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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
Paw-Talk Lifer
 
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Unhappy I feel like I'm starting over.

Gumbo has recently developed into a more serious separation anxiety, even down to pooping in his crate, which he NEVER used to do. I'm starting the desensitization process all over again, and feel like we have made no progress. (http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/separtn.htm - following this guide)

If he's not dead tired (i.e. 2am when I go to bed), he'll just howl in the crate constantly. It's only gotten that way in the last 2 weeks or so. He still follows me everywhere but had been getting better about playing in the other room. I'm wondering if it's the fact that he started being allowed to sleep in the bed with us rather than in the crate. Looks like that's going to have to stop.

What I don't get is that he has no qualms about being in the crate, it's only if I'm out of his sight.

Suggestions are very, very welcome.

Stephanie

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 02:27 PM
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My goodness, that's hard to deal with! What sort of things are in his crate already? I noticed the site suggested an old tee or towel or something of the like... Have you ever put a ticking clock in with him? That's supposed to be comforting.

Where is his crate at night when you go to bed? I'm wondering if a stepbystep process of slowly moving the crate further away from you to where you want the crate to be always will help? IE. Start with the crate in a position where he can see you at night, then slowly move it further away and see if that helps any?


I really hope you are able to work this out of him, there's not much more frustrating than regression.

Good luck!




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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velvetrabbit
My goodness, that's hard to deal with! What sort of things are in his crate already? I noticed the site suggested an old tee or towel or something of the like... Have you ever put a ticking clock in with him? That's supposed to be comforting.
Right now he usually has his bed, 2-3 toys and a t-shirt of mine.

Quote:
Where is his crate at night when you go to bed? I'm wondering if a stepbystep process of slowly moving the crate further away from you to where you want the crate to be always will help? IE. Start with the crate in a position where he can see you at night, then slowly move it further away and see if that helps any?
I'll try that. The thing is he used to be better in the crate if I WASN'T in sight. Now it's the opposite, which is rather confusing. It's normally in the living room. Starting in the bedroom might be difficult since Chris has to work early mornings and has little patience for a barking dog at 2am, you know?

Stephanie

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 02:37 PM
Just Call Me Oblivious!
 
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That does pose a little bit of a problem... Maybe try a ticking clock first? The repetitive ticking sounds usually provide a sense of comfort, the sense of not being alone, maybe that's all he needs?

I wish I knew more about this kind of thing. Alas, I'm not fortunate to have owned a dog myself, nor has there been a dog in the house recently, so I'm a little on the rusty side as far as problem-solving goes .




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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 02:43 PM
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Maximus had terrible anxiety if he wasn't right by my side. He slept with me, went to the bathroom with me, sat by the shower door waiting for me etc etc...

If I was out of sight he'd cry until I returned. Since I work from home almost always, it probably didn't help because he was so used to me being around... if I left to go grocery shopping he was a mess...

I think you've already got most of the details on how to start combatting the problem so just keep do'n what you're doing there...

RE: the crate -- Have you considered beginning to cover it with a blanket..

Just an idea (no clue if it would help)

1) Place folded up blanket on top of crate and have him in there while HE CAN still see you.... if that's fine then..

2) Drape the blanket down a bit on all sides of the crate (leaving the top covered too of course) so that he can STILL SEE YOU if he's "laying down" looking in the bottom opened part... If that's fine then...

3) Drop the blanket the rest of way WHILE YOU ARE STILL NEARBY enough so that your sounds let him know you're still there...and begin increasing the "silent time" a lil bit more until he begins to "assume" you're there...even if he can't see you.

Not sure if that'd help... but maybe?

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 02:45 PM
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aww Jade I'm sorry I know how frustrating seperation anxiety is (Nacho had it bad) I haven't read the link so sorry if I'm repeating myself here.
Start by sitting him in the crate where you are visible but on the other side of the room. Give him his fave toy to play with (or a stuffed kong) and just leave him there....only pay attention to him for being 'quiet'. When he can fully handle that (by ignoring you and playing with his toy instead...if he just sits and stares at you then don't progress but don't look at him....if he start crying or barking ignore him until he stops! Biscuit would go for five hours straight so you have a lot of ignroing to do!!! but if he isn't going to stop then leave the room and do what you have to do...just be ready to yell at a praise the second he stops) start hiding behind the corner for 1 second...and coming back out....he will realise that you aren't gone for long and it doesn't matter. Praise him when he stops responding to you ducking out of sight around the corner and then slowly increase the time that you are gone. That should help you out at home. and I'd definently stop the bed thing....I'd even have him sleeping in his own room if possible. Just so you are out of sight. He'll probably cry and you'll get no sleep at all so do it start that when you don't have to work.
I'm guessing you are still taking him to work with you. Put a towel over his cage at work so he can't see you. Again you may only be able to do this on quiet nights but it will help him.
When you are home and leaving without him....most people have the same routine. They put the dog in the crate, and grab their bags and keys last thing. Put him in his crate while you are getting ready. He can't be there to watch you the whole time and hopefully won't realise as quickly what you are doing. you need to mix this up....put him in his crate when you are just going outside to get the mail etc. You may need to put a towel over his cage so that you can completely ignore him when you get back and only let him out when he is calm and quiet. Don't make a big deal of you leaving...leave without saying goodbye and come home without greeting him straight away. Biscuit doesn't have seperation anxiety (but I think she used to have it a bit) and she'll still jump all over me when I get home and she gets ignored until all feet are firmly on the ground and she has settled down.
When you are out he needs something that he will totally love and it is to only come out when you are going out. So if it's a kong with his favourite stuffing or his favourite toy. Something you know he'll absolutely love!!!!! This way you leave and he gets a treat!
I'm going to stop now incase I'm repeating myself but he is only young and hasn't had a chance to develop seperation anxiety really badly so you will be able to fix it!!!! Have faith!

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSbunny
and I'd definently stop the bed thing....I'd even have him sleeping in his own room if possible. Just so you are out of sight. He'll probably cry and you'll get no sleep at all so do it start that when you don't have to work.
He's been in the living room since we got him, only in the last couple weeks had we been letting him sleep in the bed (which is stopping as of last night.)

Quote:
I'm guessing you are still taking him to work with you. Put a towel over his cage at work so he can't see you. Again you may only be able to do this on quiet nights but it will help him.
He rarely goes to work with me unless Chris is working late or won't be home all evening. When he does, he's in a cage at the back of the hospital. He usually whines for a minute then calms down until he sees me again.

Quote:
you need to mix this up....put him in his crate when you are just going outside to get the mail etc. You may need to put a towel over his cage so that you can completely ignore him when you get back and only let him out when he is calm and quiet. Don't make a big deal of you leaving...leave without saying goodbye and come home without greeting him straight away.
This is what I've always done.

Quote:
When you are out he needs something that he will totally love and it is to only come out when you are going out. So if it's a kong with his favourite stuffing or his favourite toy. Something you know he'll absolutely love!!!!! This way you leave and he gets a treat!
This is the only time he gets a Kong, we usually put some dogfood in the bottom and peanut butter or just a dab of meat baby food in the top.

Quote:
I'm going to stop now incase I'm repeating myself but he is only young and hasn't had a chance to develop seperation anxiety really badly so you will be able to fix it!!!! Have faith!
Thanks for all the advice, Carmen!

Stephanie

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 02:57 PM
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That's ok....I won't be back at work until tuesday but I'll get Nacho's report out of my file and have a look to see what else the behavourist told me to do...it's been a while and I can't remember all of it.
when we got Biscuit she would scream constantly!! I don't know if it was attention seeking, seperation anxiety or a bit of both cause she'd scream (I say scream cause staffy's do scream, she sounded like she was being tortured) when she was in her crate and we were home, she'd scream when we were out. We basically became very patient people and ignored her...there would be days where we would be going insane but until she stopped (even if it was to take a breath) she got ignored! She was around three when we got her, with no history of her past and finally she no longer screams much! she knows that her crate is a place to be quiet and we can now put her in there at any time of the day and she is quiet. If we can get biscuit to stop screaming (and they are a vocal dog anyway) you can certainly break Gumbo of this habit!!!

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSbunny
she knows that her crate is a place to be quiet and we can now put her in there at any time of the day and she is quiet. If we can get biscuit to stop screaming (and they are a vocal dog anyway) you can certainly break Gumbo of this habit!!!
The patience thing is further complicated with us being in an apartment.

He's in the crate next to me with the door closed right now (after being in and out with the door off for an hour or so) and going NUTS. You'd think I were beating him.

Maybe I'll bake the neighbors some cookies.

Stephanie

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 03:04 PM
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Steph, I am sure if you explain the problem to your neighbors they will understand. Keeping my fingers crossed that Gumbo is relieved of his separation anxiety soon.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 03:11 PM
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Steph go and talk to your neighbours.....Biscuit was so loud that even locked in the house with all doors and windows closed the neighbours across the road could still hear her If you go and explain what you are doing I'm sure they'll understand. Tell them that you won't let him go all night long (we couldn't either...so just build up to it if needed) and that if he gets too much during the day to come and let you know and you'll stop the training process. I did this with all my neighbours and not one complained!

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 03:17 PM
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Did you get the book I suggested?

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christi
Did you get the book I suggested?
I don't remember you suggesting one? (Used to be blonde, ya know.)

Stephanie

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 04:20 PM
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I've suggested it over and over in the dogs forum! LOL

Smarter Than You Think - it's the best book on dog training I've ever read!

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 05:30 PM
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in a nutshell - i think all of the advice here is great!! so i won't repeat.

i think what is happening with gumbo is what happened with chaquita. when i first got her she was great - hardly any potty accidents, no chewing, no crying, etc. then about 1 or 1.5 months later i think she finally realized, "oh...this is going to be my mommy FOREVER." then she got really nervous everytime i left because she cared about me and was attached. she started chewing up the carpet, having nervous poopy a lot, submissive peeing, and started crying. so i had to start working with her from there. but she got better and once i got a house w/a doggy door, she was fine.

so maybe gumbo is just starting to realize that you are his forever mommy and now he's getting nervous again. it will get better! hang in there, girl!


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