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Looking for help w separation anxiety issues. Have a 10 mo old male GSD. He is fine w thunderstorms and is fine when we leave him alone in his crate (doesn't try to bite through it etc) but when we board him and they close his suite for the night he goes berserk. He scratched the walls up and jumped up and destroyed a bunch of stuff...so much so he's not welcome back there. If I walk out my front door to.get the mail and he looses site of me he freaks...last time he ended up locking me out. I've tried composure and that doesn't work. Thinking of speaking to vet about medication. He gets plenty of exercise btw. We are due to go on a 10 day vacation in a few weeks and have had to beg my inlaws to watch him because I am afraid to board him somewhere and be called from vacation to come get him.
Just wondering if anyone else has ever had these anxiety issues. Thanks
 

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Your inlaws are taking care of the dog when you go, so that is one worry out of the way for now. That leaves you time to focus on the problem when you are home. If you can get that under control, then maybe down the way, your dog can be boarded. I would start with just opening the door - say goodbye - step out (key in hand) and come back inside - say hello - all in a calm voice. Do that several times a day - then gradually increase how long you are gone.
 

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Hey there,
I got Zelda at 4.5 months. The person i got her from was a stay at home mom for her kids and so Zelda had someone around her almost 24/7 and was never crated. She also seems to have a low confidence because of a few behavoiral problems i am trying to help her with.
Anyways Zelda has Separation anxiety. It is very stressful and hard. But she is getting better and is 7 months now. She whines/cries/howls for 15-30 mintues after i leave and most of the time is quiet until the usual time i come home. Which is a huge improvement than from crying/howling the whole time when I am at work.. Poor kiddo.. What i do is i dont make a big deal about leaving her, she doesnt hate her crate because she goes into it when i have it open and am home, and when i come home i ignore her for a bout 5 minutes and than i let her out and still ignore her until after i take her outside. This way she knows its not big deal when i come home and no big deal when i leave. IT IS HARD! I just want to kiss her and hug her, tell her ill be back soon and that she will be okay and that i love her. But This is not helpful for her, its only helpful for me- so i dropped that routine.
An exercise i have been working on with her. Is basically showing her its NOT a big deal when i leave her. So randomly when i am on my laptop in my room or anywhere. I will get up and leave not saying anything. I came back the first time after 10 seconds. And built my way up to about 5 minutes. What i did, was i set up my laptop webcam to the door to see what she does when i am gone. And for the most part she is just waiting and whines a little bit.
She also has anxiety problems in general from change, someone leaving, etc. Example: When someone, whether its a dog or a family member, leaves the house, she starts whinning and tries to go to them. I try and calm her down, and the behavior isnt as severe as it was when i first got her.

Have you ever tried Thundershirts? It is worth a try. I have seen it work on some super stress cases at the Humane Society i work at and others it does nothing. I give Zelda composure, and i am not sure if it helps her. You said it didnt work for your dog. There are some anxiety medicines your Vet can give you. But i would utilize as many other ideas/ways before you go to medication. At least it is there if nothing else helps!
Routine is the best thing. And to also poop them out before you leave them, that way they have less energy to put into the stress they have when you leave them. Because if you leave them without exercise or not enough, they still have that energy and use it to be destructive or to use the energy into their stress. Whereas if you leave them after you exercised them to a point where its rest time, then they have less energy to put into that anxiety.

Good luck!! :)
 
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