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Hi everyone, first time poster. I'm looking for some advice regarding my Australian Cattle Dog pup. She's only six months old and we have a family vacation coming up. Unfortunately: NO DOGS ALLOWED. Can any ACD owners out there tell me if it is okay to board her with a boarding service for a week? I know that they are susceptible to sep. anxiety problems. We have some pretty good boarding facilities around us. Just concerned about the aeffect it may have on her development at this age to be gone from us for that long (5-6 days)
 

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Hi, have had some experience specifically with ACD's, and they're often a bit more 'high strung' than some other breeds, but ANY dog is likely to suffer anxiety probs when being taken to kennels or otherwise being separated from their people & home, if unprepared.

Think of it like parents leaving a child, without explanation, at a strangers, or orphanage. But if the child understands it's only short term, parent will be back soon, they mightn't be happy, but they will be far less likely to become seriously anxious or depressed. So I would start getting her used to it in small increments, as you can't explain to her, but can demonstrate you will always return.

Ideally, there might be a 'home care' type setup available in your area, where someone just takes on an extra or few at a time, adding them to their doggie family, rather than a 'kennels'. Find the appropriate place & visit it a few times. Meet & greet the staff & other 'inmates'. Put her in a pen(or whatever setup she will live in there) & stay with her the first time or few. Then leave her for short periods of time before returning. I'd ideally build up to an overnighter before you leave her for a longer period.
 

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We are having the reaction they fear when we have boarded our 16 month pit/lab pup.We've done it twice - once for 24 hours and 2nd time for 48 hours. She has what we believe is sep. anx. as she is super hyper, chews at the chain link fencing in the runs, and generally wore herself out the whole 2 days. We were going to vaca for 1-2 weeks but now don't feel comfortable leaving her at a kennel. At home she has no Sep. Anx. at all when we go to work or are out of her sight when she's in the yard. So we don't know if it's true Sep. Anx. She had been at the Humane Society almost since birth and we adopted her when she was 10 months old, and she's almost 16 months now. So how to we treat this type of Sep. Anx. ?
 

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Considering your dog Mabel has already had such a long association being 'impounded', I'm not surprised at her reaction - thinking she's finally found a family & then finding herself back at a place like that again.

I would suggest the same as above. Firstly & esp as this dog has had so much prior experience/anxiety with being locked in a 'gaol', I'd seriously urge you to find a 'home care' type setup for her, rather than a regular type 'kennels'. That there is already a strong association with these places means you will have to go ULTRA slowly & carefully if you want her to get used to that sort of place. And she may never.

Then just acclimatise the dog to the idea *gradually*. Eg. get her used to going to the place before you leave her there. Then when first leaving her, do it for very short times, before leaving her for longer, before leaving her a whole day or more.
 

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I know this is a late reply, but: while I was at camp my parents had to board my 5 month old ACD for a week while they went to Boston. They would have left her at home for a sitter to come but she'd injured her leg and needed to stay still for it to heal. And lord knows that left to her own devises she'd be running around, playing with her brother, and possibly reinjuring her leg. Anyway, she came back from the boarding place a totally different dog. She was much more confident around people, before she had been really nervous. I am so glad she was boarded, it was a great socialization experience. But I'm sure it depends on the place.
 
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