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Hi there!

We adopted our 10 month old lab cross from our local shelter a few days ago and so far, he seems mostly ok. However, when my partner or leave the house (or goes to sit in the bedroom for example or has a shower) he really cries and then begins to bark. We have tried distraction, lots of love and reassurance and rewards for good behavior, repetition etc but nothing seems to sooth him until the other person comes back.

We're too scared to leave him with completely alone at this point because we dont want to make it worse.

Any tips? We want to get this right for him and us but it's proving to be really hard.

Thanks!
 

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This is called "separation anxiety".

It affects a lot of dogs. There are things you can do to help your dog deal with it better but don't expect a quick fix.

Google that, read up on it and then ask follow up questions.
 

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This might help

 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is called "separation anxiety".

It affects a lot of dogs. There are things you can do to help your dog deal with it better but don't expect a quick fix.

Google that, read up on it and then ask follow up questions.
Believe me, I have barely slept because I have been googling separation anxiety over and over and over again. I know it's normal, he's only been with us a short time but I was looking to see if anyone had gone through a similar real life experience, just in case, more for my anxiety and well being that anything. But thanks for the reply none the less.
 

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Believe me, I have barely slept because I have been googling separation anxiety over and over and over again. I know it's normal, he's only been with us a short time but I was looking to see if anyone had gone through a similar real life experience, just in case, more for my anxiety and well being that anything. But thanks for the reply none the less.
I'm curious what you have learned about this condition so far.
 

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Indeed. Doing your own homework is usually very instructive.

I honestly hope that you make progress.
I think I'll continue what I have been doing and do my homework AND ask other dog owners for their advice and reassurance, not just stay away and deal with it on my own. It takes a village, remember :)
 

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My current dog had very severe separation anxiety when I first adopted him. He'd bark and whine and cry. He destroyed my last apartment, broke a door, chewed up a wicker basket and floors and carpeting and anything and everything he found. He tried to get through the third floor windows and knocked two large heavy air conditioners out of the windows and broke the screens. I couldn't leave him in a hot apartment in the summer and at his last home he was reported to have broken out of a crate. It's not recommended to crate dogs with separation anxiety because they can get si frantic to escape they can seriously hurt themselves. He was terrified of the crate I have and is too big for it anyway. It's left over from my last dog. I personally don't believe in locking any animal in a crate, it's there and if any of my past or present dogs choose to go in there for a break fine.
I had to take my dog to see a veterinary behaviorist. We saw a famous one who actually wrote a book on separation anxiety. He prescribed a medication sertraline that helped a lot. After being on it for 3 years I gradually weaned my dog off it and now he's fine being alone for even 12 or more hours and I get home and he's cuddled on bed with my cats. He still hates to be alone and is very exuberant greeting me and follows me around. But he's not destructive or dangerous anymore.
The medicine is a human antidepressant and takes 4 to 6 weeks to work
My dog had a violent negative reaction to the short term fast acting sedatives that would have helped in the meantime and I've learned he can't take any benzodiazepines at all. He does get knocked out and sleep for a few hours but them he becomes too disinhibited like an angry drunk as the vet explains and has absolutely no censor and overreacts to everything, barks and lunges at every person he sees and starts fighting with other dogs. No filter and all I can do for the next 48 hours it takes to wear off is cuddle with him in bed in a quiet dark room with no stimuli at all.
So for those first six weeks he had to be on doggy daycare while I was at work because he loves other dogs, someone had to stay with him constantly or I literally had to bring him everywhere and leave him in my car with the AC or heat blasting and treats for him to chew on. That's what even the behaviorist recommended and gave me a note to put on my windshield so the police wouldn't harass me. He said many dogs are less stressed in cars than at home because it's a more stimulating environment and I could check on him more frequently. I had a job where I could bring him in and work a lot after hours, bring him to many client meetings and work a lot from home and only have to leave him during official staff meetings and could adjust my schedule a lot.

So flexible work, doggy daycare and ultimately medication really made a huge difference. Now he's much calmer and happier overall and completely unrecognizable from the anxious dog I adopted. Having a good loving home and being both spoiled and trained makes a huge difference. IMG_20200718_193426.jpg
 
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