I just rescued a year old GSD from a rotten situation. I am the 4th person to have her and her previous "owner" had her living in a garage because she was worried my foster girl might hurt her cats.
Anyways I think she has an unhealthy attachment to me. She has been with me for 16 days and at first she was fine when we left her alone. She went into her crate and we had no issues.
Now as soon as I walk out of the house she goes crazy. Even when the kids are here she howls, whines, and paces looking for me. Yesterday I came home to find that she busted out of her (airline) crate and busted out a window on the back door. She cut her paw and bleed everywhere.
Can anyone offer me some advice on how to make sure she doesn't injure herself again? I dont know how to contain her when Im gone or how to keep her calm enough for her to be left out.
Leaving her outside isn't an option for me. I'm more afraid of what could happen outside than what could happen inside.
I have tried to make sure she has plenty of exercise before we leave, chew toys, and treats. Nothing seems to be working.
That would be separation anxiety. I"m sure someone will be along to give you actual advice. I've never had to deal with it but it can be helped. :)
Only had one dog with SA, cocker/papillon, so small enough to not crate bust.
First, EXERCISE and TRAINING need to be done everyday - and she needs an absolute schedule, so she can feel safe knowing there is a routine that is adhered to each day, nothing is a "surprise".
Start the crate training again, and set times of the day when you are home that she will spend in the crate. It will seem like she is in the crate A LOT at first, but once she knows that the crate doesn't necessarily mean you are leaving, it just means she needs to rest, you can permit her more freedom.
Brisk walks in the morning, and a training session using half her regular meal (then she gets to just eat the other half in the crate) will drain some nervous energy in her.
Another thing I have done, is taken regular kibble and mixed with a veggie glop or chicken stock or Nupro and then stuff it inside a kong. Then freeze overnight. In the morning after all the exercise, then the training session using half the meal, she goes in her crate with the frozen kong to eat the other half.
My main concern would be making sure her exercise and mental needs are met. When you know you are doing that, then make sure you are reinforcing that the crate is not a scary place, it is a relaxing place, and that it is a non-negotiable item - she must go in and stay in.
Another thing you can do is either zip strap the door shut, or drill holes around the door and reinforce with carabiners - you need to make sure she can't get out. It is a self rewarding behavior, and the more she can do it, the harder it will be to keep her in the crate long term. Also, she is a danger to herself and you will need to protect her from herself right now.
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