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What Are The Alternatives To Alone Training?


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Guest radioni

We adopted Maira two months ago and she has been doing great at settling in. Initially we had some fearfulness issues but most were easily corrected with counter conditioning. For instance, she was terrified of walking down the sidewalk. After about two weeks of using counter conditioning she came around and relaxed enough that we could walk her. Now, two months later, she walks down the sidewalk like she owns it. I did the same for her fear of the vacuum, her fear of crowded places, her fear of the stairs, etc, etc. None of these took longer than two weeks to counter condition.

 

Leaving her alone has been a totally different ball game. From day one I've been doing alone training and it just does not seem to be working. If she thinks I am leaving the house she will not even follow me into the room where her crate is. If I try to lead her into the room she freezes and refuses to budge. She will not take any treats, even the most high value, so I can't bribe her or lure her. If I do get her into the crate and leave (by "leave" I mean for 5 minutes as we've been doing alone training) she pees in the crate.

 

The crate itself doesn't seem to be the issue. If she's sure I'm not going to leave she has no problem going into the crate to sniff around for missed kibbles. She eats in her crate. For the first month she slept in the crate with no issue until I was sure we could trust her and then we started letting her sleep on a dog bed on the floor of our room. She didn't LOVE sleeping in her crate, but she did fine with it. She never peed in her crate overnight.

 

Over the last two months things have only gotten worse and worse. Since she had no problem eating in her crate I started trying to do the alone training while she ate, but now she's fearful of eating in her crate. Before you say that means I took it too fast, I swear I did not. While she eats I close the door to the crate only if she looks comfortable. When I do she instantly stops eating and just stares at me waiting for the door to be reopened. It's like if she thinks I am going to leave she just shuts down. She freezes and does not move until I come back. And now that she has realized that I am using meal times to do alone training she has started being very skittish about mealtime. I feel like I am breaking her.

 

So, this brings me to things I am already doing or have tried:

 

  • I randomly scatter treats in the crate to heighten the association that the crate = good things.
  • I bought a dog appeasement pheromone diffuser. This didn't seem to make a difference at all.
  • I read Patricia McConnell's I'll be Home Soon and used her suggestions, including to start out with only a few seconds at a time.
  • I followed a set of suggestions from our rescue that suggested increasing the frequency and reducing the length by doing 5 minutes at a time every hour. This seemed to make things even worse.
  • The crate is in our bedroom, next to our bed, so there's plenty of our scent in there.
  • I've tried a kong stuffed with liverwurst or cheese or peanut butter. She won't touch it while in the crate. Now the sight of the kong sends her into hiding as she knows the kong potentially means crate time. (I've tried letting her have kongs out of the crate to break the kong = crate association and she'll only eat them in other rooms, away from the crate.)
  • I've tried varying my routine so that she shouldn't realize I'm leaving ahead of time. This doesn't seem to matter much as she doesn't exhibit symptoms when I pick up keys or put on shoes or anything, it's only when we enter the room with the crate in it.
  • Per the rescue's suggestion I tried leaving her out of the crate in case it was just that she doesn't like being crated. She tried to dig through the door.
  • I've tried leaving the radio on, turning on a white noise machine, etc.
  • The rescue suggested just giving her a gentle shove to get her into the crate. If I do that she will literally sit down in place so that I can't get her in.

My vet is suggesting anti-anxiety meds and I feel like I am at the point where I am ready to throw my hands up and try them because I feel like I've tried everything else. This is not my first dog, but it is my first greyhound and my first dog with anxiety issues.

 

Does anyone have ANY ideas? How long is reasonable to dedicate to alone training before you start to see results? Am I just doing this wrong??

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Can you try leaving her free in the house with a muzzle? Mine would not do well at all crated alone, but is totally fine to sleep in the living room or on my bed when I'm not home. I use a muzzle with an enclosed bottom half so he doesn't eat random objects and leave the radio on. Have also had some improvement with adaptil diffuser and collar plus L theanine supplement. All the best, I hope you find what works best for you.

edit: oops sorry, I didn't read far enough to see you've tried most of those things. Maybe the L theanine might help?

Edited by Simonsays
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I think she is trying to tell you that she does not want to be crated !

 

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

 

 

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You've done everything right. There are just some dogs that cannot be left alone. It might be best for her to go back to the group so that she can find a home where she will have a confident companion.

 

This isn't a failure on your part. It just wasn't a good match. That happens more often than people know. But you've been a great first foster home for her, and now they can place her in a home where she will thrive.

 

You can also find a dog that more easily fits into your lifestyle. You need to work, and you need a dog that's ok with that. There is greyhound out there who is that dog.

 

If you want to keep trying with Maira, anti anxiety meds are the next thing on the list. There are numerous OTC remedies you can try, but they almost never work for her level of anxiety.

 

Using them also isn't a failure. She has something wrong with her brain chemistry. All anti anxiety meds do is put her brain in a state that it can readily accept counter conditioning by changing that chemistry. You wouldn't hesitate to use antibiotics if she had an infection, so don't feel "bad" about using them here.

 

It can be a long road to find the right drug and the correct dosage, so they are NOT a miracle solution. You could still have many months of work ahead of you.

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

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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We adopted Maira two months ago and she has been doing great at settling in. Initially we had some fearfulness issues but most were easily corrected with counter conditioning. For instance, she was terrified of walking down the sidewalk. After about two weeks of using counter conditioning she came around and relaxed enough that we could walk her. Now, two months later, she walks down the sidewalk like she owns it. I did the same for her fear of the vacuum, her fear of crowded places, her fear of the stairs, etc, etc. None of these took longer than two weeks to counter condition.

 

Leaving her alone has been a totally different ball game. From day one I've been doing alone training and it just does not seem to be working. If she thinks I am leaving the house she will not even follow me into the room where her crate is. If I try to lead her into the room she freezes and refuses to budge. She will not take any treats, even the most high value, so I can't bribe her or lure her. If I do get her into the crate and leave (by "leave" I mean for 5 minutes as we've been doing alone training) she pees in the crate.

 

The crate itself doesn't seem to be the issue. If she's sure I'm not going to leave she has no problem going into the crate to sniff around for missed kibbles. She eats in her crate. For the first month she slept in the crate with no issue until I was sure we could trust her and then we started letting her sleep on a dog bed on the floor of our room. She didn't LOVE sleeping in her crate, but she did fine with it. She never peed in her crate overnight.

 

Over the last two months things have only gotten worse and worse. Since she had no problem eating in her crate I started trying to do the alone training while she ate, but now she's fearful of eating in her crate. Before you say that means I took it too fast, I swear I did not. While she eats I close the door to the crate only if she looks comfortable. When I do she instantly stops eating and just stares at me waiting for the door to be reopened. It's like if she thinks I am going to leave she just shuts down. She freezes and does not move until I come back. And now that she has realized that I am using meal times to do alone training she has started being very skittish about mealtime. I feel like I am breaking her.

 

So, this brings me to things I am already doing or have tried:

 

  • I randomly scatter treats in the crate to heighten the association that the crate = good things.
  • I bought a dog appeasement pheromone diffuser. This didn't seem to make a difference at all.
  • I read Patricia McConnell's I'll be Home Soon and used her suggestions, including to start out with only a few seconds at a time.
  • I followed a set of suggestions from our rescue that suggested increasing the frequency and reducing the length by doing 5 minutes at a time every hour. This seemed to make things even worse.
  • The crate is in our bedroom, next to our bed, so there's plenty of our scent in there.
  • I've tried a kong stuffed with liverwurst or cheese or peanut butter. She won't touch it while in the crate. Now the sight of the kong sends her into hiding as she knows the kong potentially means crate time. (I've tried letting her have kongs out of the crate to break the kong = crate association and she'll only eat them in other rooms, away from the crate.)
  • I've tried varying my routine so that she shouldn't realize I'm leaving ahead of time. This doesn't seem to matter much as she doesn't exhibit symptoms when I pick up keys or put on shoes or anything, it's only when we enter the room with the crate in it.
  • Per the rescue's suggestion I tried leaving her out of the crate in case it was just that she doesn't like being crated. She tried to dig through the door.
  • I've tried leaving the radio on, turning on a white noise machine, etc.
  • The rescue suggested just giving her a gentle shove to get her into the crate. If I do that she will literally sit down in place so that I can't get her in.
My vet is suggesting anti-anxiety meds and I feel like I am at the point where I am ready to throw my hands up and try them because I feel like I've tried everything else. This is not my first dog, but it is my first greyhound and my first dog with anxiety issues.

 

Does anyone have ANY ideas? How long is reasonable to dedicate to alone training before you start to see results? Am I just doing this wrong??

I would do the meds then rethink the training plan a bit. Start with a second crate in a new location and only usebtjat for training, if you have to leave for longer use the crate she doesnt like. Or do the alone training with her uncrated. It is also possible you moved too quickly. First step should just be desensitizing her to any predictors that you're leaving - whatever first triggers signs of stress, like putting on shoes, or picking up keys, etc. The first steps are the slowest/hardest. 2 good resources, Patricia McConnell's I'll Be Home Soon and Malena deMartini-Price's book on SA.

 

But do the meds. She needs something to help her cope while you work through tue training. The only other options are calming supplements (doubt they will help so I would probably just get meds, but you could certainly also add a DAP collar) or getting another dog. If the latter is a possibility ask about dog sitting or fostering as a test because not all SA dogs improve with dog companionship, many need the humans around.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I don't know why people are so afraid of attempting meds. If it helps your dog for a while or permanently to get over a fear, all the better. We had a dog on a low dose of prozac for three years. He was so much better and confident once we put him on the meds. Please consider give her something to get over her fear of being alone.

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Guest radioni

Hi all,

 

Thank you so much for the replies. If nothing else it helps to feel less isolated as I work through this with Maira. I also appreciate what you are saying about potentially needing to return her to the rescue. That is an option I hadn't considered, and to be honest the idea breaks my heart. She has been a great fit for us in every other way, and I want to try every option before resorting to that.

 

I had an appointment with the vet this morning and talked through things with her. She is recommending that we wait to try anti-anxiety meds, but she did go ahead and do the blood test that is the first step to prescribing the meds. Her reasons were two fold:

 

  1. Maira has very soft stools and we have been actively working on remedying that. We've ruled out worms/parasites as well as a food allergy. Until we get the soft stools figured out, though, the vet does not want to add a med that could have side effects that would make it more difficult to diagnose. That makes sense to me but is also frustrating to hear as I want Maira to be both physically healthy and emotionally happy.
  2. She thinks I should work with a behaviorist to make sure we have exhausted all non-med options.

I like the idea of restarting the alone training using a different crate or (ideally) leaving her out of the crate. It took Maira a while to settle in and loosen up and now that she has maybe she would be more receptive to the alone training if we started with a blank slate.

 

Another question, that is hard to ask: We are moving to the Portland, Oregon area in two weeks. I'm a professor and I don't have to be at my new job until the end of August, so I was planning to use those six weeks to help Maira adjust in terms of separation anxiety. I figured six weeks was plenty of time to make this adjustment before expecting her to be on her own (and even then, with an academic's schedule she would only need to be able to go 4 hours at a time). But now I am second guessing myself and six weeks does not seem like enough time at all. So, my question. Once we move we won't be local to the rescue that we got her from--does that mean I should make the decision about giving her back to the rescue before we move? Or would a greyhound rescue that we didn't originally get her from be willing to work with us?

 

Thank you again for all the replies. I really appreciate your willingness to brainstorm with me.

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Did you tell your vet you are moving? Imo you need the meds. A move is often a huge stressor for SA dogs and its common to see those who have gone through the behavior modification and are doing well have a setback around a move. So you want the meds fully on board before you move and since it can take 4-6 weeks to build up, you don't really have time to wait. As far as the soft stool goes, that could take ages to figure out and SSRIs don't typically cause stomach issues so personally, while I understand where your vet is coming from, I think the behavior needs take precedence. The soft stool could also very well be due to stress and thus won't resolve until you address the SA. Working with a behaviorist is a great idea regardless, but this idea that meds should be an absolute last resort is frustrating. Meds facilitate learning/acquisition when the dog is too stressed or anxious otherwise. Prolonging often means the problem is more serious by the time the meds are started and then you may have more difficulty getting it under control. If the move weren't an issue I might respond differently, but with that as a factor I really think you need the meds asap.

Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest radioni

Did you tell your vet you are moving?

 

Yes, I did. In her opinion that was more of a reason to not prescribe the meds as she said that prescribing anti-anxiety meds now would make our new vet's job of figuring out what was going on even more difficult. She said that as a vet one of the most difficult things is to receive a case where someone else has been trying multiple things simultaneously and then you have to work to untangle everything.

 

I asked about the soft stools being caused by stress and she said it was possible but unlikely. She said that diarrhea caused by stress is usually acute and does not last months. Though she did say that dogs process stress in the GI tract and so it was possible.

 

It seems fairly clear to me that the vet is prioritizing the physical issues. While she said she didn't want me to feel like she was "blowing off" my concerns about the separation anxiety she made it clear that she thought that took a backseat. But, considering how many folks on here think I should try meds, perhaps I should look into finding a different vet who is more on board. While I certainly understand the vet's desire to focus on what she has been trained to focus on I do feel like she is overlooking something that is profoundly impacting Maira's wellbeing.

 

And regarding the upcoming move: My guess (and this is obviously a guess) is that moving houses won't impact Maira all that much. She is a wonderfully confident dog as long as we are around. We take her with us to friends' houses when we go to hang out and she settles in very quickly. And right now we are not making progress on alone training anyway, as everyday she seems to get worse. Maybe a new house will give us the blank slate we need to start fresh and I can move even slower with her? On the other hand, I can absolutely see how moving houses could end up being a train wreck that makes everything that much harder.

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You won't know until you try which way the move is going to affect her. FWIW this might turn out to be a good thing. I also agree with Jen that you need the meds sooner rather than later.

 

Fortunately you are moving to an area with two really good greyhound adoption groups (Greyhound Pet Adoption Northwest and Oregon Greyhound Adoption), and a lot of greyhound-savvy vets. There are also some really good behaviorists in the area.

 

I would suggest you contact both groups and explain your story, and your commitment to trying to work things out, and ask them for a recommendation for both a vet in the area you're moving to and a behaviorist. It also will give them a heads up that an out-of-area bounce could be on the horizon in the future if Maira turns out to be unable to adjust to being an only dog.

 

Also I will just add that IMO, your vet isn't correct about stress colitis being a short term issue. It lasts as long as the stress does, and can be debilitating. If you were staying where you are I would be recommending you find a different vet, or at least see a different one for a second opinion.

 

As it is, I would go back and ask her for about a months worth of a fast-acting SSRI like Xanax or Valium, both so you can try it out before you move, and then *for* the move and the time period after, until you can get established with a new vet.

Edited by greysmom

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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It is entirely possible the move could act like a reset. I've seen that in a number of return cases. Like Chris said, no way to know in advance, probably best to just prepare for worst case scenario.

 

One clarification - Xanax and Valium are benzodiazepines, not SSRIs. A vet really needs to be the person to advise on this, I am not recommending a specific drug or drug class, but *typically* for SA an SSRI like Prozac for example is prescribed and if the dog needs something else to cope until the latter kicks in, the vet might add a benzo or something like Trazodone. But if you're currently home with her, she may not need it.

Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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She sounds a lot like my Tessa (who I did end up returning, but her problem was that she needed another dog and a yard and preferably no train tracks nearby, and she now lives with her former race trainer and 7 other dogs and a yard and no train tracks, so she's happy as could be).

 

Definitely try the meds. The only thing that calmed Tessa down was Xanax. Sadly Prozac had no effect on her, but that's not the norm (she's kind of, uh, different in many ways :lol). I tried literally everything else we ever recommend and it took me about 4 months to finally try meds, and then at 6 months I made the decision to bring her back.

 

I agree with the others - the move could be good and get her out of the "when I go to this room, Mom leaves" associations. But it's still a good idea to give the meds a try, or at least have Xanax on hand in case she isn't coping well.

 

As far as filling in a new vet on what you've tried goes, anything medical should be in her vet records, and it's never a bad idea to write down anything you've tried at home and bring the list with you when you go.

 

And lastly, what food is she on and what foods (and proteins) have you tried? Some do great with

the high quality foods and others get soft poos on those. I had one boy who was only ever solid on IAMs.

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It is entirely possible the move could act like a reset. I've seen that in a number of return cases. Like Chris said, no way to know in advance, probably best to just prepare for worst case scenario.

One clarification - Xanax and Valium are benzodiazepines, not SSRIs. A vet really needs to be the person to advise on this, I am not recommending a specific drug or drug class, but *typically* for SA an SSRI like Prozac for example is prescribed and if the dog needs something else to cope until the latter kicks in, the vet might add a benzo or something like Trazodone. But if you're currently home with her, she may not need it.

Yes. Sorry for the misspeak.

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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On the plus side, moving helped my SA dog a lot! I had gotten him to a place where he could cope with my daily departure. But moving to an entirely new neighborhood really helped old George. And he miraculously decided he COULD in fact walk up the stairs without my help the very morning we moved in. He just followed his new pals, the movers, right up the stairs as if he hadn't nearly killed me trying to teach him steps!!!


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Guest radioni

After giving it more thought and reading all the responses here I agree that meds are the way to go. We had a rough afternoon yesterday and I am realizing that trying to do this without meds is a losing battle.

 

Right now I am able to be home with Maira most of the day, but I do have to leave her for 10 minutes in the afternoons to pick my daughter up from school. Yesterday it took me an hour and a half to get her into the crate in order to be able to leave. (I always try to move us toward the crate as slowly as possible, stopping whenever she starts exhibiting stress symptoms.)

 

After discussing with my husband when he got home in the evening we have settled on both a short-term and a long term plan. We called another vet (a friend who lives a few states over) to get a quick second opinion and he said that he "respectfully disagrees" with our vet about the medication. In his opinion we should place her on trazodone for the short term while we make the move. He does not feel that anti-anxiety meds should be avoided while we figure out the soft stools and said that the soft stools could very likely be linked to the stress (he mentioned stress colitis, which I think greysmom already mentioned).

 

I contacted our vet clinic this morning and re-explained the situation and asked that we consider something like trazodone. We'll see what she says, but if she says no I think we will find a different vet.

 

I will be reaching out to the two greyhound rescues in Oregon today for vet and behaviorist recommendations.

 

We also discussed "bouncing" Maira, and we agreed that we absolutely do not want to do that. We are going to try the meds first. When we get to Oregon we are going to start over on alone training and do it under the supervision of a behaviorist. And if that fails we are open to getting a second dog (we especially liked the suggestion to try to foster first and will likely go that route if it comes to it.)

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Guest radioni

And lastly, what food is she on and what foods (and proteins) have you tried?

 

We have had her on three different kibbles over the last two months. She started out on the Nature's Domain from Costco. The vet moved her to i/d while we tried to sort out the soft stools but we saw no change. (During that time we also gave panacur, pyrantel, metronidazole, and flortiflora). After two weeks on i/d the vet moved her to a hydrolized protein kibble and tylan powder for three weeks but we saw no change with that either. I am now in the process of transitioning her back to the Nature's Domain, and again not seeing any change in the firmness of her stool.

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That's a lot of change in a relatively short period. Try sticking with the ND for a while and adding in a probiotic permanently. I like Fortiflora, but there are plenty if options out there. That plus anxiety meds and if it doesn't sort it out, you might try a kibble with a different protein.

 

FYI, Trazodone at the doses prescribed for anxiety is likely to cause some sedation, at least initially. There's a separate thread about it in H&M. Just so you're prepared. Sleepy and anxiety free is much better than anxiety-ridden, but some people want to immediately lower the dose without discussing with their vet, which isn't a great idea.

Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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For colitis, try Tylan powder (tylocine).

 

 

Regarding meds: The point isn't to take the place of alone training. It's to make an anxious dog more receptive to alone training. If your vet doesn't understand that, time for a new vet.

 

 

Regarding training: I think you've broken down your leaving behaviors into little slices / individual actions already. One of the things you can do to help your dog is to work on those actions one at a time, without going through the whole sequence. For example, if the first thing you do is pick up your keys, then whenever you can you want to spend 20 minutes to an hour picking up your keys, putting them down, waiting 3-4 minutes, picking up your keys, putting them down …. You get the idea. Next step is opening the front door? Great! Spend a different 20 minutes opening the front door, stepping out, stepping back in, closing the door, wait 3-4 minutes, do it again.

 

When you get to the point where you either pick up keys or open the door and the dog doesn't bat an eyelash, then you're ready to put the two together in a sequence. Pick up keys, open door, step out, step back in, close door, wait 3-4 minutes, do it all again several times in a row. The idea is to do this stuff until the dog is completely bored with it. "She keeps picking up her keys but doesn't go anywhere. Huh. Meaningless. Think I'll have a nap." This is where meds can really help, with an anxious dog. They can help take the edge off that anxiety so the dog can learn.

 

You don't have to totally ignore the dog during the 3-4 minutes in between actions or before/after you perform an action. You don't want to fawn over her, but it's fine to talk to her, give her a quick pat, etc.; just keep it relaxed and low key.

 

Working on these things doesn't mean you can never leave before the dog is trained. People have to go out sometimes. Do as much training as you can when you are home to do it. Most dogs will get the idea anyways.

 

 

 

Hugs and best luck.

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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After giving it more thought and reading all the responses here I agree that meds are the way to go. We had a rough afternoon yesterday and I am realizing that trying to do this without meds is a losing battle.

 

Right now I am able to be home with Maira most of the day, but I do have to leave her for 10 minutes in the afternoons to pick my daughter up from school. Yesterday it took me an hour and a half to get her into the crate in order to be able to leave. (I always try to move us toward the crate as slowly as possible, stopping whenever she starts exhibiting stress symptoms.)

 

:omg

This breaks my heart.

 

Why can't you leave her out of the crate for the 10 minutes that you are gone?

 

Have you ever tried just leaving her loose?

Edited by BatterseaBrindl

 

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

 

 

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I just realized you said the crate is in your bedroom. Some dogs need to be able to see you come and go. Given what happened when you left her out I doubt this will be her fix, but she may at least do much better if the crate is somewhere where she can watch you go. I got lucky. After weeks of horrible anxiety (for both of us) and meds that didn't help, I tried leaving Violet (who was a foster at the time) out. Problem solved. For a few days she would check the door periodically but then go back to sleep and eventually she just stopped doing that. (We also finally got her on meds that did help and she is still on a low dose for other reasons.)

 

:omg

This breaks my heart.

 

Why can't you leave her out of the crate for the 10 minutes that you are gone?

 

Have you ever tried just leaving her loose?

She answered that question in her OP. Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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We don't use crates much here in the UK. All our many fosters and adopted greys have had full run of the house from day 1. We do intensive alone training from the start, going in and out of rooms and house for a couple of minutes at a time many times each day initially till the dog gets so tired of this behaviour they lose interest and stop bothering about us.

Sue from England

 

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Sorry...I have read the Original post and I don't see where it says why the dog can't be left loose.

I only see where they have had issues with crating since day one.

I don't see where they tried leaving her loose.

Pleas copy and paste for me...I must need new glasses?!

 

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

 

 

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Guest radioni

I got the vet on the phone yesterday and she agreed to prescribe trazodone. So at the very least I now have that in the tool box.

 

The vet also gave me the results of the blood work that we had done on Thursday. It looks like Maira's kidneys might not be working properly. Her urine is too dilute, which suggests she releases fluid too quickly and that could be contributing to the loose stools. Based on what the blood work turned up the vet guessed it might be Addison's disease but that was just a guess. She is referring us to a specialist. (Although I think we will wait to find a specialist until we get to Oregon--Maira is not losing weight or anything so I think waiting and then being able to work continuously with the same specialist would be best.)

 

Regarding leaving Maira out of the crate: That would be my ideal solution. My last dog and the one before that were never crated when we left the house. My concern with leaving Maira out of the crate is that she will literally hurt herself. When I left her out of the crate before she scratched at the door and carpet and there were teeth marks in the trim around the door. I was only gone for a few minutes before coming back, and I would be concerned about what she would do if left for longer. However, I did leave her uncrated in our bedroom with the door closed. After reading the responses here I think I might try leaving her completely unrestricted and see what she does. Some of you have mentioned that you've seen dogs that don't do well left in a room but are fine if given the run of the whole house. I'll try this within the bounds of alone training of course, and start with just going in and out of the front door and then work up to a minute or two.

 

I will also try moving her crate into the family room so she can see the front door. If nothing else, moving the crate to a different room might help break some of the negative associations we've built up.

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Guest radioni

Sorry...I have read the Original post and I don't see where it says why the dog can't be left loose.

I only see where they have had issues with crating since day one.

I don't see where they tried leaving her loose.

Pleas copy and paste for me...I must need new glasses?!

 

It was bullet point number eight in the original post:

  • Per the rescue's suggestion I tried leaving her out of the crate in case it was just that she doesn't like being crated. She tried to dig through the door.

I do agree that Maira does not like being crated, but I almost think her dislike of the crate and her separation anxiety are two separate issues that are compounding into one bigger issue. She definitely panics if left alone, it's not just about not liking the crate. But it could also be that the crate is exacerbating her anxious response to being left alone. All of the discussion here on the forum has made me rethink how I am going about alone training and how those two things (crate + SA) might be interacting with each other.

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Ah...I see that now. ..thank you.

So..one time she clawed the door. Hmmmm.

 

Both Ruby and Nigel came to me after being labeled with SA.

Ruby clawed her way out of the crate the first day at her first home and was promptly returned. She sat in Vermi t for close to a year before coming here to me.

NIgel was peeing and pooing in his crate at his first home. He came to me after they had him for 3 months and then gave up on him.

I did not even set up a crate for either of them as it was clear to me...and our adoption coordinators ...that the crate was one of the main issues.

Even with Nixon here, it was obvious they were not happy being alone, but we kept at it and they eventually settled in. Ruby took about 6 months and has been here for nearly 7 years. Nigel was easier. He's been hereover 6 years.

We muzzled (and belly-banded) and did a LOT of alone training.

A lot of alone training. But no crates.

 

Perhaps some meds for your hound are in order now as this has been going on for such a long time.

But...everything I am reading indicates that this dog Does.Not.Want.To.Be.Crated.

 

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

 

 

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