Go Back  The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum > BOATING FORUMS > Dockside Chat
Reload this Page >

Advice on new dog - separation anxiety

Notices

Advice on new dog - separation anxiety

Old 01-12-2010, 06:55 AM
  #1  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 2,485
Default Advice on new dog - separation anxiety

We just got a new-to-us golden retriever last Friday. He's 4 years old. He's not a rescue, we paid good money to get a well-bred, housetrained and obedience trained dog with good manners, and he seems to be all of those things.

The problem is that he seems to have developed an unhealthy attachment to me, whining, panting and pacing if I leave the room. This is expecially a problem when it is bedtime or time for me to go to work. I don't trust him loose in the house in that state, and I've found baby gates are no match for him. I've been crating him at night, but it is an absolute struggle to get that 100 lb dog in his crate against his will. Once in there, he will bark for about 30 minutes then settle down and sleep through the night.

Our last dog had severe separation anxiety, which made him a huge challenge. I sense some of those same tendencies in this dog and want to do everything possible to nip it in the bud. I don't think he's come out of his shell yet, and it could be that he's still traumatized by his trip here, which was via airplane.

Dog whisperers chime in. Might this behavior get better as he becomes more acclimated to his new surroundings? Anything I can do? Should I ask my vet about anti-anxiety medication? I know some may think I've overreacting after only having the dog a few days, but our experience with the last dog's SA was so bad that I am newvous about this one.
Graddy-fied is offline  
Old 01-12-2010, 07:10 AM
  #2  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Myrtle Beach SC
Posts: 8,045
Default

HERE IS A GOOD ARTICLE

The 4 Step Program I Used To Fix My Dalmation’s Separation Anxiety Problem
My dalmation Harrison developed Separation Anxiety seemingly for no reason when he was about 7 years old. He would start digging and crying as soon as I left the house, even if my other family members were home. My Veterinarian suggested this training process, it achieved the desired result but took plenty of time and patience.
Aside from the 4 step program listed below, I continued to practice the general day to day duties of responsible dog ownership. By this I mean things like providing a safe and comfortable bed, plenty of exercise and obedience training.
Harry would start to get anxious (his whole body would shake) at the very first sign of me leaving the house. This typically would be putting my shoe’s on or turning off the TV or heater. It became a real problem for Harry, myself and the rest of my family, this is how we eventually solved it:
Step 1
Since Harry was always by my side when I was home I had to slowly teach him that he didn’t always need to be close to me. I started out by ignoring his attention seeking behavior (jumping up, barking etc.) and then did some solid practice of his down stay. Little by little we extended the time and distance we spent apart, until he was happy to be alone for up to 30 minutes. Of course, we still spent lots of fun time together.
Step 2
The next step was to get him used to being outside when I was inside. Again we started off with very small periods apart and gradually lengthened the time over a couple of weeks. If you try this Separation Anxiety treatment make sure that you don’t just leave your dog outside to get all worked up and stressed. The trick is to start out leaving your dog out for a few seconds, then going out and reuniting before he shows any signs of Separation Anxiety. Give your dog a treat or dog toy to keep his mind off missing you. Only initiate contact with your dog when he is calm and quiet.
Step 3
The next step in fixing Harry’s Separation Anxiety problem was to eliminate the distress caused by me getting ready to leave the house for work. What I did was write a list of all the triggers that started Harry’s anxiety. I then set about desensitizing him to these triggers. I’d put my shoe’s on, and not go anywhere. Put my coat on, then sit down to read the paper. Pick up my car keys and just carry them around with me, jangling along as I went about my business. After a while (about 3 weeks) Harry barely offered a sideways glance at my shenanigans.
Step 4
When Harry was completely calm in situations that would have unsettled him in the past, I left the house. At first I just stepped outside, shut the door and came back inside within 20 seconds – before he made a sound. Again this was a slow process, similar to step 2. I extended the time outside the front door and then graduated to starting the car, then driving around the block before I came back inside. You can provide a tasty treat to your dog on your way out the door, something that he can work on for a while. Harry’s favorite was a frozen Kong stuffed full of peanut butter and a few liver treats, this eventually kept him occupied for hours. Remember that when you return home, don’t make a huge fuss. Come inside, get changed, pour yourself a nice hot coffee, then greet your calm dog.
This process did prove effective for me and my anxious dalmation. All up the 4 steps took about 5 weeks to work through and fix Harry’s Separation Anxiety problem. My Vet suggested that I supplement this training with some medication. I didn’t go down that path, but it would have been my next step if required.
Whichever method you choose to treat dog separation anxiety, be sure to stick with it and don’t expect any immediate results.
kingair is offline  
Old 01-12-2010, 07:23 AM
  #3  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,077
Default

Funny I'm getting a Golden Retriever this weekend from a service man being shipped out. And he is 3 years old and been living in there apartment. I'm banking on love and attention towards him,to help him adjust, I know how hard it can be on him, I love dogs as my own kids. And will learn quick on doing things that he loves. Get all the info from his family and incorporate that to make the transition better for both of us. I just have to drive down to Barksdale air base and get him. Looks like we will both be watching this post Thanks Tim
TimW Texas is offline  
Old 01-12-2010, 07:41 AM
  #4  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Hammond, LA
Posts: 17,421
Default

we "rescued" a bloodhound this summer that was well cared for, but spent most of her days locked in a crate inside a tiny apartment. it took her a good month to stop acting like a lunatic anytime she was alone

i think time and attention will be the ticket
make sure he is getting plenty of stimulation and things to see and do

as in kingair's article above, the trigger seems to be stress
cgrand is offline  
Old 01-12-2010, 07:49 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,003
Default

I can't help much about seperation anxiety, but will comment on the crate struggles.

We've got a 4yr old golden and definetly is 'my' dog (of course I'm the one who trains him, and duh... now I'm the only one he listens too).

He loves his crate. It's his cave. He started as a puppy, but what I think helps for us is that we often give him a little treat (part of a dog bone treat) and he goes right in.

Also, he sleeps on a rug/bed in our room, but as soon as we open the door in the morning, he heads to his cave to wait for breakfast and then to go out...
ericinmich is offline  
Old 01-12-2010, 08:03 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Suffolk, Va.
Posts: 17,233
Default

Couple of cold beers each night should chill the dog down some.
fishingfun is offline  
Old 01-12-2010, 08:49 AM
  #7  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Poquoson, VA - Manteo, NC
Posts: 794
Default

We have three goldens. Two of them raised from puppies and the third was a rescue. The rescue did not get much attention from the previous owners and as such is very clingy. We keep all three in our laundry room at night in beds. She barked the first few nights we left her alone. We just reassured her and put up with it for a few nights. She learned that this was the deal at night and has adjusted accordingly.

If your dog has not been raised in a crate, its going to be pretty tough to get her going with it, but not imposible. You might look at a mud/laundry room with a bed or something similar.

Our first golden, the oldest of the three, slept at the foot of our bed before we got the herd an slept all night without any problem.

Train him up, he will be fine.
pmichael is online now  
Old 01-12-2010, 09:13 AM
  #8  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Coeur d Alene, Idaho USA
Posts: 2,091
Default

Don't forget exercise as you work on these issues. Goldens, along with their attachment to people, are also bred to be hunters and retrievers. Try to exercise him vigorously when you come home from work, and after dinner. Wind sprints chasing a dummy work for us and Rocky.

A tired dog is more manageable.
ruggit is offline  
Old 01-12-2010, 10:37 AM
  #9  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location:
Posts: 1,911
Default

Throw in your jacket or something with your scent on it in the crate with him.
nanjemoycat is offline  
Old 01-12-2010, 11:18 AM
  #10  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: South East Pa
Posts: 9,403
Default

Originally Posted by nanjemoycat View Post
Throw in your jacket or something with your scent on it in the crate with him.


Also put a treat in with the dog.
FASTFJR is online now  
Old 01-12-2010, 11:49 AM
  #11  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 2,485
Default

I've tried the treats, kongs, etc... in the crate. Nothing entices him in there. If I get him in the crate, it takes a serious wrestling match, and he's BIG and strong. I'm worried that wrestling with him to get him in the crate only ads to the negative association in his mind, but I don't see another option.
Graddy-fied is offline  
Old 01-12-2010, 12:11 PM
  #12  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Myrtle Beach SC
Posts: 8,045
Default

Did you read the post above. It was a cut and paste, but I did read it and it found is a rather good approach.

or you can call this guy. This is what his advice is.

You come home from a long day at work to a spinning, jumping whirlwind of energy. Your dog follows you into your living room, where you find that he has chewed on your favorite pair of shoes. Your neighbor comes by to tell you that, once again, your dog has been driving the neighborhood crazy by howling and barking while you were away. Is this scenario familiar? Your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety.
In nature, dogs are almost never away from their pack. It is our job to help make this unnatural situation less stressful!

Before you leave, go for a walk. Start the day by providing vigorous exercise. Then reward your dog's calm-submissive energy with food and water. Some dogs may need to rest before eating, but all dogs can benefit from hydration. The idea is to leave your dog in quiet, resting mode while you are away.
No touch, no talk, no eye contact. Don't make a big deal when you leave for the day or when you return. This way, you are communicating to your dog that the time apart is no big deal. It's just business as usual! Depending on the severity of the case, you may need to practice the rule for five minutes or up to an hour before you leave and when you get back.
Say goodbye long before you leave. Having trouble practicing "no touch, no talk, no eye contact"? Take a moment to share affection and tell your dog that you will miss him way before you actually leave. Keep in mind that this display is for you - not your dog! Your dog won't have his feelings hurt if you didn't say goodbye.
Stay calm and assertive! When you are ready to go to work, leave those guilty, nervous, and concerned feelings behind. Instead, let your dog know that everything is going to be okay by projecting the confident energy of a pack leader.
Start out small. Leave your dog alone for five minutes. Then, extend the time to twenty minutes; then an hour. Continue to increase the time you spend away until you can leave for a full eight hours with no problem!

kingair is offline  
Old 01-12-2010, 12:12 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,003
Default

Originally Posted by Graddy-fied View Post
I've tried the treats, kongs, etc... in the crate. Nothing entices him in there. If I get him in the crate, it takes a serious wrestling match, and he's BIG and strong. I'm worried that wrestling with him to get him in the crate only ads to the negative association in his mind, but I don't see another option.
Try putting his food in there for while... and water. My golden won't pass up food for anything.
ericinmich is offline  
Old 01-13-2010, 08:18 AM
  #14  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Poquoson, VA - Manteo, NC
Posts: 794
Default

Get another Golden.....It works. He has a friend.....

See the pack explanation from the Dog Whisperer guy.
pmichael is online now  
Old 01-13-2010, 08:46 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Stuart, FL
Posts: 1,675
Default

Aggressive behavior putting him in the crate is not conducive to solving the problem. I personally would not crate a 100 # dog as they need to be able to get up and move around. I would attempt to acclimate the dog to the house and an area acceptable to you. The dog is attached to you. The dog wants to please you. You simply have to find the right combination to unlock good behavior. The dog is probably afraid that when you leave you are not coming back. Take the dog with you for car rides once in a while. Make the dog feel like it is part of the family and it will adjust for the better.
PROFINITY is offline  
Old 01-14-2010, 08:22 AM
  #16  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 2,485
Default

Originally Posted by pmichael View Post
Get another Golden.....It works. He has a friend.....

See the pack explanation from the Dog Whisperer guy.

I have a better chance of my wife letting me get a new girlfriend.
Graddy-fied is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread