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Discussion Starter #1
We have recently adopted a 6 yr old Weimaraner and she appears to have some separation anxiety. The first time we left her home alone it was only for a few hrs and she did fine. The next time we left her home alone it was for about 4 hrs and when I came home to let her out she had tore up the wood trim on the door. I decided to put her in the kennel (which she loves and spends the majority of time in it even when we are home) and give her some toys to play with. When I returned about 4 hrs later she had began to destroy the kennel and bent the door and other metal bars on it.

I read about freezing kong toys with peanut butter and leaving that to keep her occupied. We left again last night for a birthday party (about 2 1/2 hrs) and I set up our web cam so I could monitor how she was doing. We gave her the kong toy and left the tv on for another distraction. The first hour we were gone the kong toy kept her busy. Once that was gone she realized we weren't there and began barking and scratching/biting at the kennel trying to get out. The kennel will probably only hold up for one more time of leaving her home alone before we're going to have to get another one.

Looking for any suggestions on how to make her time alone at home as comfortable as possible for her. We've been trying to give her as little attention as possible before we leave and when we return to not encourage this behavior.

Thanks,
Justin
 

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I agree with you about not making any fuss before leaving and when returning. Make sure that the dog has had as much exercise as you can possibly provide. Weimaraners are high energy and require serious daily exercise--more than a simple leash walk usually provides. You might want to consider training her to run next to a bike (gradually of course--check out the "Walky-Dog" it works well) or run with you if you do any of those activities. Exercise goes a long way to curing many dog behavior issues. That being said, I have a Malinois that has some mild separation anxiety that was severe when I first got her. She did the things your Weimaraner does plus others like peeing on my bed when I left if she was loose--fun things like that. She has gotten much, much better with time and patience, about 95% "cured". Some sensitive dogs take a while to settle in and are really upset more than most when going through something as traumatic as a new home. You can also try to desensitive her to your cues that you are leaving like picking up your keys or getting your shoes and repeat over and over without actually leaving. You can try leaving briefly and coming back, leaving her longer and longer. Since she likes her crate, I would invest in a new one because you may really need it for a while. I found leaving with a distraction toy or food to be helpful, even if it only holds her for a while. Exercise is really key for this dog, though. I would make sure that you provide as much as is possible and that she can manage within her fitness level. It took about 6 months for mine, so hang in there.
 

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I agree with Malsbad, but if the additional exercise and other tips don't do the trick, a trip to the vet for some meds might be in order to help her over the hump.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the suggestions! I forgot to mention that she is 20 lbs over weight due to her previous owner not exercising her at all. We have been taking her on several long walks a day but she appears to have injured one of her hind legs and after a run/walk the other night it appeared to be very sore and she was limping on it. I'm trying to slowly work her back into shape w/out over doing it and causing her too much pain in her leg.

We will work on pretending to leave and coming back in and slowly work on trying to stay out a little longer each time. Hopefully she'll get more comfortable the longer she is with us.

Thanks,
J
 

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You've received great suggestions so far, but with the injury maybe you can do a lot to tire her out more mentally- tricks, games, hiding things (food!) while you're home to find, etc. SOmetimes it's nice to give them all their kibble through games and puzzle toys.

Also, I just wonder if it's possible to just limit time away for the next month or so? I know that's hard and extreme, but it will hopefully only be a short while until you get everything figured out.

God bless you for taking in this dog. Weim's are so high energy, and I can't imagine an overweight one. Very sad, but hopeful now!
 
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