How to deal with my dog's sudden anxiety?

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How to deal with my dog's sudden anxiety?

This is a discussion on How to deal with my dog's sudden anxiety? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; So I own a 2 year old harlequin great dane named Odd Thomas that has always been a bit of a crazy boy. His temperment ...

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Old 04-10-2018, 08:19 PM
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Unhappy How to deal with my dog's sudden anxiety?

So I own a 2 year old harlequin great dane named Odd Thomas that has always been a bit of a crazy boy. His temperment is much more similar to a young labrador than the typical behavor of the other great danes I have owned. But recently his spazzyness has gone up to a whole new level and has me concerned.

A bit of background info: I am 22 and a junior in college studying animal science but am fortunate enough to have a house with a yard, so my dog IS NOT confined to an apartment all day or anything like that. Until about 8 months ago I lived with my parents and was going to a community college. I will admit, when I moved out I was a bit worried that my dog would have a hard time adjusting to life as an "only child", as he grew up with two other great danes. However, once we worked out a new routine at my place he seemed to be getting along pretty well and I've been under the impression that he is happier as the only dog in the house (his older brother is kind of a bully to him so this may be a contributing factor). He's been calmer and much less of a handful than he used to be.

Unfortunately, recently his behavior has gotten to be a bit neurotic. My roommate has told me that for the past two weeks, everytime I leave the house for longer than an hour OT has been having full blown tantrums, tearing around the house and howling-- yes, actually howling! She sent me a video the other day of him pacing around the living room wailing and panting like the world was coming to an end. When I get home, though, he is perfectly fine and calms down quickly. I am aware that this sounds like separation anxiety but am not so sure. I will say he is a lot more attached to me than most dogs are to their owners, but he has never had this degree of anxiety before and nothing in our routine has changed. I question separation anxiety for one because he does not tear up anything in my house from panic. For another, he does not go to the bathroom indoors EVER, and reportedly has moments of calm where he will just go and lay down and take a nap. That being said, he doesn't seem to get much comfort from my roommate when she is there and only my presence seems to calm him down when he's spazzing so I don't know.

Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this or know what's going on?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Additionaly information:
- If it helps, he is fed 3 times a day and taken for walks in the evening. I've been wondering if I should start walking him in the morning as well but haven't yet added that into our morning routine. (We have a decent sized yard and he hangs outside when it is nice out).
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:21 PM
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Sounds like separation anxiety. Triggered by move like my dog's was. My dog had very severe case and he howled and Chewed and destroyed things but never once had an accident of pee and poop. He's not comforted by other animals or people either he wants me and flips out until I'm there then immediately calms down.
See a veterinary behaviorist. Medication was the only thing that keeps my dog safe. You say your dog acts like a lab. Labs and gads are the most common to get separation anxiety, boxers too. They're bred to be strongly bonded with their person.
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Old 04-11-2018, 03:39 PM
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Could it have been caused by moving? The only thing reason I wonder if it's something else is that he's been 100% fine for the past several months and hasn't had any issues until now. This makes me think something else might have caused it... You're probably right in that he does have separation anxiety though, I was just wondering if there was a possible source of the stress that's happened more recently that could be addressed to help alleviate it a bit. I'd rather him not go on medication unless absolutely necessary but understand it may be the only option
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:41 PM
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Many dogs which are task driven or can be motivated/directed in that fashion based on the bond and/or the dog's predilections can be given a task to perform in one's absence which can fill the void and keep neurotic behavior from taking over. Dogs are mostly creatures of habit/routine, it's our job to shape the experience and predictability appropriately when we are away from our dogs. Easier said than done but nonetheless doable.
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anxious, boredom, great dane, separation anxiety, stressed dog

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