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I Want To Hear Your *successful* Separation Anxiety Stories!


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Guest HannaTalk

Hello 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! :)

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Yes, to encourage you I can say that I have successfully worked through separation anxiety with two 'only greyhounds' in succession, and that in each case the problem cleared up more or less overnight after about three months.

Doc, my first dog, suffered quite badly - when I went out he would howl, chew stuff, and sometimes bring down curtains. But after three months the penny dropped that 1) I always came back and 2) it was a good opportunity to spend time on the chaise longue - out of bounds when I was around.

Ken, my new chap, seemed more comfortable with being left on his own from the outset. He didn't howl - he is a very quiet dog in any case, rarely barking - but did chew random items, especially initially, and pee - just a dribble marking the same spot in the corner of the fireplace. But here's been here three months and again, the problem seems to have cleared up just this week.

Partly it is just a question of time and familiarisation, I am sure, but other things that helped were making sure they had had a good walk before I left, and if possible a meal too, so that they had were ready to sleep. Also a special treat (cream cheese smeared into one of those prickly rubber bones) just as I go.

They are all individuals, though, so different things may help. E.g. Doc liked me leaving the radio on, Ken doesn't! And Doc had the run of the house, but I've been closing off the upstairs for Ken as too much choice seemed to freak him out a bit - though we can revisit that now he seems more comfortable.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Oh boy, successful story here too! Don't worry it does clear up eventually :)

We initially put Jack in his crate when leaving with some toy (nylabone and his cuddle plushie), a blanket, a water bowl and a kong. He would destroy the bowl and put water everywhere in the first hour, then proceed to chew the blanket to pieces (can't remember how much blanket I bought) and then he would howl for the rest of the day.

So we said, why not let him roam free? Well he kept running from window to window, getting on the couch, then on the stair ramp (eeeek), ramming the front door, howling. He never settled. So he went back in the crate.

 

We plugged in a DAP diffuser literally a foot from his crate. He calmed down for 30 minutes, then an hour, then each day he was quiet for longer and longer. We reached 6 hours of quietude. Then one day, all hell broke loose and the howling started again, we wanted to cry!

We tried him out of the crate again, he discovered there was a bed downstairs he could use and that was the end of the saga. Now, he actually WANTS us to leave to get his kong! He gets whiny in the morning during the week-end :P The whole process took us about 2 1/2 months-3 months.

You are almost there, keep trying stuff! You will find what works for you :)

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Cynthia, with Charlie (Britishlionheart) & Zorro el Galgo
Captain Jack (Check my Spots), my first love

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George successfully conquered his SA. What worked for him was NO crate, NO confinement of any kind, DAP diffusers, and an extra long walk every morning.

 

He was five when I adopted him.

 

Any change in routine would set him off, but we did get to a point where he was quite all day, and that's all I really needed!


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

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Hi. What helped us most was a lot (months) of time-consuming 'boring' time to settle in and feel safe, and bonding (but not needy-ness), confidence-building, consistency, and *gradual* introduction of being left alone - for one minute, then for one and half, then two, five, fifteen, thirty, etc.etc.etc. consistently returning with no fuss or bother BEFORE SIGNS OF ANXIETY started happening.

 

When confident that being alone was starting to be less of a big deal, it helped a lot to also keep her occupied, mainly with food, Kong ball treat dispenser, toys, or scents to search for, and a soft comfy bed.

 

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Magnus (RIP) was our first grey and had all the classic SA. It was awefull, and we also tried everything. A month into it, we took him back to the group… NOT to return him, but for him to choose a companion. That's when we got Maggie. From the moment Maggie joined our family. Magnus's SA vanished without a trace. It never returned for the rest of his life. Bone cancer got him at 11 years old.

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