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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy Separation anxiety?

I am at a loss here. Logan can't stand to be separated from Dave or myself. Today, I went out for about an hour and left Dave with the dogs and Dave said all Logan did was cry. Dave tells me I baby and pamper him too much. Because I am not working I am home all day with the dogs and he said it isn't good for them, especially Logan. Molly is much more stoic and can tolerate being alone. During the day, I put the gate up in the kitchen so they have access to the deck and I can get my housework done. Dave said I need to put him in the crate during the day so he gets used to being separated from me. I think this is bs because even when I worked, Logan didn't get used to being by himself. When he whines or cries, and I tell him to knock it off he stops but eventually he starts back up again. I am wondering if this is going to be a constant thing with him or will he outgrow it? I don't like for a dog to be so attached, that they can't tolerate being apart from their owner. I have socialized him since he was a puppy and he is not fearful of other people or things. He used to sleep on our bed but he now sleeps in his own bed in our bedroom. I don't think I baby him at all but Dave thinks much differently.

I feel like a very irresponsible dog owner. If anyone can offer suggestions, please do so.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 11:36 PM
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Awww hon! You are a wonderful doggie owner! I don't think you baby him too much. I know what you mean, Kahlua, our boy dachshund, especially doesn't like to be seperated from us. I know that's more of a breed trait though, Penny and Jasmine do it too, but he is by far much worse with the seperation anxiety. He cries the second I have my purse or hears keys. But the difference is, he wants to go to his crate, he feels safe there. He is scared we are going to leave him out. The few times we left him out for even 10 minutes (AND my brother was home) he chewed my brother's wallet, Brad's palm pilot case, etc. He doesn't like being out at all when we are gone. He will sometimes cry until he gets his way. I dread a day he would have to stay overnight at a vet or someone unfamiliar watching him.. it wouldn't fly very well. When we went away for a couple days when he was about 9 months old, the lady we got him from watched him. It's like he didn't even know his mom and daddy dog, he moped and cried the whole entire time not eating!

When you guys do leave, etc, do the dogs go in their crates or in the kitchen area? It might be a good idea to get him more used to his crate, and as hard as it is, try to kind of ignore his crying. Make him feel comfy, his bed or toy that he likes, etc. Sometimes putting music or a tv on helps, too.

I'm sure everyone else will have great ideas for you! Hang in there, hon!

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 11:36 PM
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I don't think you're irresponsible. Some dogs just develop separation anxiety... it maybe a result of owners or just the dogs personality. I knew a german shepard pup the trainer took to the other side of the room. He threw a fit being separated only 6 ft from his mommy.

Anyway, maybe just trying to desensitize him to being separated from you. He maybe is worried you won't come back. Start to perhaps jsut leaving and staying outside for a while then come back so he gets that you aren't leaving for or good... although where he got that idea I dont' know. obviously you love him lots.


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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 08:18 AM
 
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Question



I have this problem too. I'm home recovering from a heart condition (a virus damaged my heart & I have congestive heart failure) so I'm with Elvis Lee all the time too. He's only 7 months old & being a maltese-poodle mix, I think separation anxiety is part of his breed since maltese were bred to be companion dogs.

I do go out, but I do not leave him alone. My parents & other extended family live in my neighborhood so whenever I go out, they puppysit. He always looks so sad when I leave, but I just go, I don't make a big deal of it. The puppysitters say he whines & cries a little, then he's fine. When I come home, he is super excited & gives me lots & lots of puppy kisses. But the look in his eyes when I return upsets me - I'm sure it's just my interpretation of his feelings - he looks at me like he is saying "Mommy, you're back! I thought you left me forever." and this breaks my heart so I have a tendancy to take him with me when I go out if I'm going somewhere where dogs are allowed.

He has a crate & hangs out in it sometimes during the day but I do not close it up, the door is always open. I would like him to be more independent & be able to be home alone for short periods of time (up to 2 hrs) but I'm not sure if he's the kind of dog that can handle being alone. He is very well socialized, loves other dogs & loves people. I don't want to traumatize him if he's the type that need to be around people 24/7 however, it would be great if he could be alone for a little while.

Any advise you can offer is greatly appreciated.

p.s. we're starting obedience classes Wed. will this help with separation anxiety at all?
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 08:31 AM
 
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I am reading Housetraining for Dummies and Puppies for dummies, and I swear i read that puppies go through a seperation anxiety thing, but then when they hit their "adolesence"(That is spelled so wrong I know) they will go the opposite way of not needing you so much before striking a balance. I will look it up in the book now and then come back to be certain!
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 08:35 AM
 
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There are 2 approaches listed in the book. The one is how your dog begins noticing your cues of leaving, hair, make up, clothes, keys, out the door. It says to do all that and then just sit and read so the dog doesn't always associate your make up with you leaving.

A device that helps called the D.A.P. approach releases a pheromone that reminds the dog of the well ebing he felt as a puppy and is proven to work 75% of the time in studies, it has to be plugged in 24 hours a day, it is available at pet stores and pet catalogs.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 09:56 AM
 
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thanks. I forgot to mention, when he was neutered, he was at the Vet overnight. I was supposed to pick him up around 1pm but they called me at 730am, saying "please come get Elvis, he had a hoarse voice from crying all night". poor baby couldn't bard for a few days
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 12:46 PM
 
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Seperation anxiety hits close to home for me.. we had a 5 year old pitbull who developed it and unfortunately it was not a good outcome. I struggled with whether or not I wanted to post about it but I decided to.

He developed it pretty much out of nowhere a couple of years after we adopted him. He was such a great dog, he was always ok being on his own, the one say it's like he just.. snapped. He went through window screens if my mom was down the road chatting to a neighbour trying to get to her.. he would whine and literally SCREAM when my mom went out.. we had several neighbours stop by to ask if he was ok and make sure we weren't torturing him because it sounded so horrific. He tore up the house every time he was left alone for anywhere between 10 mins to a full work day (by tore up I mean ripped up couch cushions and chewed up remotes/phones/coffee tables etc) I can tell you we tried EVERYTHING with our baby to make him better... spent thousands of dollars on vet trip, behaviourists, training, medications.. he just wouldn't get out of it. We crated him but he was so desperate to get out he BENT THE BARS on the crate and cut himself up in the process.. he just wouldn't snap out of it. One of the worst things he did was once when my mom brought him with her to go drop papers off at her workplace she left him in the cab of the truck for 2 minutes with the window cracked 2 inches.. she came back and her window was smashed and he was wandering around the workyard searching for her and he was bloody from cutting himself up on the broken window.
One day while my mom was out grocery shopping he was left home alone for an hour. She came back and he tore off the pads on his feet going crazy He tore down door frames, window frames, tore up and ripped carpetting all over her house, scratched doors and walls.. there was blood everywhere.. it was terrible. There were bloody streaks all over the walls and stained carpets Anyway we consulted a couple of vets and my moms friend who works at our local animal rescue about making a final decision and after a year of trying to resolve his seperation anxiety issues unsuccessfully he had to be put down Rehoming wasn't an option because his actions wouldnt change and we didn't want to give him to someone and find out they dropped him off at some shelter because they couldn't 'fix' him either. I miss him so much, he was such a great dog.. I wish we knew what happened to our poor baby.

One tip that sticks out that a behaviourist told us to do was to fill up a garbage bag with paper and 'pretend' to take it out a few times a day to get your dog used to you going and coming back so they understand you are not and will not abandon them. It's worth a shot.. it helped our baby out at the beginning before he went out of control.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 12:59 PM
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Wow Chrissy, I've never heard of separation anxiety being that bad. I'm sorry that you guys had to make such a tough decision and have the dog put down.

Denise, my Red Doberman Scarlette had separation anxiety from about the second week I had her. She had a fit if I went into the bathroom and shut the door. At first we thought it was cute since she was a little pup and so attached to me but it started to get worse and she would throw a huge fit everytime I walked out the door.

I resolved it by putting her in her crate, giving her a toy and then walking out the door. I would wait a few minutes then come back in the house (of course she was howling the whole time). Then I would let her out, play with her a bit, then back in the crate and repeat the process only I would extend the time I was outside. Eventually she realized that I was coming back and she settled down. It took awhile but it worked for us.

Mirra and Sydnee throw a fit if Jeff or I leave the house separately. Heck, Jeff left for work 20 minutes ago and Sydnee is still whining and barking for him. They do the same thing if I leave and he stays here. If we both leave at the same time and they're crated with their Kongs they won't make a peep. Weirdos!


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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 01:14 PM
 
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Scarlette - Yah the vets were pretty baffled with it, also.. especially since he wasn't totally babied his whole life and had been left alone quite a bit since we got him with no issues. He was quite abused before we got him (we found him on the side of the road and he has pellet marks all over his hind end and was extremely skiddish and afraid of men - we and the vets figured he was being trained as a fight dog but he didn't have the kind of spirit so he was abandoned.. he was SUCH a great dog ) so maybe something just snapped over time and he thought he would be abandoned again and have to go back to those horrible people.. who knows. I never realized it could be that bad, either.. I hope to never have to go through that again
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 01:51 PM
 
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hi Chrissy, thanks for sharing your sad story. I'm sure you'll bee with him again someday. He was a very luck dog to have you & your family love him after what he went through.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 05:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis Lee Mommy
hi Chrissy, thanks for sharing your sad story. I'm sure you'll bee with him again someday. He was a very luck dog to have you & your family love him after what he went through.
Thank you so much for your kind words, you brought a little tear to my eye It hasn't quite been a year since we lost him but I still think about him every day
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-27-2006, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all the feedback and information. Logan will be 10 months old this weekend so technically he is still a puppy correct? I do hope he grows out of this. I do not want him to be dependent on me. I feel bad because I know he loves Dave and I very much and in general, loves people (thank God). I think a dog should be part of the family and I don't agree with keeping a dog from certain parts of the house on a constant basis. I will continue leaving the gate up in the kitchen so he can have separation time from me. When he whines to get attention I tell him to knock it off and he does listen. Rhonda, it makes me feel better to know your girls do the same thing if you or Jeff leave. I feel like I am doing something wrong and I sure as heck don't want to have a dog that is insecure.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-27-2006, 03:06 AM
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Great advice everyone.

The only thing I can add is that you should really completely ignore your dog if they are whining or barking for you. They are trying to get your attention, good or bad.

Chaquita had this problem very badly when we lived in apartments, but it stopped when we moved to the house with a doggy door. I think he gave her a release. The only thing that worked for her is crating her and Penny together when I left.

My overall advice would be to completely ignore him unless he is quiet. If he is quiet, give him a treat or something.

I hope all goes well with you!


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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-28-2006, 10:19 PM
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My family's dog Coco has seperation anxiety and he is almost 9 yrs old.He has grown out of it mostly tho and isn't as bad as some of your stories...he only freaks out sometimes if left alone and only barks non stop and pees in the house, however other times he is best kind...in his senoir years I guess he realizes that everyone always comes back.

Some of the foster pups/dogs I have had have had seperation anxiety...when they whine,cry,bark...etc in their crate, do not give them any attention...negative or positive, as they will keep it up, as they get attention and think "hmmm...when I do this, they pay attention to me!"...once they settle down in their crates then you can let them out.





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