Rescue with Separation Anxiety - Whining & Barking

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Rescue with Separation Anxiety - Whining & Barking

This is a discussion on Rescue with Separation Anxiety - Whining & Barking within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; 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 ...

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Old 08-22-2017, 05:58 PM
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Rescue with Separation Anxiety - Whining & Barking

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.
Problems:
- 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.
The Good:
- 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.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:08 PM
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I can relate! Before our dog now, we had a beagle that had major separation anxiety. She had been in & out of 2 different homes & by the time we got her, she was 4 years old. The one plus in our situation was that I was home with her, but the negative was she became very attached to me & not so much to my husband & kids. She also would follow me around the house from room to room all the time. When we went out was the worst. She used to try to escape out the door as we were leaving. So we would crate her, but she barked so much that the neighbors would complain. We tried giving her the run of the house, but often we would find pee or poop on the carpet, or one time she even chewed our basement step. We tried Prozac, but that only made her more nervous. Then we switched to Xanax which didn't really do much either. Another thing was she had allergies, so the stress from the separation only made her allergies worse. Long story short, we couldn't leave her alone for extended periods of time. She was a great dog otherwise. Sweet in every way. Some suggestions: If you can, leave the house for short periods (5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes, 1 hour...) gradually increasing the time letting your dog know you will be back. Also, leave your dog with an article of clothing that's yours (a t-shirt or something like that) with your scent on it. This may help relax your dog. I know there are several homeopathic remedies for dogs you could try. One is called Rescue Remedy. Make sure you get the one especially made for dogs. There are also topical calming sprays, but I'm not sure how well they work. Another thing to keep in mind is the calmer you are, the calmer your dog will be. I hope these suggestions help. I feel for you. I've been there.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:32 PM
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I wanted to add, I'm so sorry about the loss of your other dog. That must've been really hard on you. I'm sure that in combination with this whole process with your new dog has taken a toll on you. I have one other suggestion? Is your dog ok around other dogs? Perhaps you could consider a doggie daycare where your dog would be socialized with other dogs. Many dogs love this because they are busy playing all day instead of being alone waiting for you to come home. Or, if this is not an option, how about a dog sitter? Just another suggestion to consider. It would be ideal if a dog could learn to overcome its fears rather than avoid them. Exposure to new people, places, & situations is great too, a little at a time.
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:29 PM
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Thank you for your help. Did you end up sticking with your beagle?
A new development is that in the past 2 out of 3 days, he's worked himself into such a wreck that he started urinating in his crate. On a progress note, he is able to sleep for 3 hours before waking up in a fuss and panic.
I spoke with the shelter and basically cried my eyes out as it was the most difficult phone call I had to make; we talked about what the options were if we found that we were not a good fit for each other. I think the worst part is that both Loki and I are crying daily about the same thing - him not being able to settle. Luckily, this shelter is amazing and they are going to send their trainer out here to see if she can help me out.
We've thought about daycare and a walker, however given the costs of the adoption, behaviorist, vet for meds and apartment proofing, we've basically went way over our budget and with the baby on the way, we are not sure we are financially able to continue down this route. My husband has always been the most patient person and to see him lose it kills me.
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:43 PM
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I understand completely. We did end up sticking with our beagle but unfortunately we only had her for 4 1/2 years. She was close to 5 when we got her, but she had so many health issues that we had to put her down at age 9. It was very sad. First the separation anxiety & the allergies, then the kidney problems. We spent a fortune in vet bills & it took a toll on my husband (& I) as well. Honestly, as hard as it is, you have to do what's best for you & your family. With a new baby on the way, things will be that much harder & your time will be limited. I would try the trainer since the shelter offered one to you & see how that goes. Also try walking your dog as much as you can to get him as worn out as possible. When you have to go out & you don't have someone to stay with your dog, limit the time you're away from home. For every time you're away & the experience is positive (for example, no peeing in the crate), give your dog lots of praise. Again, short periods of time gradually increased so your dog knows that you are coming back. I know this is not always feasible, but follow through as much as you can. Keep in mind, though, you have a baby on the way & you can't let this dog run your life. You're doing all you can & your heart's in the right place. In the end, you have to decide what's right for you.
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:30 AM
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Oh Poor Thing! Both the dog and you and your husband are suffering!
Your vet doesn't have any other suggestions?


I have tried the homeopathic remedies. They just didn't work for my little lab/border collie mix. I even tried the thundershirt, also. But, what worked best for my little girl, Maddison was to have a dog walker come in the middle of the day. If I knew that she was going to be in her crate for longer than 3 hours, I would have the dog walker come to the house. There is an app called Wags, now. I have used Dogtopia. I am not sure what is available in your area. But, they are screened and not too expensive. It worked so well for us. Our little Maddison is 2 now. She no longer experiences SA. And believe me, I went through ALL of what you are experiencing. She ate through furniture, walls, carpets, you name it.... She no longer needs to be crated.


Good Luck to you!


I would like to suggest another source. She is a vet. She has a series of very good videos that address any and all difficult dog behaviors.


http://212b0avhd4imbk49y4ri3y13td.hop.clickbank.net/


Best of luck to you!


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Old 08-12-2018, 01:57 PM
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Doggy daycare at PetSmart is $21 for over six hours and they'll feed your dog a whole days food included in the cost plus if you book ten days in advance you get a free day. It's charged less f less than six hours a day. My dog had such bad separation anxiety that he was knocking window air conditioners out of windows and trying to jump out third floor windows after me and cheeing and destroying rooms, doors, walls, wicker baskets and I seriously thought he was going to kill himself. Behaviorist said he was the most extreme case he'd ever seen.
Short acting benzodiazepines to knock him out made him super reactive and aggressive like an angry drunk, so did trazodone and long acting antidepressants take four to six weeks to get into the system. They helped though. He's on Zoloft. He loves doggy daycare and now only goes one or two days a week. $21 a day and three cups of his allergy food a day there actually saved me money on his expensive dog food. Now he can handle being he just on the medication and I didn't do all the training stuff. I do try to leave him short periods of time too like to change the laundry in the basement.
Before he was so bad I had to take him everywhere and leave him in the car with the AC running and still deal with police sometimes that he wasn't hot in the car and yes ac was on.
He still won't eat or drink at all when I'm not home. But so much better, just stays on my bed or in his crate all day, no destruction or frantic howling.
Hang in there and try PetSmart they're not that expensive.
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