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Would Be Getting Another Dog Help With Separation Anxiety?


maak
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Sometimes it does help, but it's not guaranteed. The only way you'll know is to try it.

 

Do you have a greyhound friend that you could borrow their calm dog for a weekend or a few days? Have you been in contact with your adoption group about her SA? Perhaps they have a good candidate you could foster?

 

If getting another dog isn't an option at the moment - for whatever reason - returning a dog who can't be left alone is an option. It's not one we like to think about, but there simply are dogs that cannot be only dogs in a home environment. It's not a failure, just a mismatch. There will be a dog for you and there will be another family for the one you return.

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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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LOL

I hope you realize that we GTers are a bunch of enablers so of course we're going to say there is 'comfort in numbers'...

;)

 

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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Thanks for asking. More information is needed on which to base answers:

 

How long have you had your hound?

Have you seen her behavior around other Greyhounds (play dates, walks, reunions, etc.)?

How many humans in her family?

When did she retire from the track?

Are you her first owner in retirement?

Was she fostered with other Greyhounds before adoption?

How long have you been alone training?

How long on Prozac?

Are you still alone training while she's on Prozac?

How long is she left alone at a time?

What is she doing when left alone?

Are you living in an apartment or house?

 

I don't think you would, but please don't listen to anyone who suggests putting her down for separation anxiety!!

Separation anxiety is simply behavior based from fear. Often from being removed from a dog's previous life/familiar people, then dropped into a completely different environment. There are other options to help her adjust to retirement.

Edited by 3greytjoys
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I will add that it sounds from your speech patterns you're from the UK, and vets over there seem to be a bit unfamiliar with using anti anxiety drugs on dogs compared to our vets here in the US.

 

It's not uncommon to try several different classes of anti anxiety medication, and then several varieties and doses to find one that works for an individual dog. We don't really understand why or how these drugs work in dogs, so a lot of experimentation is usually required.

 

And of course, these are almost all off-label uses of human drugs here. The only drug formulated for veterinary use is Clomicalm/clomipramine hydrochloride.

 

I meant to add before as well that you should get several DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) diffusers for your house.

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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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Thanks for the responses. Answering the questions: 1. A year 2. Just when I saw her at the shelter. She was a loner and got annoyed at the intact male dogs. Females hate her in general so I’d need to foster a male. She has a boyfriend in the neighborhood. 3. One human. 4. About a year ago. 5. Yes, I’m her first owner. 6. No. 7. After about a week. She was much better at first, then she got progressively worse. 8. Only a short time on Prozac. She got really sleepy in the evening and wouldn’t go out to potty so I took her off. 9. I’m always trying alone training but I took her off Prozac. 10. She’s left for an hour or two. I’m retired so it’s not easy to stay out all day. 11. I always take her out before I go but she still she still potty’s on the living room floor. She also turns over the trash can once in awhile. I’m thankful she always messes in the same room, too short to counter surf, and doesn’t chew on the furniture. She does eat everything she can get in her mouth so I have to careful not to leave things out. 12. I live in a house with a fenced in yard. I walk her on a leash a few times a week so she can smell what’s going on the neighborhood.

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Could you describe in more detail what her Separation Anxiety looks like? Seems like she is definitely pottying in the house - is it pee or poop or both? Does she also destroy things? Hurt herself? Bark/howl/cry when you leave/while you're gone?

 

To me, if the answer is that she is only pottying inside (no other symptoms) then I'm less convinced that it's actually SA - more likely that she's just not empty when you leave. But others may feel free to correct me.

I'm not sure occasionally turning over the trash is a symptom of anything but being a dog - unless she destroys the can and everything in it consistently.

 

How old is she?

I also am assuming she's not (ever) in a crate when you're gone?

 

Are you using Patricia McConnell's alone training method? I've read a lot of people on here kind of assume they know what alone training is and when the situation gets worse rather than better they realize (after researching) that they weren't really doing it right. I certainly didn't understand the process until I read up on it.

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Oh yea. Both poop and pee. She’ll destroy anything that can fit in her mouth so I don’t leave anything out. Except my old shoes to keep her attention away from other things. Some of these things are puppy things but she’s over 4 yrs old. She used to over groom thereby pulling a lot of hair out. Oh boy she cries and paces almost the whole time i’m gone. Having other humans in the house doesn’t help.

 

I have her go outside every time before I leave the house. I watch to make sure she goes potty. She’s excellent at going outside when i’m home. She even goes out in the rain.

 

The first night she was home she wouldn’t go in the crate. Not even a paw. She wouldn’t be tempted by treats so I had to push her in. She cried all night and pooped all over the place. I thought it was weird for one that had lived in a crate for 3 yrs. So I took the crate back to the pet store. I washed the dog bed and put it behind the chair. I’ve pulled it out to vacuum a few times and she’s really afraid of it.

 

I didn’t know about the book. My alone training has been staying gone progressively longer. I don’t give her attention before I go. She’s too smart for me though. She can tell when i’m about to go (put coat and shoes on, get key, etc) I do give her attention when I come home though. I’ll certainly buy that book.

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Oh yea. Both poop and pee. She’ll destroy anything that can fit in her mouth so I don’t leave anything out. Except my old shoes to keep her attention away from other things. Some of these things are puppy things but she’s over 4 yrs old. She used to over groom thereby pulling a lot of hair out. Oh boy she cries and paces almost the whole time i’m gone. Having other humans in the house doesn’t help.

 

I have her go outside every time before I leave the house. I watch to make sure she goes potty. She’s excellent at going outside when i’m home. She even goes out in the rain.

 

The first night she was home she wouldn’t go in the crate. Not even a paw. She wouldn’t be tempted by treats so I had to push her in. She cried all night and pooped all over the place. I thought it was weird for one that had lived in a crate for 3 yrs. So I took the crate back to the pet store. I washed the dog bed and put it behind the chair. I’ve pulled it out to vacuum a few times and she’s really afraid of it.

 

I didn’t know about the book. My alone training has been staying gone progressively longer. I don’t give her attention before I go. She’s too smart for me though. She can tell when i’m about to go (put coat and shoes on, get key, etc) I do give her attention when I come home though. I’ll certainly buy that book.

Definitely get her book, it's called "I'll Be Home Soon" and it'll teach you to outsmart her as far as desensitizing the triggers that you're about to leave.

And while you're doing the alone training, I'd be taking her out multiple times before you left, the emptier she is the better off your floors will be :)

 

The other thing would maybe to go back to your vet and try a different medication. Finding the right med (maybe even something OTC) can go hand in hand with alone training; the med alone won't do much, but it can help her be more open to the training. But keep in mind that some of those meds take 4-6 weeks to really establish in their system.

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Thanks for asking. More information is needed on which to base answers:

 

How long have you had your hound?

Have you seen her behavior around other Greyhounds (play dates, walks, reunions, etc.)?

How many humans in her family?

When did she retire from the track?

Are you her first owner in retirement?

Was she fostered with other Greyhounds before adoption?

How long have you been alone training?

How long on Prozac?

Are you still alone training while she's on Prozac?

How long is she left alone at a time?

What is she doing when left alone?

Are you living in an apartment or house?

 

I don't think you would, but please don't listen to anyone who suggests putting her down for separation anxiety!!

Separation anxiety is simply behavior based from fear. Often from being removed from a dog's previous life/familiar people, then dropped into a completely different environment. There are other options to help her adjust to retirement.

 

 

Thanks for the responses. Answering the questions: 1. A year 2. Just when I saw her at the shelter. She was a loner and got annoyed at the intact male dogs. Females hate her in general so I’d need to foster a male. She has a boyfriend in the neighborhood. 3. One human. 4. About a year ago. 5. Yes, I’m her first owner. 6. No. 7. After about a week. She was much better at first, then she got progressively worse. 8. Only a short time on Prozac. She got really sleepy in the evening and wouldn’t go out to potty so I took her off. 9. I’m always trying alone training but I took her off Prozac. 10. She’s left for an hour or two. I’m retired so it’s not easy to stay out all day. 11. I always take her out before I go but she still she still potty’s on the living room floor. She also turns over the trash can once in awhile. I’m thankful she always messes in the same room, too short to counter surf, and doesn’t chew on the furniture. She does eat everything she can get in her mouth so I have to careful not to leave things out. 12. I live in a house with a fenced in yard. I walk her on a leash a few times a week so she can smell what’s going on the neighborhood.

 

Thanks for your answers. Good suggestions posted above.

 

A few more things to try if you haven't already:

Baby-gate your most used room during your awake hours to encourage hound to feel comfortable in that room while you briefly retrieve mail, go to the restroom, take trash outside, etc.

 

Secure a decent size mirror at floor level (out of direct sun), directly across room from hound's favorite resting place, so hound can see her reflection. (Provides an illusion of having another Greyhound in the room.) A live confident, middle age hound might help her feel less abandoned during your absences, if desired and is affordable for you.

 

Nylabone shape like this: https://www.amazon.com/Nylabone-Power-DuraChew-Bacon-X-Large/dp/B000GQ80TQ/ref=sr_1_4?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1549183277&sr=1-4&keywords=nylabone+bacon+flavor

Chewing is a calming behavior for dogs.

Initially, she might take a stronger interest in gnawing it while you're both relaxing at home together.

If needed for enticement, smear it with a little peanut butter (no additives/no xylitol).

 

Consider safe Tuffy toys: https://tuffietoys.com/collections/medium-tuffy-toys/products/ultimate-ring

After providing her with safe dog toys, perhaps consider removing your old shoes, which could be mistaken for new shoes someday (confusing for dogs).

 

I didn't see a Prozac dosage mentioned or how long your hound was on it, but Greyhounds are sensitive to medications, and typically start at a low dose of Prozac. Sighthound savvy vets usually increase dose very gradually over many weeks. Prozac requires a gradual weaning down period (determined by vet), otherwise an abrupt halt of medication can cause serious withdrawal symptoms (including some leading to death). There is a washout period of Prozac before safely trying a different drug.

 

Trazadone is a fast-acting drug that could be administered on days of departures, which might help in your hound's case since you're retired and may not need to leave the house every day.

 

Separation anxiety can worsen if a dog is alone too long, too soon i.e., dog's anxiety level rises above their "comfort threshold". Dog's first comfortable alone session might only last 30 seconds with human out of sight while leaving dog to work on a yummy stuffed Kong. Human returns and immediately picks up Kong. Every time human leaves dog during alone training, special departure Kong is provided but only while human is out of sight. Human returns before dog begins to show anxiety. Kong is picked up and refrigerated or washed and dried thoroughly for next sessions.

 

Another common problem: Separation anxiety worsens and deepening fear intensifies tenfold+ if dog is scolded for any behaviors resulting from fear. Dogs can't help their natural physical reactions like losing urine or stool while dog is feeling highly stressed from fear, which often occurs within the first 30 minutes of human's departure. Upon human's return, simply ignore dog and quietly clean up any mess. Otherwise, if catching dog in the action: quietly and respectfully redirect dog to appropriate behavior i.e., gently guide dog to outside potty area, or provide dog's own chew toy if caught chewing a non-dog safe item.

 

Helps to let SA dogs eliminate at least 3 times during 60-90 minutes before a real departure. Last elimination 5-10 minutes before human departs. Try to move trash can into a cabinet, or out of her reach, or find a barrier to keep her away from it. No fanfare prior to departure or immediately upon your return. Just quietly let her out to potty upon your return. Fine to give her attention after about 3-5 minutes when she's calm. She probably still associates that dog bed with her first bad experience in the crate. Laundering it again and placing it in a more welcoming location with a blanket over it, and happily tossing yummy treats on it for her to gather at her leisure should help build a positive association.

 

I agree with getting book: "I'll Be Home Soon". Meanwhile, please read this link of SA information: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/common-dog-behavior-issues/separation-anxiety

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1. Her most used room is the living room where her bed is. But thats also where she messes. Shes not allowed in the bedrooms or the restroom. I keep the doors closed. Getting the mail is something we do together but trash and using the restroom we dont do together.

2. I gave away my big mirror. At first she looked at the glass in the fireplace but then she stop doing it.

3. Ill try the Nyla bone.

4. Ill look into the tuffy toys.

5. The vet started her on 20 mg Prozac. She was so sleepy. I then broke the capsules to get half dosage. She was still sleepy.

6. Trazodone sounds like a good thing. Ill ask the vet about it.

7. Ive managed to get up to a trip to Walmart. I found that doing a couple of potty trips beforehand helps with the pottying. I started off with just simply staying in the next room.

8. I started out scolding her loudly when I got home. Totally ineffective! I still say no in a softer voice but quietly clean up the mess. Unfortunately I think it will take a while to recover from that loud scolding.

9. Ive increased her pottying before and after being left alone. Its helped with the accidents.

10. Id just as soon give the old dog bed to Goodwill. She really loves her current dog bed.

11. The ASPCA article has lots of tips. Thanks for mentioning.

Edited by maak
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I'd be wary of using this vet for mental meds for this dog. Just from the what you've shared, it doesn't sound like they are very knowledgeable about these drugs for these dogs. Maybe find a behavioral specialist in your area, they could possibly help with the problem and likely would know vets to recommend who know better how to use mental health drugs with dogs.

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Don't punish or scold a dog after the fact for having done something that displeases you. They can't perform the higher logic to think back to the action that *they* performed and associate that to your displeasure. All she knows is that you come home and you are angry/displeased. (And that's the opposite of what you want.)

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I thought 20mg of Prozac was pretty high but I looked on Google and that’s the dosage for a 30 lb dog. My girl is 55 lbs. I’m thinking she may be sensitive to it. I’m going to keep trying things I read here for awhile and then I’ll try a specialist. I don’t have pet insurance.

 

Boy did I learn not to scold her harshly for having an accident! She reacted badly later when I said No to other things on the floor. Thankfully, she trusts me again. I think she remembers things a long time. I’ve observed that she won’t do things I’ve said No to but then she’ll do it when I’m gone! She knows she’s the one who peed on the floor because she gets that ashamed look on her face. I think she just keeps doing it because it’s a stress reaction and she can’t help it. It’s like scolding an old dog that can’t help it.

 

She’s doing pretty good now. I still don’t leave her alone very long but I let her out many times a day whether she wants to or not. I say Good Girl each time. I’ve found that with an independent dog it’s easier to change MY behavior.

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I think we’ve made some progress. I went to the store before she went potty at least a couple of times. When I get back, she not only didn’t potty on the floor but she asked to go out to potty! So that means she actually held it until I got home. Yay! I’m so proud of her!

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