Dog anxious and destructive

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Dog anxious and destructive

This is a discussion on Dog anxious and destructive within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I adopted a 23 pound 3 year old Shetland Sheepdog mix 2 months ago. He had separation anxiety at first, but it seemed like we ...

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Old 09-18-2018, 09:16 AM
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Dog anxious and destructive

I adopted a 23 pound 3 year old Shetland Sheepdog mix 2 months ago. He had separation anxiety at first, but it seemed like we worked through it and the last month has been awesome. Then suddenly, bad behavior has picked up. He is clawing at the doors (bent plastic weather stripping back as well) and gnawed his leash in half. Now, he is whimpering even if I am home! I hate the idea of having to crate him after things have been fine!

I am trying to figure out what has changed that would make him act out and I have no idea. Any help or ideas? I don't want to feel like a prisoner and it is stressing me out a bit as well!
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:52 AM
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loud noises can be a trigger including loud voices
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:24 PM
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Hmmm. When I hear things like this with sudden behavior changes it always makes me want to ask a zillion questions in order to help the anxious dog.

So here are some:

1) Did you change your schedule?
2)Bad weather? Storms, thunder, rain?
3)New visitors coming to your home?
4)Are you guys getting enough exercise?
5)Are you doing mental exercise with your dog to relieve boredom and anxiety? tricks, games, puzzles,etc
6)Does your dog have ample dog safe items to chew when you are gone and when you are home? Chewing relieves stress for dogs!!
7) Did you change your dog's food recently?
8) Look at this poop...any issues there? Anxious/stressed dogs can have poop issues...


You may want to look at my other two posts that I wrote recently about Stress Stacking and see how many apply to your new dog.

Also, please make sure you may his crate a very happy, safe place otherwise the crate may backfire and make him more anxious! No sending him there for punishment or corrective time outs. Give him yummy treats and safe chewy stuff in there with a nice blanket and safe dog toys. Lure him in there with treats if needed, but no forcing him in.

We use baby gates sometimes instead of crates to keep our new pup in a smaller area as we teach her to not get into anything dangerous or chew up anything. I like to NOT give her the opportunity to mess up, but rather allow her to succeed each time as she learns and earns her freedom in the house. Sets her up for life success!

Also, sometimes it simply takes a bit of time for your dog to truly adjust to a brand new home. Two months isn't very long for a dog to make a huge life change.
Finding some creative ways to relieve his anxiety may help you both.
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:30 PM
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Check out my Stress Stacking posts here on this forum

Hi again,

Here are the titles of my two prior posts I wrote on this forum about Stress Stacking that may help you gain insight to why your dog is suddenly having separation anxiety and negative stressful behaviors:

1)Stress Stacking -Part 1
by
AthenaLove
09-05-2018 07:47 PM

2)Stress Stacking -- Part 2
AthenaLove
09-05-2018

Hope this helps!!
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:45 PM
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Also, maybe something physical is bothering him? Pain or discomfort can cause anxiety and behavioral changes. Even fleas can annoy the heck out of a dog and make them act out of frustration.

I would try to gently touch him all over his body and watch his reaction to see if anything hurts or is uncomfortable. Look into his ears, too for black goo/infection/mites.

And again, I always monitor my dogs potty stuff to see if their poop is ok or not, and to make sure they aren't having any noticeable urinary/potty issues like straining to pee or poop. Sorry if this is TMI.

And lastly, perhaps take him to a vet if you can't figure anything out esp if he hasn't been seen in a bit--- or if he starts to eat differently.

The whining can mean discomfort, stress, anxiety, boredom etc. Kinda like kiddos.... or adults...
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:17 AM
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Thank you.
When I work I have a dog walker come and get him, and I have been doing enter/exit conditioning with him and it seems to help. I give everyone instructions on how to enter and leave the apartment with him. KONG puzzle toys are now given when I leave and he's been better.

I tried the crate and he DESTROYED the plastic floor. Ripped it to shreds. It was insane. I can't crate him, it will only intensify the anxiety.

I will check body for fleas!!! Thanks for the advice I'll check it out.
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