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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I was reading the separation anxiety link and was wondering if I could get an opinion as to if this is what our dog has. We have a 1 year old chihuahua-terrior looking dog (we don't know what she is) who is very good about going to the bathroom outside when we are home. She has recently even started pawing a the door when its closed and she needs to go. But when she is left alone, she pees/poops in the hallway, same general area, EVERY time we leave. When we confine her she freaks out and scratches everything and slams her body against the door/walls, so we don't want to do that. Also, when we come home, we will find anything left in the living room like shirts, sweaters, sock, etc. pulled outside into the yard. She will even knock things off tables. Its crazy because when we are there, she does absolutely nothing like that and is perfect. Does this sound like separation anxiety? We need the peeing inside to stop!!
 

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I'm far from an expert, but if she is always peeing or defecating in the exact smae spot, trying putting a gate up to block the area or close doors while gone. It sounds like seperation anxiety to me, assuming you are correct that only when alone does she become this other animal. Destructive behavior is a good sign, as is the constant peeing while you aren't at home. Personally, this is yet another reason why I feel strongly about crate training. But as for now, it can never hurt to see a vet. If while on calming medication the activities still persist, perhaps there are other issues at hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm far from an expert, but if she is always peeing or defecating in the exact smae spot, trying putting a gate up to block the area or close doors while gone. It sounds like seperation anxiety to me, assuming you are correct that only when alone does she become this other animal. Destructive behavior is a good sign, as is the constant peeing while you aren't at home. Personally, this is yet another reason why I feel strongly about crate training. But as for now, it can never hurt to see a vet. If while on calming medication the activities still persist, perhaps there are other issues at hand.
Thanks for the reply. Yea, unfortunately she was very well trained when we got her. Never had an accident. It seems though that as she got used to us is when she started doing this. We did just get a gate though and are going to try that. Lets hope it works!
 

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Sounds like she might get bored too. Do you exercise her before you leave? Do you leave out stuff for her to play with and chew on? Kongs with frozen food inside? Treats left around the room to hunt for?
 

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Yea, she has a big back yard she plays in, chasing birds and running around. As for toys, she has a basket she digs in that has bones and chew toys in it. But I haven't tried the treat thing, that sounds like a good idea. I'll give that a try. Thanks.
 

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Yea, she has a big back yard she plays in, chasing birds and running around.
That's not real exercise. I mean, does she get taken outside on a leash for a long walk? Ideally she should be getting 2 walks a day, on a leash, away from the house. Going on a walk outside the house does more than just exercise. It gets her mind going, her senses going, she gets to interact with different scenarios, see different things, etc. It is mentally taxing and physically taxing. I would try taking her for a long walk before you leave and then leaving her with toys and treats.

Edit: I shouldn't say "that's not real exercise". I should have said, "that is not enough exercise for a young and high energy mixed dog". Sorry if it came off as rude in the beginning.
 

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I agree, playing in the yard isn't enough exercise. Walks do so much for dogs! And, training is great mental exercise, as well, so if you could start working with her on other things, it will help, too.

If you could time your walks for BEFORE you have to leave, so she will be tired, she may not have as much energy, and may sleep more when you're gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Very good point doxie and Nil. We don't take her for long walks that often. I guess I just don't think of it because she has the yard, but that does makes sense. Tomorrow before I leave I will give that a try and see if that helps as well. Thank you!
 

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free access to the yard and toys is not nearly as stimulating and rewarding as having YOU engaging her in play or training sessions outside and with the toys. In other words free play does nothing to tire her out. But if you worked with ehr outside, sits, downs, recalls and etc. took her for walks and worked on LLW, and used the toys as rewards for good behavior then she's be happier mentally. And perhaps wont feel the need to get into trouble. NILF and Tongue on the Ground are oth wonderful cure alls.

Ian Dunbars Dogstardaily site talks about how dogs get labeled SA who are actually just having a grand time of things when the owner is gone. So without more info it's had to say if your dog has SA or is having a fun time while you are away.

Either way, more mental engagement from you in the form of NILIF and walks and training sessions will help. But if it's true SA you might need a little more help.

true SA I'd think there would be more panic going on. I bought a small digital recorder from Best Buy to record my dog while I am away. By listening to it I could tell that she was anxious after she finished her frozen kong. My situation a bit different than yours. so I won't go into it
 
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