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neurotic dog help?

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  • neurotic dog help?

    I need help, we have a super sweet dog, Sadie is a mixed breed maybe some golden retriever and border collie in there. She was a rescue and a little neurotic but very gentle and fun. We got her when she was around 10 months and have had her 5 years.

    I had a baby last spring and we thought she would handle it better but she has been getting increasingly anxious. She has always been weird about food and will steal it when left alone, lately she has been doing it every time she has been left alone. She has also been stealing eggs from our coop and pooping in the house daily (very unusual, possibly due to the large number of eggs she was stealing) She has not been listening to me well lately (poor recall) and having a lot of separation anxiety when left alone.

    She gets lots of attention and exercise, although we aren't outside as much because of the weather, but I'm home most of the time. I don't want to have to crate her at night and when we are gone since she hates it and will cry and shred blankets the whole time but I'm not sure what else to do.
    for more Joy then you can handle
    http://dangerbunny.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    Originally posted by dangerbunny View Post
    I had a baby last spring and we thought she would handle it better but she has been getting increasingly anxious. She has always been weird about food and will steal it when left alone, lately she has been doing it every time she has been left alone.
    dogs do what works, and stealing works, because the food is accessible. For at least a few weeks, you will have to manage this because you have several issues to address.

    She has not been listening to me well lately (poor recall) and having a lot of separation anxiety when left alone.
    do you use food for the recall? If not, start as she is obviously food motivated.

    She gets lots of attention and exercise, although we aren't outside as much

    Comment


    • #3
      I had a bc/golden cross, very sensitive, and like any border collie, could be bad news if not either tired or occupied....exercise is good but some interactive training stuff might help too.

      Comment


      • #4
        More exercise. Twice a day brisk walks/jogs for about 45 min each time. Excess energy will feed anxiety. I know winter can make it harder on you, but it is absolutely needed.

        Do about 20 min a day training to tire her mentally.

        Consider NILIF. It can help anxious dogs learn what to expect and actually builds confidence.

        Consider a thundershirt. They have a money back guarantee.

        Leave a TV on when going out. Google "I'll be home soon" by Patricia McConnell. Good for SA. Also google Crate Games. It'll help teach her to learn that her crate is safe. Or try a smaller room with a toddler gate (or 2) in doorway. Don't just close door, as that can be worse for some dogs with SA.

        Re do housetraining. 100% supervision and regular times for feeding and going out to potty. Make sure any accidents are cleaned with an enzyme cleaner. Don't give her the chance to have an accident. (Which means you must contain her if you go out.)

        You MUST make it so the dog cannot get to food/eggs. Everytime she does it is self rewarding and reinforcing the behavior.

        Maybe try Melatonin about 20 min before leaving to go out. Dosage is 1 mg per 20 lbs of bodyweight up to 3 mg (for up to 90 lb dogs.) IE if you have a 60 lb dog give 3 mg. Give 3 mg total for dogs up to 90 lbs. For a 30 lb dog give 1 1/2 mg.
        Giant breeds like great danes/Mastiffs can get up to 6 mg total.
        Be aware that Melatonin comes in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 mg tablets. You can get it at grocery or drug stores in the supplement/sleep aid section.

        Comment


        • #5
          consider a visit to the vet. When a fully mature adult dog exhibits behavioral changes, particularly anxiety, it can mean something is wrong with the dog, health-wise.
          crating a dog with separation anxiety or behavioral problems is rarely a good idea- it's like sticking a Band-Aid over a torn artery, it doesn't address the actual issue at all. A crate can be used as part of a training program, but please don't use one to "cover up" a problem. Fix the problem instead.
          can you elaborate on the dog's exercise and work program? because it is very true that "a tired dog is a good dog", and most dogs need far more exercise than their owners think they need.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
            Leave a TV on when going out.
            Not to hijack this thread, but I'd be curious as to how much leaving the TV on helps the average dog with separation anxiety. I have a 5 year old Great Dane who has been with me 4 years. I was her 5th home in a year, and she has terrible separation anxiety, although not really of the typical sort. She doesn't destroy anything when left alone in my apartment, although she doesn't really seem to like it. For the first three years I had her, I worked from home, and now that I have to go to an office every day, she is definitely more clingy when I get home from work. She does have worse issues when I have to travel; she doesn't want to leave my apartment, and if I am gone longer than a couple of days she will get depressed, not want to eat, etc. If she is walking in the neighborhood, at the dog park, at the vet, etc, she gets very panicky if I am more than about 4 feet away from her. She does have pretty bad general anxiety issues as well, and is on Prozac and Clorazepate to help with those. I have tried a second dog as a companion, but she seems to be one of those odd dogs that would prefer to be an only dog; my neighbor across the hall has two dogs that she spends time with daily, and she seems to prefer that arrangement. Anyway, I don't have a TV just as a matter of personal preference, but I have been considering buying one to leave on during the day while I'm at work (I realize that sounds crazy, but I could certainly rot my brain occasionally and not mind, so it wouldn't be just for her). I've tried leaving a radio on for her, which didn't seem to have any effect, and although I know there's no way to predict, I'd be more inclined to try a TV if I heard that it had helped some other dogs. Any experiences, positive or negative?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Pookah View Post
              Not to hijack this thread, but I'd be curious as to how much leaving the TV on helps the average dog with separation anxiety. I have a 5 year old Great Dane who has been with me 4 years. I was her 5th home in a year, and she has terrible separation anxiety, although not really of the typical sort. She doesn't destroy anything when left alone in my apartment, although she doesn't really seem to like it. For the first three years I had her, I worked from home, and now that I have to go to an office every day, she is definitely more clingy when I get home from work. She does have worse issues when I have to travel; she doesn't want to leave my apartment, and if I am gone longer than a couple of days she will get depressed, not want to eat, etc. If she is walking in the neighborhood, at the dog park, at the vet, etc, she gets very panicky if I am more than about 4 feet away from her. She does have pretty bad general anxiety issues as well, and is on Prozac and Clorazepate to help with those. I have tried a second dog as a companion, but she seems to be one of those odd dogs that would prefer to be an only dog; my neighbor across the hall has two dogs that she spends time with daily, and she seems to prefer that arrangement. Anyway, I don't have a TV just as a matter of personal preference, but I have been considering buying one to leave on during the day while I'm at work (I realize that sounds crazy, but I could certainly rot my brain occasionally and not mind, so it wouldn't be just for her). I've tried leaving a radio on for her, which didn't seem to have any effect, and although I know there's no way to predict, I'd be more inclined to try a TV if I heard that it had helped some other dogs. Any experiences, positive or negative?
              I should have said TV or Radio. It's the noise that helps some. If the radio didn't help yours, the TV wouldn't either.
              Look at www.Fearfuldogs.com It has some great info for anxious or fearful dogs.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have a CD called "Through a Dog's Ear" that I leave on repeat all day. More then anything, I am hoping to block out outside noises. I also use the Thundershirt, she is on daily clomiprimine, composure treats, lots of exercise, and peanut butter kongs only when we are gone. Nothing is ever left on counters, and no accidents in the house since the anxiety is controlled. If I put her in a crate, she would most likely destroy herself, although we have been working on crate training and it is going well.

                Comment

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