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Hello all, what a huge community this is, my goodness.. I have encountered my fair share of forums, but having 200-300-600 people viewing a forum at once, wowza.

Anyways, about me.. though i'm sure you are all more interested in my.., well, my girlfriends dog. I am 26, I attend University, and I just moved into an apartment with my girlfriend.

Our dog is an 8 year old red-haired Pincher. He is 8 years old, 16 pounds (yes, overweight) and has one eye. He had a tumour on it, which could have spread to his retina, leading to possible blood cancer (or something like that). Thus, my girlfriend had him operated .. a year and a half ago.

He is my gf's little prince, she has pampered him all his life. He is a pretty good dog, a bit anxious. Before the move, he would bark hysterically if the doorbell rang, and once in a while, got into the garbage, but that is about it.

Here is the problem, like I mentioned earlier, me and Kate moved into an apartment a month ago. When I or she is home, he is fine, no problems. But given that Kate works 9-5, and I go to school/have a busy life, he is sometimes alone during the day. We have had complaints of him(Rudy, I guess I should of mentioned his name) howling, something he has never done, except on one occasion where I had the music on in the car with him very loud, and he did not appreciate it (opps :().
In addition to howling, he has been scratching the front door, on one occasion we found a little bit of blood residue, so he is going hard at it... 2 days ago he destroyed the moulding around the front door by gnawing at it. Kate has read up about it, and it could be separation anxiety?

Sending Rudy back to live with my gf's mom is not an option. A spray collar, which my gf used to try and control the barking when he was.. 2? 3? failed to the point that if he is around when we use a spray can, he barks at it. Removing his vocal cords is a very tough one.. I mean he only has one eye :( Other than that.. a friend of a friend spoke of a dog whisperer.. I dont know... I do not think an electric collar or whatever they are would work, simply because even if he does not howl, he is destroying stuff..

Any of you have any ideas? If you need more information, by all means ask, and I will do my best to try and answer them.

I do hope we can rectify this problem, my gf is a ball of stress due to the complaints we have been getting and she would be heartbroken for a long time if we were to give him away/put him down...

Thanks for any info, if any, you can provide. If nothing, it was worth a shot :)
 

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Make sure he is getting a lot of long walks (especially before you leave him), and maybe consider trying a Thundershirt.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Kate does walk him a good 15 minutes in the morning, and at night sometimes 20-30.. possibly not enough? =/

i need to google thundershirt..
 

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A 15 minute walk is very little for any dog, not to mention your dog is overweight, meaning he's definitely under exercised.
Most dogs require 30-45 minutes AT LEAST a day.

A thundershirt ,I hear, is very good for helping with anxiety, it "hugs" your dog the entire time it is on and makes them feel better. I've never used it but I've heard good things about it.
Also make sure he is calm when you are leaving and leave him stuff to do like kongs filled with treats, puzzles, favorite toys etc.
 

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You could also try crate training him so he doesnt have free run of the house to destroy stuff. He needs to be accustomed to the crate slowly though. Make sure you dont give him big hugs and kisses good by or act super excited when you come home.
 

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Read I'll Be Home Soon. Also definitely up his exercise. What do you do with him other than walk him? Walks are good but training can go a lot longer way imo.

I would crate him or put him in an x-pen too while you're gone. There's a good sticky here on SA. There is also the option of anti-anxiety medicine if these other suggestions don't work out.

http://www.dogforums.com/dog-training-forum/60390-separation-anxiety-whats-whys.html
 

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All great advise and agree on all and would repeat a few things, more excercise will help "tired dog is a good dog". Dogs do not generlize good so new apartment means everything is new and has to be retrained until new enviroment gets old "saturated" new smells, sounds ETC. I would find a way to puppy proof yes PUPPY proof a safe place for dog in your home with gates play pen away from windows or doors "close shades ETC". treat this as if it is a puppy in order to keep dog and your personal stuff safe.
Please dont even think of aversive ways "so many cons" or putting dog down for making noise. Would your neighbors consider putting down a baby crying not logical. Have patience and train. A dog is never to old to train.

Now that we have a spot for dog that is safe start training dog that leaving and coming is not a bad thing "as mentioned above". Start leaving dog in a room for a second or two come back reward work on duration then to go outside and start from same duration and work your way up. Also someone mentioned do not make a big deal when leaving and coming YES listen to this no eye contact say at least 20 minutes before you leave and when you come home. Until dog goes about its business then you make contactt. Even everytime you first meet dog wait until he is calm even if you leave room and come back in wait to calm.

Teach dog find command hide a treat tell him to find, start small work your way up. Then when you leave hide treats and tell dog to find by the time he finds all you will be long gone really helps dog, leave frozen kongs and all that was listed above "nose work".

Your dog might be fearful and dogs are very social and doesn't like it when his family leaves, just help him a bit and he will get better. Also train basic obedience if dog doesn't know it yet. "It's never to late"

I'll stop for now a lot to take in and you are awesome for coming here and trying to find help for your little furry one "great job" any questions ask, great people here and will help and not affraid to give you all there knowledge we are all here for the DOGS :)
 

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Sending Rudy back to live with my gf's mom is not an option. A spray collar, which my gf used to try and control the barking when he was.. 2? 3? failed to the point that if he is around when we use a spray can, he barks at it. Removing his vocal cords is a very tough one.. I mean he only has one eye :( Other than that.. a friend of a friend spoke of a dog whisperer.. I dont know... I do not think an electric collar or whatever they are would work, simply because even if he does not howl, he is destroying stuff..
Ehh.


My chihuahua would go nuts without at least a solid hour of exercise a day (which for him means fetch and tug). I would agree with giving him more physical exercise, but not only that, work his brain too. Teach him things, leave him with toys that require his concentration like kongs, things he can destroy that will make him think.
 

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Second the exercise, and the crate training. We dog sat a Jack Russel who didn't get enough exercise regularly... the first weekend we had her we spent 8+ hours trying to tire her out (we succeeded) and only then would she even consider being quiet when she wasn't chewing on her bone - unless she was in her crate.
 

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I really wanted to highlight this. If we walk our dogs for less than 30-45 minutes avery morning they chase chickens, bark at a change in the wind, pull the sheet off the clothes line and harass our housekeeper.

If we walk them, these 'problem behaviors' disappear.

They are even better if we walk them, train them/put them through their tricks, and give them a puzzle toy with food.

Ehh.


My chihuahua would go nuts without at least a solid hour of exercise a day (which for him means fetch and tug). I would agree with giving him more physical exercise, but not only that, work his brain too. Teach him things, leave him with toys that require his concentration like kongs, things he can destroy that will make him think.
 

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I definitely don't think you should try shock collar, spray collar, and what not. It sounds like seperation anxiety too me and using techniques like that will not solve the problem. Everyone else is giving pretty good ideas. You also might want to try giving him a Kong stuffed with cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, etc whenever you leave so that he starts to associate you leaving with a good thing. Along with distracting him at least for a little while (can also try freezing it to make it more time consuming).
 
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