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So my dog (6.5 months) has lots of amazing qualities and her personality is irresistable to me. I love this girl so much. I've had her since May 01.
However, she also has a lot of other things we need to work on and some of the other things people have given great advice on how to work with her on so I am hoping you guys can help me out on this one too..
Anxiety and seperation anxiety would probably be the biggest problem that affects both of our lives contstantly and it has only been getting worse.
How it affects HER life:
1.)When I leave the room she starts barking and whinning and pulls to get to me. (For practice i leave her with people i trust and leave for 5 minutes-1 hour) most of the time she will settle down after a few minutes. When i come home she gets whinny again and pulls to get to me (I ignore her until she isnt making any noises and is sitting or laying down patiently)- I do believe i am doing the right steps here but there is really no improvement. And she actually gets whinny if anyone leaves the house or if the other dogs in the house leave she gets whinny, but she settles down quicker when i am there and its not as much as a reaction as when i leave.
a. This i believe stresses her out, gives her anxiety and even means a low confidence perhaps..

2.) When i crate her so that i can go to work, she whines and barks on and off after the first intial 20minutes-1 hour after i leave she continues barking, whinning and howling. I usually leave the house around 7:25 AM and am back at 12:30-1pm. If i work a 9 hour shift i have a family member spend a few hours with her in the afternoon. She still pees almost every time she is in her kennel and will even have diahrrea in her kennel.. I use a plastic kennel, but as of the past few days, because of her surgry, she has to wear a big cone which will not fit in the plastic kennel for her to turn around in, so i borrowed my sisters wire kennel and she broke out of it today while i was at work! (Thankfully someone in the house heard her and watched her for me, but it ruined their plans because they had to watch her since i was at work) I have been paying a family member the past few days to stay with her until i come home, since it was after her spay and gastropexy surgry, so I didnt have to worry about crating her. But I have to crate her again because that can not happen for the rest of the week. And she has to be crated when im at work after she is fully recovered anyways..
I know that for seperation anxiety you are supposed to crate at small amounts of time and increase it. I didnt try too hard.. perhaps if i completed this it would have worked. But i saw no results and was not thinking it would work.
a. Separation anxiety, can be dangerous physically for her because of her escaping and trying to escape her kennel, and her stress level is way up there for her when i have to crate her.

How this affects ME:
1.) I think about her all the time when im not with her.. It's affecting my mood and my quaility of work. I'm becoming more anxious because I am worried that she may have hurt herself or maybe she had diahrrea in her kennel and she is sitting in it and i cant do anything about it because im at work,etc.
a.) this is making me stressed out, anxious and I am seriously considering getting a differenet job, even though I LOVE working at Humane Society and applying to McDonalds for the night shift. I was thinking a night job, because even when i leave her at night she only barks for a little while and than sleeps)
2.) I feel like/ DONT go out with my friends anymore or go out at all really! I feel so isolated because I do not want to put her in the crate any more than she already has to.. because i feel bad with the reaction in which she has everytime i do leave her in there!
b.) its affecting my socializing, Im not super social as it is. But its been months since i've been out with a friend..

What i am doing to try and help her:
1.) Give her composure.
2.) Give her very long walks.
3.) Leave music on and fan on.
4.) Make sure it is cool in the room.
5.) I never force her in her kennel, i throw treats in.
6.) I make sure her kennel is always cleaned.
7.) I leave 1-2 toys in there for her and rotate them.
8.) I never leave her in her kennel for more than 5 hours, either me or someone else will her go out to go do her business.
9.) I never make a big deal about leaving her or coming back.
10.) I try to stay calm and have positive energy when dealing with the crate.

(I have not been able to do all of this since she got her surgry on Wendesday (26) because of her incision, etc.)


What i wish i could do is take a week off of work and just concentrate on crate training and doing the slow process of working up to hours at a time in the crate.. But I need money really bad and literally cannot afford to take a whole week of work off..


****What i want is for her to be okay in a crate for a short period of time to at least 6 hours. I want her to not be so anxious when i leave or come back.
I want to be able to go to work without worrying AS MUCH about her. I'm sure i will still think about her, just not be panicy worry..
So what can i do to make this happen?

And just FYI, I want to make this work. I am commited to her fully and love her to pieces.

Any ideas on what i can do guys? I'm really desperate..
 

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First, I apologize if I'm saying or asking some dumb/basic things here, as I'm not too familiar with your dog and haven't been following this story from the beginning, so possibly some of these points have been covered in other threads.

Severe separation anxiety can be one of the most difficult and intractable behavioral problems to treat, and if you have a serious case on your hands, this is an issue that calls out for professional help. Based on your description, I'm not sure how severe your dog's issues are. Whining and pulling can be mild or not so mild. Howling, crate soiling, and extreme anxiety, however, could be indicative of a more serious case.

I don't know if it's paywalled, but this article from Whole Dog Journal recounts one experienced owner's story in dealing with a severe SA dog: Living With Dogs Who Suffer From Severe Separation Anxiety - Whole Dog Journal Article

Hopefully your case is not so bad as that, but some of the things the author writes about may be helpful for you to try as well. There are a lot of good tips and information both in that article specifically and in WDJ generally about dealing with separation anxiety.

Patricia McConnell has a booklet called "I'll Be Home Soon" that outlines a basic SA protocol. You may find that useful as well.

The big thing with SA is to take it slowly and make sure your foundations are very solid at each step before moving on to the next incremental progression. Keeping a training journal can be helpful to remind yourself that you are making progress, because day to day it can seem slow to the point of nonexistence.
 

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Canine Lullabies

look at this site - it is supposed to be good for separation anxiety....

give her a kong filled with frozen peanut butter when you leave if the anxiety is only the first 20 - 30 minutes...that might help take her attention away from you leaving

Hope something helps...

Lee
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Merciel, Thank you for sharing that article, it was very insightful i think perhaps she isnt quite that bad! yet..

Sri, yes it is tough.. im glad you understand! I watched those videos and perhaps those things can help her i will try! Thanks!

Wolf, I will have to try this! its alwasy worth a try. Thank you!
 

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First of all, think how to reject the idea of putting her into the crate and keep her in more spacious area inside the house. Limited space increases her anxiety, these crates are the reason for many dogs to grow up agressive. Would you lock your 10 year old daughter in a crate for that number of ours? It is taken as a punishment. Everything young ought to move as much as they can. Dogs kept outdoor while their owners working away are much happier than those who lie on the sofa all the day long, because they move in their enclosure, they hear birds, other dogs, smell cats and neighbours. You see, your puppy should be given a job. Waiting at the door behind which you have dissapeared all the day long is not an easy job, still, there's always an opportunity to wander around the house, look into window and bark at passing dogs, cats, or your neighbours. Leave your puppy hungry with the raw whole beef thigh bone to work on while you are away, it is very hard, bone mass improves digestion and cleans her teeth. But, you cannot leave her with the bone every day, say, only every third-fourth day, otherwise it could cause blockage in her guts. Use some artificial bones, they can be good LPs, one thing - your puppy shouldn't be able to move it away from the spot where you placed it. It is easy to attach a real bone to anything in the kitchen. Always ask your dog to work her teeth on it in lying down position, return her gently into lying position there every time she runs after you when you are present in the house.Teach her to guard the bone by calling her to the window with exciting voice, then asking her to take place at the bone, then to the window again, ask her to bark at something imaginary there, it shouldn't take long for her to grasp what it's about. Tell her "Pass auf" (guard!) when taking her back from the window to the bone at the beginning, and tell her that command when you leave the house. Your dog must remain in lying down position when you are closing the door after yourself. It wouldn't be easy for you to break the old stereotype and replace it with new, but, don't worry, time and your perseverance will take over your dog's anxiety. Use aromatherapy to help, 1-3 drops of clove oil on her nylon collar or, she might be responsive to some other essentual oils.
 

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1. where did you get her from?
2. was she crate trained before you got her?
3. can you gate her in a room instead of using a crate? some dogs just dont do well in crates... some prefer rooms or xpens.. i would try first tiring her out in the morning before you leave , then leave her loose in one room or two rooms that are puppy proofed. go outside and walk to mailbox. come back in and ignore her. do again for a bit longer, come back in. basically slowly increase your time when you leave so that she gets used to you being gone . i had one dog who hated the crate, would pitch a fit for HOURS.. so i left her loose to start in one room, added more exercise (tired dogs will sleep) then added more rooms slowly. she was comppletely trustworthy loose after 2 months
 

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We have had luck with putting a t-shirt that one of us wore in her crate. The smellier or sweaty, the better. Also, we've been using Happytails Sleepytime Tonic when she was at her worst. When Emma was in the throes of teething, her whining was intolerable n looked like severe anxiety - just a thought.
 

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Since it seems like you can't take that time off to focus on her training (life happens) how about medication? I don't really like medication, but at least it can help her cope until you get things sorted out.
Best of luck to you both!
 

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dont have too much advice but i feel for yall. i use to have a dog with high seperation anxiety and it sucked. when i went out i always had to worry about him. my social life really suffered. i believe separation anxiety is just a sign of weak nerves. you'll just have to manage it
 
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