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Old 12-04-2013, 09:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Female GSD with separation anxiety or food allergies?

Hi everyone,

I have a female shepherd who's turning 1 yrs old tomorrow. I got her when she was about 2 months old, I was with her all day and everyday because I was a stay at home dad. Now we move to another state and now my wife stays home and im a chef so I work long hours at least 10 hrs a day. For the past few months she's been what I thought shading a lot but we recently notice that she's been biting her hair out and scratching I thought it was from the food but she had been eating high quality kibble. We switch from royal canine, blue buffalo, nature variety, etc... Etc. my wife notice that, when I leave from work she starts wining and biting her hair out. I understand I may have to take her to the vet but I would like to know if anyone has ever had this issue.


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Old 12-09-2013, 05:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Where is she ichy...1 particular spot or all over? Is it to the point she's loosing a significant amount of fur and has bald spots? Does she only scratch when you're not home, or all the time? Does she get any out-of-crate time while you're at work? As you can see, there really is no simple answer. It could be a number of things - allergies, scabies, fleas, a hot spot, etc., most of which are relatively easy to treat, or it could be behavioral. The first place to start would be with your vet, that way you can at least rule out any medical issues first. Good luck and keep us posted : )
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If it's not an allergy thing, and is a behavioral thing, does your wife also like the dog or is it just 'your' dog?

Because if she doesn't like the dog and won't interact while you are gone this may be a hard fix.

If instead she does like the dog and can step us this may be an easy fix indeed. All she needs to do is start engaging and working with the dog! Hikes! Long walks! Dog Classes! Teaching clicker/tricks! Playing ball!

If the dog has as much (more?) fun when you are gone then when you are home then she will be slamming the door behind you to turn to your wife and say 'let's go'!!!

Any of the recommendations --> Top Training Expectations for Puppies will help and truth is at 1 yr old your big GSD is still VERY much a puppy. Needing the leadership, guidance and fun from the humans in their life.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you guys for replying to my post.. 1st I'll start with her coat, she has lost hair on back legs, her shoulder and a little on her neck. She doesn't stay locked in the grate at all, she sleeps in there at night but majority of the time she's walking freely around the house. My wife interacts with her all the time as well as my 2 year old daughter and my wife 16 yr old sister. My wife is 8 months pregnant so she really can't take long walks. My wife walks her whenever she needs to use the bathroom, if she's a lil too hype for the day she puts her in the back yard for a lil while. I'm normally off Wednesday and I rarely see her scratching or itching. Also she doesn't eat as much when I'm at work, but when I come home or on Wednesday she eats ALOT I've notice. I gave her a bath and washed her very very good. I also put front line on her. I switched from so many different "High Quality" dog food such as, Royal Canine, wilderness, wellness, blue buffalo, variety instinct, pro plain. All of these I've tried even different ingredients and flavor and either she didn't eat it/ like it or she gets some type of reaction. So just last week I bought cheap kibble. Benaful and she eats it more then the other foods. I always get her puppy formula. When we first got her we started on RAW and I never had any problem she enjoyed the food and always had pretty good weight on her. Now she's getting skinny.


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Old 12-11-2013, 10:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm going to see is a mod/admin with power in this section can change the subject line of this so you get more help. Doesn't sound like just separation anxiety.

The diet issue is a hard one to fix cause you aren't sure what is triggering her...

The behavioral issue I'm not sure how to start up with that either..... One of the reasons I almost never ever recommend a GSD to people who come up to me and loving my dogs is because they are such HARD WORK! I went to the AKC Meet the Breeds in NYC a few years ago and basically spent 2 days telling people NOT to get a GSD, seriously.

Reason is that what makes them so smart, so full of energy, so great at herding/tracking/obedience/agility/flyball/SAR/guidedogs/etc. makes them so much harder for all the people in the world that have a 'real' life with jobs, kids, busy busy busy....

I have to go to dog classes. I have to take my dogs hiking for MILES each week. I have to spend hours with them being a part of my day and scheduled in to make specific time. Particularly the first few years but also throughout their lives. If I get to busy with work (life?) then it will soon show in my dogs and NOT THEIR FAULT! They didn't ask me to move. They didn't ask me to have more kids. They didn't ask me to get a new job that takes more hours a week. They didn't ask my kids to all join scouts/soccer/ballet etc. that require me to carpool them all over the world.

So the one fix I think you could do that would help, I'm not sure if you and your wife can actually fit it into your already probably overscheduled day. And that is to make HOURS more time each week specifically for your dog.

Even weekly classes would be a help to add structure that would include your pup...

Good luck.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Sibbi - I changed the thread title, I agree wtih MRL - most likely food or environmental allergies. It doesn't sound like separation anxiety, but if she is very bonded to you and has even just a bit of an insecure personality, the little bit of stress that you being away during the day may be a trigger in her itching.

This should be addressed by a vet - extremely difficult to track down either food or environmental allergies, hope you find something that will help your girl.
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Also, be sure that when coming/going you do not fuss over her as that will only exacerbate her anxiety.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You mention that you had her on a raw diet and she did beautifully. Then you switched her to various kibbles and she had problems. Now, you are feeding her a very low quality food and she is eating again, but still has the hair loss and scratching. Your message says that she is skinny. You might want to consider going back to the raw food since she had no issues with it according to your second post. Is this something that you have considered?
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVGSD View Post
You mention that you had her on a raw diet and she did beautifully. Then you switched her to various kibbles and she had problems. Now, you are feeding her a very low quality food and she is eating again, but still has the hair loss and scratching. Your message says that she is skinny. You might want to consider going back to the raw food since she had no issues with it according to your second post. Is this something that you have considered?
Yes, this!
Royal Canin, Pro Plan, and Beneful all have BY-products and A LOT of other less than stellar ingredients in them!
By all means, go back to a simple raw diet. If you cannot, then consider purchasing 100% Human Grade 100% Human processed pet food called The Honest Kitchen DE-Hydrated food. It is THE ONLY pet food that the FDA will allow legally to use those words! All Natural Dog Food - Dehydrated Pet Food | The Honest Kitchen
This food cannot be purchased at chain stores. Put you zip code in here to locate stores: Where to Buy Honest Kitchen - Honest Kitchen Stores | The Honest Kitchen A 10# box will cost approx $70 but will RE-Hydrate to about 35 pounds.
Also, when did she have her last vaccination and did she get Lepto?
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVGSD View Post
You mention that you had her on a raw diet and she did beautifully. Then you switched her to various kibbles and she had problems. Now, you are feeding her a very low quality food and she is eating again, but still has the hair loss and scratching. Your message says that she is skinny. You might want to consider going back to the raw food since she had no issues with it according to your second post. Is this something that you have considered?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sibbi120412 View Post
Thank you guys for replying to my post.. 1st I'll start with her coat, she has lost hair on back legs, her shoulder and a little on her neck. She doesn't stay locked in the grate at all, she sleeps in there at night but majority of the time she's walking freely around the house. My wife interacts with her all the time as well as my 2 year old daughter and my wife 16 yr old sister. My wife is 8 months pregnant so she really can't take long walks. My wife walks her whenever she needs to use the bathroom, if she's a lil too hype for the day she puts her in the back yard for a lil while. I'm normally off Wednesday and I rarely see her scratching or itching. Also she doesn't eat as much when I'm at work, but when I come home or on Wednesday she eats ALOT I've notice. I gave her a bath and washed her very very good. I also put front line on her. I switched from so many different "High Quality" dog food such as, Royal Canine, wilderness, wellness, blue buffalo, variety instinct, pro plain. All of these I've tried even different ingredients and flavor and either she didn't eat it/ like it or she gets some type of reaction. So just last week I bought cheap kibble. Benaful and she eats it more then the other foods. I always get her puppy formula. When we first got her we started on RAW and I never had any problem she enjoyed the food and always had pretty good weight on her. Now she's getting skinny.


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^^^
Toxic pesticides will cause skin problems.
Also toxic to children and pregnant women - the inert ingredients spread over the skin.

She may be having a growth spurt - go back to RAW, then she will grow at her intended rate
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