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  1. Hello. Apologies in advance for the long post! There are kind of two parts to this. Firstly, my partner and I adopted a beautiful 1.5 yr old boy 2 weeks ago. He seemed fine being left for short periods for the first 3 days, but then at day 4 he became incredibly anxious whenever he thought either of us were leaving. He would pace and whine and follow us around. If either one of us left the house (even for a minute and even if someone else was still inside with him) he would cry and cry and work himself up into a bark. We live in an apartment unfortunately, so I anticipate noise complaints if this was to continue. I did a deep dive into online research (including Patricia McConnell's book) and decided to start alone training. For the past week we have been working on desensitisation, counter conditioning (up to about 5 minutes max, but with frequent relapses), calm greetings/leavings etc. He sleeps through the night fine on his own and he seems to enjoy spending time alone outdoors (he's been snoozing happily out there for the past 3 hours as I write this!). It is just indoors that is the problem. So, I'm not actually sure if I have just assumed that this is a separation anxiety/isolation distress issue, or if it is just him settling in a new environment? I haven't actually left for a long period to see if the whining/howling/barking continues, because if it is true separation anxiety then with alone training you are suppose to make sure you return before the dog becomes distressed (and I don't want to make the issue any worse for the poor boy!) Now the second part - I contacted the adoption group about this and they suggested leaving him alone outside for long periods. I originally had not done this because I thought that greyhounds could not cope too well with the temperatures outdoors. However they advised that he would be fine as long as he has good shelter and a coat if it is cold. He actually loves it outdoors too, he often wants to go and hang out there even when my parter and I are home so I think it is his preferred place to be! I live in Melbourne (Australia), so the temperatures here aren't too extreme, but I do think that on hot days he would have to be indoors. So now for the questions, thank you if you are still here after all of that! 1: Should I keep up alone training or should I just leave him for a longer period (while monitoring on video), and see how he goes? 2: What are your thoughts on greyhounds kept outdoors during the day? He has a huge kennel which is under shelter, warm bed/blankets, warm coats. For summer I was going to get a cooling bed, install a solar powered fan, have a paddle pool and lots of shade. I'm not too on what the max/min temp is that he should be left outside and couldn't find much about this online so any help would be greatly appreciated!. He sleeps inside in the living room. Basically we want him to be comfortable being inside, alone, on days when it is too hot/too cold for him to be outdoors, and also if my partner and I wanted to leave in the evenings. However I'm also not sure if it will be more difficult to train him to be ok with being indoors alone when he is mostly outdoors during the day (he might be confused by the changes in routine?) We could do the alone training in the evenings and weekends, or also on random days during the week (I am working from home at the moment). Any help/advise would be very much appreciated! Thank you!
  2. Hello, as the title said I am curious on how long alone training took before you and your grey were comfortable with them being left alone. I was also wondering if even without training it would naturally get better as they simply get accustomed to it and you returning every time. For some background I have recently adopted a lovely ex racer. He suffers from SA despite trying to begin alone training immediately three weeks ago. He becomes very stressed, although thankfully not destructive and whines and barks loudly. I have gone right back to the beginning using Patricia o'Connells great book and working on it slowly. Confident he will come around with hard work and patience so the questions were really just to satisfy my own understanding. Thanks, this forums has been a great resource
  3. Hi everyone, it has been a week since we adopted our Spirit. He is up to 5-10 minutes of being alone. Of course, he doesn't like it. The trouble is, he takes about 5 minutes to eat his kong because he doesn't like peanut butter, so instead he gets kibble and chicken in the kong but that takes him no time at all. The one time I packed the kong more tightly, he just licked at it for a few minutes and then gave up. Then we got him a bobble toy that distributes kibble, but that also takes him about 5-10 minutes, plus sometimes he gets it stuck underneath some piece of furniture and then he cries and goes away from it. Whenever we do the alone training, we do it when he's tired out from a walk. We make sure not to make a fuss when we leave or come back. When we come back into the house, we wait until he calms down before petting him. We are thinking of crate training him, but he is a big boy and a 54-inch crate will take up 1/4 of the living room or bedroom. If it's necessary, we can get the crate but we thought we'd check in here. Any thoughts? Thank you!
  4. Hi all, I adopted my sweet girl Ellie in late November of last year (2018). Since she’s been with me she's had trouble being alone. I’ve tried everything I can think of and that has been suggested to me. Here is a list: Consistent alone training; 30 seconds, 5 min, 2 min, etc, working up the time Calming chews Exercise (long walks, 1hr + brisk walk or until she didn’t want to walk anymore) Adaptil collar Special toy for absences Kong with peanut butter (only when she’s alone) A mirror and window near her crate Rescue remedy Melatonin A mannequin that I pretend is real to keep her company Leaving tv on, npr, country music, classical music, “dog separation anxiety calming music” A recording of my voice (only worked the first time I tried it) Techniques from “I’ll be home soon” Leaving her loose (she runs and paces) Babygating her to the kitchen/ bedroom area; she tried to break the gate down No dramatic goodbyes or hellos Obedience training with body blocks (wait, sit, stay, shake, down, spin etc) Crating while home Leaving my worn clothing w/ her Working with two behaviorists I’ve been very fortunate to have a great adoption group that has put me in contact with someone who is able to watch her during the day while I’m at work while we continue to work through this, but I feel like we have stopped making progress with the alone training. The weird part of the whole thing is that she appears to be fine for 10-15 minutes after I have left. She does not exhibit any symptoms of anxiety before or after I leave until that point. Then she will start what I call whistling and escalate to crying, then howling (you can hear it on the street), and then becoming more frantic (biting at the crate, trying to bust down the baby gate, running through the house, etc.) She does not seem particularly anxious about anything else. She also hangs out in her crate during the day and sleeps in there with the door open at night. I will also add she does not get particularly excited when I return, she just lays there quietly. My landlords will not allow me to get another dog, so that is not an option until at least August. I also live above them and one of them stays home all day. She is also in the middle of treatment for hookworms :-( so daycare is not an option right now either My current plan is to work on leaving her muzzled and loose with a ton of treats and puzzle toys throughout the house to keep her busy. Today it went alright, but she still periodically cried loudly by the door and then on her bed after she was done messing with the treats. I'm a bit homebound since she can't be left alone. I plan my grocery trips around the weather when she can be left in the car for short periods of time. Please if anyone has any methods or ideas for me to try, let me know. Thank you!
  5. Hey everyone, I've been lurking the forums quite a lot for the past few days, as my wife and I have adopted a 4yo ex racer for about a week and a half now. He's an AMAZING boy, super sweet and really likes a cuddle. But a bit too much - so yeah, it's yet another separation anxiety post. And a long one at that, so thanks to whoever reads through! My wife has dreamt of getting a dog for the past 5 years; we did a ton of research about breeds that would fit our lifestyle and the Greyhound was on the short list, especially because we moved to the UK and there's a lot of ex racers who need a home. Hindsight is 20-20, but we should have researched a lot more into ex-racing Greyhounds specifically (it was more of a broad breed research regarding health, temperament etc). The first day was a complete joy, but the following ones were hell: they hit us like a brick and showed how unprepared we were. A lot of despair and emotional rollercoasters (my wife actually got sick on the 3rd day out of sheer stress), but our sense of responsibility kicked in and we decided to power on to see if we could improve the situation. I work full time, which means she's the one who spends most of the days with him, doing the alone training during the week. Now, from what I've read around, his separation anxiety is relatively mild: he's a velcro dog and on the first nights he cried and clawed or bedroom doors - nowadays, we give him 2 t-shirts of ours, a stuffed kong with PB and it's around 20mins before he's walking around the house all night and whining every few minutes. We started from day one not allowing him to sleep with us because we knew that it would be way harder to separate later on. The rule is: as soon as we close the door, it doesn't open until the morning - we were going back and telling him to go to bed and giving him some treats when he did on the first couple of days, but stopped as we realized we were most likely getting him to think he'd be rewarded for scratching the door. Nowadays, he still pants and whines quite a bit and walks back and forth through the night, but no longer scratches the door. My wife today got him to around 6mins of alone time with the "I'll be home soon" technique (put on your jacket/shoe, grab keys, give the Kong, go outside, wait, come back, take the Kong, clothes off, leave the key, wait a minute, rinse, repeat). Unfortunately, he drops the kong very quickly if he doesn't get any treats, so we kind of reached the point where he eats the Kong before we can extend the time even if it's frozen, and he just stops paying attention to it if it's too hard to take whatever is inside, which reduces his time to around 3 minutes alone without whining. We now spend at least 10 minutes not giving him any contact when showing up in the morning and after returning from work. He unfortunately doesn't play with anything that isn't food (there's this plush toy he destroyed in about 5mins and he doesn't really touch it unless we incite him A LOT, but even that isn't working too much anymore). We do 2 pee breaks before meals to guarantee he doesn't have accidents, and we try to give him at least 2 40min walks a day. One is literally before bedtime, between 10 and 11pm, but there's a lot of foxes around the neighborhood so we're starting to consider if this is just getting him more amped up at bed time instead of tired from the exercise. One of the things that originally attracted us about Greyhounds is that we are pretty laid back, so even though we don't mind caring for him, our routine was very affected by turning into a clockwork bootcamp. Not being able to have some wiggle room or just say "let's go out to the supermarket together" in the middle of the day was way of a bigger burden than we expected. We live in a relatively small flat, with no garden, where both him and us are mostly on the living room. Even thought some Greyhounds will do well in that situation, we feel bad because the only thing he's interested in is food and cuddles, and we can't give him cuddles when he asks for it with all the independence training, which means he's probably bored most of the day (which in turn gets him less likely to sleep at night). It's also pretty heart breaking that we can't make a fuss with him when he comes to greet us. Here comes the hard part: we do love his eventual antics, and we were very emotional this Saturday when he managed to talk to some dog friends in the park (he gets INSANELY anxious at the park seeing a dog running and playing and it breaks our hearts that we're so far away from being able to leave him off the leash to run somewhere). But the hard truth is that we're not madly in love with him, at least not as much as we should have been, most likely because we constantly worry so much and have to ignore him when he's the most excited to avoid increasing his SA, that we're having a hard time bonding with him - right now, my wife feels like she's basically living for him, and not getting a lot of joy from the experience. Thinking this rationally, at the moment we're doing things way more because it's out responsibility to him than because we'd want to keep him even if his condition took many months to improve. The feeling is that, while he is much better in a not-so-good situation with us than waiting for adoption in a kennel, he'd be way better with people who have more experience, a garden, a dog buddy, or someone that is set to love him unconditionally (as we thought we were when we took him). We do know, however, if we were to return him, we'd have to do this as quickly as possible (as he's starting to get used to his routine and feeling a bit more relaxed at our place). It's been really crushing for us to take care of him, because it's been both emotionally and physically draining: the idea of living through months of this without any guarantees that it will improve is, to be honest, terrifying to us. So at the end of the day, my biggest questions are: do you think we're just not the right people/environment for him? Or is this just normal and our feelings also develop over time? I've read so many stories here of situations way, way worse than ours and people who really went above and beyond for over a year, and I simply don't see us being able to do that. Should we simply give up sooner rather than later to avoid turning a mild SA into an acute one? How long do you think we could keep on trying without risking ruining the dog for life? If it was me reading this post some time ago, I'd be judging us hard, but we truly just want what's best for the dog and, if we can't be happy with him, how can we expect him to be happy with us? We're fully aware that this is all on us and that we have probably made a mistake by thinking we were ready for a dog, so thank you to whoever reads the wall of text and provides some insight.
  6. Hi there - I am a first time grey owner and have had my 3 year old boy for about 3 months. There has definitely been an adjustment period, but he is generally doing really well with me and my partner. He is currently crate trained and stays in his crate when we are not with him, but we would like to be able to start leaving him in the house not in the crate. I need some advice on beginning this process as I have just started and the barking is really bad. He even barks when one of us leaves the apartment (and the other is home with him) when he is not in his crate. He even barks if I go in another room and shut the door... To be clear, he is mostly fine in his crate when we are not home. We have a dog camera that sends us alerts when he barks and it's pretty rare that he barks in his crate now. Thanks in advance for your help!
  7. Hello! We adopted our 2.5-year old greyhound about 3 months ago. He’s the perfect dog for us and we love him dearly. Unfortunately, we’re dealing with some stubborn barking when we leave (no destructive behavior or house training issues). This problem didn’t start until after about a month in – the first month, he was very quiet when we left for work or if we went out at night. We could leave him for the full workday with no problems. He would sleep for the whole day in his crate (we have a nanny cam on him that records noise and movement). About a month in, we noticed he started barking a bit in the morning; within a week the barking had escalated to on and off all day – and we got several complaints from neighbors. Once we realized this was an issue, we took several steps to address the issue (and have communicated kindly and generously with our neighbors that we are working to fix the noise). Here’s what we’ve done: · Took him to the vet to rule out medical issues since the barking was sudden (he has low neutrophil levels for a greyhound but nothing else, we’ll get him rechecked soon as advised by vet to see if that’s just his base level) · Got him a DAP collar · Re-done alone training. We leave and come back slowly increasing our time, and always take away his Kong on our return. Sometimes we can successfully reach one hour this way. · Increased his morning walks to 1.5 hours (about 5 miles). These go from 6:30-8 a.m., and we leave him around 8:30 a.m. · Hired a dog walker who takes him on a 20-minute walk around noon (he also gets an after work walk of 30-40 minutes around 5:30 each day). · Got him a Kong wobbler to play with in addition to his frozen Kong full of kibble mixed with rotating very special treats (he gets a second Kong when the dog walker leaves) · Tried calming treats (first Composure; now switched to Nature’s Calming Moments) · Tried leaving different types of music/TV on (no effect so we stopped) · Put the shades down (this helped – we think the sun gets in his eyes otherwise!) · Got a Xanax prescription from our vet (made him super goofy and maybe even louder so we didn't try that again) · Left him out of his crate a couple times (no destruction, but was just as loud or louder, barked by the door, seemed a bit “lost” so we recrated him) · Leave our worn clothes with him From our work, we’ve definitely seen an improvement. We’re pretty consistently down to about 20 minutes of barking/crying or less in the morning (always begins after he finishes his Kongs) and about 5-10 minutes after the dog walker leaves. BUT – and it’s a big but – sometime he’ll totally relapse. About one day every week, he’ll go back to barking on and off for a couple hours. Nothing as bad as he used to, but he is very loud and we can tell some of our neighbors are losing patience. We can’t leave him at night because his noise is unpredictable, and if he has a bad night and we can’t get home soon enough, the complaints roll in. Plus, we’d really like to reduce his regular morning barking of 20 minutes or so (although we think it's impractical to expect him to be completely silent!). Our vet said he would be a bad candidate for long-term anxiety meds because he’s generally a very confident dog. Our rescue group suggested at first that this is less of an “anxious” barking than a “bratty” barking – he wants us to come home to play and he’s going through his acting out period. Apparently, he was the “kennel favorite” at the track and very spoiled, got lots of out of crate time and attention. He is a super social and people-loving dog. He almost never makes a peep when we’re home. Basically, we’re wondering if anyone has ideas about whether we just need to wait it out – do we think that his progress will continue and his bad days will go away? Or do we need to change what we’re doing and try something else? Specifically, we’re wondering if we need to reconsider medication. He does show some signs of anxiety like panting and yawning during his barking periods. Exercise seems to be the thing that really helps him – he does particularly great if he gets a 2-hour walk or a chance to run with other greys. But unfortunately, it’s tough to fit in that much exercise before work! It’s so encouraging to see his progress, but heartbreaking to watch him relapse into crying and barking – and extremely stressful with our neighbor situation. Also, we cannot get another dog because of our lease. Thank you for any insight!
  8. Per my adoption groups advice, I've always crated my greyhound when nobody is home. However, I am thinking about transitioning him out of the crate, and would like some advice! He's always been crated because we also have a cat. At first, he really seemed to like his crate, but now he's not. Lately I've had to lure him to get in his crate, so I think it may be a sign he's more comfortable in the apartment rather than his once safe-haven crate. In addition, I just received a noise complaint about him crying/barking during the day when he's alone. I'm wondering if I transition him out of the crate, the barking/crying will stop. Anybody have experience with this? He is completely uninterested in the cat, so I'm not worried there. I'm more worried about what trouble he could get into when alone. I know it's not completely the same, but there are times when I'll leave and my sister will be home with my dog, and she'll stay in her room and leave him by himself for hours and all he does is sleep on the couch. This is a good sign of what he'll do when the apartment is actually empty, right? I'm really hoping that the crying and barking is just his desire to be left outside of the crate. Does this sound like it could be the solution to the barking/crying? Any advice for making this transition? Thanks!
  9. Hello! I am so glad this community exists. I have been lurking for a while, but I have a question for you SA experienced greyt parents out there. I have a new rescue, a little girl named Kira that is 2.4. She only ran two races and she was very lucky to be retired early in September First, I want to say that I know this is only day 5 and (after reading this forum) I realize that I have been extremely lucky. She is calm and has even started playing/tail wagging. I have never met a more chill or tolerant dog. I can touch her mouth, paws, ears, and she is okay. She also pees and poos on a leash! We had an issue yesterday that is making me worried...I locked myself out for 1.5 hours (don't ask). She had no radio or stuffed Kong toy. When I got back in she had clawed and chewed the front door. The neighbors said she cried loudly the entire time. No accidents, and it was right before her normal walk. I will have class for 6 hours starting on Monday and we will crate her then. She is on that schedule now and holds it just fine. I'm a bit worried by the crying. I wonder if she hears other people in the apartments around us and feels lonely? Here is a little background information: She was matched to us because we live in an apartment and can only have 1 dog. The organization said she'd be okay alone, that she was very quiet, and didn't seem to be a redecorator. She is socially motivated and not always interested in treats. However, she was not in foster care at the rescue organization. Do to some emergencies, they had to place her in an kennel for two months until we adopted her. The conditions probably were not great and the organization won't ever place a dog with them again. She still has kennel coat, bald patches, and knobs on her elbows from insufficient bedding. She was much more anxious then she had been when they placed her there. She was also attacked by a non grey 2 weeks ago at the kennel. She is healing and okay with me treating the wounds, but she is now terrified of other dogs. Other than getting her spayed, she has not seen a vet since her vaccinations before her transport from Ireland. We are taking her for a work up on Tuesday. Any advice for getting her more comfortable around other dogs? She hides behind me on walks. i am wondering if the kennel or the attack might have triggered anxiety and if she has SA? Otherwise, she isn't a velcro dog. She hangs out on her bed while I am in other rooms. This forum has been great for alone training advice. I put on the radio sometimes when I'm not leaving so she doesn't associate it with being left. I also put on coat and jingle keys, leave for 30 seconds and come right back. I've been careful not to overdue the attention. I tried to get her used to the baby gate last night. She freaked and cried when I used it to quickly clean. She also loudly cried when my husband and I closed the our office door to assemble her crate. We wait until she stops and ignore her until she calms down to not encourage her. It seems to be getting worse. However, no gate or door and she doesn't always want to be in the same room. Any advice in addition to going to square one for alone training? Is this normal for a grey's first week in the house? Is there anything I might have missed? Sorry, still figuring out how to post a pic of her pretty face.
  10. Hello! I've had my greyhound for almost six months now. He has always been really good in his crate. He gets in it all by himself every morning when I leave for work. He used to just relax, and go right to sleep in it. However, about a month ago, Ziggy started to push his crate pad and blankets to the front of the crate, and he curls up in the back of the crate on no padding. I also used to keep the crate covered, as it felt much cozier. Around the same time he started pushing the bedding to the side, he started pulling the crate coverings through the bars of the crate and tearing up the crate cover. What could this change of behavior be from? Has he just gotten bored? We have had the same routine for six months now, and all of this started happening about a month ago. Any advice is appreciated! Thanks you! Lindsey
  11. I've had my Grey for just over a month and only recently (this past week) she has started showing signs of separation anxiety. This comes in the form of her whining and howling a bit for ~30 min after I leave (according to my neighbors) and, more worryingly to me, she doesn’t touch her water, Kong, or the treats I hide about while I’m gone. As soon as I get home she’ll run around and be excited (I remain calm) and THEN she’ll go after her Kong and her treats. I’m trying to work on alone training with her, but I could really use some advice. For the past week, every day I’ve been stepping outside and closing the door. I started just very quickly closing and then opening the door and then I went up to 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, and we can get up to ~3 minutes. I've been putting ~2 hours a day into this, but each day I have to start over at 10 seconds so I’m feeling discouraged. The way I’m training is I’m trying to come back inside before she shows ANY signs of anxiety (This has included for me if I hear her come to stand in front of the door). Should I change my training tactic to come back in just before she starts whining and ignore her coming to the door? I know that this can be a very long process for some dogs, and I’m willing to keep at it, but I worry because I have to continue to work right now and as I mentioned before she doesn’t drink her water or pay any attention to the things I leave to entertain her. I also leave the radio on while I’m gone. Any and all advice would be extremely appreciated. Thank you!
  12. I am sure this topic has been covered before.... extensively.... but I couldn't find the exact answers I need and I am in a bit of a pickle. Hoping y'all can come to my rescue again. Wasabi is 2 1/2 and I have had her for 3 months. When she first got home I worked on leaving for short periods and returning. She did ok but not great. Trainer suggested a crate. Got crate. She was okay in crate when I left (no more than 2hrs) for about a month. Then she started howling in crate, even when I left treats or frozen kongs. Now she resists getting into the crate, even with her favorite treats, so I don't use it anymore. Her only behavior is howling, no potty in the house or chewing or anything else. But it has gotten to the point that the neighbors will call me when I leave because of the noise. I am afraid to leave her alone at all, so she comes with me everywhere. I NEED to be able to leave her alone for a couple hours every now and then. She completely runs my life and as a college student trying to attend classes this is not working. I need her to be able to be away from me without loosing it. I guess I should have paid more attention to alone training initially, but now I have no idea what to do. Suggestions?
  13. Hi all, My fiance and I adopted our first greyhound, Charlie, in August. He is a great dog, he's just a little bit of a baby and whines... a lot.He has gotten better, but he still cries when we leave. We live in an apartment, and our neighbors have not complained, yet. I still feel bad that they have to listen to him whine and it breaks my heart to hear him cry! He stays in his kennel when we leave. If he is out in our apartment he will howl and howl, even if I am out just for a few minutes. He is only alone for a few hours at a time, because I am able to come home for lunch. I don't think he whines the entire time, sometimes I can hear him when I leave or when I return. I walk him before before I leave, the TV stays onand he gets a kong full of yummy stuff. We cannot get another dog, and I don't know what to do! What is the best strategies for alone training? Are there any other toys I can give him to keep his attention?
  14. Hey all! I've been a lurker here for a while. About 2 months ago I brought home my first greyhound, a 2.5 year old red brindle I named Luna. She was in foster for 1 week before I brought her home, and while her foster mom reported no signs of separation anxiety, I was concerned when the first evening I had her, I had to make an emergency trip to Walmart for 10 minutes and I returned to her howling her head off. I had done a ton of reading and research before getting a greyhound, and knew that a percentage of them have some SA upon adoption and that alone training is a must. I started alone training with her after her first weekend home, and was pleasantly surprised that the howling seemed to be a fluke. I downloaded an app for my iPad and iPhone (Presence) that allowed me to use my iPad like a camera and my iPhone like a video monitor. I returned to work, and was thrilled that she slept all day, even roaching in her crate! Things were perfect. I left her alone that weekend for periods of time as well. The following week, everything fell apart. That Monday, she cried/barked/howled on and off for the entire day - LOUDLY. I live in an condo complex where about half the people work during the day, so there are still quite a few people home that I'm sure were disturbed by her. She continued to carry on like that every day for the whole week. On Friday, I came home to find she had pooped in the crate (not explosive diarrhea, luckily) and was just a mess. I spent the weekend searching for a dog sitter, just a short term solution for the last 2 weeks of school (I'm a teacher and have the summer off). I left her at a very nice girl's house every day through the middle of June. During this time, I had several vet appointments and we started her on 50mg Clomipramine (generic for Clomicalm). At present, she has been on the 50mg Clomipramine for a month and has shown no improvement. She still howls, barks, and pants almost continually when left alone (she has not been destructive thus far aside from the single poop incident). It has been very frustrating and stressful as I am unable to go to the store, pool, or for a jog without her becoming extremely agitated. I simply don't go anywhere in the evening anymore because she would be too disruptive for the people living around me. In addition to the meds, I have been doing the following since I brought her home: Give her a Kong stuffed with bacon/cheese filling, some kibble, and canned pumpkin (which she loves) - she will work on it for about 1 minute after I've left, and then abandons it until I return. She totally ignores the antler chew I also leave for her. Leave "Through A Dog's Ear" playing on a continuous loop (have also tried talk radio, country music, other classical, rock...pretty much all genres) - doesn't seem to have an effect. Keep her crated with a soft bed and blanket. She's indifferent to stuffed toys. Have tried covering the crate, she just tries to pull the blanket in through the bars trying to see out. Have also tried letting her roam, but she will just stand directly in front of the door and bark, which makes it 10x louder outside the apartment. She gets a 30-40 minute walk every morning and she passes out for basically the rest of the day if I don't leave her. In the past, we tried tryptophan gel (didn't have any effect) and a DAP diffuser (nothing), and a Thundershirt (made her MORE anxious if anything). I feel like I'm doing everything I can. I'm talking to the vet later today about maybe increasing her dose of Clomipramine and see if that does anything. The only thing I'm unable to do is get a second dog...I know a lot of people say that's the only thing that helped, but I'm living on my own on a young teacher's salary and while I'm comfortable now, adding a second dog is beyond my means. I guess I'm just looking for anyone to share their own experiences with SA (especially if Clomipramine/Clomicalm worked, and how many mg's) and to give me hope that she will work past this! She is literally the perfect dog otherwise. I love her SO much! Sorry for the super long post...I am just very frustrated and wanted to talk to people who probably understand. Thanks in advance. ~Sarah and Luna
  15. GT has many threads on people vexed with their hounds' SA (posts to which I have certainly contributed!), so I thought it would be good to mention the flip-side: that if separation anxiety does rear its head, with time, love, and patience, the symptoms can indeed wane. When we got Doug 6 months ago, he exhibited signs of SA -- panting, pacing, whining, and then non-stop howling. Not only did this make him (and me, naturally) feel awful, but it also wasn't super for the other tenants in our building. We had started alone training from day one, and had in the meantime tried everything from DAP diffusers, classical music, stuffed Kongs, Himalayan chews, K-9 calm treats, Rescue Remedy, melatonin -- you get the idea -- to assuage his fears. When our neighbors complained, we knew that further action was needed, and talked to our vet about medication. Still, up until month about month 5, we couldn't confidently leave him alone for more than 15, 20 minutes, if that. Every week there would be progress and set-backs; we never knew whether we would come back to pitiful howls or a simple snout-to-lap greeting. At one point, when we thought we had crossed the two-hour threshold, we came home to find that Doug, in his consternation, had bitten a section of his tail into a hot spot. So, after he got bandaged up at the vet, back to one-minute alone intervals we went. And then something clicked. It may have been any of the above mentioned aids and behavioral modification techniques, but the factor I believe helped above all was time. Doug needed time to trust us, to know our routine, to know that when we left we were coming back, and that we would always be back in time for his very important walks. :-) Last week I attended a farewell party for a friend moving cross-country and, since my bf was working late, I had to leave Doug alone for at least two hours. Most of his SA flare-ups (like that hotspot) had occurred at night, so I was worried about what my bf would find when he returned home. About two hours later, I received a text message from my bf with this photo. His message: "Doug upon arrival." Of course, we'll never be out of the woods w/r/t his SA. Doug is bound to have setbacks, maybe even bad ones, and there's no way we can deviate from our music-and-Kongs departure routine. But this does mean that he'll most likely bounce back quicker from set-backs, and that we can begin tapering off his fluoxetine dosage, and we can stretch our three-hour departure windows to longer durations, and we can go out to friend and family functions without keeping half of our worrying brains back at home with the dog. If you had told me four months ago that we would come home one night to find Doug roaching on his bed in the back of the apartment, I wouldn't have believed you (partially because he only started roaching around us about two months ago -- but still!). I'm so proud of him!
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