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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
Apologies for the long post.... We’ve had our gorgeous boy Mike GSD since he was 10 weeks old. He joined our family of me, my husband and my now 3 year old Cockapoo Bob. Mike was a very easy puppy, house trained almost immediately, took to puppy clashes very well, did lots of socialising. He was crated for about 14 or 15 months, but now both him and Bob have the run of the kitchen and hallway. The only place that was out of bounds for both dogs was upstairs.

Mike didn’t have any anxiety issues, could be left for an hour or so without issues, hadn’t destroyed anything. He was however a little wary of people coming to the gate, so we knew we had more socialising to do with him. He’d bark a little but after a few minutes he would settle, but occasionally when you thought he was ok, he had a tendency to snap if people tried to stroke him. We have been working on that for a few weeks now and thought we were getting somewhere.

He‘s been perfect, but now he seems to have changed overnight! He becomes anxious when we leave him, he tries to fight his way out of the door with you. We’ve come home to dog mess which is has walked everywhere, he’s bursting through doors. He’s ripped an old cat flap off the back door and has tried to chew his way out. We have had more mess and destruction in this last 5 days than we’ve had in the whole time we’ve had him. He’s ripped the baby gate off which prevented him from going up stairs. He becomes extremely anxious after about 40 minutes of us going to bed and then charges his way to our bedroom. It is like he is petrified of something.

We‘ve gone back to basics with him, but nothing seems to be working ....any advice on what the cause of this might be would be most grateful. Do we crate him again? We don’t want to do anything that could cause more anxiety or distress.

any advice would be most appreciated thank you!
 

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I don't have any great advice for you since i wouldn't have had him barred from areas of the house by now and I wouldn't have had him left downstairs separated at night. At this point, you probably have to back track a bit and crate when you are out of the house and have him earn freedom again. Crate, go out for 5 minutes, come back. No celebrations on returning. Then allow freedom for short periods, come back. No celebrations on returning. It might take weeks.
 

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Probably the last thing you’ll want to hear, but this is one issue that can be mitigated, if not eliminated, by having two (or more).

Regardless, best of luck with your pup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We have an appointment with our vet on Monday just to be on the safe side but medically he seems fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Probably the last thing you’ll want to hear, but this is one issue that can be mitigated, if not eliminated, by having two (or more).

Regardless, best of luck with your pup.
We have another dog albeit not another GSD
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't have any great advice for you since i wouldn't have had him barred from areas of the house by now and I wouldn't have had him left downstairs separated at night. At this point, you probably have to back track a bit and crate when you are out of the house and have him earn freedom again. Crate, go out for 5 minutes, come back. No celebrations on returning. Then allow freedom for short periods, come back. No celebrations on returning. It might take weeks.
Each to their own, I appreciate your opinion although I don’t agree that there’s a problem with setting boundaries early on. We’ve had lots of dogs over the years and none of them have been allowed upstairs. Re-crating would be a last resort for us but one we will seriously consider. Thank you
 

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Our dogs sleep downstairs at night, they are totally fine with it, they can come upstairs with supervision. 13 and 18y.o kids rooms have a lot of stuff on the floor sometimes that dogs should not get into. It’s mostly for their safety! Teenagers are messy!
 

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We have another dog albeit not another GSD
Oh wow.

I’ve had multiples for years (GSD’s) and still do. I’d like to offer some help, but have never experienced your issue.

Again, though, best of luck in fixing it.
 

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Each to their own, I appreciate your opinion although I don’t agree that there’s a problem with setting boundaries early on. We’ve had lots of dogs over the years and none of them have been allowed upstairs. Re-crating would be a last resort for us but one we will seriously consider. Thank you
Fair enough, I don;t see it as setting boundaries at all, I see it as separating them from their new pack but as you said, each to their own. Good luck.
 

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I think the simple answer here is crate your dog when you leave. You don’t need to over complicate it. I don’t bar my dogs from certain areas, but I wouldn’t just rely on baby gates. I would specifically train him to not go into those areas. The other thing is make sure you are providing plenty of mental stimulation and outlets for his energy.
 
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