morning instead of at night. Yes, that would involve you adapted the routine. BUT, it could be helpful, because, just as for humans, exercise can be a stress reliever. It also may tire him out enough for him to sleep a little during the day and not yap all day.

As far as crates go, for some dogs with SA, they are great, because those dogs feel like the crate is their "cocoon" or their safe, comfy place. For other dogs with SA, they can feel trapped, and that can make them worse. Each dog is different. What it DOES do, though, is keep the dog from eating things in the house that could be dangerous to him.
However, keep in mind, you can't really just buy a crate and shove him in, even with toys and such. For a dog that is upset anyway, that will just make it worse. You have to crate train them, get them used to it slowly.

When you leave, do you leave anything ACTIVE for him to do, like do you leave a frozen, stuffed kong, or another kind of treat dispensing toy?

And, if it truly is separation anxiety, there are some homeopathic products you can try, as well as anti anxiety meds from your vet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
To go along with what doxiemommy stated,

When you go to put him in the crate, take the shirt you slept with the following night int the crate with him. This will have yout sent on it and may help calm him down.

I'm sorry, it must be so frustrating.
First, if it is truly separation anxiety, it is a disorder. He doesn't really have that much control over what he does when he's experiencing separation anxiety. So, try to keep that in mind, it's not as if he's misbehaving just for the heck of it. And, if it truly is separation anxiety, it's just as upsetting for him as for you.

Second, if there are remotes ("and anything else he can get his paws on") then the house isn't truly ACE proof. I know it's a hassle, but, get in the habit of putting remotes and any other loose items away, in a cabinet that he cannot open. There are lots of options, you can get a cool trunk or box that latches, or you can get a cabinet that shuts and latches.

Another thing to try is to walk him in the morning instead of at night. Yes, that would involve you adapted the routine. BUT, it could be helpful, because, just as for humans, exercise can be a stress reliever. It also may tire him out enough for him to sleep a little during the day and not yap all day.

As far as crates go, for some dogs with SA, they are great, because those dogs feel like the crate is their "cocoon" or their safe, comfy place. For other dogs with SA, they can feel trapped, and that can make them worse. Each dog is different. What it DOES do, though, is keep the dog from eating things in the house that could be dangerous to him.
However, keep in mind, you can't really just buy a crate and shove him in, even with toys and such. For a dog that is upset anyway, that will just make it worse. You have to crate train them, get them used to it slowly.

When you leave, do you leave anything ACTIVE for him to do, like do you leave a frozen, stuffed kong, or another kind of treat dispensing toy?

And, if it truly is separation anxiety, there are some homeopathic products you can try, as well as anti anxiety meds from your vet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,900 Posts
It sounds like Doggy day care, or even a dog walker to come by and pick him up (if he picks him up first and drops him off last, dog would be busy for several hours, depending on the routes and size of the dog pack)... it would be worth it for your peace of mind and sanity....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
I'm not even sure if this really is SA. This could just be a bored, underexercised high energy dog.

First of all debarking surgery is dangerous, and it doesn't solve the root cause. Yes, the dog now barks in a hoarse whisper, but he still barks for the same reasons he did before. It would be like sticking a pillowcase over your kid's head if he starts crying. Okay, you can't see the tears, but the kid's still really upset.

How much mental stimulation is he getting? By that, I mean, do you train him? If not, start training him with a clicker in several 5 minute sessions a day, aiming for 30 minutes overall. kikopup on youtube is great for teaching you how to use a clicker, and tab289 has lots of great tricks to teach. It doesn't matter what you teach, just engage his mind. Feed him from a puzzle toy, like a kong, a wobbler, a tug a jug.

He also likely needs his physical exercise increased. Add a 30 minute walk before work, and really let him sniff stuff while you walk. 30% of a dog's brain is devoted to smell, that will help with his mental needs. (Ideally, I'd shift the walks so it's an hour before work to tire him out and 30 minutes to an hour after work, but I can understand your not wanting to wake up a full hour early.)

If none of that helps, then take him to the vet. SA is a mental illness, akin to human anxiety disorders. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I assure you, I'm not being annoying, I really can't help it. I'd love not to be anxious, but that's the way my brain is wired. I take medication and it really helps me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
543 Posts
Sounds like separation anxiety to me (my boxer has it) and it CAN be managed, it never totally goes away but you can make enough progress to make your life manageable and peaceful. No more destruction or incessant barking in my house when I leave, and Apollo is not on any drugs.

Start by reading Patricia McConnell's book I'll Be Home Soon, tons of ideas in there. Talk to a veterinary behaviorist about possible medications that might help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thank you so much for the feedback! I have increased his walks. This morning I had him round the lake at 6am and will walk him again when I get home so hoping this will make him less restless. I will also try ignoring him for an hour before I head to work and as someone suggested ignore him when i get home. My dog does get heaps of exercise to be honest, we have him out the back playing ball and a big walk everyday. sometimes twice a day on the weekend. I will continue with the crate slowly and see how we go. I really do want to avoid doggy day care as I'm not sure I can afford this extra expense right now. Thanks again for the advice will definitely use it.

Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,350 Posts
Keep in mind that play doesn't equal exercise. I mean, obviously, it's physical activity, but, it's not sustained brisk exercise, which is important.
Also, there CAN be alternatives to doggy day care......maybe you have a neighbor who is retired and looking for something to do, who could come take your dog for a walk or play time. Or, maybe a lonely senior citizen that could do the same? Maybe you could even trade/barter? You could do some yard work for a neighbor, if they can spend some time with your dog during the day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
YAY good ideas people, thank you heaps. Its been two days and ACE loves his crate all of a sudden, I have been walking him round the lake every morning and every night. This equals to two hours exercise each day. One quite brisk as we have been running the first leg. I have been also putting him in there at night ( the crate) just to get him used to it. He seems happy over night. Should I keep putting him in there at night?? I feel like now I have a dog that spends all night and all day in a crate :( He will get lots of attention on the weekend and also between me getting home and bed. Oh now I feel guilty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
543 Posts
If he's doing well in the crate(WHOOT WHOOT) there's no reason he has to be in there overnight.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,350 Posts
There's no reason for him to have to be in the crate overnight, but, SOME dogs prefer it, because it's their safe, cozy place to go at night...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
788 Posts
I'd get some professional help. It sounds like you're overwhelmed there. I doubt that one little forum is going to help you.

By the way, they don't spay male dogs. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,087 Posts
It sounds like things have gotten better, I was going to suggest a thundershirt to help keep him cozy and "safe" feeling but if he's already getting better then it's probably not necessary :D I would def just crate after the morning walk with some kong filled with nice frozen stuffs in it and then go to work and then when you get home (after the ignoring) another walk :D that should make him nice and happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
There's no reason for him to have to be in the crate overnight, but, SOME dogs prefer it, because it's their safe, cozy place to go at night...
My pup definitely prefers it - we had intended to crate only for potty training, but we recently bought her a big new one because sleeping there is clearly her preference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
398 Posts
Don't debark him! He can still make sounds, annoying ones. He's also hyperactive which probably means lots of "hey give me attention!" barking. So, your dog would gasp for air, plus, it's dangerous.

Anyway, I have a two year old (her birthday is today!) miniature schnauzer bitch. She does suffer from seperation anxiety...or did?

What I did was putting her in a daycare. It helped! First she whined and barked for quite a while, then she slowly realized, hey I'm not leaving her!
Now she's crated when I'm not at home. She has my old pillow to sleep on (she even takes it out of her crate to sleep on it elsewhere!). When she got it, it smelled like me, so it calmed her down. I don't think think it smells like me anymore but she's calm in her crate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Your dog needs serious training. Before going to extreme measures, seek advice from a good behaviorist.
I don't believe there is an immediate fix. The fact that you put him in a crate and he yelps means nothing. You need to be consistent and persistent and that takes patience and time. One time is meaningless.
For example: you need to make him understand that you always come back. Put him in his crate and leave for 1 min at a time. In this short period, he should be busy chewing a bone, bullystick or any attention grabber. Until he realizes you left, you are already back. Repeat that many times. Find what motivates him - toys, treats, etc. and provide him while he is in the crate. Play with him when he is inside (goggle crate games). Just leaving some toys is not enough. You need to find THE toy, or THE treat. Such dog does not benefit from roaming the house free when you are absent. A small place is better.
Also how much do you play with him? Walking is good, but insufficient. Training and teaching him tricks may be more satisfactory to him. Try jumping, obstacle course, flyball or something he didn't do before and you may find a new hit.
On top of that, you may consult a good vet - perhaps some anti anxiety medication will help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,837 Posts
YAY good ideas people, thank you heaps. Its been two days and ACE loves his crate all of a sudden, I have been walking him round the lake every morning and every night. This equals to two hours exercise each day. One quite brisk as we have been running the first leg. I have been also putting him in there at night ( the crate) just to get him used to it. He seems happy over night. Should I keep putting him in there at night?? I feel like now I have a dog that spends all night and all day in a crate :( He will get lots of attention on the weekend and also between me getting home and bed. Oh now I feel guilty
I'm so glad it sounds like things are getting better. :) SA can be tough to deal with, but it sounds like getting him more exercise is helping as well as having him in his crate. He may feel safer in there as well while you are gone. I'd just make a point of doing things with him as much as possible in the evenings and enjoying the weekends with him. To him, this is still likely better than the anxiety he was dealing with before and he may prefer to sleep in his crate as well.

I had a dog with severe SA and it was very important to keep her well exercised, both mentally and physically, to help decrease her stress as well as to do some of the other techniques people have suggested here. In addition to your walks before work and after, you might also give her some mentally stimulating things to work on while she's crated during the day, like treat puzzles, a frozen kong, or this thing that my dog is obsessed with now. I found with my SA dog, that feeding her from a toy like that or a kong while we were gone and she was in her crate also helped keep her mentally stimulated AND distract her from the fact we were gone.

Don't feel guilty if more crate time means your dog is less stressed. It could be that he just feels more safe and snug in his crate all day and at night than while he sleeps than when he was alone in a big, scary house. I think it's the quality of his time with you, not the quantity, that will make the difference! :)
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top