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Big Dog with Separation Anxiety..

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  • Big Dog with Separation Anxiety..

    My daughter has a rescued Mastif. He is a wonderful dog - with one huge exception. He goes nuts when my daughter has to leave him alone. It used to just happen if it was storming outside...but now it happens all the time. She bought a $400.00 cage called "Alcatraz" and that is exactly what it looked like. He broke it and in doing so, also ripped up his own face. They have tried anxiety meds and nothing is working. Now she is heartbroken and believes she needs to put him down. This dog is tearing her house apart. I cannot think of anything she has not tried - but thought I would ask you guys.

    She tried the t-shirt thing, a muzzle, the huge cage.. and drugs. Nothing is working.


  • #2
    Does he get along with other dogs? It might be much harder to deal with since he's a Mastif, but...

    My mom runs a rescue and when she encounters a dog with Separation Anxiety, she cages it with her very dominant female Border Collie. She's one of those dogs who rules the roost just by looking at the other dogs she's never mean, but no dog questions her authority. The Anxious ones just take their cues from her and learn to just lay down in the back of the cage and behave. If they don't, Penny, will send them to the back of the cage with a growl.

    Another dog is usually the answer, but if the Separation Anxiety is so severe, there might not be much you can do except put him down.


    • #3
      I have an akita who at 10 years old started to have anxiety and separtation issues.
      I was advised to euthanize her by friends and a couple of vets.

      Instead, I searched the internet and found that drugs can help...specifically zanax and others.

      I could not get a local vet to prescribe and finally I took her to Tufts University and saw the animal behaviorist. Dr. Dodman.
      Anyhow, he prescribed prozac at first...she got too sleepy. then we tried buscoprine, which is an anxiety med. It seemed to work. Not immediately of course, but eventually. Also, when I had to leave I give her zanax too.

      She is now 4 years past the initial flare, and I can say all is so much better. She hates being left alone, but does not destroy my house.
      She has totalled the insides of 3 vehicles, so I understand.
      It is a horrible thing. They are literally in sheer panic.

      Can your daughter get a vet who knows what they are doing to prescribe appropriate meds? I know my local vet refused to prescribe zanax, and in fact gave her elavil. Elavil escalates this behavior so just because its a med, doesn't mean it is the right one.

      Also, what about doggie day care, while trying to find the right medication?

      As far as the other dog...I have 2, and they did not seem to deter her...like I said, she was blind with fear. I came into it a few times, and her look and actions made me feel so sad. She was like a trapped animal fearful for its life.

      Appropriate medications can work. I had to go through a few to find the right ones for her, but I was also working with a knowledgable PH.D.
      Don't waste your time with animal behaviorists who are not ph'd's either. did that, and she actually told me the opposite of dr. dodman. He said to make it a big deal when I leave and tell her, and give her some toys, like kong toys to occupy her.

      We did some behavioral changes, but since she was so old, he felt it was more medical than behavioral.
      Check out the web for schools who have animal behaviorists who are medical and ph.d's.
      good luck.
      It is a terrible thing, especially because so many vets don't know the appropriate medications and you as owner have no help.
      save lives...spay/neuter/geld


      • #4
        I am having the same issue, though with a smaller dog. Got her from the pound so we don't know her history, she is a great dog when we're home but destructive when we're gone. She has chewed through TWO plastic kennels and we put her in a metal wire crate and she pulled the plastic-slide-tray-bottom up and crawled through the BIG holes in the bottom, in turn tearing up the stairway landing carpert! Pulled up runners in the berber and pulled it off the tack strips! What a awful design, the sides and top of the crate has 1x3 inche squares, but the crate under the plastic slide tray in the bottom has about 9x9 inch squares, looks like a big tic-tac-toe board!

        She has shredded all the blinds, pees everywhere, chews up cords and shoelaces (we now pull up the blinds and hide the shoes and cords) and just yesterday she chewed in half the cable vision cord and dug at the carpet in the doorway to the bedroom, ripping up runners and pieces of THAT berber carpet! WHY she was trying to get into the bedroom we have no idea! We have tried everything, even benadryl, to calm her in the crate. Last night we just put her in the crate, gave her a bendryl and set her on the ottoman between us till she calmed down. When she was quiet we would tell her how good she was and give her a treat, but she never relaxed completely.

        Took her to the vet and got Reconcile, supposed to help with seperation anxiety, comes with a DVD, works on some dogs, some dogs it doesn't, we're gonna watch the DVD tonight and see what we have to do.

        We love her to death, but we're at our wits end, we're being patient but tearing up bedroom carpet is more expensive than a pair of shoes or a coaxil cable! We don't want to "send her on down the road" as we fear someone would be cruel or beat her and I just couldn't handle that. Talked to hubby about putting her down but he got mad, I said well you want to give her away, how is that better when she could be hurt by someone with no patience or understanding?

        We're gonna cut a piece of board and screw the kennel to it and feed her in there and give as much positive reinforsement as we can. We don't make a big deal about leaving and when we come home we don't fuss over them. We will walk out and come back in, go out different doors, one will leave then the other will nonchalantly follow later. We're trying our best with her, she is SO good otherwise, you couldn't ask for a better little farm dog!

        I'm interested in what others have for suggestions...I'm open to new ideas. I've never had a dog with seperation anxiety so not sure how to handle this. I emailed Ceasar Millan but he hasn't emailed me back, LOL!
        I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

        Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.


        • #5
          Not horse-related, so we're going to close the thread, but we'll be having an Off Topic Day over the weekend...