I rescued a 1-2 year old long haired Chihuahua mix 1 month ago. The decision was not made lightly as we had just lost our dog to a dog attack recently, however given the big emptiness we now had, we thought it would be better to focus our energy on rescuing another dog.
Day 1, the dog was crated at night and cried for 2 hours before finally falling asleep. For the first week, my mother was visiting and was able to stay home with the dog and he would still bark when we left until she woke up. Knowing this was the first sign of separation anxiety, I called a behaviorist immediately. Since then I have worked with a behaviorist, crate trained my dog and started Prozac, Adaptil collar and diffuser. The thundershirt doesn't do much. Loki continues to cry/whine/bark, paw at his bed in the crate and licks the cage obsessively. We've been able to interrupt his screaming with a slap on the table and after a few times, sometimes he will fall asleep for 2 hours (if we are lucky) and he will wake up like it's "50 first dates" and freak out again forgetting he was fine for the past two hours.
- he doesn't eat food when we are gone, remembers all the treats that are in his crate only after we come back, so Kong doesn't work
- Long walks, excursions outside do not perturb the SA
- Coming home from a long day of work, seems even more tiring knowing that we still have to train. The low key comings and goings make coming home not as exciting as the whole beauty of a dog is to be able to come home to someone that's excited to see you.
- Also when we come home, we try to make sure he is sleeping or lying down on the monitor, however when we come home he starts panting forever and he won't stop, which makes it difficult to un-crate him.
- He's currently on prozac for 2.5 weeks, when will I know it's working. Or should switch. The behaviorist suggested another one as this may cause aggression. We haven't seen any aggression at this time. The vet wouldn't given trazodone as "making your dog sleepy is not the solution".
- Maybe not crating him would be a solution? No, we've tried that. He continues to cry, jump on furniture and window sills and it seems like it's even harder for him to settle out of the crate. He continues to run back and forth until no end.
- my husband and I both work, however have done everything in our power to cut our hours dramatically down or work from home. This is not sustainable.
- With the recent grief our lost dog, and the frustration of the SA, I feel like I'm losing my mind. BTW, I am also pregnant, so tiredness comes easily.
- He can sleep through most of the night now
- He walks really well on leash and no longer marks.
- extremely loving, however I'm scared to be too affectionate given the SA.
I guess I'm looking for suggestions and support. We are worried that this may be more than we can handle, especially mentally. We don't want to re-home him as we know that this can make SA worse. The behaviorist suggested her board and train program, however the price is a lot especially with the baby on the way. She said that then she can truly assess if this SA is "not" fixable and she said that he may be better off as a service dog. My husband and I are so drained every day and I can't focus on anything but trying to fix this, but then causes so much despair especially when he cries again.