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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!
Guest posted a topic in Training and Behavior discussionHello fellow Grey lovers. I want to hear your SUCCESSFUL separation anxiety stories! I just adopted a 3.5 year old greyhound, Hanna, about 2 months ago and the separation anxiety has been a MAJOR stressful item we are having to overcome. We were putting her in the crate but she HATED the crate, never went in it, and it seemed to trigger her anxiety. She also can't stand to see us leave. So we met her in the middle and put her in our spare room (its our "workout" room, and where I get ready in the mornings, we spend a lot of time in there) with her bed, a kong filled with something yummy, and a bone (and food and water). This seemed to work as she couldn't watch us walk out but also wasn't stuck in her crate. It worked for about a week and now we're back to the screaming. We did set up a webcam so we can see how she reacts (we don't use it all the time, sometimes its more stress than good) and she does have good days being alone (which makes me feel she CAN do this!!!) From the webcam I can see that she fights sleeping, but she lays down in a new spot every 10 minutes. I am also not adopting another dog. Financially it's irresponsible for me, and I want her to be a well balanced dog. I don't want to put a bandaid on it. Plus she's been alone with another dog and she could care less about the dog. We stay consistent with training, ignore her before and upon return, etc. Anyway....I'm not looking for advice, I've read it all, I'm doing it, and I'm trying all the tricks of the trade. I do, however, have a nasty little voice in my head making this worse, telling me this will never end, maybe I wasn't cut out for this, etc. I want to hear about how you overcame separation anxiety with your grey and what your dog is like now! I want to hear/see the light at the end of the tunnel to make me aware that others have gone through this and it worked!
Some background: We've had Mika now for about 6 months, and have had very few problems with him. He was a double-bounce and had been in three foster homes and two homes before we got him. He's smart and his last foster mom was pretty good about laying out the rules. Mostly he's a good boy, but he's got a couple issues. When he is unsupervised, he has to be crated. Really this is for his own protection, since he is SUPER destructive. Most of the time he is fine, but occasionally he finds things and chews them up and very often ingests them. We tell people his middle name is "dietary indiscretion." He's like a lab in a greyhound suit. I don't think this is anxiety related, since he's done it before with us sitting in the same room. It's amazing how quickly he can rip open a toy and eat the stuffing, squeaker, and sometimes the toy itself. We have very limited toy options for him now, sadly. He also rips up pillows, cushions, blankets, dog beds, dog pads, rugs... You get the idea. I think he enjoys it! His crate is downstairs, alongside our other grey's crate. We can't have him upstairs with us because he is not trustworthy with our cats, and quite frankly, they need a refuge from him. He's always been happy in his crate, and sometimes goes in there on his own. He doesn't fuss or cry when we leave, and until now, he's almost always been fine in there at night. The new problem: Occasionally in the past he has whined in his crate when we've gone to bed. It's happened maybe 4 or 5 times in the 6 months we've had him. One time he had diarrhea, and another time was a bad reaction to tramadaol. I usually wait until he's quiet, and then take him outside on a short lead to make sure he doesn't need to pee or poop. No petting, no cookies, just a quick outside, since I don't want to reward him. Sometimes he continues to whine, and we ignore him and it stops. This happened on Wednesday - he cried for awhile, I took him out, he cried for awhile, and then cried and howled for awhile (maybe 15 minutes), and then finally stopped. No problems on Thursday or Friday. Not a peep. Last night (Saturday), the same thing happened again. We went to bed late (as we often do) around 1AM and the whining started at 1:15. I took him out again, and he did nothing outside. I put him in his crate, and the whining escalated to howling. I took him out again, and this time he peed. Back in the crate, then more whining. Then howling. Then full-on barking. We figured he would tire himself out eventually, but he barked almost non-stop for 45 minutes. I came down to check on him, and he was standing in his crate, wide-eyed and panting. We tried turning the light on for him. More barking. Finally, around 3:15, I gave up and came downstairs to sleep on the couch. He could see me from his crate. He stopped barking but would break into whining, so I finally just let him out. He flopped down on a dog bed and went to sleep within 90 seconds. I know I shouldn't reward his barking/crying/whining with attention or by letting him out, but two hours of barking was really more than we could handle. Today I am exhausted and not sure what to do if it happens again. We need sleep! And I'm concerned the neighbors will complain, eventually... I've thought about muzzling him and leaving him out of the crate, but quite frankly, he's pretty destructive with the muzzle. He rubs on things violently. There's a spot on the outside of our house where he's rubbed the paint off trying to get his muzzle off. Inside, he knocks things off shelves, scratches and dents walls and scrapes furniture trying to get it off. Suggestions? Thoughts? Help?