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Sa....a Couple Questions

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Okay, all....I feel bad about starting another Separation Anxiety thread, as there are so many. I don't want to ask people to repeat themselves over and over again. But each case is so different! So as I work through reading all that is available here first, I had a few questions to start.


Background: I have had Calvin 6 months. He was 21 months old when I got him at the end of June, and he is, as my roommate put it, "an energetic young lad". I am a teacher, and for July I taught summer school, so Calvin had to get used to me leaving. Some signs of SA, but nothing ridiculous considering he was newly adopted. When school started in September, we progressed to full school days with a dogwalker midday, plus 2 nights a week I work 3-4 hours at a restaurant. (I know that's not ideal....so I started adding a dog walk at about 7 on those evenings.) He is crated whenever I leave, as he is quite mischievous (and scared me by trying to chew power cords at first). He gets his muzzle off in 10 seconds. The thing is, after a short adjustment period he had been doing well in his crate each day, sleeping most of the time. Until mid-December, when SA appears to have taken hold. Barking, crying, howling, and peeing. Since then I've been trying things, but am having little success. Compounding this is that he developed diarrhea at the same time, so I am having trouble determining if the diarrhea/GI issues caused the SA, or if the high levels of anxiety caused the tummy upset. It is only now starting to resolve after almost a month.



1. Is it common for SA to not be an issue, or to be well managed, and then to have it erupt after 6 months? This seems weird. There were signs that he has a little anxiety here and there, but he was managing well until then.


2. The other strange piece is that, though some days he will cry when I leave in the morning, it lasts about 5 minutes only and then he is quiet and sleeps until the dogwalker comes at about 1. But then, about 2 hours after that, at around 3:30, he will wake up and cry and howl until I get home, whether that is at 4:00 like typical or later if I have errands. The afternoon session is shorter, but he gets anxious. That is when he pees. I am thinking that he starts to get bored at that point, which makes sense. But if it were SA, would it be worse in the afternoon than the morning like this?


3. My most recent attempt is that I bought a gate, and worked hard to dogproof my room, so that I can try allowing him in there instead of the crate. I figure he would get less bored, be less confined, can sleep on my bed, and could have his treat ball out for if he needs entertainment. I tried it on Saturday. He started crying and howling instantly and kept it up for an entire hour. (In hindsight, an hour was way too long to start....but I didn't realize that we would be starting from scratch...I honestly thought he would be ok.) Is it common to have to re-do alone training when you transition from crate to room? It always sounds like people on here just give them the run of the house one day, or a blocked off room, and they are magically fine with it. That was NOT my experience with Calvin.


I know I have many other questions. I did see a recommendation for the I'll Be Home Soon book, which I'm going to order. But this is at least a start.... I forgot to mention that he does get a frozen kong when I leave....


This was a long post for only 3 questions. Sorry guys. Thanks for any input.


Edited by Robin1017
Cathy & Calvin (DOB 9/18/13). Always missing my angel Robin (Abdo Bullard).
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Well, I too am a teacher so I am gone for a long time. I do not have a dog walker but I am home around 4 every day. I have three hounds now but my first hound who has passed never had a bit of SA. We got her a pal at the next greyhound reunion and he had it bad! I have several questions.


1. Is your roommate home when your grey is crated? If so he may be trying to tell them he wants out.

2. Do you have to work a second job? That is a lot of time for any dog to be crated. I am not trying to be hateful but that is a long time. For another thing, I can't imagine getting all of my work done if I had a second job. I grade papers until 9 - 10 each night!

3. Did something change at that time? I bet he got used to you being home for the Christmas break and just really misses you!

4. How do you know he cried for an hour? Were you home? If you were, he knew it and wanted you. If your roommate was there, he knew it and wanted attention from them.


Greyhounds are very attached to their humans and love the interaction. I wish mine would have just barked and whined. He tore the back off our love seat, ate the wood furniture, and liked the sour lemon stuff you can put on it to discourage them. He would lick it off. He was just very destructive. On the positive side, once you get him through that, they are the best dog you could ever want. Ziggy is a sweetheart and is very good. I will tell you that he got better when we got another hound!



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-Occasionally roommate is home, but usually not.

-I do need the second job, at least for now. But I don't think that is the issue, since this is going on during the day mostly. And if roommate comes home, he takes him out. It's only two evenings a week--usually Monday and Friday. Not ideal, but still.... (Plus, this week and last week I got coverage so that I haven't been working the second job and he's worse than ever.) Quitting that job at this point will not solve the problem. Though I hope to do so sooner rather than later....

-Nothing changed at that time that I can think of because it was on December 17. That was before the break. The only change is the tummy upset at the same time.

-I have a spycam to watch him secretly, so I know what he's been up to. :-) This crying happens when he is alone in the house. He does get upset when the roommate is home and he is still in his crate, so I minimize that. This was a different story.


I do want to get him out of the crate. But I was quite discouraged by how bad the SA was on Saturday when I tried him with just the gate. I am hoping to figure out how to do that transition for him.


And I am VERY appreciative that he is not destructive. VERY. I just don't want it to escalate into that if I can help it.

Cathy & Calvin (DOB 9/18/13). Always missing my angel Robin (Abdo Bullard).
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I understand on all points. I worked a part time job too when I first got my job. I don't want you to go through what I did either. I am surprised dthat he did not settle down in your room. Your smell is there. He is happy there. Do you have a tv or radio playing when you leave? That helped mine a bit.

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Have him checked for worms - hooks especially. If he had digestive distress that may have translated into having a more generalized anxiety, which has now snowballed.


If the afternoon issues start at the same time every day I would say that they are either him getting hungry or needing to go out, OR someone/something nearby happens then and it gets him going.


It isn't unusual to have to restart alone training for each stage of settling in to a new routine.

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

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

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, Lilly

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With the cam have you hear things? because 3:30 is around the time that schools out and kids are out playing or walking home etc. Maybe your hound can hear those things and wants to play or be out.


I would go to the vet and find out why his tummy is upset. It can make a dog very stressed to feel the need to poop and not be able too. Then each day he might be worried it could happen again or it does happen again. So a pattern is building up and he is learning to be anxious at those times.


ANY changes need to be done slowly, a crate is a safe place, a room is a new place when no one is home. Start slowly and try again. 5 minutes, many times until he isnt stressed, then 10, then 20. Give him a kong with peanut butter inside to work on, that 5 minutes with you gone wont be noticed by him.

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I found that George hated being confined IN ANY WAY and that a baby gate was no less evil to him that the crate, or the wirey box of doom as I took to calling it.


Sounds to me that after six months he has announced loud and clear he is done with being crated.


How long is he being walked before you leave for work?


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

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