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New to the forums. First post, so take it easy with the rubber glove.

I have a nine year-old Carolina Dog that has developed such an attachment to me it seems as if he will now do nothing without me. I had heard that these dogs develop an incredible bond with their owner, but this is getting a bit crazy.

A bit of history: He was a wild dog when I got him at a shelter. He ran with a pack that included his brother and his mother, all of which had to be put down (they could not be socialized to humans) except for my boy.This has probably been the best dog ever (yeah everyone says that) but he really has been great. He is wicked smart, mad loyal and only protective at the right times. He doesn't bark much, is good with other dogs, loves everyone, has only had 1 potty accident in his life when he was a puppy, and loves to run. Awesome temperament.

These dogs are pretty high-energy, so we used to walk about 4-5 miles a day, which has been whittled down a bit to 3 miles due to the onset of arthritis in his front paws. As he sees me the most (we live alone, no wife, kids, etc) when I am home he is always pretty close. He has never been much for playing by himself or occupying his time without me, but the COVID-19 lock-down has taken it to extreme levels.

He is good and tired after his exercise. He will catch a nap or lounge, but will now do nothing else - without me. He doesn't chew on a bone, play with his toys, or do anything without my interaction. If I didn't play with him, he would never do anything except stare at me, or occasionally stare out the window. If take him outside in the yard, he doesn't go explore new scents or anything - he now stays within 10 feet of me at all times. Worse yet, he has developed the worst case of separation anxiety I have ever seen. If I leave him alone to run errands, he starts howling before I get to the bottom of my driveway.

How bad is it now? I put a Nest Cam on him, and I left to run errands. I came home and reviewed the footage. He howled 36 times in one hour. It was like his world was ending. I have tried every behavior mod I could find online. Give him a treat when I leave - he won't touch it until I return. Buy him "smart-dog" toys that he has to figure out - he won't play with them unless I am home, and then he figures them out in 5 minutes. I have tried acclimation therapy, where you only leave for a few minutes and then increase the time gradually..it doesn't work. I setup hand gestures and "home" and "away" commands to see if he could recall the fact that I would be coming "home" eventually, after the "away."

The vet recommended a tranquilizer, so we tried 100MG of Trazadone....which had absolutely no effect so I discontinued it.

Anyone have a dog like this and if you have you resolved these issues, what is the secret? I suspect the lockdown may be the culprit but I have no way of knowing for sure.

Any help is appreciated.

-John
 

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SA is very distressing.

Have you seen our page on it here -


Also, in the house, I suggest playing the Flitting Game described about ⅔ of the way down this page

 

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Trazodone just makes them sleep. My dog had extremely severe separation anxiety and a human antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft) made a huge difference for him. It helps more with anxiety and depression. After 3 years I gradually weaned him off it and he's fine alone for hours now. I get home and he's cuddled in bed with the cats.
My dog absolutely loves other dogs so doggy daycare was perfect for him it was the only place he forgot about me leaving him.
Would that help your dog?
Mine is also very smart and literally is like Houdini he can and has escaped anything and everything in the past. L
 
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