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Seperation Anxiety / #2 Problems!


Guest Trace
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Hello once again everyone!

 

I posted here abit ago about how my newly adopted 1.5yr old greyhound Trace was having a few problems (stairs, freezing on walks, etc). She is now no longer freezing on walks, and we are conquering the stairs day by day little by little!!! Shes is doing absolutely awesome, and I'm coming up on almost 3 weeks from the adoption day!

 

There is only ONE problem left! And its her separation anxiety! I work Mon-Fri 8-4 and go home from 12-1 to let her out. She is crated and everytime I leave she cries like MAD. (I set up a doggy-cam so I can watch her while I'm at work-- if anything bad happens I can drive home quickly since I am only 5 minutes away).

 

I can see her crying on the webcam and biting the metal hinges on the cage to try and get out.

But the crying isnt he worst part.

 

The worst part is everyday from that 8-12 time frame (even if she goes #2 in the morning walk) she will poop just a LITTLE bit in the cage. Like when I say little I mean LITTLE. I don't know why she does this- I'm thinking it's because of the anxiety thats making her stomach upset to give out a little bit of poop, but I'm very unsure.

Does anyone have any advice on this?

 

Problem #2 is- I don't think her food is cooperating with her very much. I feed her Blue Buffalo food which is the most expensive high quality food to get, and she is pooping 3 times overnight on my floor with VERY runny poops. I know she is not meaning to do this because when I fed her brand name food for the first week I had her she was fine- now with the high quality food her poop is running and VERY often! Should I go back to the cheap(er) type of food?

 

Thank you so much!!!!!

 

Here is Trace at the park yesterday! Finally had nice weather :) -- https://www.instagram.com/p/-9rGyNAdlj/?taken-by=mike_stabach

 

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Blue Buffalo is too rich for many dogs. It didn't agree with my dog at all. Just because something is expensive doesn't mean it's better. Whatever you were feeding her before was just fine I expect, and yes, go back to it.

 

How long does she cry for?

 

I personally think a dog who cries when you leave doesn't benefit from a noon time break. You're just leaving her twice that way! A healthy dog, given a good long walk before being crated, should be just fine for the work day. I mean a good LONG walk on a leash where she poops, pees a number of times, and gets a bit tuckered out.

 

Finally, it sounds like she hates her crate. She's quite young, so probably didn't spend much time being crated, like she would have had she had a successful racing career. So she's not "used to it" (which is what most adoption groups will tell you--to crate them cause they're used to it). If you are willing to puppy proof, she would probably be a LOT happier out of the crate. I know neither of my greyhounds have considered the crate their "safe place." A crate in an empty house is a totally different thing than a kennel crate at the track, surrounded by other dogs.


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

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Blue Buffalo is too rich for many dogs. It didn't agree with my dog at all. Just because something is expensive doesn't mean it's better. Whatever you were feeding her before was just fine I expect, and yes, go back to it.

 

How long does she cry for?

 

I personally think a dog who cries when you leave doesn't benefit from a noon time break. You're just leaving her twice that way! A healthy dog, given a good long walk before being crated, should be just fine for the work day. I mean a good LONG walk on a leash where she poops, pees a number of times, and gets a bit tuckered out.

 

Finally, it sounds like she hates her crate. She's quite young, so probably didn't spend much time being crated, like she would have had she had a successful racing career. So she's not "used to it" (which is what most adoption groups will tell you--to crate them cause they're used to it). If you are willing to puppy proof, she would probably be a LOT happier out of the crate. I know neither of my greyhounds have considered the crate their "safe place." A crate in an empty house is a totally different thing than a kennel crate at the track, surrounded by other dogs.

Thank you for your feedback! I would just like to say, last week I puppy-proofed an entire room for her (took 8 hours to move everything out of a room) and she ripped up the entire carpet floor (which i didnt even think was possible). 850$ fix. Yeah...no...

 

So thats a no on that (for now)- but I will 100% switch foods and see how she does! Thank you for your advice!! I was thinking maybe I shouldn't come home at 12 and let her out-- but than again idk if she can hold her bathroom for 8 hours. Thats pretty long for her.

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We have used the adaptil DAP collar or diffuser with awesome results here. It is not magic and you should continue alone training (Are you doing it? If not, look into the threads here!) but for our pup, just plugging the diffuser was the difference between howling for HOURS at a time to howling every few minutes, then every few hours, then ...nothing :) Then the DAP ran out and he started freaking out again, broke out of his cage and then we decided to leave him uncrated and he was fine alone.

When we tried uncrated before the 2 month mark, he would pace pace pace, whine/bark/howl, ram the door, get on top of the staircase ramp (eeeeeek!) and just wouldn't settle.

Also what worked is leaving him EVERY DAY and doing the EXACT same routine even during the week-end. I would brush my hair, walk, leave at 6h30 AM even in the week-end. I went to the restaurant, had coffee, went shopping.... That made the Mondays much less scary as it was basically the same every day and we had a lot of positive development then.

Also switch food yes :)

When my boy came here, he held it for 12 hours during the night (his choice not mine!) and I had to push him outside for him to do his business...He just wouldn't go! A healthy dog should be able to hold it. Especially if you say that she is pooing during the first few hours.

Edited by locket

23786382928_141eff29e1.jpg
Cynthia, with Charlie (Britishlionheart) & Zorro el Galgo
Captain Jack (Check my Spots), my first love

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We have used the adaptil DAP collar or diffuser with awesome results here. It is not magic and you should continue alone training (Are you doing it? If not, look into the threads here!) but for our pup, just plugging the diffuser was the difference between howling for HOURS at a time to howling every few minutes, then every few hours, then ...nothing :) Then the DAP ran out and he started freaking out again, broke out of his cage and then we decided to leave him uncrated and he was fine alone.

 

When we tried uncrated before the 2 month mark, he would pace pace pace, whine/bark/howl, ram the door, get on top of the staircase ramp (eeeeeek!) and just wouldn't settle.

 

Also what worked is leaving him EVERY DAY and doing the EXACT same routine even during the week-end. I would brush my hair, walk, leave at 6h30 AM even in the week-end. I went to the restaurant, had coffee, went shopping.... That made the Mondays much less scary as it was basically the same every day and we had a lot of positive development then.

 

Also switch food yes :)

 

When my boy came here, he held it for 12 hours during the night (his choice not mine!) and I had to push him outside for him to do his business...He just wouldn't go! A healthy dog should be able to hold it. Especially if you say that she is pooing during the first few hours.

Ordering the DAP now!!!! !THANK YOU!!! I have been on the fence about the DAP, but you have made up my mind!

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Have you given her a Kong filled with peanut butter to eat when you leave? Thats what we did and now our dog likes it when we head out to work as he gets his Kong..LOL

Play a radio or leave the TV on as white noise.

 

Do you have time to do a short walk at lunch to tire her out abit or a play in the yard? I've a 3yo who acts like a 1yo with energy levels. I'd go home for lunch, walk him or play fetch in the yard Then I'd put him in his crate, sit and read for 10minutes, then leave without interacting with him. (thats what our rescue told us to do).

 

We also went out for short times so he learned we'd come back. It takes time.

 

As for food, Blue Buffalo is rich and we dont give it to ours either as it can cause tummy issues. Natures Variety is a good brand, grain free. Plus dogs can be sensitive to chicken, so maybe try salmon.. Some feed costco brand salmon dry food.

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You didn't respond to my suggestion about more exercise. Trust me when I tell you that that is the single most important piece of advice I would offer someone with a young dog with SA. is exercise, exercise, exercise. Even if you have to force yourself out of bed an hour early to walk her, do it.

 

Sorry about the carpet. That's awful.

Edited by GeorgeofNE


Hamish-siggy1.jpg

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

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You didn't respond to my suggestion about more exercise. Trust me when I tell you that that is the single most important piece of advice I would offer someone with a young dog with SA. is exercise, exercise, exercise. Even if you have to force yourself out of bed an hour early to walk her, do it.

 

Sorry about the carpet. That's awful.

Yes, do it.

23786382928_141eff29e1.jpg
Cynthia, with Charlie (Britishlionheart) & Zorro el Galgo
Captain Jack (Check my Spots), my first love

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Guest Lygracilux

I haven't had much experience with SA with my grey but have in the past with my old husky:

-Alone train whenever you have the chance. If you can take a few days off of work into the weekend-that would be a good time to do it. Just a whole weekend of alone training (lots of forms on here about that)

-Like (GeorgeofNEW said) Lots of exercise before and after work-cant stress that enough

-Giver her a kong filled with peanut butter, frozen yogurt, dog food, etc. for her to work on

-Never tried the DAP but lots of people have had great success with it. Thundershirts too!

 

 

After a year of dealing with digestive issues with my houndie I can tell you:

Try something that isn't so rich. a lot of owners here have had luck with IAMS Green Bag. If she has a chicken sensitivity you could try Natural Balance LID, they have lots of different protein sources. Just research some forms on here and other owners give food suggestions. Its pretty much trial and error with foods. But switch slowly and give it time-like 3 weeks to notice a difference (unless shes clearly having a reaction to the food) Olewo carrots can help firm up poo, along with canned pumpkin. Also, make sure with the vet she doesnt have worms, and if she does-deworm!

 

 

Shes a beautiful girl. Best of luck!

 

 

EDIT: Also, more pics!!

Edited by Lygracilux
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Guest kygreymom

We tried everything. DAP, walks, frozen KONGS, melatonin, amitriptyline, calming tablets for dogs, music, tv, covering the crate, and now he's on Prozac. Everything and anything you put in his crate, he destroyed. He peed everyday then laid in it. His teeth had black on them from biting the wire on the crate. I had read the crate can cause some SA to occur so I thought I would let him stay out of the crate and put a baby gate on the steps to keep him from going upstairs to the bedrooms etc. Big mistake. Chewed 3 steps of carpet. Replacing the carpet was going to be $675. People will tell you things will get better, you are wishing the better times will come faster. People will tell you to limit how long he's alone at first, but you can't because you have to work. I know. I've been there. Soon you are as anxious about putting your dog in the cage as they are! The adoption agency made recommendations, their vet made recommendation, our vet made her recommendations. Nothing worked. We were referred to a Behaviorist as a last resort. Our dog escaped his metal crate last week. He didn't touch a thing. I've let him run around the house since then and he's been fine. It was VERY scary for me to let him have the run of the house. All I thought of all day while at work was coming home to a destroyed house. I was wrong. Where I went wrong the first time I let him stay out was that I put a baby gate up and he felt confined. Just like in the crate. I was told to NEVER put a dog in a room and shut the door. He will go nuts. That's what the baby gate was to him. A door. He is still on Prozac but I am going to see what happens when we wean him off it. Does your dog pant or pace when you just go out the door? Does she still follow you everywhere in the house? Will she go into another room by herself and sleep? If your dog doesn't show signs of anxiety when you go out the door briefly (like to take the trash out), if she doesn't follow you everywhere, and if she sleeps in another room by herself, these are good signs. If she doesn't have accidents in the house while you're there, that too is a good sign. I would once again, try leaving her out of the crate. The crate may be the issue. I'm definitely not an expert in SA, but we've been through the ringer and have tried everything. If our dog hadn't escaped his crate, the poor boy would be still be suffering in his crate every day. We too were told he was "crate trained". Um, nope. Not every greyhound will stay in a crate. Keep trying the things people suggest. You may find something to help. It's frustrating for us but it's even more frustrating for the dogs. Our dog has always been a happy dog, but now he seems so much more happy out of the crate.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

You need to tire out the hound before you leave - a tired dog is a good dog

You need to really do a lot of alone training - search here for alone training

If you are going to leave out, do not lock into a room, or gate an area off. Give full run of the house and put a muzzle on the hound. Remember, a muzzle is a safety device, no different than a seatbelt in a car. The muzzle will protect the hound from eating inappropriate items as well as hurting themselves by biting things. And bonus, will help keep your place damage free.

 

Every single racing greyhound in the USA is crate trained. Now, if they like said crate, may be a different story, but every racing greyhound in the United States lives in a crate at the track, no exceptions. Each grey has a different reaction to the crate once they are in pet life. One thing that is very important is the crate is a good place. Every single meal is fed in the crate, every treat is given in the crate (unless you are doing obedience training). Never use the crate for punishment such as a barking hound or other behavior you are trying to modify.

 

Another thing to consider is obedience training. One thing that contributes to anxiety is a dog that lacks confidence. Obedience will help promote confidence, your bonding, and even help tire your hound out mentally. If you cannot walk the hound for whatever reason, try obedience training and working toys (treat dispensers that make the dog figure out how to get the treat). These will also help to tire your hound out before you leave.

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My George was the same way. To him the crate was hell. A baby gate was no better. He wasn't destructive, but noisy. Once I gave him free run of the house, he was fine.

 

I'm glad you found some relief.


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

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What food was your hound eating previously that didn't give her runny stools, and how long was she on that food?

 

It's important to transition new food very gradually. Some food manufacturers recommend taking as long as 4 weeks, slowly increasing amount of new food while decreasing old food.

Any new hound should have a fecal test to ensure they're not harboring worms, giardia, etc. which often cause runny stools.

Simply moving to a new home environment is stressful enough to cause hounds' bowel changes.

 

While dogs are feeling anxious, some are not physically able to control their bowel/urine. Same dogs have no trouble controlling it when they're feeling calm, relaxed and secure. Greyhounds are sensitive. Fortunately, you appear to be very patient and understanding re: her elimination accidents so that will help her.

 

Separation anxiety is fear-based. It's worth a general mention that dogs should not be scolded for anything rooted from fear. It backfires. A raised voice can dramatically escalate hounds' internal anxiety for a very long time. (Even simple elevated stress hormones from one incident can last for days.)

 

Dedicated "alone training" would be my #1 priority on days off. If your hound likes peanut butter, smear plain peanut butter (no manufacturer's additives) inside a Kong. Present the Kong as a special treat to lick whenever you leave the room during alone training. Immediately upon your return to the room, pick-up the Kong. Repeat, repeat, repeat. If hound won't eat/lick a treat during your absence, back-up to the stage hound is calm enough to focus on treat. Try to keep your away practice times under hound's comfort threshold, meaning you return just before hound starts feeling anxious. Could be seconds or minutes.

 

If you haven't already, please do let your adoption group know about your hound's separation anxiety.

 

As Greyt_dog_lover mentioned, your hound likely needs a muzzle for her safety. If she didn't arrive with a Greyhound turn-out muzzle, this link shows Greyhound muzzles that allow hounds to safely pant, drink water, and breathe when wearing the muzzle. http://www.gemgreyho.../kennel-muzzle/

 

We don't know your region/climate, but walking is usually great for hounds, especially on work day mornings. That said, new Greyhounds walking distance usually needs to be built up gradually. They're running sprinters accustomed to one race lasting approx. 30 seconds only 1 (max. 2 x) per week. They're not conditioned for long endurance walking. Their paw pads are soft when newly retired (from sand tracks or dirt schooling runs). Pad toughness builds up slowly during walks. Good to check paw pads for sores/damage after walks or at least weekly.

Walking is great to physically tire dogs so they're more likely to fall asleep later, but it doesn't always help settle the brain of a dog feeling anxious.

 

Good luck with your girl. :)

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Guest ParamagicFF

We switched our Amber to a higher end, all natural, grain free etc dog food and she also ended up with some GI discomfort. Switched her back to IAMS green bag and she's been great with it. We all want to do what's best, but sometimes it isn't what appears to be "best".

 

Amber showed some similar signs of SA when crated, minus the messing. We then transitioned her into a "doggie proof" kitchen with a baby gate up. She showed us exactly where we didn't doggie proof by causing some minor damage. I reluctantly gave her free reign of the house (minus our bedroom) while we're gone and she has done excellent with it ever since!

 

Her attitude when we're leaving is night and day different however if we forget to leave her a kong loaded with treats and frozen PB! And I also agree that a solid morning workout is needed before being left alone. Best of luck!

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