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Separation Anxiety


Guest NBGrey
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My grey (Casper) has separation anxiety real bad and I don't know what to do anymore.

He flips out everytime I leave him alone in his crate. I work from home and I'm with him almost everyday. The only time I leave him is if I have to go out to a store...maybe 2-3 times per week for a couple hours. I feel like a prisoner in my home because I can't leave him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I put up a camcorder to watch what he does.

1. He has "eaten" through his metal crate. He has cut his feet, gums, tongue up real bad. I have put zip ties and metal hooks all around it to keep it from falling apart.

2. He has shredded his blankets in the crate.

3. He screams and yelps out so loud my neighbors probably hear him.

4. The vet put him on "Clomicalm" to help. He was on for 4 months with no change.

5. The vet just started him on "Valium" after I came home to find blood and cuts all over him. He looks like he was in a fight with another dog and got the worst end.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

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Any reason why you are crating him? If it's not working, you need to try something else!

 

Can you leave him in a baby gated room, lights on, radio or tv on, stuffed kong to keep him busy for short periods of time?

 

Some dogs can't handle the crates alone and will do better with the open room.

 

Is another greyhound at all feasable at this point? a confident female may be what he needs.

 

But if not, you really need to do some alone training which you can do a search for on GT and learn from that. It's very workable. You are not alone but the crate should be stopped before he does something even worse and from what you've written, and that's bad enough.

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

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Guest wdlndgreasil

Hmmm... I'm going to assume the obvious that you've ruled out any medical problems with him at the vet.

 

Have you tried not crating him when you go out - just using a larger "crate" area - like confining him to your bedroom or kitchen while you go out? Keep him muzzled maybe so he doesn't eat anything in the larger area... I had a dog that - despite racing for 4yrs - HATED his crate. Perfect angel when he was confined to the living room but would destroy a crate in a heartbeat.

 

Other option is activities. Do you participate in activities with him like coursing, agility, obedience, fetch/games at the local park, etc. that may help channel extra energy & when you come back, it's something he will look forward to. Also, what about giving him a "project" when you leave like a tricky treat ball or kong?

 

Have you considered a 2nd dog? Some greys hate being alone and aren't used to being alone. They've always lived in a kennel/farm environment and are used to being surrounded by people & dogs all the time. A 2nd dog may/not solve the problem.

 

A friend's dog has horrible SA when he first got him & the dog would scream his head off even if he went across the street. It eventually subsided and he was fine but it did take almost a year working with him. I think - based on what you've described - is that he hates his crate and an alternative should be tried first.

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Guest FastDogsOwnMe

Can you leave him loose with a muzzle on? Can you get another hound? I never have issues, and I swear it's because my dogs' set up is just like at a racing kennel (only in my bedroom :lol ) whenever I leave them- which is not often. Only one of them ever whines, and he only does it when he's the ONLY one left behind (very rare event).

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Guest bigbrindlebunny

We thought Pete had separation anxiety, he howled when we left him in his crate and tore his bedding to shreds everyday. He was 4 years old when he came to us from the track, we thought the crate was supposed to be his den. We did alone training and the whole bit, we live in an apartment and the howling had to stop. Then one day, in desperation, we tried leaving him alone in the room but not crated. Just as an experiment, y'know? Miracle of miracles it all stopped. He was just trying to tell us to get him the hell out of the crate.

 

I hope that is what is going on with Casper.

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Guest greysonly

All of my greyhounds hated their crate. My first greyhound Jazz had really bad SA. He would poop and pee all over himself when he was left in his crate. He also would try to chew thru the bars. I did get him on Clomicalm and did exercises with him. But nothing really worked until I got him out of his crate and baby gated him into a area.

 

I know how frustrating it can be. I used to come home every day and have to give Jazz a bath :( He also had cuts on his face from trying to get thru the crate. That is when I decided the crate wasn't for him. I wish you luck and hope that your boy does better out of his crate.:)

Edited by greysonly
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Sounds like you live with your dog... not him with you

He is the pack leader and you his pack and he gets up set when you leave.

In a dogs mind the pack leader leaves, not the other way around.

You need to change the dynamics of the leadership.

 

Try Cesar's way to help with this issue

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Sounds like you live with your dog... not him with you

He is the pack leader and you his pack and he gets up set when you leave.

In a dogs mind the pack leader leaves, not the other way around.

You need to change the dynamics of the leadership.

 

Try Cesar's way to help with this issue

 

Dominance theory, upon which Cesar operates, has been thoroughly debunked, and this issue has nothing to do with 'pack leader' behaviour or any such thing. It's about fear, which can be caused by circumstance and/or genetics. Considering that it's impossible to test whether the pup in question is more prone to anxiety, our only options are to focus on environment.

 

Trying him outside of the crate, muzzled, would be my recommendation too. I'd also look into safe distractions for him, such as a stuffed and frozen kong, or a tug-a-jug toy filled with dry kibble. Are there windows in his room that he can see out of? Would closing the curtains/blinds help? Is his crate in a busy area of the house (near the front door where visitors will approach, etc)?

 

Maybe look into a DAP infuser, too. We have had success with this when it comes to our fosters. :)

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Guest Swifthounds

Dominance theory, upon which Cesar operates, has been thoroughly debunked, and this issue has nothing to do with 'pack leader' behaviour or any such thing. It's about fear, which can be caused by circumstance and/or genetics. Considering that it's impossible to test whether the pup in question is more prone to anxiety, our only options are to focus on environment.

 

I agree. I'm no fan of dominance theory at all, but even less so with a dog exhibiting fear and/or anxiety. Being a leader is important in contributing to your dog's confidence, but part and parcel with that is that you be a leader that the dog can trust - and you don't get that with sheer dominance.

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Guest mountain4greys

We thought Pete had separation anxiety, he howled when we left him in his crate and tore his bedding to shreds everyday. He was 4 years old when he came to us from the track, we thought the crate was supposed to be his den. We did alone training and the whole bit, we live in an apartment and the howling had to stop. Then one day, in desperation, we tried leaving him alone in the room but not crated. Just as an experiment, y'know? Miracle of miracles it all stopped. He was just trying to tell us to get him the hell out of the crate.

 

I hope that is what is going on with Casper.

 

This is exactly what happened with our first grey. We were at wits end. Then one day we left her out of the crate, and pretended to leave. I drove away, and my DW stayed and peeked through the windows at what she was doing. At first, she went from the couch (where she could see me leave the driveway), then to the back door. When I came home a half hour later, DW tells me that right after I left, and one trip to the couch and the back door, she got on the couch and fell asleep. We had no problems after that. We never crated her again. That was over 5 years ago.

 

It turns out it wasn't separation anxiety, she has space issues, and doesn't like being confined.

Edited by mountain4greys
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Guest twhitehouse

Well I've been in your shoes. I agree with the other person who recommended ditching the crate. Our grey, Lexi has/had severe SA and the crate only heighten her anxiety. She did much better muzzled and left out of the crate. You need to try everything until you find out what works. You could try getting a DAP diffuser. It didn't help Lexi much, but it does help many dogs. This is a plug in that emits an essence that is calming to the dog.

 

You also need to do lots and lots of alone training. Especially since you work from home and are with him a lot., alone training is really going to help you. This is where you leave for 30 seconds, come back, leave for 1 minute, come back, leave for 5 minutes (drive around the block), come back, etc until you work up for 2-3 hours. Everytime you come back, ignore him and don't pay any attention to him other than saying "Hi." I would also recommend getting the book "I"ll Be Home Soon." This is a great tool and will show you exactly what you need to do when you have a dog with SA issues.

 

Also, you said you haven't had much success with Colicalm. Why not try Prozac? It's also an anti-anxiety medication only it works differently than Colicalm. If one doesn't work, you should try the other. Call your vet and ask about going on this...you'll have to ween him off the other medication first.

 

Good luck and don't give up, just remember...try everything until you find something that works.

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Thanks everyone for all your suggestions.

I tried the muzzle both in and out of the crate and he got them off and tore them to shreds. I have left him out of the crate and he would pee and poop all over the place (I just had new carpets put in because of the damage). I put him in the kitchen with washable floors and gated the doorway and he ate through the gate, jumping over and cutting his legs up.

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Thanks everyone for all your suggestions.

I tried the muzzle both in and out of the crate and he got them off and tore them to shreds. I have left him out of the crate and he would pee and poop all over the place (I just had new carpets put in because of the damage). I put him in the kitchen with washable floors and gated the doorway and he ate through the gate, jumping over and cutting his legs up.

 

 

If his new medication doesn't help, would it be possible for you to get him a companion? Maybe another greyhound?

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Guest twhitehouse

Thanks everyone for all your suggestions.

I tried the muzzle both in and out of the crate and he got them off and tore them to shreds. I have left him out of the crate and he would pee and poop all over the place (I just had new carpets put in because of the damage). I put him in the kitchen with washable floors and gated the doorway and he ate through the gate, jumping over and cutting his legs up.

 

 

Lexi also used to take her muzzle off. Have you tried using a muzzle keeper? They are a life saver...or a destruction saver. :lol

 

You can get them here for just $3: http://www.birdwellenterprises.com/index_files/Page720.htm

 

You can also just buy a small collar and use velro strips to attach it to the muzzle and that works well also.

 

:grouphug to you because I know exactly what you are going through. I know how it feels to worry constantly while your gone and cry every time you come home to a injured dog and a destroyed house. It's hard, but it can be manageable. I would really call your vet and ask about a different medication such as Prozac because it might work where the other didn't. Also many people are recommending another dog. Yes, this can help and has helped a lot of dogs, but it doesn't ALWAYS work. For example, your dog may be bonded with you and have anxiety when only YOU leave so getting another dog may not help. If you leave him with other people to watch him, does he still cry when you leave? If he's fine, then another dog may help. You could try borrowing a friends dog to see if it helps.

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I went through this, too, though not as bad. We had to go the medication route because she was damaging her teeth on the crate and we couldn't leave her loose. We use Prozac, too, and I would definitely suggest trying that next. There is a pet-specific branded version of it called Reconcile. It's Prozac, which comes generic at the regular pharmacy, and it's very inexpensive. Just an FYI, if you are sticking with the Clomicalm, that is also available as a generic, I believe it's called Anafranil. I just thought I'd mention that since we were spending $75/month on Reconcile until someone here told me it's Prozac, which I can get generic at Stop & Shop for like $9/month.

 

Have you done any "alone training"? Do a search for that on this board and you will get a lot of info. That finally worked for us with Lucy (though now we're having other issues, grr.)

Edited by RedFawnMom

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Always missing our angel Lucy, a four year osteo survivor.

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well using his way I have trained 5 of my own X racers, and dozens of other Grey's to run free in non fenced in yards.

rabbits, turkeys etc running through the yard without reaction My last 3 in less than an hour.

Heck I walk my dogs for miles with out leads...

As well walking on slippery floors, stairs, you name it ever phobia the empathetic greyhound own carries with them I fixed in minutes... after years of living with their owners who swear they can't do this or that... surprise, surprise they are fixed ?!?

 

But then again their is many ways to manage, all work, not all work for everyone...

 

Sorry but debunked no way debunked.

I seen first hand hundreds of dogs reformed and living a well balance life now & years latter

 

I've been around Grey's for 34 years nothing works as well, quickly and simple as Cesar's Way

 

Though I do agree with you that just taking them out of the crate is usually the simples fix to the negative reaction of it

 

Peace to all

 

Dominance theory, upon which Cesar operates, has been thoroughly debunked, and this issue has nothing to do with 'pack leader' behaviour or any such thing. It's about fear, which can be caused by circumstance and/or genetics. Considering that it's impossible to test whether the pup in question is more prone to anxiety, our only options are to focus on environment.

 

Trying him outside of the crate, muzzled, would be my recommendation too. I'd also look into safe distractions for him, such as a stuffed and frozen kong, or a tug-a-jug toy filled with dry kibble. Are there windows in his room that he can see out of? Would closing the curtains/blinds help? Is his crate in a busy area of the house (near the front door where visitors will approach, etc)?

 

Maybe look into a DAP infuser, too. We have had success with this when it comes to our fosters. :)

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Wow. It does sound like he's got it pretty bad. I think you're going to need to do a really regimented program of "alone training" in combination with the medications to help him calm down a bit. The one thing that struck me in what you wrote was that you work at home, so he may have never learned to be by himself. And when I say regimented, you're going to want to do baby steps with him - so leave the house for a minute, and come back. And do it again. And then increase the time, by maybe a minute. And do it again. Keep increasing the time if he doesn't go nuts. However, as soon as he goes over that threshold of losing it, you'll have to step backwards again. So if he started howling at 5 minutes, then the next time, go back to 2 minutes again. And build up... Unfortunately, this can take awhile (as I'm sure you can guess) and you may have a lot of setbacks (1 step forward, 2 steps back). But I do think it's doable and certainly worth it. Good luck!!

Lima Bean (formerly Cold B Hi Fi) and her enabler, Rally. ☜We're moving West!

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Sorry but debunked no way debunked.

I seen first hand hundreds of dogs reformed and living a well balance life now & years latter

 

I've been around Grey's for 34 years nothing works as well, quickly and simple as Cesar's Way

 

 

 

This isn't the right thread to further this particular discussion. I absolutely respect your work with greys, and I'm sure your dogs are well-behaved. But dominance theory has been shown to increase aggression and fear in dogs, and is a 'hard' method. Positive reinforcement gets even better results and helps build a healthy relationship between dog and owner. DT is based on one study on wolves that the original author has now admitted was wrong so, yes, it has been disproven. Patricia McConnell writes excellent books explaining why DT is problematic, whilst also outlining how to use natural dog behaviour to our benefit as dog owners.

 

For a dog with SA, DT is far too hard a method. Cesar gets some things right for sure (exercise, being calm and attentive with your dog, etc) but his 'dominance' ideas are too much pressure for a dog with so much fear.

 

(edited to sound less blunt.)

Edited by Gemma
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  • 4 weeks later...

I may have finally resolved the problem! I spread out thick plastic covering up the living room carpet, put a muzzle on Casper with the collar attachment, put up the gate for the kitchen and hallway, give him a valium 2 hours before leaving.

The first time, he pooped/pee a little (on the plastic) and the second time NOTHING! He even had the muzzle on!

Hopefully, he will continue to be ok with this instead of the crate.

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.

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