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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I am a new puppy owner to a 4 month old black lab mix from a rescue in North Carolina. She is very sweet, potty training is coming along well and sleeps through the night in her crate with no problems. The issue we are experiencing is separation anxiety whenever we leave her crated during the day to go to work. our schedule is as follows:

8:30: brisk walk and potty break
9:00: boyfriend crates her and leaves for work
11-12:30: one of us comes home for lunch to let her out and take her on a 20 minute walk
if we come home at 11 one of us will come home around 2 to let her out a second time
4:30: I come home from work and am home the rest of the night.

the first week she did okay, cried and barked, but no accidents in the crate. then she got sick from a smart bone, never recommend those, and was fed chicken and rice for a day to help her belly. next day she had an accident in her crate i believe due to being sick and then constipated from the chicken and rice, though i fed her a couple tsps of canned pure pumpkin to help her go.

ever since she has been awful in the crate. she figured out how to escape and did some work on our front door and a second time on our carpet. we purchased 2 double ended snaps which has been great at keeping her from escaping. our puppy trainer told us to remove all bedding during the day because if she is anxious and has something soft she may think its okay to pee/poop on it and then try to dig to cover it. she also recommended feeding her in her crate and leaving the empty bowl as dogs will not want to bathroom in the same place they eat.

we have done both of these suggestions as well as purchased a DAP hormone diffuser which we plug in an hour before we eave every day.

2 days of success! she has not soiled her crate and has not escaped! my only concern now is my boyfriend came home at 12:00 today to walk her and her chest legs and paws were covered in a wetness. he saw no pee in her crate and it had no smell. when i came home at 4:30 she was still wet but it seems it was more dry then when he came home.

has anyone experienced this or have any suggestions? i believe its excessive salivating or constant licking her paws due to being anxious that were gone. this weekend we plan on working on desensitizing her to our leaving cues, and working on getting her to be crated while were gone. starting at 5 minutes at a time working up to an hour. I would love any suggestions and recommendations nohow to help my girl be more relaxed and calm with us leaving !

P.S. i should add. she was in a foster family, spent nights at a puppy sitter while in foster, was adopted for 3 days and returned because their dog didn't like her, back into the foster, and then we adopted her. all leading to her operation anxiety.
 

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It's possible that she's licking herself due to anxiety. Does she have any chews with her in her crate? Anything appropriate that she can lick and chew to help relieve some stress? You can try giving her a frozen stuffed KONG toy in the crate. I stuff mine with a little bit of peanut butter, some wet dog food, and then freeze it. Nylabones are also great crate toys because its unlikely they're going to get large enough pieces off to become a problem, and they're a very long lasting chew.

Licking is also a symptom of allergies, so you may want to speak with your vet about that, too. When my dog struggled with allergies, it was not unusual for his paws or his bedding to be soaked with saliva because he was licking and chewing so much. One time he licked and chewed his paws on our bed, and there was a GIANT moist spot of dog saliva. I couldn't believe it, and he's only been there for 20 minutes.
 

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It sounds like you're doing everything right. I agree with Lilith though - make sure she has something safe to chew on in her crate. One of my dogs has separation anxiety and chewing is a huge stress reliever for him.
 

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Salivating excessively is a sign of stress and anxiety. Your dog may be a case of true separation anxiety.

First of all, what kind of crate do you have? Wire crates give no sense of security to the dog. Plastic is more like a den. BOTH are easily broken out of. I recommend a real "dog box" or aluminum crate. Here is an example: https://www.tncfab.com/Dog-Kennels

Second, when you leave give the dog a raw bone ( beef or pork neck or rib bone) OR an appropriate size Kong with unsweeted Yogurt and dog kibble in it that you have filled and frozen the night before. Put the bone or kong in the crate, put the dog in there and shut the door and LEAVE. Do not say a word. Make this all a non-event.

When you come home, get the dog out ONLY when the dog is calm. Say NOTHING to the dog. When you stop hearing noise, simply get the dog out of the crate and say NOTHING. Put collar and leash on and take the dog out. Never leave a collar on a dog in any crate (truly a hanging hazard).

When you are home and not going to leave again right away, play "crate games" with your dog to make that crate a positive experience.

If, after a month, the dog is still drooling and/or the anxiety is increasing, go to your vet and get medication. TRUE separation anxiety is a medical situation (and it is also usually based in genetics).

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Lillith,

Thank you for all the info! I didn't even think about the possibility of allergies. Im leaning more towards the anxiety because she doesn't exhibit this behavior in front of us ever and doesn't shy away from her food, but will definitely keep it on my radar. We do give her a kong or a big bone that she safely has chewed in front of us many times which we stuff with treats that keeps her occupied for quit some time. She has been improving and was less wet the further through the week we got and is less excited when we get home. she's still excited but we ignore her and take her directly outside and don't give her attention until she's calm and sitting when we ask. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Salivating excessively is a sign of stress and anxiety. Your dog may be a case of true separation anxiety.

First of all, what kind of crate do you have? Wire crates give no sense of security to the dog. Plastic is more like a den. BOTH are easily broken out of. I recommend a real "dog box" or aluminum crate. Here is an example: https://www.tncfab.com/Dog-Kennels

Second, when you leave give the dog a raw bone ( beef or pork neck or rib bone) OR an appropriate size Kong with unsweeted Yogurt and dog kibble in it that you have filled and frozen the night before. Put the bone or kong in the crate, put the dog in there and shut the door and LEAVE. Do not say a word. Make this all a non-event.

When you come home, get the dog out ONLY when the dog is calm. Say NOTHING to the dog. When you stop hearing noise, simply get the dog out of the crate and say NOTHING. Put collar and leash on and take the dog out. Never leave a collar on a dog in any crate (truly a hanging hazard).

When you are home and not going to leave again right away, play "crate games" with your dog to make that crate a positive experience.

If, after a month, the dog is still drooling and/or the anxiety is increasing, go to your vet and get medication. TRUE separation anxiety is a medical situation (and it is also usually based in genetics).

Good luck.

Thank you for all the info! She is in a wire crate with a blanket over 3 sides, so it is still breathable but is darker for her. We have been leaving her a bone stuffed with a treat which keeps her occupied. Today we worked on leaving her in the crate for 5 minutes and letting her out when she was quiet. we proceeded to 10 minutes and then 15 minutes later in the day. she seems to be improving! She willingly will go lay in her bed that is in the crate when were home so its definitely not a fear of the crate, but anxiety when we leave. As for when we come home that is exactly what we do:) We say nothing, let her out, ignore her completely if she's overly excited and treat her when she finally is calm and sits when commanded. we also always take her collar off. i guess were doing everything thats recommended and can only hope she continues to improve with a constant routine and with age. Hopefully we never need get as far as speaking to a vet but if she does tnot improve i will definitely!
 
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