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Hi All, (please be kind and don't judge, it's been an awful two months)

2 months ago, we got a 12 week old husky pup. It was mentioned at the time - we did go through a breeder; we searched for a puppy rescue for 2 years without luck - that the dog has been returned after a month with previous owners due to one of the kids having allergies, but later after talking with the breeder again, she suspects they might have been lying and the dog was too much to handle. He's okay with people here, but when we crate him - and we have to or he destroys - he LOSES it.

- high-pitched screeching
-excessive drooling; pools of foul-smelling drool all over the cage, outside it and himself
-chewing his paws bloody
-shaking
-foaming at the mouth
-bleeding gums due to cage chewing
-slamming himself into the sides of the cage trying to bust out
-defecating and peeing in the cage

What we have consistently done to combat it (and I might forget some on the list, my brain is so frazzled from all the stress):
- thundershirt
-DAP sprays
-liquid calming stuff in his food
-composure treats
-LOTS of outdoor time and exercise including 2 walks daily and a good hour or 2 run around in the backyard in the middle of the day
-ignoring him for 30 minutes before we leave and trying to reward calm behavior
- reinforcing his chosen pack leader
-kong bp toy and multiple other suggested toys for calming and teething purposes
-doggie daycare the last week
-practicing caging for small amounts of time with us here (he has no issue being in the cage as long as the door isn't shut)
-benedryl
- trip to the vet to discuss issues and make sure he is healthy and there aren't other problems (he checked out)
-don't punish or show frustration towards him for the anxiety
-create a comforting covered cage with tv on for noise comfort
- left old articles of clothing for the dog to smell us and feel comfort

Nothing has improved. In fact, the behavior has become increasingly worse. I am home all day with my kids, I have canceled all playdates, time out of the house and extra curriculars have been put on hold these last two months trying to help this dog. I try to take him with me when I can and he loses it in the car, pukes and pees and tried to throw himself into the front dash. I tried to cage him in the car, he thrashes in the cage and does all the things listed above. 2 days ago, I caged him to take 30 minutes to go get my son from school and came back. I found him busted out of his cage, multiple things torn to shreds, but the most horrifying thing was that he actually got ahold of and badly injured my cat. I had to take her to the ER. She is surviving, but now I'm caring for an injured animal and trying to deal with this dog. Benedryl didn't even affect him, he did all of the above and crapped all in his cage. Last night, he randomly went up and bit my 6 year old son in the leg hard enough to break skin. He is currently scared of the dog and we are working to squash that fear. The vet is ignoring my calls and blew me off when I asked about medication. I'm searching for a new vet, but since the benedryl had no effect, I worry doggie meds might not, either.

I am breaking down, losing sleep and stressed out (which is particularly bad as I am pregnant right now). I made a commitment to this dog, but I'm starting to worry about the safety of my other animals. We can't do another large dog - we have yard space but not house room with 2 cats 4 people this dog and a baby on the way - but we were considering a smaller dog. However, after this cat incident, I'm afraid he might kill a small dog.

Will this anxiety get better? Or should I give him back to the breeder? I feel like the absolute worst person on earth having to say that. I feel like I am failing this dog and my family.
 

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I'd return to the breeder unless you can consult with a professional. Malena de Martini Price is one of the top people in the US as far as SA is concerned. She offers long distance consultations. It's not an easy problem to solve and the fact that this puppy is having this severe of a problem at such a young age is very concerning.

Oh and forget the whole pack leader thing. Dogs aren't pack animals and as you've discovered it doesn't help and in some cases makes things worse.

I believe there is a section onseparation anxiety in the training and behavior stickies.
 

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Hi FireMoonGypsy,

I agree with Grabby. I know that you brought home this puppy with the intent of making a lifelong commitment, but I would advise you to return him to your breeder. I'm concerned by the severity of his separation anxiety and most especially because he bit your young son hard enough to break skin and severely injured your cat. Plus, on top of this, you're having a baby.

I understand that you feel upset and guilty about returning him, but I believe that it will be in the best interests of your family and your puppy for him to go back to the breeder. Hopefully, the breeder will find a more appropriate home for the dog with an experienced dog owner or simply keep him.
 

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With biting your son unprovoked, injuring your cat, and not being able to safely contain him, I would definitely rehome him. I would also wait for a few years to consider getting anther dog/puppy with a new baby on the way.
 

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You need to return him to the breeder, and I know that is very difficult and emotionally charged. The severity of his SA at such a young age is very intense. When you return him (and I know it's sad, but with everything going on, it will be the best for everyone) please inform the breeder exactly how severe it is, and everything you've tried. This will help the breeder make an informed decision about if this pup can go to a more suitable home, or if the breeder should keep him.

Please don't feel guilty. Not every dog is a good match for every home. Growing up, my parents had to rehome a dog because she was off the walls crazy, and with three kids, my mom just couldn't do it. We ended up rehoming her to a neighbor and still got to see her all the time.
 
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