Seperation Anxiety

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by StillandSilent, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. StillandSilent

    StillandSilent New Member

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    What does one do for a dog who has seperation anxiety, but not at home? Grimm is perfectly behaved when I leave him at home. He is allowed free run of the apartment and does not bark, destroy things, or go potty inside.

    However, he does get SA when he is left somewhere other then my home. He ruined my Drivers Lisence and Debit Card last week, as well as my nephews slippers, when he was left closed in a back bedroom (with Argon for company) at my mothers. The boys and I spend a day or two there every other week or so, so this was a fairly familiar place to him.

    I was willing to excuse that as a fluke, but I left him at daycare, which is the same place I work at and he goes to 6 days a week, while I was at the blood center for three hours the other day, and he stood at the fence and cried the entire time. This is a dog who loves playing in a group and has zero problems when I am there with him.

    I've switched the playyard that I am responsible for, so another staff member has control of him when I work. He can still see and hear me, but I do nothing for him and he must listen to my coworker. He does fine when I am there.

    He's going to be spending a weekend at my mothers, without me, in a week, so I need some suggestions to make things less stressful for him. He will have to be crated, which he knows how to do, but what else can I do to help his problem in general?
     
  2. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    He doesn't have SA. He sounds like he needs routine. When you change the routine he doesn't do well. You might try bringing him to different places, use different cars, etc, so that he can become more confident in new situations.

    He's used to being at your mom's, so good. Start leaving him there for very short increments, and make them longer. Your mom can work at distracting him when you walk out the door. One way is to not feed him breakfast, bring him to Mom's, she can feed him when you leave. That sort of thing. I think he will probably respond better than you think if he will not be left alone, and the family knows the situation.
     
  3. StillandSilent

    StillandSilent New Member

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    Other then coming to work with me (7-1, Tues-Sun), he doesn't really have a routine. Sometimes we go for a walk right after work, sometimes in the evening, sometimes not at all. Sometimes we go to the dog park, sometimes not. Sometimes we train right away, sometimes we do it after dark. Food comes on a variable schedule to, because I can't stand it when a dog starts begging at 4:45, when they know food comes at 5.

    When I have a coworker handle him instead of me, he does fine as long as he can see/smell/hear me. It's only when I am completely away that he melts down.

    Could you explain to me why you think it isn't SA and is a routine problem? You could well be right, but I'm not following your line of thought.

    Also, Mom lives over 2 hours away, so its not a simple thing to bring him to her or her to him on a daily basis. I am sending his favorite things (especially Argon and Cheshire the kitten) so he will have some thing he recognizes.
     
  4. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    A dog with SA would not behave perfectly well at home when you leave. True SA is very difficult to deal with.

    You could leave with him, along with his own crate and toys, something that smells of you. Typically, one would use an old t-shirt that needs to be washed. Your Mom, and whoever lives with her, needs to ignore bad behavior (using the crate will be helpful with chewing inappropriate items). Since chewing helps to release endorphins, it acts as an antidepressant for a dog. If he had a nice raw chew bone (sized to the dog, not too big) in the crate it could help with his anxiety. He probably chewed the slippers in order to get a pacifying chew, like sucking his thumb. They should take the dog outside and really run him hard to tire him out. Even if he is upset, he'll fall asleep if he is tired enough. In addition, you can get Bach Flower Essence, Rescue Remedy. This is used in some animal shelters and is known to take the edge off.

    Does anyone know TTouch or massage? Gently rubbing a dog's ears can really bring them down to Earth, along with slow stroking along the sides.
     

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