Jump to content

Severe Seperation Anxiety

Guest Jdmichaels

Recommended Posts

Guest Jdmichaels

I just adopted my first greyhound, and we hit it off from the get go. He is a complete sweetheart when I am home - non destructive, well behaved, etc. Unfortunately, he is suffering from severe seperation anxiety. He was previously in a foster home with 11 other greys. He follows me around the house when Im home. Ive tried to encourage some independence by not indulging him in constant attention. When I leave, he goes crazy. In the crate he howls, barks, shreds whatever is in with him, tries to chew his way out. Im concerned about him hurting himself. Out of the crate, he goes to the bathroom all over the house (again, only when Im gone) and chews and destroys everything in reach. Today he flat out refused to get in his crate, barking at me for the first time every. I have to go back to work tomorrow (8-9 hours) and Im freaking out. Im at my wits end.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you done any 'alone training' at all?


His life has been turned upside down, as he has never been left alone in his life. Poor boy.

Do a search on alone training in this forum.

I am sure others with experience will chime in.....


Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Joshi.  Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel your pain. My Lola has been with me for about 2 months and also has SA with behaviors similar to what you describe. Fortunately, I'm retired and can work on intensive alone training with her. There are many posts here about alone training and several excellent books on the subject a couple being Patricia B. McConnell's I'll Be Home Soon and Don't Leave Me! by Nicole Wilde. SA is treatable but it takes time, patience, management and, sometimes, even medication. Talk to your vet. A good behaviorist/trainer would be very helpful.


Is there any way to leave your boy with a sitter temporarily? Or at doggie-daycare? Poor baby must be so confused! Good luck to you both.

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are literally a thousand threads here for SA. Search through for detailed instructions for Alone Training. Do it all day today. Get the above referenced books and read them - I think they are both available as Kindle/e-books - they will give you valuable tips and instructions to help your dog get used to being alone. Remember, he's never ever been left alone in his life and it's going to take time and patience and more time and patience and then some more time and patience.


Call your vet for an appointment asap. His SA sounds severe enough that you may need a course of anti anxiety medication to help get you both through this transition period. DAP diffusers and collars will be helpful, but I think your guy is beyond the help of most OTC calming items (chews, drops, rubs you can get w/o a prescription). These drugs aren't a miracle cure; they only put his brain in a chemical state so that he can accept your on-going deconditioning training. Trazadone has been what works for many people - your vet may also have suggestions for a fast-acting anti anxiety med to try.


Call your group and inform them of what's going on. They may have some resources or suggestions for you. It also may be that he just isn't a dog that can adapt to being alone, and you may need to consider returning him so that he can find a home where he can thrive. And you can find a dog that will be a perfect companion, as well.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two are better than one. Have had two alone and four with partners. Also when I go out, I make sure they have lots of toys to play with, confine them to two rooms and leave on the tv set for them. If they are having a dog show on tv, they get that too. I would be broken if I was left home alone with no one to talk to, or no entertainment or no toys like computers to use for my human self. You could hire a dog walker to give them some socialization or take them to a doggie sitter in the day time. Some will walk your dog and have long runs in them in and out of the facility. But my guys can be left for up to 8-12 hours if needed. I put a doggie pad down for the girl, as she seems to have a smaller bladder. Each dog has two beds, one in each room and they are allowed on the sofas. They have the ability to change around as they want till I get back to them. But I am mostly home now since I retired do not have to be too concerned. They did great in the hotels as well when we went out to dinner. Give it time. My latest girl did chew up on a corner of a cabinet and an end table and we had a long talk about that and she never did that again. She does and I will let her chew up the roll of paper towels if she wants. It keeps her entertained and she does not bother important things. I do make an effort for them to also be able to look out windows and see and bark at what is entertaining out in the world. It is so good for them to feel the love. Bongs can help till they get over the SA. Fill it up with great treats they have to work on when your gone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really feel for you knowing you *have* to leave to work. Have any friends who would like to come baby-sit?


We have scheduled our adoptions around a 4-day window when we can all be home, and really focus on introducing our hound to its new home. Alone-training is key, and also may not be a quick fix... which makes it evne harder if you are alone, with no flexibility with work and time-away from home.


I hope that some focused along-training might do wonders, but am nervous for you and your freaked out hound...


so sorry for this initial stress-- our first hound destroyed everything and anything left in his crate with him, but we found he was fine being out of the crate. Our second loved the crate, which made it easy, and our third took about 6 months to calm himself down so as to not pace and whine and destroy things while we were gone.... we still block him into just one section of the house, but he is a different dog than when he first arrived and we wondered how we would be able to leave him.


It should get better-- but takes time, which can be very stressful in the short-term.

Amy and Tim in Beverly, MA, with Chase and Always missing Kingsley (Drama King) and Ruby (KB's Bee Bopper).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to GreyTalk!


Try to give your boy multiple opportunities to fully eliminate before your departure for work (e.g., potty upon awakening, potty after breakfast, potty 10 minutes before your departure). A morning walk helps tire some dogs.


I agree to try to arrange for a dog walker or pet sitter to take your boy outside to eliminate mid-day while you're at work.

Newly adopted dogs usually need more potty outings than long time settled pets. It's too much to ask any newly adopted dog to hold urine/bowel more than 4 hours maximum. (Brand new foster hounds at our house are given potty opportunities every 2-3 hours for the first several days in a home.) Your boy is likely scared and stressed being left alone in a strange place not knowing if or when you or anyone will return. It could be the first time in his life he's been removed from a Greyhound pack between racing kennels and/or a breeding farm. Their earliest days/weeks are their biggest adjustment.


Ditto Greysmom's mention of trying veterinary prescribed Trazadone (temporarily) if your hound needs help to become more receptive to alone training. (Any pet medication should be tested first on a day you are home to evaluate the dog's reaction.)


SanTanSnuggles post referred to a "Kong". The inside can be iced with natural plain peanut butter or plain (Greek) yogurt and filled with part of their meal of kibble or other dog safe food for alone training.


A Greyhound plastic basket muzzle can be used to help prevent hounds from ingesting dangerous materials or breaking teeth on a crate. If he's a dangerous risk of bending the wire or breaking out of his crate, try placing a strong baby-gate in the doorway of one of your most used rooms (e.g., where you spend time together when you're home relaxing) to provide him limited space. Thoroughly dog-proof that room (remove remote controls, small electronics, important mail/checks, eye glasses, vitamin bottles, etc. Remember that Greyhounds can reach adult height when standing on their hind legs.) Ensure he has a cushy dog bed, water bowl, etc. Leave any window coverings/draperies/shades pulled up out of his reach. Close/lock windows. Puppy pads or hospital bed pads can be used on the floor if needed.

This muzzle style allows Greyhounds to breathe safely, pant and drink water: http://www.gemgreyhounds.org/GEM-Store/kennel-muzzle/

(Males usually wear size large. Females size small.)


Tip: Please be careful to not scold a dog for indoor potty accidents or other undesirable behaviors (chewing non-pet items, etc.) caused by fear/anxiety. It compounds dogs' fears tenfold and can damage their trust in humans.

If a human is present when a dog has an accident, best to calmly rush the dog outside, then praise dog for eliminating outdoors. Otherwise, if walking into a room after the accident occurred, ignore the dog and quietly clean up the mess.

The act of chewing is a stress-reliever for dogs. If needed, provide dog-safe items for chewing. Rawhide is dangerous, potentially causing choking, intestinal blockages, etc. Nylabones are safer but very eager chewers could potentially chip/break teeth. Nylabone's "Dura-bone" in a fist shape, "souper size" is an option for Greyhounds who really need a chewing outlet.


A well-secured mirror that reaches floor level can help single hounds feel as if there is another dog in their presence.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

While it is true that SOME dogs simply can't live alone, I think it's a bit early to be advising someone to get a second dog.


You don't tell us how long you've had this dog, but I'm guessing maybe DAYS?


If you are truly at your wits end already, PLEASE call the adoption group and ask them what they think. There is no shame in admitting it's not a match made in heaven.


There are plenty of dogs out there who do just fine alone (and please don't even consider what would drive YOU mad if you were left alone all day. You're not a dog.). Mine is one of them. I have four cameras in my condo, and know for a fact that 98% of the time when I am not there he is sound asleep.


My first greyhound had SA, and I wasn't interested in dealing with it a second time so I made it crystal clear that it was MOST important to me that the dog I adopt be fine on his own. I let my group pick the dog, and they did a fine job!


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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...