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A little over a week ago, I took in a 4-year-old male schnauzer. I was told he was found abused and neglected 2 years ago. I found him because an old friend on Facebook stated she wanted him to go to a new home that had a back yard and more attention. He was good with kids (I have two), and was a lap dog. Since we were looking for an hypoallergenic dog (my youngest daughter’s doctor suggested only hypoallergenic due to her allergies), this seemed a great fit.

So he came to live with us. Super sweet boy. We are re-potting training him since he was paper trained, but that is going really well. YET, here is the problem, I have never seen a dog so upset when someone just walked outside or out of his sight before. The screaming, howling and barking are unreal. And yes, it really DOES NOT stop. After a little over a week, I can go into the other room, briefly for a shower, but that is all. I cannot go outside without him. And wow, if I need to leave him in the house, no matter who is in the house with him, the same behavior happens. We thought it was because he was in a different environment so I contacted his previous owner. Her response…”Oh, he just loves you and doesn’t want you to leave.”

We took him to the vet since he needed his shots, and heartworm prevention. (Tomorrow, he will be fixed, have his back teeth cleaned and have his declaws removed since they were digging into his skin) After talking with the vet, she said, (I made a comment how calm he normally is that he will not even really play with toys as he just wants to sit on my lap or near me) that with what he does with me being gone, even briefly, and not wanting the stimulation with toys does show he has anxiety issues, and he has probably always had them. I then told the vet what the previous owner said, and she smiled and said, yes, it would appear this is how he always acted.

So this week, he starts on Elavil with continue crate training. He was not crated previously so he hates it. I am only crating him about 15 minutes a day for now. The vet said she thought crating him and the meds would help him and he could be off the meds in 2 months.

I was wondering if anyone else took in an older dog with these issues and if the behavior did get better?

We really like this dog and I do not want to give up on him. I won’t lie though, money is tight so hiring a dog trainer is out for the time being and after all the vet stuff lately….. So we are trying this route first. I know I have seen calming chews, but also have seen that it is not safe to give them both Elavil and calming chews. I do not know which brands, even looking on Amazon reviews, would be safe, but though if the drugs do not work, to maybe try those? I would hate for him to have an allergic reaction to anything.
 

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Drugs may help, BUT it needs to be paired with separation anxiety training.
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/separation-anxiety-29576/

I'd also look into hiring a behaviorist since separation anxiety can be difficult to work though and a behaviorist can help tailor a plan to suit you and your dog.

These two books may help you to better understand him and how to work with him, they are written by two great behaviorist.
I'll be Home Soon: How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety by Patricia McConnell
Don't Leave Me! Step by Step Guide for your Dog's Separation Anxiety by Nicole Wilde

Good luck to you and thank you so much for not giving up on him!
 
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Just saw the crating that may or may not help. Some dogs it helps calm down, but other dogs in the middle of an anxiety attack will view it as a trap and hurt themselves trying to get out so it makes the anxiety worse.

Here's a thread on how to go about crate training, putting them in the crate and shutting the door is not the way to go about it... http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/crate-training-faq-3974/
 
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