my dog is going to ruin my relationship

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my dog is going to ruin my relationship

This is a discussion on my dog is going to ruin my relationship within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; My golden doodle puppy Murphy is 10 months old and is a serious hot mess. He has anxiety all the time but especially separation anxiety. ...

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Old 09-13-2018, 02:35 PM
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my dog is going to ruin my relationship

My golden doodle puppy Murphy is 10 months old and is a serious hot mess. He has anxiety all the time but especially separation anxiety. When we had him in his crate he would chew his paws raw. When we tried confining him to small room he chewed apart our entire bed frame and the wall next to do the door trying to escape. Someone on here suggested leaving him free to roam the house with my older golden retriever. It seemed to go well the first day and since then he has chewed our couch, our lamp cord, the corner of our fire place, our coffee table, the trim to our front window, my curtains. Yes we leave him with plenty of treats and toys to keep him busy (kongs, puzzle toys, squeaky toys, you name it). yes we walk him before we leave him for an extended period of time. He does this whether we leave him for 5 minutes or 6 hours. It does not matter. We have tried cbd oil treats. We have tried low dose anxiety medication. Doesn’t work. I can’t be with him all the time. I have to work. So does my boyfriend. That is not an option. We can not afford to put him in doggy day care. I can’t afford for anymore of my things to be ruined and I am not okay with letting him self harm in the crate. I am getting to the point where I almost feel like we need to give him up to someone who can afford to figure out how to help him.. My boyfriend will not even hear it. We fight about the damage he causes to our home (which we don’t even own, we are renting!!!) almost every single day.
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:38 PM
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I'd still put him in the crate - safer than him dying from bowel obstruction or poisoning from eating something he shouldn't... and try upping his medication.
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Old 09-13-2018, 04:11 PM
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If the medication is an antidepressant it takes four to six weeks to get into his system to really be effective. He either needs doggy daycare or a dog walker or someone to be with him until the medication has time to work and he needs it every day to get in his system.

A veterinary behaviorist can be very helpful. You also have to gradually build up the time he can tolerate being alone. Start with thirty seconds then work up to a minute. He has to get used to seeing you out on shoes, pick up keys, every part of leaving ritual without getting stressed. It's very gradual.
You also have to give him his favorite best treat and toy ever but only when you're gone so he associates it with being alone. He can never see this extra awesome toy and treat when you're home.
If one medication doesn't work others might.
It's a lot cheaper to pay for doggy daycare or a sitter or Walker than to have to replace all your stuff all the time, not to mention the vet or ER bills if he gets poisoned or an impaction or eats something like a battery that needs days in the vet hospital and emergency surgery.
My dog was the worst case of separation anxiety the well known veterinary behaviorist who wrote a book on it and retired from Tufts Veterinary had ever seen. I had to bring him everywhere in my car and leave the AC running for hours. At home he'd knock out window ACS, break screens and try to jump out of the third floor windows. He destroyed my last apartment and howled non-stop.

Now he's calm three or four days a week for ten to twelve hours a day. Sleeps on my bed snoring with the cats. Doggy daycare once or twice a week just in case. All I did was an antidepressant it worked. Four different benzodiazepines as antianxiety meds made him aggressive like an angry drunk so didn't work.
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Old 09-13-2018, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowmom View Post
If the medication is an antidepressant it takes four to six weeks to get into his system to really be effective. He either needs doggy daycare or a dog walker or someone to be with him until the medication has time to work and he needs it every day to get in his system.

A veterinary behaviorist can be very helpful. You also have to gradually build up the time he can tolerate being alone. Start with thirty seconds then work up to a minute. He has to get used to seeing you out on shoes, pick up keys, every part of leaving ritual without getting stressed. It's very gradual.
You also have to give him his favorite best treat and toy ever but only when you're gone so he associates it with being alone. He can never see this extra awesome toy and treat when you're home.
If one medication doesn't work others might.
It's a lot cheaper to pay for doggy daycare or a sitter or Walker than to have to replace all your stuff all the time, not to mention the vet or ER bills if he gets poisoned or an impaction or eats something like a battery that needs days in the vet hospital and emergency surgery.
My dog was the worst case of separation anxiety the well known veterinary behaviorist who wrote a book on it and retired from Tufts Veterinary had ever seen. I had to bring him everywhere in my car and leave the AC running for hours. At home he'd knock out window ACS, break screens and try to jump out of the third floor windows. He destroyed my last apartment and howled non-stop.

Now he's calm three or four days a week for ten to twelve hours a day. Sleeps on my bed snoring with the cats. Doggy daycare once or twice a week just in case. All I did was an antidepressant it worked. Four different benzodiazepines as antianxiety meds made him aggressive like an angry drunk so didn't work.
You gave some very helpful suggestions. We are looking at trying outdoggy daycare next. We set up a doggy cam and it’s so hard to tell if it’s stress or boredom. Most of the time he seems perfectly content laying on the couch with my older golden retriever. We are also concerned of the long term effects of having him on medication.
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:51 PM
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Logically speaking if he keeps chewing and potentially eating dangerous things like you mentioned in your first post, you won't have a dog long enough to worry about the long term effects of anything like medication, especially if doggy daycare for $20-30 a day is too expensive.
The lead and poison in paint on door trim, the splinters from chewing doors, getting electrocuted or burned severely from chewing a plugged in lamp cord, any of the things he is chewing could poison him or cause intestinal blockages or tearing of vital internal organs.
If doggy daycare and replacing items and a behaviorist is too expensive, thousands of dollars of emergency vet hospital bills to save him is astronomical. I saw a Golden retriever at the vet hospital have to have blockage surgery to remove many socks he'd swallowed . My cat had a blockage from eating the stuffing from a small dog toy my dog chewed up while I was asleep before I woke up and could clean it up. The stuffing from chewing up a couch is much more volume.

My dog has been on one antidepressant for two years now, no problems. The vet runs labs annually to check his organ function to rule out any damage or problem. A couple of hundred dollars that his pet insurance pays 90 percent of.

Well worth it to see him happy and relaxed and not an anxious insecure mess. Reduces my stress a thousand times not to worry he's jumped our my window and hurt on the sidewalk or hit by a car suffering or poisoned himself and lying at home in pain while I'm stuck at work. He LOVES doggy daycare and eats his canned food every night with the meds in it. Pretty easy and well worth the minor money spent compared to what I was spending managing his sheer terror being alone before.
If they get frantic within the first few minutes of you leaving it's more likely it's separation anxiety and not boredom. My dog is very good now when I go to work because he knows the work routine and schedule. But nights and weekends he still gets very stressed if I leave him anywhere. If I go to the car at the dog park to get more treats or a ball, he goes to the gate and watches til I come back. If we're somewhere dog friendly I can't tie him for a second and go to the bathroom. He chews through the leash in a second and races frantically looking for me. I take him with me or someone has to hold him. He won't interact at all just paces and watches til I get back. At home he's quiet and behaves but won't eat or drink anything til I get back. The medication manages it and helps but it's not cured.

At doggy daycare he's happy plays all day and eats fine.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:26 PM
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When I was studying up on separation anxiety awhile back, I read an interesting article about using your car as a training tool.

The article said to leave your dog in the car for a few minutes, and then come back and get in your car. Do this over and over again and in different places like parking lots etc. The car is kind of like a safe "den" for them so they do not feel so isolated or alone. You can give treats if you like. At first, do this only for a short time, like a few moments, and then gradually build up the time they can be alone. The article's author said that it really has helped many of her client's dogs who had overall separation anxiety.

***Of course ONLY do this if weather is permitting!!!!! Never leave your dog in a hot car, even with windows open, as temperatures rise FAST and can be deadly to any dog.

Funny, because I did this car "training" with my shy anxious fearful Gracie dog right from the beginning of her adoption because she came to work with me everyday, and most days I had to run errands and had to leave her in the car for a few minutes.

I had no idea that it would help with her anxiety, but it must have because she has no separation anxiety at all now. Did it help? Who knows? But she did used to freak out in the car in the early days. I surmise she worried she was going to be dumped out of the car every time we went for a drive. (She had been rehomed several times before I adopted her)

Lots of panic and panting in the car at first, especially if I left her for a moment. No more!! She will even curl up in a ball and sleep peacefully on the seat if I leave her in there for a bit.

Maybe try this and see if it helps with your dog's separation anxiety? Takes some time and practice, but it is free

Last edited by AthenaLove; 09-13-2018 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 09-14-2018, 05:02 AM
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My dog was always much calmer being left in the car than at home and much less dangerous to himself. The well known behaviorist even told me to leave him wherever he was safest and calmest until the medication had time to kick in, said he'd seen many dogs with severe separation anxiety be fine left in the car. It's interesting because there's constantly visual stimuli and they expect their owners to come back sooner.

I'd leave the heat or AC running with a note on the car and the doors locked with my spare key and the note saying he was under vet care and literally dangerous to himself at home and cool with AC on and my phone number.

I used my judgment and responsibly left my last dog in the car at times if it meant the difference between him being able to go with me for long days away and go to the stable with me (he LOVED the stable and beach more than anything) vs staying home alone all day alone. He didn't have separation anxiety but loved going with me everywhere and needed at least two hours a day of solid exercise or was literally climbing the walls.
I had him almost twelve years and always used my judgment about how long to leave him in the car based on his health, age, attitude, happiness and always put the AC or hear on and left it on for him if I had the slightest doubt about temperature. Same with current dog plus I check on them frequently.
Twelve years with last dog and over two years with current dog and never any temperature related issues. Only content happy relaxed dogs. Many people and police interrogating me trying to make me feel like I'm doing something wrong, especially in the past two years. I calmly explain all current dog's issues and damage and vet treatment and medication and things he'll do alone at home and even the most judgmental police officers will back off and leave us alone.
Lol my current dog will tell me clearly if he's had enough car time. He'll either start chewing on essential parts of the car (!), Or he'll get up in the driver's seat and just start beeping the horn(!!!). Smart bugger discovered that gets a lot of laughter and attention and usually brings me running fast!!! He usually saves that move for very crowded places where itslst embarrassing. I hate to positively reinforce that one but I swear he saves that trick for crowds and the worst places to beep the horn.
They definitely train us ... Sigh
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