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Separation Anxiety

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  • Separation Anxiety

    I have a 6 yr old weim with this and she is driving me crazy! She has to be near me all the time when I am at home. She has to be in her crate when I am not at home because she will tear up everything. She constiantly wines and wimpers, and barks like crazy when I first get home and let her out. I have 4 other dogs so she isn't alone. One older weim with no problems at all. Then 2 corgis and a JRT.

    I have done the ignore them the first you get home, and the leaving her for a few hours and come back etc. Nothing seems to help. Someone said to put her on tranquilizers but I don't know about that. I was told it isn't healthy for them to be so worked up all the time.

    Anyone have experience with this?

  • #2
    I just got my dog 2 weeks ago, hes a 2 yr old pointer that was found as a stray in NC and shipped up to CT where we got him at a shelter. He is a perfect dog except... he has massive seperation issues. Similar to your dog he goes crazy without a human in sight. We live in a duplex and I feel so bad for the neighbors, but at least they have a dog too and kind of understand.
    The first night he broke out of the crate(popped the locks), second day he literaly broke the crate (snapped the metal). All while shredding everything in sight and whimpering constantly. I know what you are going through trust me! I've talked to so many people about his issue and so far theese are the best suggestions that seem to work. Sorry if you already do any of them.

    -#1-Tired dog is a happy dog. We found that taking him for a long morning walk before work calms him down (hey it's good for me too.. gets me to exercise)
    -Try a prouct with calming Pheromones. We have a plugin (was $50, $30 for refils at Petsmart) he seems to be more relaxed now. I wasn't sold on it, but having him destroy our kitchen table/cabinets/etc. makes me willing to try anything.
    -Try stuffing kong toys with treats and PB/cream cheese then freezing it. Takes them longer to chew it.
    -Try putting a shirt of yours in with the dog when you leave (like one you wore to bed). Didn't work with mine, but it has for others- My pup just shredded it.
    -Put a marrow bone (from the grocery store butcher) in with them, they can't resist.
    -Leave tv on when you leave. Supposedly it doesn't work, but it makes me feel better. He likes animal planet
    -Put them in a crate 20 mins before you leave so they dont think crate means automatically leaving. We also will crate him for 20 minutes while we are doing something around the house.
    -Don't let them lean on you, or snuggle with you in a sumbissive pose. It only makes it worse. Mine was very clingy at the beginning but has started to relax, we can even go in a different room without him following now.

    Hope these work, my guy is starting to calm slightly,he doesn't even tear up his blanket anymore!! Our next stop if he doesn't keep improving is a percription of doggie drugs from the vet. I'd hate to do it, but I don't want him to be stressed either.

    Good luck with your dog! Hopefully she gets better, have you had her long?

    Oh and a picture of the pain- "Dually" (you don't need facebook to see it) http://www.facebook.com/media/set/fb...2&l=70e24b2c17 doesn't he look so innocent?
    Proud owner of Belle- 17.2h PerchxTB-wannabe dressage horse & Fayah 14.1H arab-trail horse extroidinaire!


    • Original Poster

      I have owned her since she was 4 months old. I have tried all of those suggestions thanks. This has been going on for a long time. I guess maybe the trip to the vet for drugs is the way to go.


      • #4
        Sentry makes a Good Behavior Pheromone collar, one for dog and one for cats.

        See thread I started here: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=303055
        The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.


        • #5
          drugs will help to break the cycle, but drugs will not fix the problem by themselves. You need a behavioral consult with a veterinary behaviorst who can monitor the pharmecutical end and write up a behavioral plan to put in place.

          SA is not to be messed with lightly, doing the wrong things or in the wrong order can make it worse and dogs have done amazingly stupid things because of SA.

          Check out vet schools in your area to see if they have a behavioral program, or make what ever length of trip you need to in order to get the proper help.


          • #6
            I have a dog with severe separation anxiety. See this thread, lots of good info on it. Includes what we've done with our dog as well as other posters advice.

            Pheromone collars and diffusers did absolutely nothing to help.

            Check into Karen Overall's relaxation protocol.

            I second threedogpack who said this is not to be taken lightly - at all. After exhausting the resources of our primary vet, then the local referral hospital's behavioral vet, we finally drove our dog the 90 minutes to UPenn's behavioral service. Three-hour long appointment, but we got great info on dealing with her, much printed info to take home and different drugs.


            Best of luck. This is NOT easy to deal with!

            ETA: We found our dog at an adoption event 15 months ago. She was rescued from a high-kill shelter in extreme southwest NC after being picked up by AC as a stray and shipped to Maryland, then we brought her home to NJ.
            Last edited by tarynls; May. 2, 2011, 11:16 PM.


            • #7
              Originally posted by tarynls View Post
              I have a dog with severe separation anxiety. See this thread, lots of good info on it. Includes what we've done with our dog as well as other posters advice.
              I remember your post and your dog, how is she doing?


              • #8
                Originally posted by threedogpack View Post
                I remember your post and your dog, how is she doing?
                She's been doing much better, thanks. We had to switch meds around yet again and it seems to have calmed her down enough that we can actually work with her. She still has a huge problem with clipping her nails though; she absolutely does not want her paws touched.

                But we can acutually leave the house now and not come home to a destroyed house or a dog that's a basket case so we've made progress.....we've found she's better if we take baby steps with anything we do. Better living through chemistry helped a lot too The meds have allowed her brain to process info, rather than go straight to the flight or fight response.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tarynls View Post
                  The meds have allowed her brain to process info, rather than go straight to the flight or fight response.
                  excellent. This is what I had been hoping to hear and I applaud you for continuing to seek the appropriate meds and training her. This is a lucky,lucky dog to have owners who are willing to do what they have to, in order to help her.

                  I honestly think that SA is as much a mental illness in dogs as any mental illness in people and they really do need medical intervention.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by threedogpack View Post
                    excellent. This is what I had been hoping to hear and I applaud you for continuing to seek the appropriate meds and training her. This is a lucky,lucky dog to have owners who are willing to do what they have to, in order to help her.

                    I honestly think that SA is as much a mental illness in dogs as any mental illness in people and they really do need medical intervention.
                    I agree with you; after living with a dog with such severe SA, I really do think it is akin to mental illness in humans.

                    We were not informed of the SA when we adpoted her; her foster mom only had her for one night before we got her. Once we realized what we were dealing with, we had to be committed to do whatever necessary - there was no way we could re-home her, not knowing where she would ultimately end up.

                    Now, she is a happy dog, she even wags her tail in her sleep. She has discovered the joy of toys (she had likely never seen a toy before coming here).

                    The only issue we have is clipping her nails; she absolutely does not want her paws touched. So, we make it a point to handle her paws, if only resting our hand on her paw, multiple times every day. And we're getting there.

                    Thanks, threedogpack - your advice was very helpful in my original thread!


                    • #11
                      my last dog(rest his beautiful soul) had severe seperation anxiety. awful. when the dog trainer working w/ us tried to walk him away(<10ft away) from my SO and I, he freaked out so horribley that once he flipped himself over, she couldn't get him back on his feet w/ all his thrashing and screaming. he would scream/howl/bark loudly and constantly if I even started to walk away from him and he was unable to follow. He screamed, destroyed everything in reach and chewed holes in his metal crate when confined, even if I was in the same room. When we initially adopted him he would howl and bark all the time unless he could be in someone's lap recieving undivided attention.
                      a lot of training and a little medication greatly improved his behaviour. although he still screamed and destroyed what he could reach if left completely alone, the overall improvement was HUGE. he was much happier.
                      he was about 75lbs and got 40mg of fluoxetine daily, about the minimum reccomended dose for his size. He was supposed to take it for 6months and then be weaned off but he passed away before he was scheduled to come off it.
                      Paired w/ a good training program(very important) I think that the SSRIs can help a lot.


                      • Original Poster

                        I guess mine isn't so bad after all. She can stay out with the other dogs without a problem when we are gone - we usually don't leave anyone out over 2 hours. She settles down in her cage once she is put in it when I leave for work. Her cage is next to two of my other dogs. If you put anything in there she won't eat it or chew on it, it will just sit there.

                        She barks a lot as soon as she hears me come in the door, and continues until she decides to stop, or if she is fed that shuts her up. She follows me everywhere, and waits outside the door of the bathroom if I go in there. If my boyfriend comes home first and she starts barking as soon as she sees him she shuts up, if it is me all heck breaks loose.

                        I guess she doesn't have it so bad after hearing the stories on this thread. Yikes. If I can get her barking under control, and whinning I would be happy.


                        • #13
                          Is she friends with the other dogs?

                          Our girl was so bad she broke a tooth trying to chew her way out of a crate and we were gone for 2 hours. She also once opened & jumped out of a 2 story window, when we were at work, came out of it without a scratch thankfully!

                          What helped with her was
                          (1) Age
                          (2) Having another dog-companion she LOVES
                          (3) Me staying at home with the kids so we could work on the sep axh 10-20 minutes at a time.

                          She is still the BIGGEST suck in the entire world but they've both gotten so good we can leave them loose in the house when we go out (as long as I hide the garbage ).
                          "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                          Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                          Need You Now Equine