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Hi everyone! I just adopted my first greyhound, she is a fawn girl named Bambi! I've had her for a little over a week and I love her so much already! I do have some concerns as far as leaving her alone, though. The first day I left her alone in my apartment, she was confined to the living area. I felt comfortable leaving her outside of the crate because her 2 foster moms told me she was never destructive and they had no issues with her. I left her about 4 hours and came home to a disaster. She didn't destroy anything, but she peed and pooped EVERYWHERE.

The next time I decided to crate her. She did fine for the next couple days. As of recently though, she has been peeing or pooping in her crate when I leave her. For about 2-3 hour intervals. I take her out to pee/poop before crating her EVERY TIME. She is positive for hookworm, so at first I was thinking it was because she couldn't hold her bowels due to diarrhea, but then she started urinating her crate as well. She doesn't show any signs of disliking the crate. She'll lay in it while i'm home without an issue. I also give her a frozen Kong full of peanut butter and yogurt so work on while i'm away, but I think she goes through it in a matter of 30 minutes.

I live on a third floor and going up/down the stairs has been a challenge for her. She has finally learned to come up (with treats of course) and I will soon be training her on how to go down. For now, I have to carry her down. I don't know if maybe the stress of the stairs is also a factor. Whenever we finally get downstairs and close to some grass, she will statue for at least 10 minutes before she starts sniffing and finally moving closer to the grass to relieve herself. It never takes her less than 15 minutes. I try to get her to run/jog with me to tire her out, but like i mentioned, she will statue until I finally give in. The longest I've waited has been 30 minutes, where she will not move no matter what. Completely uninterested in sniffing, running, jogging, anything. Maybe she is getting some anxiety from being outside?

Please help me with some suggestions/ideas! I hate for her to be so anxious, not only for myself, but I can imagine what she is going through. 

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I used to do a dozen things when we went to work.  I used a DAP difuser, lavender scented oils, Flower Remedy, nylabone chews, eventually calming meds, and leaving the tv on.  Eventually, she will get it.  I am sorry that you are going thru all this.  FWIW, the second we got an additional dog, all the behaviors stopped.  I am not kidding.

 

 


Irene Ullmann w/Shine and Odin in Lower Delaware
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It doesn't sound like separation anxiety. Perhaps it's the yogurt in the Kong that's causing the pooping. Try filling the Kong with kibble and plugging with a bit of peanut butter.

The American Kennel Club has an article about feeding yogurt to dogs https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-yogurt/


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This isn't necessarily going to help you now, but did your adoption group not ask about your stairs situation? If they knew you were on the third floor then the foster home should have absolutely done more work on stairs than it sounds like they have done. Whether it was a failure to train or failure to communicate, someone failed you and your dog during this process, and your group should be aware so they can prevent it from happening again.

I'd cut out the rich stuff in the kong and basically treat this like potty training. If she's going inside and not wanting to be outside then I'd say back to basics - super rewarding for pottying outside, correction inside when you catch it, etc. And get her as empty as possible (multiple trips) before you leave.

It is such early days, it's too soon to know whether it's really separation anxiety, and too soon (in my personal opinion) to consider bringing in another dog to "fix" the problems. They all need time to settle in and most do without the need for a friend.

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Thank you all for your insight! It is very helpful/comforting. 

I will definitely cut the yogurt out. As far as the stairs: my adoption group was aware that I lived on a third floor without an elevator, I guess it was a mistake on their part not to have her practice in a foster home. I believe they assumed that she would catch on since she isn’t too shy or nervous. She is doing great going up the stairs, no issue there. Going downstairs is a pain. She freezes up and refuses to go down for any type of treat. And of course I won’t force her. 

As far as potty training, she has not gone at all inside when I’m home. I don’t crate her overnight, I just keep a bed in a corner of my room and I block off the entrance to my bedroom so she can’t roam. She sleeps throughout the whole night without an issue. On days I’ve forgotten my alarm, she will wake me up that she needs to potty. She has even woken me up because she had to throw up. Also, every time I take her out to potty she either pees or poops (twice before I leave for work in the morning, once on my lunch break, and 3-4 times in the evening when I get home from work and before bed). I reward her every time so she can catch on. And she has developed “her spot” for peeing and pooping since there is a pretty large grassy area in my apartment complex. 

As far as another dog, that is definitely not an option for me. I don’t have the space or the financial freedom to feel fully comfortable with another dog under my care. 

Do you think setting up a camera when I leave so I can see just how long she’s holding it until she goes in her crate is a good idea? As mentioned, I come home for lunch about 4 hours into the day. Maybe I’ll also be able to see if she’s exhibiting separation anxiety behaviors. 

Thank you all! 

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I strongly disagree in "pooping is no sign of seperation anxiety".

It is. Pooping occurs in highly stressed dogs.

Leaving a dog alone, that has not settled in and learned how to be alone on its own, for 4 hours is nothing but pure stress. 

 

No yoghurt will cure that. Only training, time and patience.

 

(Oh, and I am going through that myself. With a dog I believed to be trained enough. His pal died and since that, this dog suffers pure horrors when left alone. Peeing. Pooping. And even started destroying.

What to do? Not leave him alone till he can be on his own. Training reset. Back to the beginning and a dog daycare whenever I have to leave longer than for our training intervalls - we are down from 5 hours to...1min. Hopefully we will reach the 5 hours again)

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Hello! Just an update:

I put my iPad to record her today so I can see what she does when I leave. Good news: she doesn’t exhibit any signs/behavior of separation anxiety. She literally slept all day. I came home midday (closer to 3.5/4 hours vs 5.5/6 hours that i have been trying to push) and she did not pee in her crate!

Bad news: when I brought her outside midday, she refused to pee. We stood outside about 10 minutes until she just laid in the grass. I got her up and she would just lay back down so I ended up bringing her upstairs. I set up my iPad again and left to work. When I got home after work, about 5 hours after I left her midday, she had peed in her crate 🤦🏻‍♀️ And what’s worst...my iPad recorded only 1.5 hours and then it stopped recording because of storage 🤦🏻‍♀️ At least within the first 1.5 hours, she literally just laid and slept around. 

Im not sure why sometimes she pees outside and sometimes she doesn’t. She hasn’t pooped in her crate since Sunday, so I’m not totally frustrated. Maybe it’s just a matter of time for her to get used to the schedule. I’m sure she can hold her pee in, maybe she just still hasn’t caught on to the fact that I always come back when I leave, so she doesn’t even try to hold it if she has to go while in her crate. 

Either way, I don’t feel totally defeated! And I am hopeful she will catch on! 

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There’s a free app called Manything that you can download to your iPad and be able to watch her live from another device. You can even talk through it, though who knows if that helps 😊

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Bambismom that's good news. Hopefully it is just a case of getting used to your routines. 

 

On 5/21/2019 at 11:29 PM, Rakete said:

I strongly disagree in "pooping is no sign of seperation anxiety".

It is. Pooping occurs in highly stressed dogs.

I apologise if I gave the impression that it isn't a sign of separation anxiety. I just think new dogs get labelled to quickly with separation anxiety when they are just getting used to a new diet and routines and then the new owner starts to worry which is then picked up by the dog.


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