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Discussion Starter #1
Our GSD is 2 years old. I am a stay at home mom, so GSD is very used to someone being home with her all the time. When we leave, she goes upstairs into all of our garbage cans (as she can reach the small ones in bedroom and bathrooms) and pulls stuff out. Is this just her way of letting us know she is annoyed or is this just her way of handling separation anxiety? Has anyone else experienced this type of behavior when you leave the house?
 

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Onyx has done this, too. But only my daughters room has a trash can she can get to. They do get bored when we are gone...I would make sure when you leave to keep anything that could harm her away. Sugarless gum can be toxic. Or shut doors, crate her? Because she is whith you most of the time, she may not know how to deal with aloneness.
 

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Thank you for the info on the gum. I didn't know that. I have to make sure everyone in the family is diligent about shutting upstairs doors. Unfortunately, she has eaten some feminine products which we were so worried about. We weren't crating her when we left as she is so well behaved otherwise. We have had some minor crime in our neighborhood and I always felt better leaving her uncrated. I think a lot of it is nervousness on her part, she really stays by my side all the time. She doesn't even like being outside without my presence.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She has a huge nylabone that she chews constantly. We have 3 cats in the house as well that she really gets along with. So she isn't totally alone but I am not so sure she feels that way in her eyes....
 

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Definitely put up the trash if she's actually eating stuff. She could get a life threatening obstruction and you'd never know she had eaten anything!

You can counter condition her to be more comfortable when you leave. Patricia McConnell has a great little booklet called, "I'll Be Home Soon" that tells you how to do it. I did it with Rafi when I adopted him and he does fine now. Still nervous but doesn't get into anything or hurt himself.
 

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my gsd was the same, I don't think it was boardom because she has her two playmates for company. I too am a stay at home mom so she is too used to me been there for her. It was only ever in my dinning/kitchen room but, she destroyed 2 of my dinning room chairs all my computer spares, a full pad of paper door frames skirting boards, she finally stopped when i happen to leave a pan handle hanging over the edge of the work top and she got that, that she stopped doing it, (must have been the loud bang).
I have also been told to soak a chew rope in gravey and freeze it then give it to them when you go out so they have something to keep them occuppied.
 

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I don't think it's anxiety. Riggs will do this when he comes and sleeps in our room at night. If we leave the door open he sneaks off to the bathroom to go through the garbage.

The bathroom garbage has the items that smell the MOST like us. Used kleenex, q-tips and such. Yuck. But to Riggs it's heaven.


Now we just close the bathroom door at night.
 

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I don't think it's anxiety either.

Or being annoyed. (oh, we have to be so careful about projecting feelings on to our dogs that almost certainly aren't there.)

It's simply, "hey, they're not home. This is a cool container and they're not here to stop me."

There are two very useful things we do with our dogs. We train them. And we manage their environments. Managing environments is almost always the easiest way to take care of things (and they don't learn bad habits). We have a pup. She gets very little freedom, but because she has earned some, my bathroom bin is on my counter. My recycling bin goes on top of the lidded kitchen garbage can. She cannot get into these containers, so she can't get into trouble with them.

She gets lots of toys and chews to play with, and we rotate them (and buy interesting new ones now and then) so she's never bored with them.

Problem solved.

One more thing. I'm home often during the day. But I make a point to leave my pets as often as I can, even if it's a walk around the block, (I know, it sounds silly, but it's as important as teaching sit, down and come). Our dogs need to learn to be independent, and that they're fine without us. It's one of the most important skills we can teach them. Whenever you can, take off for even a little while without your pup. It will do her a world of good.
 

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It's being a young dog. It's being a young dog with tempting "goodies" available. And yes used sanitary napkins and tampons are enticing to dogs...

If it's much consolation, she will probably out grow this behavior at about 7 or so.... (except for something extra tempting like the sanitary napkins...)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you everyone for your responses. Everything was useful and made me think about this in a different way. I am definately keeping the garbage cans up or the doors closed while we are gone. I never thought about those cans holding things that smelled most like us. I just couldn't figure out what the attraction was to those cans. I also think that I should go for walks without Mia some days. She goes absolutely balistic when I go to the neighbors house without her (they have 2 goldens). Our schedule has been more relaxed this summer so I have been around even more. Once Sept. hits and school starts, all bets are off. We are running around (like everyone else) like lunatics. I am always amazed at how much psychology goes into raising dogs! Thank you again for your help. You guys are great.
 
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