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I have a 13 year old neutered male dachshund whose alpha pack mate died last month. She was older, larger mutt that was always more dominant than him, so I was prepared for him to have to sort out the change after she died. I had no idea that he was going to lose his mind.
At first I thought the whining and crying were mourning, but it has persisted for weeks. For 7 years he slept in the den at night and was locked in there during the day with a doggie door to get out to the yard without any problems. Now he starts whimpering the moment he is locked in there and works himself up into a howling, panting mess. We aren't sleeping through the night because of it and the neighbors are starting to complain about him to the HOA.
Tried a Thundershirt; nothing.
Tried calming chews; nothing.
Tried an ultrasonic barkbox; nothing.
Tried crating him; only works when he is tired.
The vet checked him out and said he was healthy so we put him on Clonazepam, 1mg 3x daily close to two weeks ago. He sleeps heavier but he still gets turned up.
I had a trainer come to the house to read his body language and see his environment. She said that he is fixated on me now at almost OCD level. She taught me how to not reward that behavior but had no luck shutting down the freakout when I leave the room.
She suggested a bark collar to stop the noise while he adjusts but either it doesn't activate with high pitched whining or he is just ignoring it.
I want to be clear that I'm not coddling him or rewarding the behavior. I don't want the crying to stop because I feel bad for him, I need it to stop because its putting everyone on edge.

I'm running out of options here and my wife is losing her patience. These dogs were from a previous marriage and she's only put up with them because they were well behaved. She's starting to lean really hard on me to fix this or get rid of him, even though I don't think she really understand what that means.
HELP!
 

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She suggested a bark collar to stop the noise while he adjusts but either it doesn't activate with high pitched whining or he is just ignoring it.
Please do not use a bark collar! This will only make his anxiety worse!

How long did those dogs live together? How old were they when you got them and how far apart in age where they?

He sounds like he is having major separation anxiety and aversive methods will only make him worse.

I would recommend you look at these 2 links to start with ;

http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/separation-anxiety-29576/

http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/finding-trainer-behavior-consultant-behaviorist-113946/

Find a good behaviorist that does not use aversive methods, only Positive Reinforcement.

In the meantime, you will need a lot of patience and understanding towards this poor pup and your wife as well, he will pick up on your frustration and that won't help anyone.
Have you tried letting him sleep in your bedroom where he can see you and hear you? Where is his crate?

And I really don't buy it that he is "fixated on you to the point of being OCD", I think it's got to do with him being anxious and scared.
 
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Please do not use a bark collar! This will only make his anxiety worse!

How long did those dogs live together? How old were they when you got them and how far apart in age where they?

He sounds like he is having major separation anxiety and aversive methods will only make him worse.

I would recommend you look at these 2 links to start with ;

http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/separation-anxiety-29576/

http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/finding-trainer-behavior-consultant-behaviorist-113946/

Find a good behaviorist that does not use aversive methods, only Positive Reinforcement.

In the meantime, you will need a lot of patience and understanding towards this poor pup and your wife as well, he will pick up on your frustration and that won't help anyone.
Have you tried letting him sleep in your bedroom where he can see you and hear you? Where is his crate?

And I really don't buy it that he is "fixated on you to the point of being OCD", I think it's got to do with him being anxious and scared.
Mandy was 15 when she died a month ago and he is 13 now. We rescued her from the pound first when she was about 2 and got him as a puppy. She was around his entire life.

The way the trainer explained it is that with no other pack he's adopted me as his pack leader. Mandy lived in the same room as him all the time, so he was used to having her nearby. So it would be separation anxiety brought on by his heavy fixation on me. The presence of my wife or our kids doesn't do anything to calm him. They've never been part of his pack anyway.

She was very firm about not coddling him. Yes he's having trouble adjusting, but if I was to move his crate up to my bedroom then that just reinforces his attachment to me, which would then make his anxiety worse when I leave for work during the day. She made it sound like he needs to learn to be on his own since no one is home all day.
She said the use of the collar was to snap him out of his spiraling. When he gets going he walks around in daze whining and howling. If I just talk to him when he is like this he doesn't hear me, I have to clap my hands really loud to yell to get his attention. The theory is the collar would prevent him from ramping up to that state in the first place, but it hasn't worked.
He used to sleep just fine on a big pillow with blankets in the den; now he freaks if I put him in there for more an a few minutes. I tried putting the crate in the den but he will only be OK with being in it if I'm in the room, so we moved it to the family room. He will go into it on his own to sleep, but has become wary of going in it on command since he's figured out he may get locked in it. If he's tired enough he may sleep until I get up @ 4:30, if not he starts crying around 2am. The difficulty is when I leave for work my wife, who is still asleep tells me that he starts crying.

Its a sticky wicket. Giving in to the crying will only reinforces the behavior when I'm not there, but letting him work it out on his own isn't working either. He cried, howled and whined for three hours straight on Sunday. He was panting and drooling like he had been running the whole time but showed no sign of stopping.
Is clonazepam by its self maybe not enough? If it hasn't worked in 2 weeks should I move on to something like Prozac?
Is there a startle method beside the barkbox or collar that works better with whining instead of barking?
Would having someone take him for a week help him "get over" me?
 

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That poor puppy. To lose a dog that he has known his whole life must be seriously traumatizing.

As you have seen, the bark collar/box doesn't work, and your trainer sounds like a dummy. You are not his "pack leader" since he knows you're not a dog. ;)

Will he take treats in a worked up state? If he does, then every time he stops being noisy, even for a second, I would mark that behaviour (say Yes! or use a clicker) and give him a treat. Make it an insanely delicious treat. For very "expensive" behaviours I want my dog to do (like ignoring other dogs on walks) I use steak. When he starts being noisy, turn away and don't look at him. If you are consistent, he should start to realize that being quiet = treats.

I also think you should revisit crate training, since he may have forgotten (Crate Training) I would move the crate to my bedroom. If he's going to cry regardless, you might as well see if having him in your room helps him settle.

I don't think he is "overly attached" to you. I think this was a major change in his life, and he is looking to you for some direction and clarification as to what's happening.

Good luck you you. Please keep us posted. :)
 

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I'm sorry for the loss of your other dog.

Your daxie is an old dog and lost his life long companion, who from his point of view , suddenly disappeared. He is bewildered and fearful and is unable to cope with being alone.
If he is shut in a den all night and you are at work all day, how much time you do actually spend with him?
I would let him in your room too at night, at least that would let you sleep.
As to this reinforcing his behaviour in the day , every time you leave him in the den and he cries that is reinforcing the behaviour. It becomes his default behaviour because he doesn't know what else to do to relieve the feelings of fear and panic. He needs to learn how to cope alone.

You'll have to ask your vet about prozac, I would consult a clinical vet behaviourist if you can , one who is properly trained.
 

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What checks did the vet do ? Is his sight and hearing ok ?

When he gets going he walks around in daze whining and howling. If I just talk to him when he is like this he doesn't hear me, I have to clap my hands really loud to yell to get his attention.
Dogs with cognitive problems do this. Its worth checking out.
Stess can exacerberate any underling health problems too.
 

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The way the trainer explained it is that with no other pack he's adopted me as his pack leader. Mandy lived in the same room as him all the time, so he was used to having her nearby. So it would be separation anxiety brought on by his heavy fixation on me. The presence of my wife or our kids doesn't do anything to calm him. They've never been part of his pack anyway.
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/dominance-dogs-4076/

The dominance/alpha theory has been debunked and is a really outdated "understanding" on dogs and their behavior.
Maybe having your wife train him a bit every day and give him treats will get them closer.

She was very firm about not coddling him. Yes he's having trouble adjusting, but if I was to move his crate up to my bedroom then that just reinforces his attachment to me, which would then make his anxiety worse when I leave for work during the day. She made it sound like he needs to learn to be on his own since no one is home all day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOhpr3NO3TY

Please watch this video that I linked, by Kikopup.

She said the use of the collar was to snap him out of his spiraling. When he gets going he walks around in daze whining and howling. If I just talk to him when he is like this he doesn't hear me, I have to clap my hands really loud to yell to get his attention. The theory is the collar would prevent him from ramping up to that state in the first place, but it hasn't worked.
Is there a startle method beside the barkbox or collar that works better with whining instead of barking?
Throw the collar away and do not get another "tool" that's meant to startle the dog. He is scared and confused as it is and those tools will only traumatize him further. Even if he stopped whining when you use it, it isn't good. It only means that it would have scared him enough for him to shutdown. You have to deal with the actual problem, not the "symptoms" of it, if that makes sense?

http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/suppression-modification-shutdown-fallout-4776/

I would second what @Shandula said about starting crate training 101.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wesm2OpE_2c - how to capture calmness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGxhcb-itO4 - teaching your dog to be left alone.

These 2 videos above are good to watch so you can see the concept.
"How to capture calmness" is just a good way to show him that it's good to be calm. It can't hurt to try that along with it.

Ohh, and please look into clicker training. :)
 
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That poor puppy. To lose a dog that he has known his whole life must be seriously traumatizing.

As you have seen, the bark collar/box doesn't work, and your trainer sounds like a dummy. You are not his "pack leader" since he knows you're not a dog. ;)

Will he take treats in a worked up state? If he does, then every time he stops being noisy, even for a second, I would mark that behaviour (say Yes! or use a clicker) and give him a treat. Make it an insanely delicious treat. For very "expensive" behaviours I want my dog to do (like ignoring other dogs on walks) I use steak. When he starts being noisy, turn away and don't look at him. If you are consistent, he should start to realize that being quiet = treats.

I also think you should revisit crate training, since he may have forgotten (Crate Training) I would move the crate to my bedroom. If he's going to cry regardless, you might as well see if having him in your room helps him settle.

I don't think he is "overly attached" to you. I think this was a major change in his life, and he is looking to you for some direction and clarification as to what's happening.

Good luck you you. Please keep us posted. :)
Thank you for the reply.
The reason I can believe that he is obsessing over me is that before he was pretty independent. He would go sleep in the other room of his own accord and generally didn't make a fuss. My understanding of the breed is that is typical behavior; when they aren't hounding they go into "whatever" mode.
Now he is glued to my side all the time. He only does it to me and freaks out if I leave even if my wife and kids are right there.
I use hot dog slices as treats and to feed him his meds. The trainer showed me how to act when he's being anxious, recognized the body language for when he calms down, and the proper way to reward him. At the moment his body language pretty much only goes from anxious to asleep.
He does sleep in the crate and goes to it as his default comfort spot. He used to go into it on command but has stopped doing that recently. On the week days I only get about 6 hours of sleep so he can put up with being in the crate that long. On the weekends if I try to get 8 he starts crying.
My concerns about moving the crate up to my bedroom are:
1.) He's a pee-er. I'm not totally sure he will make it down stairs in the morning when I let him out without pi$$ing all over the place.
2.) I don't want to drag his cage up and down the stairs every day.
3.) That will get him through the night but then what? How does that help him for the next 11 hours while I'm gone?
I'm not dead set against it, I'm just worried that it will be a step backwards towards him being more dependent on my presence and not towards the goal have having him be used to being on his own. Doxies are as tenacious as they are prone to being spoiled. Give them an inch and they will want a mile.
 

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I'm sorry for the loss of your other dog.

Your daxie is an old dog and lost his life long companion, who from his point of view , suddenly disappeared. He is bewildered and fearful and is unable to cope with being alone.
If he is shut in a den all night and you are at work all day, how much time you do actually spend with him?
I would let him in your room too at night, at least that would let you sleep.
As to this reinforcing his behaviour in the day , every time you leave him in the den and he cries that is reinforcing the behaviour. It becomes his default behaviour because he doesn't know what else to do to relieve the feelings of fear and panic. He needs to learn how to cope alone.

You'll have to ask your vet about prozac, I would consult a clinical vet behaviourist if you can , one who is properly trained.
I am thinking about asking for Prozac or Zoloft for him. The clonazepam doesn't seem to do much.
I spend about a half hour with him before I leave for work, then I get home around 5pm and go to bed @ 10. It is no fun for him I'm sure, but he was able to handle it for the last 6 years until now. I make sure that he gets his walk in that time.
My worry about having him sleep in his crate in our bedroom is that if my presences is his soothing mechanism, and I reinforce that, doesn't it make it worse when I'm not there? My guidance to him is to try to get to him deal with being alone, but that doesn't seem to be taking. Our bedroom is also upstairs and I don't really want him going up and down stairs at his age, nor do I want to move his cage twice a day.
 

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What checks did the vet do ? Is his sight and hearing ok ?



Dogs with cognitive problems do this. Its worth checking out.
Stess can exacerberate any underling health problems too.
They did a bunch of blood work; a "senior" battery that cost me $200 dollars :mad: and found nothing. Vision and hearing seem fine. He can look around from his crate to tell when I'm not in the room and can hear the subfloor creak well enough at night when I walk around and start whining.
My other dog Mandy started having cognitive problems and the differences were pretty obvious. He doesn't get stuck in corners, he is alert and responsive, he doesn't 'forget' to go outside to potty (he just does it out of nerves or spite; has since he was a puppy), and right up until the day Mandy died didn't exhibit any of these behaviors except for the whining. Since he was a puppy he has just been a whiny wiener, but never this loud.
 

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http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/dominance-dogs-4076/

The dominance/alpha theory has been debunked and is a really outdated "understanding" on dogs and their behavior.
Maybe having your wife train him a bit every day and give him treats will get them closer.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOhpr3NO3TY

Please watch this video that I linked, by Kikopup.





Throw the collar away and do not get another "tool" that's meant to startle the dog. He is scared and confused as it is and those tools will only traumatize him further. Even if he stopped whining when you use it, it isn't good. It only means that it would have scared him enough for him to shutdown. You have to deal with the actual problem, not the "symptoms" of it, if that makes sense?

http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/suppression-modification-shutdown-fallout-4776/

I would second what @Shandula said about starting crate training 101.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wesm2OpE_2c - how to capture calmness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGxhcb-itO4 - teaching your dog to be left alone.

These 2 videos above are good to watch so you can see the concept.
"How to capture calmness" is just a good way to show him that it's good to be calm. It can't hurt to try that along with it.

Ohh, and please look into clicker training. :)
Reading on these subjects and watching the videos gave me some things to think about. I was trying to get him used to being in the den again with treats. I'll give it a try with the clicker.
 

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I experimented with some different things last night to see what would happen.

First, I picked up a clicker and worked on getting him to associate it with food. Then I did a little work trying to get him to hang out in the den by himself. His tolerance for being in there seems really low. Then I worked on not rewarding him until he is calm by locking both he and I in there together and ignoring him until he settles down. It took up to 10 minutes for the whining to stop and the body language to show him being relaxed. Sometimes when I rewarded him the cycle would start over again and it would take another 10 minutes for him to calm down.
I worked a little on trying to go into the crate on command, which he used to do without any problems, but now won't do unless I lift him in there or coerce him with food, unless he decides to go in there on his own. After he was in I used the clicker and rewards to praise him for staying in it.
I thought doing all that work would tire him out. Nope. He woke up @ 3am and started crying. Sometimes I can get him to be quiet by giving him a loud "shh" from the stairs, but after the 3rd time of doing this, I decided to check to see if me being in the room with him locked in his crate would help. I went to sleep on the couch next to his crate, or tried to, as it took 20 minutes for him to stop whimpering and go back to to sleep. Which is great except that's about when my alarm went off.
So 5 hours of sleep and I'm no closer to figuring out how to calm him down enough to sleep through the night.
 

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I think it's going to take more than one night for any new training technique to take hold. You're going to have to stick with it for awhile. I know that's small consolation when you're sleep-deprived, but I'd suggest that you stay the course.

My dog suffered from moderate separation anxiety when I adopted him a year and a half ago. It took some months for him to settle in and get used to our schedule. I found that wearing a ThunderShirt helped a lot. Now, he's completely fine. There was no magic, immediate cure, but he got better with time and patience.
 

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I think it's going to take more than one night for any new training technique to take hold. You're going to have to stick with it for awhile. I know that's small consolation when you're sleep-deprived, but I'd suggest that you stay the course.

My dog suffered from moderate separation anxiety when I adopted him a year and a half ago. It took some months for him to settle in and get used to our schedule. I found that wearing a ThunderShirt helped a lot. Now, he's completely fine. There was no magic, immediate cure, but he got better with time and patience.
The sleep deprivation is only one problem.
My wife want me to get rid of him and I live in a town home. My attached neighbors are leaving notes on my door and calling the HOA. It ain't my patience that's a factor here. That's why I'm so desperate to get this handled ASAP.
 

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I have a dog, Jaya, that due to a very abusive past is almost feral (but getting over that very slowly)...this in turn has made her very anxious, fearful people...and also because she was isolated outside so much, she's fearful of new sounds and sights and also I need to let her out often as she's still not accustomed to being inside, and the walls tend to close in on her...she is still prone to panic attacks at times.

The vet and I put her on Prozac... not only to lower her anxiety and keep her from panicking at every little thing...but a mind in torment...is not really able to learn anything. The Prozac helped to calm down Jaya mind. She was then more receptive to paying attention to me, and my signals and allow me to talk to her without running or cringing. There was so much anxiety and fear, nothing was getting through.

If your dog is to this point with the anxiety...you might want to ask your vet about a 3 or 4 month treatment plan with Prozac. It worked wonders with Jaya. She still reacted to things...but not so fast, and without as much intensity...and she recovered more quickly if she bolted away...she would come back quicker and kind of study the situation. I felt like I was able to communicate with her much better and things were sinking in past all that anxiety and fear.

Also, I don't know if your dog has any stuffed animals...but you might try a large one, that he might want to snuggle against....maybe even warm the stuffed animal up with a heating pad the first 3 or 4 nights, and after it's warm, put it in his bed with him..just to let your dog feel the warmth of something furry...like his lost companion. (please don't put a heating pad in with him, even on low, burns can still happen, but also a dog can scratch or bite their way through the electrical wiring)

It's not the same, but it might be just a tiny thing that could make him feel safe and comforted.

Also, I know your dog is old, but I had a friend who's elderly dog still loved to play...maybe a good long playing session or walk before bed would help too...get some of that energy released that being used on anxiety attacks.

Stormy
 

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I have a dog, Jaya, that due to a very abusive past is almost feral (but getting over that very slowly)...this in turn has made her very anxious, fearful people...and also because she was isolated outside so much, she's fearful of new sounds and sights and also I need to let her out often as she's still not accustomed to being inside, and the walls tend to close in on her...she is still prone to panic attacks at times.

The vet and I put her on Prozac... not only to lower her anxiety and keep her from panicking at every little thing...but a mind in torment...is not really able to learn anything. The Prozac helped to calm down Jaya mind. She was then more receptive to paying attention to me, and my signals and allow me to talk to her without running or cringing. There was so much anxiety and fear, nothing was getting through.

If your dog is to this point with the anxiety...you might want to ask your vet about a 3 or 4 month treatment plan with Prozac. It worked wonders with Jaya. She still reacted to things...but not so fast, and without as much intensity...and she recovered more quickly if she bolted away...she would come back quicker and kind of study the situation. I felt like I was able to communicate with her much better and things were sinking in past all that anxiety and fear.

Also, I don't know if your dog has any stuffed animals...but you might try a large one, that he might want to snuggle against....maybe even warm the stuffed animal up with a heating pad the first 3 or 4 nights, and after it's warm, put it in his bed with him..just to let your dog feel the warmth of something furry...like his lost companion. (please don't put a heating pad in with him, even on low, burns can still happen, but also a dog can scratch or bite their way through the electrical wiring)

It's not the same, but it might be just a tiny thing that could make him feel safe and comforted.

Also, I know your dog is old, but I had a friend who's elderly dog still loved to play...maybe a good long playing session or walk before bed would help too...get some of that energy released that being used on anxiety attacks.

Stormy
Thank you for sharing.
Thankfully Hughbert isn't aggressive in any way (quiet the opposite, he's a little wuss) so as I've pondered other possible meds for him I was thinking more of something like Zoloft. I think I can let him go one more week on the clonazepam.
I did think about a stuffed animal at first to act as a sort of surrogate. Typically he destroys small stuffed animals or anything with a squeaker so I wasn't sure if I was setting myself up for a big mess. Its a thought. He and Mandy were never the snuggle types (I think she only put up with him at our insistence) but having something within sight might matter.
He gets his walk around 9 or so. He has never been much of a player. He used tug or chase things but only for a few minutes and then he'd suddenly stop and lose interest. I tried playing with him this morning and he didn't seem to care. He also doesn't want to kill the squeaky thing I bought for him a while ago.
 

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The sleep deprivation is only one problem.
My wife want me to get rid of him and I live in a town home. My attached neighbors are leaving notes on my door and calling the HOA. It ain't my patience that's a factor here. That's why I'm so desperate to get this handled ASAP.
That's a tough situation. I really sympatheze with you. Stormy's post has some good suggestions about medications. Maybe that would help.

When your wife says that she "wants to get rid of him," where does she expect him to go? I think it would be next to impossible to find another family who would take him. Is she pushing for the local shelter? My local high-kill shelter gets owner dumps of senior dogs all of the time. It's heartbreaking to see these seniors lying alone and depressed on the cold floor amid a hundred barking dogs until they are taken to the back and killed. I can't imagine a worse fate for a family dog.

With a lot of hard work, you might, just might, be able to find a senior dog rescue that would take him. I don't how feasible this option is. It might end up being as challenging as finding a private adopter.

So, at the end of the day, I think you're looking at a humane euthansia, in which you take your dog to your vet and do whatever you can to make him comfortable.
 

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I'm sorry but are you leaving your dog crated for 11 hours a day while you're gone?

Dogs don't do things out of spite. Spite is an emotion that humans feel. Dogs don't feel hatred, they feel fear which is very different.

200 dollars is nothing when it comes to vet bills. I just spent 460 dollars on Cosmo's leg and nothing was wrong. Better safe than sorry.

If he's been alone like that every day for 6 years but had a companion with him the whole time, it's likely he's breaking down as he realizes he's now alone and has nobody for the rest of the day. Leaving a dog alone all the time can lead to anxiety, stress, and doggy depression which leaves a dog mentally shut down. Dogs are social creatures, and depriving them of social interaction - especially when they're so used to it - can be detrimental to their health.

Perhaps trying to find the time for your dog rather than shutting him in a crate all day? That's a bit what owning a dog is about. Actually spending time with them.

I don't meant to sound rude but so far you've disputed much of the advice given on here just to continue supporting your own tactics like shock collars which is an awful cruel way to deal with an anxious stressed dog. Imagine if your best friend or sister had just died and you were now left alone all day in a box with nobody there, and on top of that every time you cried you were shocked by a collar around your neck.

Try to find some sympathy for this dog. Your trainer telling you firmly to not coddle your dog is bull crap if I'm being honest. That's what this dog needs more of imo. Some time and effort.
 

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That's a tough situation. I really sympatheze with you. Stormy's post has some good suggestions about medications. Maybe that would help.

When your wife says that she "wants to get rid of him," where does she expect him to go? I think it would be next to impossible to find another family who would take him. Is she pushing for the local shelter? My local high-kill shelter gets owner dumps of senior dogs all of the time. It's heartbreaking to see these seniors lying alone and depressed on the cold floor amid a hundred barking dogs until they are taken to the back and killed. I can't imagine a worse fate for a family dog.

With a lot of hard work, you might, just might, be able to find a senior dog rescue that would take him. I don't how feasible this option is. It might end up being as challenging as finding a private adopter.

So, at the end of the day, I think you're looking at a humane euthansia, in which you take your dog to your vet and do whatever you can to make him comfortable.
I don't think she understands what she is saying. That's the problem. I had these dogs before I met her and she's been able to put up with because they were well behaved with a "no replacements" policy.
My first wife left me with a cat, three dogs, a gecko, and 4 ferrets. My second would think twice if she had gone through everything I've had to. That's not the dog's fault though; that's my own anxiety.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm sorry but are you leaving your dog crated for 11 hours a day while you're gone?

Dogs don't do things out of spite. Spite is an emotion that humans feel. Dogs don't feel hatred, they feel fear which is very different.

200 dollars is nothing when it comes to vet bills. I just spent 460 dollars on Cosmo's leg and nothing was wrong. Better safe than sorry.

If he's been alone like that every day for 6 years but had a companion with him the whole time, it's likely he's breaking down as he realizes he's now alone and has nobody for the rest of the day. Leaving a dog alone all the time can lead to anxiety, stress, and doggy depression which leaves a dog mentally shut down. Dogs are social creatures, and depriving them of social interaction - especially when they're so used to it - can be detrimental to their health.

Perhaps trying to find the time for your dog rather than shutting him in a crate all day? That's a bit what owning a dog is about. Actually spending time with them.

I don't meant to sound rude but so far you've disputed much of the advice given on here just to continue supporting your own tactics like shock collars which is an awful cruel way to deal with an anxious stressed dog. Imagine if your best friend or sister had just died and you were now left alone all day in a box with nobody there, and on top of that every time you cried you were shocked by a collar around your neck.

Try to find some sympathy for this dog. Your trainer telling you firmly to not coddle your dog is bull crap if I'm being honest. That's what this dog needs more of imo. Some time and effort.
I've never had to crate him before this. 11 hours seems totally excessive to me too, but I'm getting conflicting info. On one hand I'm being told to limit his access to a smaller space to help calm him, on the other of course he is going to get bored in a crate. Everyone says the crate is supposed to be a den of some kind to help him relax. For the first 5 years of his life he had complete run of my house and yard, and for the last 8 I limited him to one room during the day and the whole yard; it was never a problem. Now he's miserable no matter what I do. The rock and hard place I'm stuck between is either crating him during the day, or let him have all the space he wants, which leads to him going out in the yard at 7am and howling until I get home. I love my buddy, but my neighbors don't give two $#!&s about what my or his problems are.
I've stopped using the collar, not that it worked anyway, and the bark box.
I'm on the fence about what to do about crating him. He cries no matter what. I'm working on more training with him but if the HOA fines me I can't really come back with "give me a few months to train him."
I'm getting conflicting stuff about coddling him as well. If I crate him in our room over night that may help get him through the night, but won't help at all for during the day. I'm confused as to whether or not he can adjust to being on his own if I allow him to sleep in the same room as us.
I'm totally aware of how much this must suck for him. He's watched his pack wither away. I've shared his loss. However if there is one thing I've learned in life is that your personal losses are mere inconveniences to others. I can suck it up; I have to find a way to get him to adjust before we get in trouble.
 
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