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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, I may have bit off more than I can chew.

I'm going to try to be very descriptive here so that you know what I'm dealing with.
1. There was an ad in the paper for a free cocker spaniel.
2. I was looking for a dog so I responded.
3. I met the person in town and the dog looked bad. I felt really sorry for it though, and ended up taking it.

Forgot to add this: The person that I met said she 'rescued' the dog from a house where the owner moved and just left the dog inside with no food water for quite some time. evidently he was drinking from the toilet and went without food for a while. However, this person had him for a few weeks, and did not seem to be putting much into the dog's care.


4. I cut no less than 10-12 hug mats of fur off of the cocker.
5. I had to dip him 3 times and spray him to get the fleas off. I took at least 1 tick off too. The fleas where so bad when I washed his ears, the water turned red.
6. He is emaciated somewhat. 1.5 year old cocker male - weighs 20 lbs - can feel ribs well.
7. Took him to vet today and got all shots and heartworm test.
8. Heartworm positive.
9. Put him on the 'slow kill' heartworm treatment due to what we 'think' his age is and the likelyhood the worm count is low. He doesn't cough and the vet said his heart and lungs 'sounded good'.
10. Dog seems to have separation anxiety. It has been 2 days, and he has only tried to pee in the house once. Seems to have been house trained at some point. Also didn't have problem with crate.
11. We need to be able to leave him in our backyard when we are at work in the day time - but he barks mournfully when we leave him.
12. Yesterday, the neighbors complained about his barking already.


Thanks for any and all suggestions you guys may have. I need help.

Thanks :)

Please don't tell me I'm stupid or anything - I am trying.



Also, are there any ways to get rid of the mats that are so entwined you are afraid to cut them cause skin might be in them?


Took in a free dog that was a rescue.
 

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Well, thanks for taking care of this guy. It sounds like he needed you, big time.

Can I ask why you need to leave him in the yard?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, thanks for taking care of this guy. It sounds like he needed you, big time.

Can I ask why you need to leave him in the yard?
I guess fear that he'll tear up the house with noone here? We have a nice fenced in back yard. . . it seems like it'd be a dog's dream :)

I felt it would be unfair to crate him during the day - let him out evenings - and then crate him at night.

Just trying to do what is best.
 

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Probably safer and happier in the crate in the long run. Outside in the yard he would have to contend with weather, other animals passing through, and the "outside world" ie crazy humans. I have heard of people tossing poisoned food into ppls yards for dogs, and of course kidnapping... Just so many things that could potentially go wrong when you aren't there. Most dogs when properly crate trained enjoy spending time in there, give him a stuffed kong to entertain himself with and he should be content.
As for the mats I think you should have a groomer clip him, tight mats are very hard to cut as you obviously know and you are at risk of cutting his skin. Maybe find a groomer who can come to your home and is understanding of the dogs condition so that you don't stress him too much!
If you look in the training forums you can probably find very detailed descriptions on how to tackle seperation anxiety. Just make sure when you follow the steps you are as consistent as you possibly can be.
I think it is admirable that you are taking this on, and that you have already taken him to the vet and are obviously willing to do everything you can for this poor soul. Rescue can be very overwhelming but it a noble and selfless thing to do (lol, and it can be very rewarding).
Pat yourself on the back and just take it one day at a time!
 

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Try leaving him for 5 minutes and see how he does. Then try 10 minutes. If you work up to leaving him crated when you're gone, he'd be a lot more comfortable in the house then out in the yard.

You say he seems to have separation anxiety... I'm not sure that's what it is. It might just be he doesn't like being alone in the yard when he thinks there might be people inside.

If you can't shave the matts, then I think he needs to go to a groomer.
 

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What a lucky dog.

Also try exercise. If he is comfortably tired he may not need to be so noisy. I started crate training with simply closing the door of the thing. Next trial I stood up, then turned away, took one step repeating the whole sequence 10 times a session and several times a day. After all that Max is better off in a back room with not much to get into as he likes pace when his 'pack' is not all present and accounted for. You could get an exercise pen to give him more room or that crate which is handy in the car as well. I love my new double paned windows, muffles the racket when he gets noisy.

There is a nice person on my block that has day care for a couple dogs. Maybe you could find somebody nearby that would love a walking companion a couple times a day.

It is early days yet, it takes months for new dogs to get used to another home no matter how good it iis. Please talk to the neighbors about this. Barking dogs rub nerves raw for a lot of people. If you involve them maybe you can figure out what works and what doesn't.
 

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you did a great thing, that dog needed someone to love him and take care of him. :)

anyway...
I think you eventually leave him in the yard after a while... but you really should crate train him first. an alternative might be using an exercise pen in your house so he has a little bit of room to play with toys, eat, etc.

I put my puppy in her exercise pen with her crate in there. if you put the dog's bed in the crate, they will eventually go in there to sleep when they're tired and it will help them get used to going in by themselves. it's worked well for our puppy.

my sister gave me this advice - leave some toys that smell like you in the pen (keep them in your dirty laundry for a bit or do something that will make them smell like you). the dog will like to play with them and, in my experience, it helped to calm down my puppy when she was left alone in another room.

try leaving the dog's food in the crate, along with a toy and a couple treats.

it really takes some time for a new dog to get used to their new home.
try tiring out the dog (tired dogs are good dogs :>) before leaving and encourage him to go into his crate (don't close the door, leave the crate open inside of the closed exercise pen). use treats, toys, food or anything to get him to want to go in there.

I'll add more later if I think of more, I wish you luck. <3

+ try not to give the dog any attention when he's whining or barking, wait for him to calm down before letting him out of his pen. this includes negative attention (no yelling "stop whining!" at the dog, he'll associate whining with attention!)
when he's calm and quiet let him out and give him tons of love and hugs.

+ as far as the mats, taking him to a groomer would be a good idea. they can really clean him up for you.
 
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