Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I need some advice. I apologize, this is quite long.

Little background info: I have an 11 month old brittany. She's a great dog: knows all of her commands and then some, very obedient, happy-go-lucky, loves everyone she meets...With that said, she has been gradually becoming kind of "neurotic?" (Not really sure of a good word to use in this situation.)

Whenever we leave, she goes in her kennel. Up until about 1.5-2 months ago, she was fine with that. She might have whined a little, but she'd stop right away and settle down. Now, though, no matter how tired she is (we might have taken an hour walk before I put her in there) she barks and howls and makes a huge fuss that I know the neighbors can hear. I've tried closing the blinds and putting on the t.v. (treating it like a "regression) and nothing really seems to help.

Also, she is one of those dogs who is constantly underfoot, never wants to be away from us. Where we go, she goes, I trip over her constantly. If she can't see me, she cries. She is also just a whiner in general. Sometimes I think she just whines because she likes to or is bored.

Well, last night was kind of the "culminating event," I guess you'd say...she has never been afraid of loud noises before, but last night a fireworks display went off and she FLIPPED. She was running around cry and crying and yipping, jumping at the front door, just freaked out. Nothing I tried to do would distract her...I tried playing with her, doing commands...nothing. She was fixated. After the show was over she was still really nervous but obviously tired so I put her in her kennel thinking she would be okay in the morning...and this morning is just as bad. She keeps looking out the window as if afraid it will happen again. She is whining continuously and just not acting like herself at all.

Please help me out, I will do whatever it takes to fix these problems. I'm a vet tech so I know none of this is health related, and I also plan on getting tranqs to give her for the next fireworks show. I want to build her confidence back up and make her more independent, I just don't know how. This is just very "out of the blue" for me, and I'm not sure if its related to something that I am doing wrong.

Thanks!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,942 Posts
It sounds likeyour dog has Separatation anxiety. The best treatment is to get a Cert. behaviorist in to help you with the problem. If it cannot be helped entirely from a behavioral end of things, you may have to get some medication for this. As a vet tech you should ahve access to this.

Before going the medication route I suggest you get a book, "I'll Be Home Soon" by Patricia McConnell Phd. It is about Separation Anxiety (SA) and things you can do to help your dog.

There are a couple of things you can try first. When you first come home from anywhere, ignore your dog for a full 15 minutes. When you let her out of her crate, make her sit and wait. If she goes to blast out the door, stand with your hand on the crate door and shut it and do not open it again until she sits and is calm. IOW's no exiting the crate w/o doing something for you first followed by a release word.

You can also crate her, leave the room and immediately return, gradually increasing the time out of the room.

Never let her out of the crate w/o her doing something for you first. When you crate her, use a bribe to get her to go in. Sometimes ask her to go in and do not shut the door. She will come right back out but the object is she learns she can and the crate is not always going to be shut.

Another book you can get is called "Crate Games" and this will help you teach her that the crate is a good place to go.

Conisdering the dog's age etc. I think you do have a dog with SA. Some of the things I have said here may help with that.. some may not.

When you dog goes crazy over loud sounds, I suggest you crate her and cover the crate so it is a den and she can feel safe. Some dogs are very afraid of loud noises (thunder and fireworks). The best thing you can do is to not buy into the dog's fear by yelling or in any way getting excited. Just quietly get her and crate her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
Up until about 1.5-2 months ago, she was fine with that. She might have whined a little, but she'd stop right away and settle down. Now, though, no matter how tired she is (we might have taken an hour walk before I put her in there) she barks and howls and makes a huge fuss that I know the neighbors can hear.
Well, last night was kind of the "culminating event," I guess you'd say...she has never been afraid of loud noises before, but last night a fireworks display went off and she FLIPPED... After the show was over she was still really nervous but obviously tired so I put her in her kennel thinking she would be okay in the morning...and this morning is just as bad. She keeps looking out the window as if afraid it will happen again. She is whining continuously and just not acting like herself at all.
These two bits of your post make me think that something might have happened to Holly while you weren't home that freaked her out. Perhaps fireworks, or a car accident right outside the house? Loud sirens across the street? House break-in? It almost seems like something happened to make her think that her crate is no longer a safe place.

This is what crossed my mind first, but it could be SA as well.

How does she act if you leave her uncrated while you are away?
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top