Separation Anxiety and Neutering in 1 year old - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 04-14-2014, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Separation Anxiety and Neutering in 1 year old

Hi! So, my boyfriend and I just got a 1 year old GSD. After the poor thing endured a 7.5 hour trip, we got him on Saturday night. He's a sweetheart, and took to us almost immediately. He's already accepted us as Alphas, shows no aggression (even under highly stressful situations) and is very affectionate.

We have a few concerns, though:

1. Separation Anxiety. He can't handle even being one room away from us . Even separated by a glass door and able to see us, he whines and cries. We tried letting him have free reign at night. I slept on the couch by him until about 6 am (he woke me up wanting a walk). I left him alone, and within 20 minutes he was barking and whining. We left him for 2 hours, just being upstairs sleeping, and he destroyed the carpet trying to dig and chew his way under the door. We have no idea how to work with him on this, and hate the idea of leaving him kenneled or crated for extended periods of time, like during work. How can we help him work past the anxiety?

2. Neutering. He's 14 months old. We had pretty much decided to do it, until we got him and saw how skinny he is. The vet cleared him for flight and said he's healthy except he MIGHT have worms. He's seeing a vet tomorrow about that and for a general checkup. Unfortunately, his ribs are not only visible, but very prominent when you feel his sides. Additionally we've heard a lot of mixed things about the appropriate time to neuter GSDs because of the need for proper growth. Any comments?

Here's some pics.. BONUS QUESTION: we think he might be a mix, maybe some collie. Thoughts?








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Old 04-14-2014, 11:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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he does not look like a mix but a poorly bred shepherd at least imo
if it was me i would get him in and neuter sooner than later so he can then settle in and you wont be traumatizing him later with the neuter after he settles in
he doesnt look too skinny to me but i cant see a top view and a full side view
hard to see if he is fat or skinny by looking at his head

if in doubt ask the vet
have them to pre anesthesia bloodwork as well
the vet wont neuter him if he isnt healthy enough to withstand it
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by my boy diesel View Post
he does not look like a mix but a poorly bred shepherd at least imo
if it was me i would get him in and neuter sooner than later so he can then settle in and you wont be traumatizing him later with the neuter after he settles in
he doesnt look too skinny to me but i cant see a top view and a full side view
hard to see if he is fat or skinny by looking at his head

if in doubt ask the vet
have them to pre anesthesia bloodwork as well
the vet wont neuter him if he isnt healthy enough to withstand it
I know it's hard to see, but he won't sit still long enough for a good picture haha. Trust me he's suuuuuper skinny. We couldn't tell from pictures either which is why it was such a surprise. Thanks for the input!
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Work with crate games. Leaving the door open, throwing treats in there to get him in there. Let him stay in his crate while you're around in the same room. Get him to figure out that the crate is a safe place and it's not a bad thing to be in there. His anxiety is likely from getting passed around from family to family and so he doesn't trust crates. It's likely that every time he was in a crate, he ended up somewhere new and unknown. So leave him in the crate while you're watching TV. Don't give him attention when he's whining or asking for it. He needs boundaries now.

Start very slow. A few minutes at a time. Don't just close him in there and expect him to "figure it out."

I'd get him neutered anyways. The growth you're talking about is purely cosmetic and unnecessary with a dog you're not planning on breeding anyways. The loss of the extra hormones can also help him calm down a bit.

Last edited by martemchik; 04-14-2014 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Work with crate games. Leaving the door open, throwing treats in there to get him in there. Let him stay in his crate while you're around in the same room. Get him to figure out that the crate is a safe place and it's not a bad thing to be in there. His anxiety is likely from getting passed around from family to family and so he doesn't trust crates. It's likely that every time he was in a crate, he ended up somewhere new and unknown. So leave him in the crate while you're watching TV. Don't give him attention when he's whining or asking for it. He needs boundaries now.

Start very slow. A few minutes at a time. Don't just close him in there and expect him to "figure it out."

I'd get him neutered anyways. The growth you're talking about is purely cosmetic and unnecessary with a dog you're not planning on breeding anyways. The loss of the extra hormones can also help him calm down a bit.
Great advice on the crate, thanks! We'll definitely work on that with him.

We'd prefer to not leave him in the crate, though. The biggest issue is that he gets upset from being away from us, crate or no crate. Leaving him out of the crate led him to try to get to us by "digging" under the door. Doesn't matter where is is or how big his space is, if he's not in the same room as us he panics. We're not sure how to help him become comfortable with being away from "the pack". We'll definitely take the advice to start slow, a few minutes at a time. Hopefully he adjusts. Thanks so much!

Last edited by tokyodishwater; 04-14-2014 at 12:24 PM.
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