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Help!- Separation Anxiety

Amy's Mom
September 7th, 2006, 11:48 AM
hello all. HELP

I need some help with my dog Amy. As you may recall, she is a rescue. I was told that she did use the crate and was used to it. But when I put her in it she whines and cries for a long time. In fact, she doesn't stop.

Also was told that she was great when left alone. WRONG!!! I left her for less than 1 hour and she cried and barked the whole time. I have tried some of the desensitization techniques but they don't seem to work.

My question is should I try using Rescue Remedy on her to see if it calms her down? As it stands now, I have to take her everywhere I go because she barks so much and it is annoying the neighbours.

Other than that she is a very sweet little girl. I don't know how old she is, was told two but I'm not sure. Also not spayed yet. The lady that I got her from said she has already had 1 litter of pups and she would like to breed her male to Amy. NOT! I will be getting her fixed next month.
Anyways, thanks for letting me ramble on. I really enjoy this site and am learning lots of things.

bye for now,

September 7th, 2006, 01:11 PM
The good news is that this doesn't sound like true SA. ;) She's probably just lonely or bored. My brother's dogs had true SA - it required new drywall and new flooring and several sessions with a behaviourist. :dog:

What desensitization techniques have you tried so far? Have you tried leaving for 5 minutes at a time, and making no big deal about it when you leave and come home? Have you tried leaving her with an extra-special toy that she only gets when you go out? A Kong, stuffed with peanut butter and a handful of small dog cookies, frozen overnight, is what worked for my girl. :pawprint:

Best of luck! :fingerscr

September 7th, 2006, 02:20 PM
also, tired dogs are quiet dogs :love: have you tried wearing her out with alot of good, stimulating exercise before you leave? that, coupled with a hearty meal and an interesting toy in her crate, can do wonders... i always leave the tv or radio on too, so there is background "human noise"... :pawprint:

September 7th, 2006, 04:46 PM
Hunter's seperation anxiety sounds exactly like your dog's.
We have tried pretty much everything. He loves stuffed Kongs, but if he gets one before someone leaves, he won't touch it until someone goes back home. he barks the whole time, and when you go back he is beat out, and panting a lot.
What we do now is bring him to my parents' or my bf's parents' house when we are going to be gone for a long time. But it is very frustrating. If you find out something that works, I would love to know , because I think I have run out of options, other than getting a doggy sitter...:confused:

September 7th, 2006, 06:01 PM
It took about 6 months of desensitisation with Charley. There was lots of waiting outside my door when I came home until he had stopped barking. There were also lots of times where you could find me, purse in hand, coat on and keys in other hand watching TV. And, contrary to common thought, I have a very well followed routine on days when I'm working so Charley will know exactly how long I'll be gone and when I'll be back.
He's OK now when I leave him alone in the back yard or car (used to cause a major fuss), and the last few times I left him at day care he only cried until someone else came in and distracted him. He won't eat a thing or take a drink if I'm not home but he is otherwise quiet while I'm gone. And will only make a very short fuss if I leave on a week night (after having come home from work)

September 8th, 2006, 04:36 PM
I had a similar problem with my rescue when I got him a few months ago. My home was the 4th in probably 2 months for the little guy (shelter->rescue in U.S.->rescue in Canada->my house). I'm not sure if he barked non-stop while I was gone but was barking his head off when I left and when I came back. Same about the crate as well, he would actually paw frantically at it when he was in it. First time I left him alone out of the crate he destroyed his new bed. I started leaving him with a stuffed kong (very food motivated) when I went out and kept my outings short. I had read that to alleviate the anxiety I was to leave for a minute at a time and wait for him to stop barking and then to come back and praise him and to lengthen the time I was out gradually. Sorry but I didn't have the patience for that. Tried it 2-3 times and quit after that. I did have another dog to keep him company but it didn't seem to make that much difference. To make a long story short, it took him about a month before he settled in and didn't get really anxious when I left. I locked his bed (the one with a missing corner) in the cratel left him out and made sure I took him for a walk before I went out. I still cringe a little everytime I open the door when I get home, never knowing what he has found to amuse himself with (I am quite diligent in keeping stuff put away but every now and again...). He has lots of toys and chewy things to play with while I am gone and there are always his sister's ears (his favorite chew toy). You can also try a product called rescue remedy that helps calm a dog down. Patience is the key along with compassion. Tiring her out is a great idea. If all else fails, consult a trainer. Good luck.

Amy's Mom
September 10th, 2006, 01:45 PM
Thank you for all the responses.
Well training has been gong quite as well. I can now go to the washroom and close the door without her whining and crying. That is with my roommate in the apartment. I am slowly leaving bit by bit.

We have also discovered that she loves the car. If we go for a ride and she has to stay in it she goes between the front and back seats but doesn't bark as much any more. although heaven help any man who tries to talk to her or get near the car while she is in it. She seems to have claimed the car as her own. (Just a note - we DO NOT leave her in the car when it's hot).

Also, she loves riding on my wheelchair. She settles down with her rump on the arm of the chair and her paws and front half of her on my lap. I was shopping at Value Village one day and I found a baby carrier called "Snuggly". Put it on, put her into it and presto whamo, instant carrier, Just like the ones for carrying your dog in front of you. She fell asleep in it. First time she has done that since I got her as she has been hyper-vigilant about what is going on around her.:thumbs up

Again, thanks for all the input. I would love to hear some more ideas as well.


September 10th, 2006, 02:51 PM
I think it is just going to take a bit of time and you've only had Amy for about a month or so. Because she's a rescue she's probably afraid that you are going to leave her alone forever. Just keep leaving her for varying amounts of time. Only 5-10 minutes at first then slowly increase.

BTW, we'd love to see a picture of Amy in her Snuggly. :D

September 10th, 2006, 06:28 PM
A trainer once suggested that a dog with real SA will not eat anything when left alone. While a dog that someone has accidentally trained to bark to bring someone back will eat. So you can give that a try, leave something yummy on the floor that takes a while to eat (so she can't gobble it up before you get out the door)
You can leave a meat bone full of marrow on the floor with my guy and leave him for the whole day... The bone will be right on the floor where you left it.
He still won't eat if he's alone, but he will eat a meal and a treat if my room-mate is home with him (it helps if she's in pj, not clothing, then he's sure she's not leaving)