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A few months ago I adopted my dog Mora from a pound, they told me she was 6 months old and was a mix of German shepherd and malinois. I've owned a few German shepherds before so I figured that this pup would be easy enough to train.

Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case. She is really hyperactive so I try to take her on long hikes and walks everyday, but I can't trust her at home. She rips apart doors, and tears apart furniture, etc. Whenever I try to discipline her she begins to pee on herself and all over the house (other than when she's being disciplined she never has accidents inside).

She's a wonderful puppy, and she's great with other people and dogs, but I feel like I can't trust her alone anywhere more more than 5 minutes.

Help!! Anyone with experience with a malinois pup or with this sort of behavior in general, it would be sooooo appreciated!
 

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It sounds like she's very anxious. Could be separation anxiety. Gsds commonly get it as they bond strongly with their owners. Does she bark and whine and cry when alone as well as destroy things? She might need a behaviorist visit. My dog has separation anxiety and medication as well as behavior training helped a lot.
 

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It sounds like she's very anxious. Could be separation anxiety. Gsds commonly get it as they bond strongly with their owners. Does she bark and whine and cry when alone as well as destroy things? She might need a behaviorist visit. My dog has separation anxiety and medication as well as behavior training helped a lot.
Yes! I definitely think she could have separation anxiety. I will definitely look into a behaviorist, I hadn't thought of having another person come in to work with her. thank you!
 

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Have you done any research into Malinois at all? Out of curiosity, what kind of breeding did your previous GSDs come from (ie, show lines, pet lines, working lines)? What kind of training experience do you have from these past dogs?

Mals are... different. Especially when they're bred from working lines, which a whole lot of them are. They are prone to destructive behavior (often from boredom), tend to have very high and very specific exercise needs (needing BOTH mental and physical exercise), and often have a lot of trouble "turning off"/settling (and often need to be taught to do so). It is important to keep in mind that what would be considered abnormal behavior in another breed- often severely abnormal behavior- would be considered pretty normal for a Mal. I think this description of the breed does a good job of detailing what I mean by that: The Malinois Ranch Rescue

First, a note on separation anxiety... Personally, from this description of the dog alone, I would not jump straight to separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is possible, but it's always the first step to rule out other possible behavior issues first. Destructive behavior alone would make me think "boredom" more than "anxiety", depending on the exact nature of that behavior (see below). Signs that this behavior is caused by anxiety and is actually indicative of separation anxiety would include the presence of other symptoms such as:
- Inappropriately excited greetings on return (not just jumping and happy wagging- I'm talking things like intense vocalizations like excited screeching, or a sustained reaction for more than 5 minutes after arrival)
- Excessive water consumption on return
- Shadowing (following from room to room, unwillingness to remain in a room without you)
- Unwillingness to eat without you present
- Signs of sweating paw pads or drooling when gone
- Heavy panting when gone when not hot
- Pacing when gone
- Destruction focused on points of entry/exit or escape (think doorways, windows, either chewing or pawing)
- In extreme cases, self-injurious behavior either through self-mutilation (through licking or hair pulling) or through attempts to escape (torn toenails, broken teeth, bloody paws, etc)
Note that to see most of these it would require recording your absence- if you think that these might be occurring I can go into more detail on how you might do that. Also, the severity would be the same whether she was completely alone (without you) or whether she was just without you but accompanied by another human or dog.

From your post, I'm getting 2 main issues:
(1) destructive behavior when left alone
(2) submissive urination when "disciplined".

Addressing (1): Does she or has she ever attempted this behavior while you are home/with her? If yes, what was your reaction and her response? Is the level/intensity of destruction the same if you're gone for 5 minutes or 20? Is she able to be unsupervised in another room without you without destroying it? Is she crate trained at all? I don't want to try offering any concrete advise on it until I get more information in those areas.

Addressing (2): what does "discipline" mean? In terms of addressing it- get softer with her. Be very aware of body language and voice level and tone. Her peeing is a fear response, showing that you've literally scared the pee out of her. Not all dogs are confident enough to handle a raised voice, even.

You might consider joining some breed community pages- there are a few on FB that might offer some perspective.

I would echo the suggestion to find in-person, professional help. Note that if someone is saying they are a "behaviorist", they should have some kind of graduate degree in animal behavior, a CAAB or ACAAB certification from the Animal Behavior Society, or even a CBCC-KA certification through the Certification Countil of Professional Dog Trainers. If they're marketing themselves as a behaviorist without any credentials- run. IME that does not reflect a solid understanding of the science of dog behavior and cognition and often reflects that they operate using questionable methods.

Not being able to leave any ~8 month old puppy loose in the house without coming back to destruction is pretty normal. Broken furniture and doors is a bit extreme, but truthfully if he breed guess is correct, I'd be willing to call it normal behavior.

Hope that provided some kind of help/insight!
 

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I'd confine her safely, & give her busywork.

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re submissive urination:
Dogs don't do this "on purpose", it's an instinctive & uncontrollable response. Puppies are much-more prone to it than adult dogs - however, it's also a heritable susceptibility, & well-known in some breeds [Cocker Spaniels, for instance].
So it's possible that U have a dog whose sphincter is a little looser when she's stressed or anxious, due to genetics; we'll hope that's not so. If worst comes to worst, she might need panties with a disposable liner for high-stress situations [visitors, especially very-tall / loud persons, or for some dogs, any strange men].

By 6-MO, most dogs have outgrown the puppy tendency to spring a leak when they feel anxious or scared, unless it's a BIG scare - so either she has a sensitive temp, or U're being too intense when U 'discipline' her.
6-MO is puberty, the rough equivalent of 12 to 14-YO in humans, behaviorally, & most humans outgrow "peeing their pants" under moderate stress by school-age [5 to 6-YO]; most puppies similarly do so, by approx 3 to 4-MO.

I'd also like to know what 'discipline' includes -
it can be many things, & even a hard stare or displays of anger can unnerve some dogs. Collar jerks, dragging her to the scene of her 'crime', etc, are useless when U come home to already-existing damage. It's done; U don't know WHEN it was done - it could have been 15-mins after U walked out the door, & it's an hour or more later when U return - & punishing after the fact only damages her trust. :(

U can interrupt a dog in the act of doing something unwanted, by redirecting her / him with a cue for a conflicting behavior, something the dog can't do while also performing the unwanted actions, or with a mild startle [clap hands], etc, & no harm is done; the action is clearly connected to the dog's action ATM, & there's less chance of confusion on the dog's part.
Interruptions are very unlikely to cause fallout, but given her apparently sensitive temp, i'd make them low-key ["Whoops!" or 'uh-oh!' in a cheerful tone might be quite sufficient, for her].

given her breed-mix, overattachment is a common issue, & certainly as above, boredom is a big problem -
"Something to do, & a place to do it" is a crying need in any dog, & my simple preference would be an airline-approved shipping-crate [which serves as transport kennel & evac unit], plus a stuffed & frozen Kong, or other long-lasting busywork / pacifier.
Put her whole meal in a Kong or 2, freeze it rock-solid overnight [tip down in an empty yogurt container, WITH the lid on, keeps it upright & prevents freezer-burn], & give her one or both Kongs B4 U leave. :)

I'd put the crate away from the main door, with setback, so if there's foot traffic or a delivery, she won't be upset / will be less upset. Another solid interior door between her & any high-traffic areas, to reduce noise, is also good - if the bedroom is the quietest room, i'd put the crate there; whatever works to make her feel secure & lets her relax.

If U don't have a crate, CraigsList, eBay, PreLoved, gumTree, & other "classified ad" sites are good sources for used airline crates; a used model saves about 1/2 the new retail cost.
A standard 2 x 2 x 3 should fit her fine - they're actually abt 26-W x 27-H x 36-L; she only needs to be able to enter, U-turn, & exit, she won't be standing erect with her head & neck at full extension. // Try on the floor models at any pet supply; if she must BACK out, it's too small; if she can stand & raise her head fully, it's too big.
They last for decades, if not left outside in the sun repeatedly [UV will make the resin brittle], & will keep her safe in the car, plus keep her calmer - if she's the type to whine or bark at passing traffic, flip the crate so the solid bottom is up, & she can travel without seeing the cars, trucks, & dogs out the windows. ;)

HTH,
- terry

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I would sign up for an obedience class with a force free trainer immediately. Active breeds need a job. It's great that you're hiking with her but her brain needs to work as well. Sign up for an obedience class and speak with the instructor about possible sports for your dog.
 

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Have you done any research into Malinois at all? Out of curiosity, what kind of breeding did your previous GSDs come from (ie, show lines, pet lines, working lines)? What kind of training experience do you have from these past dogs?

Mals are... different. Especially when they're bred from working lines, which a whole lot of them are. They are prone to destructive behavior (often from boredom), tend to have very high and very specific exercise needs (needing BOTH mental and physical exercise), and often have a lot of trouble "turning off"/settling (and often need to be taught to do so). It is important to keep in mind that what would be considered abnormal behavior in another breed- often severely abnormal behavior- would be considered pretty normal for a Mal. I think this description of the breed does a good job of detailing what I mean by that: The Malinois Ranch Rescue

First, a note on separation anxiety... Personally, from this description of the dog alone, I would not jump straight to separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is possible, but it's always the first step to rule out other possible behavior issues first. Destructive behavior alone would make me think "boredom" more than "anxiety", depending on the exact nature of that behavior (see below). Signs that this behavior is caused by anxiety and is actually indicative of separation anxiety would include the presence of other symptoms such as:
- Inappropriately excited greetings on return (not just jumping and happy wagging- I'm talking things like intense vocalizations like excited screeching, or a sustained reaction for more than 5 minutes after arrival)
- Excessive water consumption on return
- Shadowing (following from room to room, unwillingness to remain in a room without you)
- Unwillingness to eat without you present
- Signs of sweating paw pads or drooling when gone
- Heavy panting when gone when not hot
- Pacing when gone
- Destruction focused on points of entry/exit or escape (think doorways, windows, either chewing or pawing)
- In extreme cases, self-injurious behavior either through self-mutilation (through licking or hair pulling) or through attempts to escape (torn toenails, broken teeth, bloody paws, etc)
Note that to see most of these it would require recording your absence- if you think that these might be occurring I can go into more detail on how you might do that. Also, the severity would be the same whether she was completely alone (without you) or whether she was just without you but accompanied by another human or dog.

From your post, I'm getting 2 main issues:
(1) destructive behavior when left alone
(2) submissive urination when "disciplined".

Addressing (1): Does she or has she ever attempted this behavior while you are home/with her? If yes, what was your reaction and her response? Is the level/intensity of destruction the same if you're gone for 5 minutes or 20? Is she able to be unsupervised in another room without you without destroying it? Is she crate trained at all? I don't want to try offering any concrete advise on it until I get more information in those areas.

Addressing (2): what does "discipline" mean? In terms of addressing it- get softer with her. Be very aware of body language and voice level and tone. Her peeing is a fear response, showing that you've literally scared the pee out of her. Not all dogs are confident enough to handle a raised voice, even.

You might consider joining some breed community pages- there are a few on FB that might offer some perspective.

I would echo the suggestion to find in-person, professional help. Note that if someone is saying they are a "behaviorist", they should have some kind of graduate degree in animal behavior, a CAAB or ACAAB certification from the Animal Behavior Society, or even a CBCC-KA certification through the Certification Countil of Professional Dog Trainers. If they're marketing themselves as a behaviorist without any credentials- run. IME that does not reflect a solid understanding of the science of dog behavior and cognition and often reflects that they operate using questionable methods.

Not being able to leave any ~8 month old puppy loose in the house without coming back to destruction is pretty normal. Broken furniture and doors is a bit extreme, but truthfully if he breed guess is correct, I'd be willing to call it normal behavior.

Hope that provided some kind of help/insight!
Wow!

Almost everything you detailed about separation anxiety is spot on with her. Whenever home with her, Mora will follow me (or my boyfriend) around the house, she does not like to be alone in a room. In the beginning, when she was younger (about 5 to 6 months old), I would leave her for short periods of time to get her used to it. When I would return she would pee all over herself, and jump up on me, etc. Luckily, she doesn't do this anymore. She has destroyed my door frame from biting/scratching it, and left scratches all over my door. In addition, I tried to put her in a 36L, 22W, 25T kennel once, and when I returned she had bent the kennel, and there was blood inside the kennel and on the floor. It turned out that she had bitten at the wiring so much she made her teeth bleed. This is what makes me think she does have separation anxiety.

I feel like I have fostered this in her, because when I leave her I show her that I feel very guilty about it, and am also very excited to see her when I return. I think that I baby her a bit so that is probably part of what is causing her behavior.

When I am home with her, there is no destruction taking place (once, she swiped a steak off my plate) and another time when she was a puppy she peed on the carpet a little bit, in both instances I rubbed her nose in it and gave her a swat on the nose. After reading your post (and others) and doing more research online about her specific breed I am positive this was absolutely the wrong way to discipline her, I just hope that I can make it right.

This has helped tremendously! Thank you so much for the input and advice you gave me, I will definitely be moderating my own behavior around her as well. :)
 

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.

re submissive urination:
Dogs don't do this "on purpose", it's an instinctive & uncontrollable response. Puppies are much-more prone to it than adult dogs - however, it's also a heritable susceptibility, & well-known in some breeds [Cocker Spaniels, for instance].
So it's possible that U have a dog whose sphincter is a little looser when she's stressed or anxious, due to genetics; we'll hope that's not so. If worst comes to worst, she might need panties with a disposable liner for high-stress situations [visitors, especially very-tall / loud persons, or for some dogs, any strange men].

By 6-MO, most dogs have outgrown the puppy tendency to spring a leak when they feel anxious or scared, unless it's a BIG scare - so either she has a sensitive temp, or U're being too intense when U 'discipline' her.
6-MO is puberty, the rough equivalent of 12 to 14-YO in humans, behaviorally, & most humans outgrow "peeing their pants" under moderate stress by school-age [5 to 6-YO]; most puppies similarly do so, by approx 3 to 4-MO.

I'd also like to know what 'discipline' includes -
it can be many things, & even a hard stare or displays of anger can unnerve some dogs. Collar jerks, dragging her to the scene of her 'crime', etc, are useless when U come home to already-existing damage. It's done; U don't know WHEN it was done - it could have been 15-mins after U walked out the door, & it's an hour or more later when U return - & punishing after the fact only damages her trust. :(

U can interrupt a dog in the act of doing something unwanted, by redirecting her / him with a cue for a conflicting behavior, something the dog can't do while also performing the unwanted actions, or with a mild startle [clap hands], etc, & no harm is done; the action is clearly connected to the dog's action ATM, & there's less chance of confusion on the dog's part.
Interruptions are very unlikely to cause fallout, but given her apparently sensitive temp, i'd make them low-key ["Whoops!" or 'uh-oh!' in a cheerful tone might be quite sufficient, for her].

given her breed-mix, overattachment is a common issue, & certainly as above, boredom is a big problem -
"Something to do, & a place to do it" is a crying need in any dog, & my simple preference would be an airline-approved shipping-crate [which serves as transport kennel & evac unit], plus a stuffed & frozen Kong, or other long-lasting busywork / pacifier.
Put her whole meal in a Kong or 2, freeze it rock-solid overnight [tip down in an empty yogurt container, WITH the lid on, keeps it upright & prevents freezer-burn], & give her one or both Kongs B4 U leave. :)

I'd put the crate away from the main door, with setback, so if there's foot traffic or a delivery, she won't be upset / will be less upset. Another solid interior door between her & any high-traffic areas, to reduce noise, is also good - if the bedroom is the quietest room, i'd put the crate there; whatever works to make her feel secure & lets her relax.

If U don't have a crate, CraigsList, eBay, PreLoved, gumTree, & other "classified ad" sites are good sources for used airline crates; a used model saves about 1/2 the new retail cost.
A standard 2 x 2 x 3 should fit her fine - they're actually abt 26-W x 27-H x 36-L; she only needs to be able to enter, U-turn, & exit, she won't be standing erect with her head & neck at full extension. // Try on the floor models at any pet supply; if she must BACK out, it's too small; if she can stand & raise her head fully, it's too big.
They last for decades, if not left outside in the sun repeatedly [UV will make the resin brittle], & will keep her safe in the car, plus keep her calmer - if she's the type to whine or bark at passing traffic, flip the crate so the solid bottom is up, & she can travel without seeing the cars, trucks, & dogs out the windows. ;)

HTH,
- terry

.
Hey there!

I am guilty of giving Mora the wrong discipline. When she does something wrong, I take her back to the 'crime scene' haha, I do not drag her, she will follow (sheepishly) and then rub her nose in it and give her a swat on the nose. This has worked with previous dogs (German Shepherds, Border Collie's, Golden Retriever's) but those dogs were all farm dogs used for herding. I'm realizing that Malinois have the intelligence of my previous dogs but conversely she is very sensitive and picks up on my own body language and tone of voice. (I mentioned in my earlier reply that I am guilty of making her anxious before I leave because she picks up on my own anxiousness). I'm wondering if her anxious behavior is directly from me, or if possibly something from her days before the pound played a part in them. I was told that she was found wandering the streets of downtown Santa Cruz (not a very forgiving place), and was starving. I want to give her the life she deserves, and I know I should have done a lot more research on her and been more perceptive to her responsive behaviors...

Your suggestions on disciplining her and keeping her occupied are really appreciated. I'm definitely going to tone down my reactions to her destructive behavior. And, I will definitely be buying a few Kongs, and looking into buying a crate for her instead of the metal kennel she only used once. Thank you!! :)
 

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I would sign up for an obedience class with a force free trainer immediately. Active breeds need a job. It's great that you're hiking with her but her brain needs to work as well. Sign up for an obedience class and speak with the instructor about possible sports for your dog.
I completely agree, I think I need to be working a lot more with her. I have been trying 'obedience walks' which was something I found on youtube from this guy MasterPaw (great informational videos on dog training). She has been listening a lot better, but I do think she would really enjoy some sort of sport.
Thank you :)
 

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Definitely talk to a behaviorist about separation anxiety if she has all the symptoms. My dog has it and medication helps him as does behavior training. He won't eat or drink when he's alone and won't touch his special treats or Kong's or toys until I get home. To work they're only supposed to get the best yummiest treats when they're alone so they associate awesome great stuff with you leaving.
Also you're not supposed to make a big deal about leaving or coming home or let them pick up on your anxiety. This reinforces how traumatic it is.
You can build up lots of little leavings and arrivals. Do the things that simulate your leaving ritual. Pick up your keys and out on your coat and shoes then take them off a million times a day without going anywhere until that died y get a nervous reaction.
Then just walk out the door and come in. Gradually build to leaving for a minute then two, and gradually longer until she's calmer.
Crate training takes time and may not work of she's hurting herself.
My dog is highly anxious and had bad experiences in his last two homes and broke out of a crate in his last home. He wouldn't even go in a crate when I first got him. Now he'll go in and likes his crate but gets frantic if locked in so I never lock him in. I kept him in a small area so he wouldn't destroy the house and he was trying to jump out windows so away from windows. Now he has half my apartment. And he's better. For him medication is crucial. He still follows me everywhere and barks and whines if he can't see me. He follows me to the shower and lies right outside the tub. Sticks his head in to check if I drop anything lol. Is always in the room I'm in. Occasionally I'll wake up and he'll be in another room. In public he has to see me or be with me, stops all interactions if I leave him with anyone.
If I raise my voice to him he cowers and hides in his crate. Very anxious or sensitive. If other people yell, even if he knows and likes them he barks and growls at them.
I'm not an expert on malinois but I've learned a lot about sensitive anxious dogs from this dog. And tons about separation anxiety.
 

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I read that German Shepherds and labs were the two breeds most commonly afflicted with separation anxiety. And if she lost or was abandoned by former owners of course she'd be worried about losing you too.
My dog was given away by his first home at thirteen months when they moved. Second home had him two months then gave him up to shelter. He hated shelter and was bounced to two shelters. Had to be on a separate floor was so stressed y all the dogs, got all kinds of worms and kennel cough and was an anxious mess.
I got him and he had to get used to city life. I moved three months after I got him. The second he saw me with boxes and packing he flipped and got very clingy and separation anxiety started. He must have been afraid I'd give him away too. Didn't seem to have it as much until the packing triggered his bad memories of losing his first home.
 

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Yikes!

...
I have been trying 'obedience walks' which was something I found on youtube from this guy MasterPaw - great informational videos on dog training.
She has been listening a lot better...
.

The very name 'MasterPaw' raises red flags for me, & i went to see what's on offer. Here's the 1st clip i viewed:


I watched it muted. // By 51-seconds, when the thot-balloon appears, "I'm in charge!", I already knew we were off to a bad start.

This is a perfectly normal UNTRAINED young Golden-mix, & in his mind, he's not "in charge" - he's happy, excited, & simply playing tug with the leash; his owner, via direct eye to eye contact, ENCOURAGES THE BEHAVIOR to continue - altho obviously, she doesn't know that. :( . If she did, she'd move her gaze away.
I turned the sound on to hear what the TRAINER said in the next segment, & at 1:04, i took a screen shot, seen below - at this moment, the dog whined sharply AS HE YANKED on the leash & collar.
http://www.dogforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=221881&stc=1&d=1514971987

What do U see the dog doing? - how is he behaving, while the trainer handles him on the leash?
Do U see his ears pinched to his skull, head held high like a frightened horse, mincing steps, tail DOWN? - That dog is clearly frightened & unhappy. If that's what U want, do as he does. :headshake:
If it's not - & given Ur dog's already-established sensitive nature, i think this approach is disastrous - don't imitate him.

I'd suggest U watch any of KikoPup's training clips -
https://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup

or Sophia Yin, DVM
https://www.youtube.com/user/SuperBark1

or Leslie McDevitt
https://www.youtube.com/user/LeslieMcDevitt/videos

Chirag Patel
https://www.youtube.com/user/DomesticatedManners

Trish McConnell, CAAB
https://www.youtube.com/user/PatriciaMcConnell

Denise Fenzi
https://www.youtube.com/user/dfenzi


None of them will suggest yanking sharply on a leash - nor that dogs are "being dominant" or "rebellious".
An untrained dog is ignorant - not a rebel, not a violent resister, & not out to take over the world. They're just dogs.
She needs her confidence built - not undermined. Aversive training will only exacerbate the urination issue, as she tries to appease U. :(

- terry

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helping to calm an anxious dog / Departures & returns

Wow!

Almost everything you detailed about separation anxiety is spot on with her. When we're home with her, Mora will follow me (or my boyfriend) around the house, she does not like to be alone in a room.

In the beginning, when she was... 5 to 6-MO, I'd leave her for short periods of time to get her used to it. When I'd return, she would pee all over herself, and jump up on me, etc. Luckily, she doesn't do this anymore.

She's destroyed my door frame, biting/scratching it, & scratched all over the door.

...I tried to put her in a 36L, 22W, 25T kennel... when I returned, she'd bent the kennel, & there was blood inside the kennel & on the floor. ...she'd bitten at the wiring [&] made her [gums] bleed.
[These] make me think she does have separation anxiety.

I feel I've fostered this in her... when I leave her, ... I feel very guilty about it, & I'm also very excited to see her when I return. I think I baby her a bit, that is probably part of what's causing her behavior. When I'm home with her, there's no destruction...

once, she swiped a steak off my plate - & another time, when she was a puppy, she peed a little on the carpet; in both instances, I rubbed her nose in it and gave her a swat on the nose.
After reading your post (and others) & doing more research... about her specific breed, I am positive this was absolutely the wrong way to discipline her, I just hope that I can make it right.

This has helped tremendously! Thank you so much for the input and advice you gave me, I will definitely be moderating my own behavior around her as well. :)
.

I'd definitely reduce the contrast between "being home" & "being GONE".
Emotional reunions on yer return only underline how quiet, boring, & scary it is to be solo; leaving & returning should be utterly normal, because IT IS utterly normal to go out - for work, for groceries, for a movie... & it's also normal to come home. :) Neither should be in any way remarkable.

There's no reason to feel guilty when U leave, & certainly there's no reason to wail, "oh my poor sweet baby, did U miss me?!?..." when U come back, while rushing to bend & smooch & pat, & have her leap all over U in overwhelming relief that U've returned, & U weren't eaten by zombies, after all. :rolleyes:

I've posted links to Dr Overall's behavior protocols B4 - I'd recommend both the basic relaxation, & the "disconnect to departure cues".
They are long b/c they're incredibly detailed - don't let that daunt U; every step, each tiny niggle, is in there. If U follow them all, U can't screw up; be meticulous & take it slow.

http://baddogsinc.com/relaxation-protocol/

the HTML link is at the bottom of the article - the article explains why this is such a wonderful tool.

- terry

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Reminder:

When giving advice, it's ok to mention your dogs and what you did that worked for them when working on similar issues.

But please respect the op and stay on topic (as per forum rules)!
This thread is about his/her dog and questions.
It's not about your dogs, horses, unrelated training issues, etc.
I have removed all off topic posts.

Thanks!
 

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several thousand-dollars' worth of one-to-one counseling, in PDF, open source, or MP3

.

here are all but one of Dr Overall's behavioral protocols - 28 of them, in PDF format:

http://www.dogforum.com/dog-training-behavior/fantastic-treasure-trove-b-mod-plans-339770/

here's the missing one, heartfelt thanks to @Ptolemy82 's detective work - & it's in open text:

https://www.bowbottomvet.com/2013/07/05/protocol-for-introducing-a-new-pet-to-other-household-pets/

the relaxation protocol as downloadable MP3 files, courtesy of Roxanne Hawn:
https://championofmyheart.com/relaxation-protocol-mp3-files/

These are all free; they were designed by a globally-known & respected vet behaviorist, & they are detailed.
Follow the instructions to a T, & U cannot mess it up. // If there's anything that U can't figure out, ASK! :p
The only dumb questions are the literally mute ones - those U never voice. :thumbsup:

- terry

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I would sign up for an obedience class with a force free trainer immediately. Active breeds need a job. It's great that you're hiking with her but her brain needs to work as well. Sign up for an obedience class and speak with the instructor about possible sports for your dog.
Yes, to finding a motivation based, force free trainer!

It does sound like your dog might have serious separation anxiety, and for this issue you are looking at gradual desensitization, positive reinforcement for desirable behaviors, counter conditioning. NO punishment (yelling, scolding, crate banging, corrective collars, etc.). At all. For separation anxiety issues, as it can get worse. A vet might be involved as well and you may be looking at some medication to help with the process. However, your dog could also be a typical Mal puppy. And it is not uncommon for bitey breeds to have no aversion to biting metal and a lack of self preservation to boot. A little more structure, and finding a good trainer, might do wonders.

IF it is severe separation anxiety, it is beyond what any person (vet, trainer, otherwise) on a forum can help with. It can take months to successfully modify separation anxiety. Check out Malena DeMartini as well. She's the leading expert on this issue in the USA and she works remotely with clients. You might also want to start looking for a dog sitter, day care, or thinking about if your car is a safe place for your dog to be when alone (some dogs happen to be fine alone in a car but not in a house). A key part to fixing SA is the dog must not have an anxiety attack during the training process. It is seriously the worst and many trainer prefer aggression cases over SA.

More generally speaking and off the topic of SA, exercise is important for energetic, smart dogs. But structure is equally as important! If your dog is driving you crazy, use management tools like crates, pens, leashes, etc. so that your dog physically cannot reach things to destroy or pester you. This is all for situations when you ARE home, btw. Separation training actually starts when you are home. Block out 15-30 minute training sessions where you deliberately 'contain' your dog so she cannot reach you. You are in sight, maybe reading a book or whatever. Your dog may whine and put up a fuss because she isn't getting what she wants. Ignore it all. Do this until your dog pretty much understands these alone times yield no interactions, then gradually move away till you're out of sight (ex. in a different room). GRADUAL is the key word. The point is, dogs need to learn that they are not the center of attention all the time, and they can't have you all the time. But this is the much abridged version. A good trainer can formulate a training plan for you that will suit you and your dogs' lifestyle.

Best of luck! I hope you find progress with your dog!
 

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My dog with very severe separation anxiety was completely fine in my car but destroyed my apartment and endangered his safety and that of my cats by breaking through the windows, third floor.
He'll chew on parts of the car but he'll chew on dog things if I leave enough good treats too. Of course then you have to deal with all the judgmental know it all's that try to tell you what's best for your dog and utter bs that a dog should never ever be alone in a car for any amount of time. When they see the sheer destruction a true separation anxiety dog causes in mere minutes and hear the frantic howling and see him frantically racing to the door to go with you and talk to my behaviorist, now two different ones who told me it's better to leave him in the car until his medicine and training kick in and maybe always better to alternate the car with home, they can then say a word.

My last dog stayed home fine for hours. And aforementioned Dr Nicholas Dodman who's listed as a great expert by someone on here, was the first behaviorist vet who came and did a home visit and assessed my dog. Videoed him left alone for five minutes, poor thing was frantic alone. Said in all his years this dog was the worst case of separation anxiety he'd ever seen and keep him in the car or wherever he was least stressed.
So get a behaviorist or trainer to assess and work with your dog and help you figure out if it is separation anxiety or just the breed and do what's right for your dog. Once you know what that is, advice can be great but don't let judgmental people sway you from taking care of your pup the best. If it's the car, so be it and it's not cruel or abuse to leave your dog in a car as long as you keep the heat or ac going in weather appropriate situations.

I keep a spare key so the car is always locked. I've explained his situation to police officers if approached and never been cited or given a ticket or accused of animal cruelty, especially once I've explained that he's on medication prescribed by a veterinary behaviorist and it's cruel and dangerous to leave him at home since he breaks doors and windows and could easily escape or jump out high windows.
 

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a little confusing...

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Check out Malena DeMartini ... She's the leading expert on this issue in the USA, & she works remotely with clients.
...
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I'm a bit confused by Ms DeMartini's article -
https://malenademartini.com/preventing-separation-anxiety/

She talks about possible sep-anx in a recently-purchased puppy. :confused:
QUOTE,
"Sammy is a Cavalier King Charles pup... His dad, Patrick, did his due diligence ... picked the puppy out of the litter himself, & read several good training books. After the first month of having Sammy in his care, Patrick was frazzled with the number of phone calls from his upset neighbors about Sammy’s barking when home alone. ...also... even when he just stepped out for a quick trip to the grocery store, Sammy would pee in the house.
Sammy was otherwise doing really great with his housetraining. What in doggie-heaven’s name was going on here?

Some people are surprised to hear that many puppies suffer from separation anxiety. "


- Sep-anx is typically diagnosed between 15 & 18-MO.
- It's a panic attack when left alone, which is why the escape behaviors can be life-threatening.
- All pups are prone to separation DISTRESS - which isn't sep-anx.
Sep-distress is simply anxiety or protest at being alone; pups quickly outgrow it; neonates, who are incapable of holding their own body-temp & will swiftly chill when taken from their siblings & the warm nest, will immediately protest, wriggling & crying. Pups who are still nursing are also likely to act & sound distressed when taken from the litter; 3-WO & younger, they are quickly upset. 5-WO & older, they are less & less DEPENDENT on their siblings for warmth & contact-comfort, & become more & more independent, exploring the environs & engaging in active play.

Most ethical direct-sale breeders don't let their pups leave B4 they're 56-DO /8-WO, when they're emotionally a bit more mature, ready for separation, & will only yearn for mom & sibs for a day or 2.
Unethical or downright lazy breeders get pups out the door as soon after 35-DO / 5-WO as they can manage, since that's when the pups are typically eating 1/3 to 1/2 their calories in solid food; the odor of their stools changes, & Mom-dog won't eat the evidence, anymore. :eyeroll:
If there's anything a lazy breeder doesn't want to do, it's clean-up sh!t from 5 to 10-pups on a daily basis for the next 3-weeks. // They just want the pups paid for in full, & gone, ASAP.

I'd question any diagnosis of sep-anx that was done by the owner, but even more if the dog was under 6-MO, & their Dx was based on "complaints of barking by the neighbors", or their 12-WO pup "pees in the house, when home alone", as apparently little Sammy does. // Why in heaven's name is oh-so-diligent dad Patrick leaving his unhousetrained pup to roam at large, when he's out of the house?!... Yes, even for a brief grocery trip?
Sammy should be CRATED - or inside a puppy-pen, on an easy to clean floor. :wags finger: Bad, bad owner, Patrick! Naughty! *smack of a rolled magazine*


Dogs who've had more than 2 homes B4 they reach 12-MO [not counting their 1st home, the breeder's, where they were born] are far-more likely statistically to develop Sep-Anx.
That's why adult dogs who are adopted from a shelter or rescue, with a Hx of multiple homes / multiple broken relationships, are more likely to have Sep-Anx than dogs who are adopted directly from a long-term home.

Normal dogs readily reattach & form relationships with new owners, just as normal dogs make friends with strangers [to them] who are relatives or friends of their owners or family members.
It's not true that dogs who don't live with U from puphood "don't bond"; dogs are capable of forming powerful attachments at any age. :)

- terry

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I see your points but I also see Malena's. I think the goal of the article you posted is to help distressed owners feel empowered.

You differentiate "separation distress" and "separation anxiety". I see separation anxiety on a scale of mild to severe. I think it's all semantics at this level.
 

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isolation AKA separation distress in neonates, nurslings, chicks, ducklings, goslings

You differentiate "separation distress" and "separation anxiety". I see separation anxiety on a scale of mild to severe. I think it's all semantics at this level.
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Separation or isolation distress in young mammals, & even in poultry, is a reaction to being alone when they are very young & vulnerable.
The ear-piercing peeps of a gosling, who's lost sight of Mom & clutchmates in tall grass, is intended to bring the goose running to find her or him, & get them back with the others, under her eyes.

Here's a random assortment of scholarly papers from journals & textbooks -

Neonatal and pediatric care of the puppy and kitten
DF Lawler - Theriogenology, 2008 - Elsevier
… Excessive ambient heat is recognized by changes in litter positioning (separated vs normal) … Outward clinical appearance can reflect distress, but usually does not suggest cause … Post-weaning transitions, coupled with separation distress that occurs in many immature weanlings …
Cited by 53 Related articles All 10 versions


Effects of morphine and naloxone on separation distress and approach attachment: Evidence for opiate mediation of social affect
BH Herman, J Panksepp - Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 1978 - Elsevier
… O. Elliot, JP Scott; The development of emotional distress reactions to separation in puppies.
J. Genet … 28. TF Pettijohn, TW Wong, PD Ebert, JP Scott; Alleviation of separation distress
in three breeds of young dogs. Devl. Psychobiol., 10 (1977), p. 373 …
Cited by 316 Related articles All 5 versions


Endogenous opioids and social behavior
J Panksepp, BH Herman, T Vilberg, P Bishop… - Neuroscience & …, 1981 - Elsevier
… summarized. Opiates and opioids are very effective in reducing social
separation-induced distress vocalizations
(DVs), in puppies, young guinea pigs, and chicks, while opiate antagonists can increase DVs. In …
Cited by 480 Related articles All 5 versions


Attachment and separation distress in the infant guinea pig
TF Pettijohn - Developmental psychobiology, 1979 - Wiley Online Library
… pigs vocalized when separated from others and suggested that this indicated an arousal or anxiety reaction … Because the infant guinea pig readily vocalizes when it is separated from its familiar surroundings it should … Alleviation of separation distress in three breeds of young dogs …
Cited by 104 Related articles All 6 versions


Early experience and the development of behaviour
J Serpell, JA Jagoe -
The Domestic Dog: its evolution, behaviour …, 1995 - books.google.com
… littermates) at six weeks exhibited loss of appetite and weight, and increased distress, mortality and … (...such a problem in some litters, that the pups needed to be separated) but because … behaviour problems, although it is not clear whether this figure includes separation-related anxieties …
Cited by 211 Related articles

Early social relationships: A psychobiologist's view
MA Hofer - Child development, 1987 - JSTOR
… Taken together, these experiments provide evidence for behavioral responses to separation in the young rat that … of kittens, puppies, monkeys, and human infants, behavioral characteristics that have been used as the basis for inferring "isolation distress," "comfort," and the …
Cited by 347 Related articles All 7 versions



Also, separation distress is easily resolved: put the baby back where s/he belongs, with Mom & siblings, & they settle right down.

Separation *anxiety* is anticipatory: the dog becomes upset B4 the owner actually leaves, as they observe various clues that alert them that the owner is going to depart, & as those clues accumulate & departure becomes imminent, the dog's anxiety continues to climb.
If we measure cortisol secreted in saliva, one simple assay for stress, the dog's secretion of cortisol might jump an hour or more B4 the owner actually left, with the earliest signals of a pending departure.

Separation anxiety is also a heckuva lot harder to "fix" than separation distress. :(
The dog suffering with sep-anx is too old to be immediately & simply comforted, by being plunked into the nest with their long-ago scattered littermates.

- terry

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