Lonely Pup?

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Lonely Pup?

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Old 10-16-2010, 12:03 PM
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Lonely Pup?

First time dog owner looking for some advise. Back in June I adopted a dog from the Humane Society. At that time he was 6 months old, a Lab/Sheppard mix. Since then I have had no problems house breaking him, crate training (he will go in it and lay down on his own), socializing, training him to go on walks nicely. For the most part he has been a great dog. The one hurdle I can't seem to get past is leaving him home alone. I don't know if he get lonely, board, or both but over time he has destroyed his crate. He will pull on the wire bars until he breaks the welds and keep doing it until he pulls the whole bar off. Since he was house broken I decided to give him more room when he is alone by gating off the mud room. Unfortunately his chewing just transferred from the crate to the doorway. The neighbors have also told me they can hear him crying, Mondays being the worst. I've read all I can about separation anxiety and have tried:
Leaving a TV on.
Leaving a piece of clothing with my sent behind.
Spent many weekends doing the go, come, go come increasing the time away each trip.
Using bitter sprays where he chews.
Frozen Kongs and an assortment of chew toys.
Taking him on run with my bike before I leave.
Daycare to break up the work week, but I can't do it every day since it is so expensive.
Not making a big scene when I leave and ignoring him until he calms down when I return home.
The chewing is not an issue when I'm home with him. I don't know what else I should do at this point. I've thought about getting get one of those aluminum crates and start crating him again. Thoughts anyone? Thanks.
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:13 PM
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I'm not familiar with this problem but maybe since you've tried almost everything else you could ask your vet for something to give him to relieve some of his anxiety. Sorry if that's not a lot of help.
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:43 PM
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Sounds like he has some degree of separation anxiety and/or confinement phobia. A sturdier crate may keep him penned up, but he may just end up breaking his teeth on the bars.

There are folks here who have given others advice on how to teach a dog to be OK left alone. As I understand it, the process involves leaving for a very short time (like moments) and rewarding the dog for being OK, then increasing the time period gradually. I hope one of these folks chimes in here....
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:03 PM
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Do you feed in the crate? If not I would start that.


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I found, with my dog that did this (eats walls and screams) that the crate was better than letting her roam...that said I had to make the crate the most awesome place ever ever ever...my way of doing that is feeding every single meal in it.



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Old 10-16-2010, 07:23 PM
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Ditto Crio. My dogs are fed in their crate. I have one dog who has issues and sometimes he decides he doesnt like the crate so will pull on the bars. I am currently looking into DAP like Crio posted because I have heard great results come from using it.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:37 PM
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I just thought I would give an update to my earlier post. I bought some of the DAP thinking it would be worth the cost if the chewing stopped. I went almost a full week with no problems, until today. I came home to new chew marks on the wall and his crate cover ripped to shreds (I bought one of those wire crate covers in order to give him a den like environment). He is going back into the crate tomorrow when I'm away. I'll be happy when the puppy years are over.
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:30 PM
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It's interesting that it seemed to work for a week. From what I've read, DAP isn't something the dog eventually will ignore or get used to. Was it a spray or plug in? Could it have worn off? Just brainstorming; I've never used it.

I'll just throw in a second for the feeding in the crate and making sure it is a wonderful thing (there are more tips for this in the training section in the crate faq sticky). The aluminum crate could be the way to go and the doggy day care as you can afford.
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:06 AM
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It is the plug in type, and I can see that there is plenty of fluid in the bottle so it wouldn't have worn off. I really hate to spend the money on an aluminum crate when everyone I know who has a dog quits using them once their dog gets older. I'll take a look at that thread and see if there is anything more I can do to make him enjoy his current one more.
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:02 AM
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It could be that actually the DAP is helping, but that something upset your pup the other day. Sometimes these sorts of situations are all about monitoring all that is going on in pup's life, and making small adjustments. Even the routine you establish for how you leave the house is important.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:16 PM
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Take the plug in out and jiggle it and put it back in. Maybe it got "plugged up" somehow. It happens.
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