new dog! with separation anxiety…not a puppy!?

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I just got this adorable 3 year old dog who freaks out whenever I leave her alone!! (SHIH- TZU, 9 lbs) I had to put her in a crate because when I left her in a small confined area SHE ATE MY WALLS!! lol She’s the sweetest little thing, very quiet, but seems as though she is a weary of certain things and or people! Maybe someone was mean to her before? No idea! I tried leaving a blanket/shirt but she made a mess of it all! I come home to find her in her own "doings", her face wet from tears and her paws all wet from licking herself! She will also bite and try to eat and break anything in her cage (wee-wee pads, blankets, bowls, the cage itself) I love her and want her but carrying her around ALL the time is proving to be a challenge!! I already carry around a 2 year old (HUMAN)!! lol help???

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8 Responses to “new dog! with separation anxiety…not a puppy!?”

  1. RMT1 says:

    This sounds geeky, but you see this problem on dog training shows all the time – particularly The Dog Whisperer (that guy is amazing). They always say to tire the dog out before you go out with a great big walk or run. Then they sleep much of the time you are out and it helps as an outlet for their anxiety.
    One of my dogs was abused when I adopted her at 5. She had a lot of anxiety too. It is a lot of patience and hard work. Lots and lots of exercise helps a lot – and yes, this requires a lot of your time and energy too. I also had a personal trainer come in twice to get us on the right track and keep us there. Ask your vet to recommend one – it’s so worth it! Something the trainer said was NOT to make a fuss when I leave her, just quietly go and when you return do the same thing. That shows the dog that it’s not a big deal for you to go. With my dog I had to slowly build her up over a weekend to getting used to me being gone. I started with 30 seconds behind the door and then back. Then it was built up over the weekend to a couple of hours. We went from there.
    Another thought is to talk to your vet about an herbal anti-anxiety med (all-natural) that you can give. I was told it works very well. I was lucky enough to be able to retrain my dog and she is a lovely old dog now.
    Lots of luck!

  2. jen says:

    OK! I got this one. My dog used to do the same thing and this is what the vet told me.
    1. I could get the dog a playmate to keep it company during the day.
    or
    2. I could medicate the dog on a sort of "doggy prozac"
    I’m not against meds but I thought it would be easier to get him a friend rather than force feed him pills everyday.
    We got a kitten for our dog and the separation anxiety stopped and now they are the best of friends. If we separate them for a few days for boarding his symptoms do come back until they are reunited.
    good luck.

  3. KJ says:

    My dog has this problem. We tried many things in combination and alone. Crating only compounded her problem because she was not crate trained as a puppy. We ignore the dogs before we leave and for a time after we come home. We leave the tv on. We put treats into plastic pop bottles to keep her busy. We switch out the toys every couple days, putting some away and bringing out fresh ones (dogs get bored with the same old toys day in and day out). We tried Clomicalm. It made her really, really happy when we were home, but did nothing to ease her destructive behavior. You could also give her an old t-shirt or something that smells a lot like you.

    Eventually we got another dog and the two of them seem to occupy each other. We Bailey-proof the entire house and close all the doors. There’s never anything left laying around on the coffee table or kitchen table that she could destroy or hurt herself with. We also keep the kitchen spotless, garbage can in the garage, nothing in the sink or on the counters.

    You could also leave for very short periods of time and come back. Like only going out the door to begin with and then coming right back, extending the amount of time your gone each time. Reward her when she behaves while you’re gone.

    There are also medications available at your vet. As I sais earlier, we had Bailey on Clomicalm. It made her happier then heck, but didn’t really sway her destructive ways. Ultimately, it was adding the second dog that did it.

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck!

  4. witters says:

    This may sound hard but it’s for the dogs own interest.

    Whenever you enter or leave a room for an extended period of time. You must not make eye contact with the dog for twenty minutes. You must not speak to the dog for twenty minutes and you must not hold your dog for twenty minutes.
    Your dog needs to learn that when you leave it is okay. The only way to do this is to get your dog calm. This technique has been proven to help this problem. It will be very hard for you but for the dogs happiness please try it for a month. No less than a month.

    Also – dont let the dog sleep in your bedroom (if you are) but let it sleep on the landing. Open a door so the dog can see you and this will make her feel better.

  5. smurf says:

    If your dog is crated trained there shouldn’t be anything in the crate besides the dog except maybe a blankie or a toy. NO pee pee pad as she shouldn’t be given the room nor encouraged to go in her crate (that would defeat the purpose of crate training).

    When you say left her alone do you mean left her along in the house or left her in another room while you stayed in the house??

    If your dog is acting cause you’re in the other room you either have to have the patience to work through it and let the dog act out and let it learn it won’t get attention or you can try the squirt bottle of water to the face if it starts having a tissy fit.

    If it’s when you’re gone..than give it time she’ll have to learn to be in her crate… and of course this goes back..did you properly crate train her? Did you use lots of treats and praise or do you just shove her in and go?

    But remember the crate should be something secure the dog cannot get out of , cause damage to or harm itself. If it’s in a plastic portable crate and is chewing it up, invest in a metal crate..many come with free dividers to allow room for growth or a future puppy. Remember, nothing else but dog goes in crate maybe blankie or toy as long as she won’t harm herself by eating or chewing the toy…if that’s the case than nothing goes in there but the dog.

  6. smrt-e-pnts says:

    the best thing that you can do is to 1) get your dog some rescue remedy tincture. That will help her calm down enough to even begin to start the training necessary to help her with the anxiety.

    2) contact your local humane society to see if they have a referral for a behavioral consult.

    3) keep encouraging her in the crate – put her in there when you are at home for brief periods of time, maybe 10 minutes at a time, and upon release, praise her, give her treats, and then keep praising her when she’s doing well with "four on the floor."

    4) keep spending time with her and encourage her to be stable when she is down on the floor, praise her when she has spent some time independently. Build up her confidence…

    Keep it structured. It takes time.

  7. Veneta T says:

    You might think about making a video tape of yourself and put it in the VCR on timer to go off sometime during the time that you are gone so the dog can see and hear you.

  8. vettech says:

    There are some really great medications that you can get from your vet to ease this poor babies stress. You have to give tham daily but they really do help.-One is called clomicalm and the other is amytriptiline. Both are relatively inexpensive and dont really have any side effects besides a little drowsiness in the first month of use. Another little trick to do while she is in the crate- get a kong toy- available at petsmart, petco, target. They look like a rubber beehive. Smear the inside with a thick layer of peanut butter and freeze it. Give it to her right before you leave and it will keep her busy for quite a while. Another thing that we tell people- dont make a big deal about it when you are going to leave her- in fact ignore her as much as possible. Also change your routine when you leave as much as you can so it is harder for her to anticipate. Also try leaving her for very short periods of time(with the kong in her crate) and return-but ignore her(let her out but dont make a big deal of it) The more relaxed and quiet you are the better it will be for her. Gradually increase the time. She will eventually figure out that it is ok and normal for her to be alone. Good luck, I know how distressing it can be for both of you.

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