Extreme Seperation Anxiety - HELP!

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Extreme Seperation Anxiety - HELP!

This is a discussion on Extreme Seperation Anxiety - HELP! within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I have adopted an English Setter mix from a local shelter. She is about 6 months old. The first day I left her in my ...

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Old 08-05-2019, 02:37 PM
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Extreme Seperation Anxiety - HELP!

I have adopted an English Setter mix from a local shelter. She is about 6 months old. The first day I left her in my laundry/mudroom while I was away at work (about 5 hours) before returning for lunch break. She completely destroyed the room... scratched walls, chewed the door and windows, pottied all over the floor, etc.

Since then, I purchased a large folding dog crate for her to stay in. She did okay in the box for maybe about 3 weeks.

She has completely flipped a switch in regards to being inside the crate. It started with her trying to get her head through the side or top of the crate. Then she actually pushed out the side enough to get through the door. She is now going to the bathroom in the crate as well. I have to bungee the door closed on the crate just to keep her inside and not destroy my house. I am out of options I feel. .

I have provided her toys with PB inside, treats, and chew bones to keep her busy. I also leave the radio on so there are some noises in the room. It doesn't matter if I am gone as little as 20 minutes, she panics.

The strange thing is that if I am home, I let her out and we take her outside to potty and as soon as we come in she would rather be inside the crate then roaming the house. She feels safe there as long as I am also in the room...
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:08 AM
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You need to find a professional. It may also be necessary to medicate the dog to take the edge off.

Read the book "Decoding your Dog" from Debra Horwitz et al. What you are describing is handled is detail in this book. It is available in ebook format if you prefer.

On the short term you need to treat this as a serious affliction and consult with your vet. It is not somethingt that will go away in time and it's not something that will respond to a "quick fix".
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:45 AM
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My dog had really bad separation anxiety, I actually had to get a trainer and he took him for four weeks but he was so bad the trainer kept him and extra two weeks.

Firstly I would definitely look into getting a trainer, even if you just do in home training.

Also my boy could also escape those crates, my trainer had me buy one of those plastic ones, like the ones they use for traveling. He can’t break out of that one, it was more expensive but worth it.
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:33 PM
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My dog also had pretty severe separation anxiety. I worked with a trainer who helped me to curb it. 20 minutes of being gone is actually quite a long time. My dog would panic within a few moments. Granted, I work from home, so any time that I am gone is somewhat of an anomaly.
We worked out a training regimen where I left my dog with a kong for increasingly long increments of time (first, just walked outside for a second, then back in, then stood outside for 10 seconds, then 30 seconds, etc. Dropping back an increment if she reacted anxiously). 100% ignoring her when I came back in the room (celebrating your return reinforces the idea that you being home is preferable).
But you'll likely still want to confer with a trainer to help you figure out how not to undo all your hard work when you have to leave to go to work.

In the meantime, you may also want to think about an airplane/shipping dog crate, one that is entirely hard plastic with just a metal door...these are more den-like and also more secure than metal folding crates.
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