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Need More Help Please-Separation Anxiety!


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Guest Smiley

It's hard to believe that after being a greyhound parent for 10 years that we are struggling so much with our new fur kid! :blush I am realizing how easy we had it with Smiley & Peanut-they acclimated amazingly well, so now we are learning how to deal with the kinds of issues we never really had to before. So the good news is that we think we've got Oliver sleeping through the night now that he's upstairs with us. The bad news is that his SA is getting progressively worse. He's destroying the bedding in his crate during the day when we aren't there and has urinated in there twice which I know is merely a symptom/response to the SA. We've tried progressively increasing his alone time while also throwing in spurts of shorter times as well. I've got the t.v. on, a DAP diffuser plugged in and have left him with a kong that he'll work on until he knows I'm leaving and then he'll ignore. We've got a webcam on him during the day and when I check in periodically, he's usually whining or up and barking. We are considering a companion for him sooner rather than later, but how do we know this will help him and not give us this issue times two? My thought would be to get a confident, mellow dog-but will this dog feed off of Oliver's SA no matter what?

 

Any thoughts, suggestions, help, advice would be appreciated!

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If it were me, I'd adopt another if I were in a position to do it. I know it's not a guarantee but it could help. Can you "foster" with intent to see if it helps?

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Since I am a huge proponent of crating, its difficult to say this, but what if you muzzle him and leave him out of the crate when you leave for a few hours? My first boy is bombproof, but just couldnt stand being crated. He was crated the first week in my house, after that, no more. He had explosive D in the crate, urinated, tore up a bed, but when I let him have the run of the house (as an only at the time), he never has had an accident or chewed anything. Now my second and third, they get crated from time to time depending on our foster situation. Just a thought.

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Guest PhillyPups

I could not tell you if any of mine have SA because after Runner had SugarBear join him I have never had an only for more than three days. :dunno

 

I think a companion would help, and yes, a bounce that knows home life with some confidence (if any left after having their home ripped out from them) may help a lot.

 

Good luck.

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Guest FastDogsOwnMe

I will add my voice to the, "Foster or adopt another" category. It could really help, and I doubt it could hurt. Plus having two is just so much fun.

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When we first got Gracie she was completely oblivious to our other (non-grey) dog even existing. Her destructive SA was severe despite doing all the training drills I read here. We finally put her on Clomicalm for a total of 3 months - gradually beginning the dose and gradually lowering it. She was a changed dog. She was finally able to relax and understand alone training. That was 8 years ago and not a problem since, no medication.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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If another greyhound is not on the cards right now, I would not discount the benefits of medication to help get him through this adjustment period. I would also try leaving him uncrated, baby-gated in a secure and easy-to-clean area, and muzzled.

 

Another thing to try if you've got a web cam is to set it up so you can talk to him. Some people have left their cell phones on counters and used them that way too (I expect you'd have to have unlimited minutes though!).

 

I don't think I've ever heard of the second dog getting SA from the first. I'm sure it happens, but the whole definition of SA is that they don't want to be alone. Having a companion works both ways. Make sure your group knows that you need a calm, easy-going, greyhound with no SA issues. You should see improvement quckly, though it might get worse short-term.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Since I am a huge proponent of crating, its difficult to say this, but what if you muzzle him and leave him out of the crate when you leave for a few hours? My first boy is bombproof, but just couldnt stand being crated. He was crated the first week in my house, after that, no more. He had explosive D in the crate, urinated, tore up a bed, but when I let him have the run of the house (as an only at the time), he never has had an accident or chewed anything. Now my second and third, they get crated from time to time depending on our foster situation. Just a thought.

 

My George howled for hours on end in his crate. I video taped him when three neighbors (condo) complained in one day. It was horrifying! I stopped crating hiim and tried the baby gate. Crawled under it day 1. Jumped over it day 2. Gave up confining him. Two weeks later, my neighbor said, "Did you return the dog?" cause he didn't make another noise. Never chewed a thing, never caused any damage of any kind.

 

He HATED being confined is all!

 

Obviously I am seconding the notion that maybe he's just one of those dogs who hate being confined.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Guest Smiley

Here is why I question if confining is the issue . . . He's not what I would call relaxed and chill when he's out of the crate-if we get up, he gets up. He sticks to us pretty much like glue. I fear that if we left him baby gated in that he would completely panic, hurt himself and destroy the room in the process. I'm not quite ready to try that and take that risk quite yet . . . But geez, if that was the issue and we found out months later, that would be a bummer! :lol

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Guest twhitehouse

First of all, I know how it feels to be in your shoes. Our first, Lexi, had some of the most severe separation anxiety I've heard of after doing lots of reading but we got through it with lots of patience, training and ultimately...medication and then adopting a 2nd.

 

I agree with greysmom. There are still a lot more options you could explore if getting a 2nd isn't right at the moment. I would definitely give leaving him muzzled and out of the crate a try. Crating made Lexi's SA worse, even with a baby gate. She couldn't stand being confined. If he's muzzled he shouldn't be able to do much damage....I would only leave for 5 minutes at first to see how it goes.

 

Are you also doing alone training? I'm sure you've heard of that, but if not, you can do a search on this board and find out lots. I'd also recommend "I'll Be Home Soon" by Patricia McConnell. That's a great resource.

 

If you do decide to get a 2nd dog....be extremely picky and make sure you work with a group who truly gets to know their dogs. You'll want a confident, go with the flow dog. One that will be able to keep the first dog calm and not be phased if the other is getting nervous.

 

Keep us updated on what you decide to do! :)

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Can't hurt to try him out of the crate. Muzzle if you fear destruction or that he might chew on something harmful. My Joseph doesn't have SA but he will fuss in a crate, whether another dog is there or not. That was evident early on, when he was still in the "gotta get up and follow them around" stage.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I've got this lovely almost 10 year old foster girl here...

 

(Seriously, I do have a lovely Gwenny, but I know there's some distance involved :lol )

 

Charlie has been with me since Tuesday: I have been baby gating him (and Gwenny) in part of the house while I'm gone. He cries, drools, and chews the baby gate. However, if I go out and leave him in the house, ungated, with the others, he drools a little but settles down much faster. He's got other beasties here though (4 greys and a cat the size of half a small grey). To me, it really sounds like your boy is missing companionship.

 

I'm just learning to deal with Charlie's separation issues, as I have been very lucky and they haven't manifested themselves in any one of the many hounds prior to his highness, Prints Charles... so I will be reading this thread too!

Edited by RhodyGreys

Meri & the Dorg
with Little Lee from Eetaly (Raider Retire), Freya FooFoo (Writers Block), Brodie (never raced), and "foster" JJ (Rossmore Judith). Missing Bravo, Chickie, Nico, Meri Carol, Lucky II, Ringo, Mylie, Bull, Geordie, Shae-Leigh, Stretch, Dustin, Cooper, Lucky, and Heidi.

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Guest GoingRogue

Here is why I question if confining is the issue . . . He's not what I would call relaxed and chill when he's out of the crate-if we get up, he gets up. He sticks to us pretty much like glue. I fear that if we left him baby gated in that he would completely panic, hurt himself and destroy the room in the process. I'm not quite ready to try that and take that risk quite yet . . . But geez, if that was the issue and we found out months later, that would be a bummer! :lol

We just went through, literally, the same situation with our first Grey. He has been with us about 6 weeks and he was acting the same exact way. I was not ready to trust him outside of the crate until I came home one day and he had bent the bars in the crate and his head was stuck between the bars. Scared me to death. We tried leaving him in our room with the gate up and that didn't work, he clawed the carpet and door around the gate. I took the advice of the greyt peeps here on GT and let him have run of the kitchen and living room and put a gate up in the hall to keep him out of the bedrooms away from the cats. We also leave talk radio on, leave treats in his kong as well as in a small box for him to work on getting open and we leave him with a marrow bone with stuff in it. We also leave the blinds up so he can look out. It was also advised to give him Melatonin. I personally believe this has worked really well for us. It mellows him out a bit so he is not so anxious. It doesn't cost much at all and you can find it at the local drug store with the vitamins and supplements.

 

So as it turns out, our grey DID NOT want to be crated. He has done sooooo good since we took him out of it and hasn't been destructive at all.

Good luck and best wishes. Hope this helps.

Edited by GoingRogue
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Guest mcsheltie

Here is why I question if confining is the issue . . . He's not what I would call relaxed and chill when he's out of the crate-if we get up, he gets up. He sticks to us pretty much like glue. I fear that if we left him baby gated in that he would completely panic, hurt himself and destroy the room in the process. I'm not quite ready to try that and take that risk quite yet . . . But geez, if that was the issue and we found out months later, that would be a bummer! :lol

You've got a cam to watch him. Try it, but stay close by so you can come home in a flash if he starts to tear things up. I think you should foster and see if that does the trick.

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Guest twhitehouse

Any news on how the new kid is dealing with SA? Have you tried any of the suggestions/advice above yet?

 

 

Keep us updated. :)

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Rescue Remedy or other appropriate BACH flower essence may help. It has been very effective for me. I think everybody has given wonderful advice.

I will add that the another dog thing probably just depends on the other dog. I had a pitifully timid spook type(Goldie) and later got Slim(bold and very aggressive). Slim brought Goldie "out of his shell" beginning immediately. Goldie seemed to feed on Slims self confidence. Within a year or 2 Goldie was very self confident and outgoing and no one would ever have guessed to see him how he used to cower in the back of a crate and flee everything and everybody before Slim came along. Even the click of a fountain pen or opening a soda can etc. would cause him to flee in terror. I never would have thought it was possible for a dog to change that much but Rescue Remedy and Slim turned him into a happy very outgoing well adjusted and somewhat fearless even vocal guy!Things that used to terrify him he never even noticed anymore. Was truly remarkable.

Edited by racindog
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Some good suggestions above. I've always found this article really useful with SA dogs.

http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2002/sa.htm

Edited by Saffron

Gillian
Caesar (Black Caesarfire) and Olly (Oregon) the Galgo

 

Still missing: Nell (spaniel mix) 1982-1997, Boudicca (JRT) 1986- 2004, and the greys P's Catwalk 2001-2008, Murphy Peabody (we failed fostering) 1998-2010 and Pilgrim (Blazing Leia) 2003-2016,

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Carl had dreadful SA, it really developed about a month or so after I brought him home. It was like nothing I have ever experienced before. It is pretty well controlled - now. He was very very destructive, but muzzling him stopped that immediately. He was also noisy (he still howls for about 20-30 seconds after I leave), I'm lucky I have a neighbor who a) loves my dogs B) is patient as a saint and, c) sleeps very deeply. That being said here are the things that worked for us:

 

* long walks first thing in the morning

* a strict routine for leaving

* lots of alone training

* a treat dispensing kong filled with goodies (this only worked before I had 2 greyhounds, after I added Claire they would fight over the kongs)

* using my cell phone in conjunction with my home phone on speaker, thus creating a long distance baby monitor that I could listen in on and

intervene when he started howling (I'd hear him start howling and say, "Carl, no"...worked like a charm, he thought I was somewhere in the

house with him! Outside of having to use medication was the cell-phone-baby-monitor-thing that helped him turn the corner)

* leaving several radios on (he seems to prefer our local NPR alternative music station...go figure!)

* leaving curtains open

* medication for about 5 months, Clomipramine sometimes combined with Valium so I could actually get out of the house to got to work without

him throwing himself at the door....this was because he was destructive and hurt himself as well. I did all the other things in this

category while he was on the meds, he had to relearn his behavior and learn to not be afraid when I left the house. The meds reduced his

anxiety so that he could learn new skills. They were truly a godsend

 

 

Things that absolutely didn't work and were a 100% waste of money for him:

 

* Rescue Remedy

* DAP diffuser

* Stress free Calmplex by Springtime

* leaving the TV on

* my other dog, Sheila (at the time - she's 14 now - a 12 year old shiba inu/chow mix)

* crating him - drove him ape-sh*t and cause him to really be super destructive, he and I were both lucky he didn't shred himself when he tore

the soldering apart and got out.

 

What continues to work:

 

* walks in the morning before I leave for work (we walk about a mile)

* routine, routine, routine

* my changed attitude (I needed to pretend to feel positive confident about his behavior when I left...as an old colleague once told me, "All

new behavior is false", but I've made it a habit and now it is not false confidence!)

* melatonin, melatonin, melatonin 3mg an hour before I go to work, seems to take the edge off and has the added bonus of making his coat

extraordinary and filled in his bald thighs!

 

 

I did NOT get a second greyhound to calm him down, when I got Claire his SA spiked again. While she has no SA, he started to influence both Claire and Sheila and there would be 3 dog howling-fests throughout the day. I called my group's behavioral guru to talk me through the new spike, she was a god-send. You might consider calling your group to see if they have a member who is particularly good at behavioral stuff and who will coach you. Ours did phone and email consults with me for free. I will forever be indebted to her for her help.

 

Best of luck to you

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Guest Smiley

Thanks for all of the wonderful advice-I have read every post and been experimenting with different things. Someone recommended a wonderful book to me about SA that I read and it breaks down how to desensitize your dog to "leaving triggers" and make your absence a fun experience. So we're working on that. I did buy melatonin, but I want to run it by our holistic vet too before I add that in. Knock on wood, the last week has gone very well. I make certain he goes outside before I leave and pees and that has stopped accidents. I've been using a kong both for crating and occasionally out of the crate to give him something amazingly good to work on while we're gone (homemade crumbled liver brownies topped with a dollop of cream cheese is his kong crack :lol ). Pete and I are feeling like we want to get him of the hump of SA before we bring in another hound. We had always planned on adopting again in the fall and that's what we're still hoping. And I completely agree that leaving the house with a positive, less stressed attitude has helped. I try to come home the same way, though I still get a little knot of dread before I see that he's okay and that the crate is in one piece. So hopefully we'll continue to see improvement! He's still very clingly with me, but we'll start working on being in the house together, yet apart in the near future. So thanks again and I'm always open to new ideas and suggestions!

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Guest katieandpadfoot

My Padfoot has major SA we can not crate him cause he has a fear of crates. What we did find that worked is Melatonin 3mg twice a day. It takes about 2 weeks for it to get into the system and helping but it really does work. Plus we keep the same exact routine when we leave..even down to the treats we give, the door we go out and what we say to them when we leave. Now he does have a companion and that did seem to help though....but the melatonin is what really worked for us. The DAP collars never did work for him or the plug in. Plus we do exercise his little butt off too. Hope it gets better!!! Just be patient with the pup!!

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