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Hello all, i am a first time dog owner. Exactly one week ago my girlfriend and I were walking around while we heard a dog crying in a dumpster. When we checked the dumpster we saw a little dog in there that had no collar and also did not have a microchip according to the vet. I decided to keep him as he is an adorable little boy. The vet determined his age to be about 8 months old. He also is not neutered. He is part terrier and the other part I am not too sure of. He has a long body with a curly tail that throws me off, but he is absolutely beautiful. The first 5 days having him, he was an awesome dog. He was friendly, calm, quiet, playful and overall very well behaved. However, these past two days he has decided to chew up carpet, not play with any of his toys and just cry when i am away. I've ran at least two miles with him every morning to make sure he is tired for when i leave to work and leave plenty of chew toys and bones out so he can play with but he does not seem interested in them when i am gone. When i am home he loves to play with them. I've tried putting him in a crate for when i am gone but that also seems like a no go since he refuses to go in a crate despite putting food and treats inside the crate. Maybe his old owner abused the crate as punishment but who knows. I also think he might have separation anxiety as he was abandoned. Is there anything that I can do to better his situation and keep him occupied when i am gone for a few hours a day? I would love some input.

Thank you.
 

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Hi. The separation anxiety is a common problem. In your case the dog might have been on the street since he was born, or who knows what happened to him before you found him. It is going to be hard to treat this problem. His environment has changed from cruel to loving. Now every time you leave him at home, he feels abandoned again and again. The running is a really good idea, the chew toys as well. Unfortunately the root of the problem is much deeper. You have to build up the pack for him. He feels insecure, anxious so he chews on the carpet. He doesnt know what is going on, everything has changed. You might loved him too much. Keep him on your lap, sofa, petting him too much...... and when you leave him, he is very depressed. It sounds weird but you need to keep a bit of distance and you need to educate him and correct the unwanted behaviours. Right now I have no time to explain but if you need guide, I am happy to help. Right now, I recommend you to leave the music on while you are gone. There are music on youtube for dog anxiety. There are playlists with each music is about 8 hours long. Play it for him and watch. I have a youtube channel and I have a short guide
 

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My sister's dog has separation anxiety and hates the crate. She was never abused with the crate, but she's one of the weird ones that don't like the den atmosphere. But we have to keep her in a crate to minimize damage to the house and keep her from defecating on the floor. She's housetrained, but we think her pooping inside issue is anxiety induced just like some dogs pee when nervous or scared. We tried melatonin with her, but it didn't really help. Next on our list is to try an anti-anxiety med from the vet. We also plan to spay her and hopefully that will calm her down some too.

I would suggest working with the crate as much as you can. It might take some time, but it will help minimize damage done to your house. Try a hard shell one where the top can be removed. Get him comfortable with hanging out in the bottom part with his favorite blanket or toy. Give him lots of love and praise when he does it successfully. Treat him. He's not gonna know that the crate is a good place unless you show him. Once you get him comfortable there, put the top on, but leave the door open. Treat him when he goes in successfully. Treat him when he stays in there successful. Finally close the door. Treat him before you open the door and treat him when you open it. Do not leave him in there for long periods of time at first. Start with 5 minutes and go from there. Each time he completes the time frame without whining or crying or barking, he gets a treat. Eventually he will understand that you ALWAYS come back and he gets a reward for being patient! It'll take time. Take it slow. Don't except too much too soon. You need to build trust with him. Right now he loves your love, but he doesn't trust you yet. He doesn't trust that you won't leave him. And why should he? Humans have let him down before. You need to show him that you're not like that and will always come back for him. We are trying to work on this with my sister's dog. So give it a try! We've got her to go in the crate... it's the whining and crying and barking we are trying to take care of now.
 
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