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Bed Time Doggie Separation Anxiety: Special Case

August 26th, 2005, 10:13 PM

I need help! My boyfriend and I just adopted a dog that was abondoned. She was left tied to a fence in the middle of summer without any water. She had a leash and collar, but no tags. We were going to foster her until we could find her a good home, but we realized we fell in love with her and just kept her. She is a really good dog. She only has a few wrinkles to iron out before she is perfect for us. One of the most difficult challenges that we have is nighttime and sleep. We have agreed that we do not want Taylor to sleep in bed with us. However, she has the worst seperation anxiety. She is scared to death of the crate, so right now crate training is out (we are slowly working with her on that, but since she does not even get her whole body in yet this is not an option for the near future). We once gated off the kitchen and put her in there, but she flipped out. She was crying, yelping, howling, and just having a doggie panic attack. She kept this up for an hour straight and then seemed to calm down. At about midnight, she started all over again. Next we gave her the whole condo and we gated off the bedroom. That worked for about one night, and then she started freaking out again. One night, we opened the gate and she ran straight under our bed and spent the night there. We were willing to accept that solution, however she was never willing to do that again. Then we thought maybe seeing the gate is freaking her out (after all, she was abondoned and probably neglected), so we tried closing the door. We had the same reaction from her. We cannot let her do this! We are so sleep deprived! So far, our neighbors have been patient, but who knows how long that will last. We have tried the usual separation anxiety techniques (leaving her our shirts, stuffed kongs, talk radio, leaving the light on b/c we think she is scared to be alone in the dark, and so on and so on), nothing works at all. We tried bringing her out and running her all over the place to get her exhausted, but she still will not sleep on her own. Once we are out of sight at bedtime, she just freaks out. We love her so much, but we cannnot seem to come up with anymore ideas or solutions. And, boy, we cannot keep having all of these sleepless nights. And I am sure that the neighbors cannot either since we are in a condo and we all live on top of each other. Please, please help!

August 26th, 2005, 10:16 PM
What about putting a bed for her beside yours on the floor? Maybe she just needs the closeness.

Otherwise, are you sure she's not afraid of the dark? Sometimes that can be an issue. ;)

August 26th, 2005, 11:07 PM
Thank you for your reply. We have heard that suggestion, and it seems that she actually needs to be touching us in order to be comfortable. She does not do this during the day, and she is fine if we leave her alone in the daytime. This only happens at night. We also do leave a light on in the kitchen for her. I just feel like there is no way out of this situation.

August 26th, 2005, 11:17 PM
How long have you had her?

August 26th, 2005, 11:19 PM
Could you put a night light in the bedroom? Maybe it would help.

August 27th, 2005, 09:32 AM
We have only had her for about 2 weeks or so. But we really do not want her to sleep on the bed. She did a little better last night. We closed the door and she started scratching, then crying, then her desperation bark. And we went outside and slept on the floor with her for about a half hour and then went back into our bedroom. She stayed outside all night on her own, she only came in at 6 am to tell me she needed to go out. When we came back from our walk, she was really awake, so I gave her a stuffed bone (she already has destroyed a kong) and she was ok. For some reason, this is only at night. It is so strange....

August 27th, 2005, 09:50 AM
If you follow one method, you should have her settled quickly. If you try something for a day and the next day something else and so on nothing will work. Remember she is adjusting to a new home and you don't really know her history.

August 27th, 2005, 06:31 PM
Thank you for keeping her - she's a lucky girl.

The pack sleeps together. A member of the pack is not pushed out to sleep elsewhere. She is extreemly insecure and you have given her some hope that she has someone looking out for her and she is afraid of losing it. She doesn't understand why she is being pushed out of the pack at night. She doesn't have to sleep in your bed but why can't she sleep in your bedroom? She would love to be with you but she doesn't have to be touching you. You can teach her to stay in her own bed and not bother you.