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dog has major anxiety issues

October 9th, 2006, 11:20 AM
So my maggie, who is a basenji mix, has major anxiety problems when I leave her at home. I would take her everywhere i went but i cant. I have class only for a few hours a day other than that im always home. I have tried giving her treats, making the cage nice and comfy, and i dont know what else to do. I put all her toys in there. When i leave she whines really loud..almost screaming like. She even whines at the bathroom door when i go in there. I found her as a stray so that may be the reason why shes like this. I exercise her too so its not like she never gets out. My roomates are getting fed up with it cause i have the ealiest class and they like to sleep in. I have no idea how to stop her from whining when i leave, but if i dont my roommates are gonna go to drastic measures. HELP!!!:yell:

October 9th, 2006, 12:10 PM
If you google seperation anxiety you'll find lots of suggestions on how to deal with it. Typically they are things like:
-practice leaving for very short periods of time, like 30 sec., then 1 minute, then 2......basically slowly desensitizing the dog to being alone. If at any point the dog starts to freak out, go back to a shorter amount of time and then slowly work back up to longer.

-ignore the dog of 10-15 minutes before you leave and again when you come home. No long good byes of excited hellos, make coming and going a non-event.

-desensitze the dog to signs that you're about to leave, as often dogs will start to get anxious before you ever leave the house, because they've learned to recognize the signs. For example, if you always get your keys, prepare your bag, put your coat on etc. change that routine. Carry your keys or bag around when you're not going anywhere. Get all your stuff ready ahead of time, so that you don't go through all those steps before leaving. Basically, break the assocaition the dog has with certain behaviors on your part, with being left alone.

-leave the TV or radio on when you leave. Sometimes the "human" noise helps to calm anxious dogs.

-get interactive toys, like a kong stuffed with peanut butter, cookies etc. and then frozen, so that the dog has something else to concentrate on while alone.

-you can try giving the dog something like Rescue Remedy, but in my experience you still need to work on all of the above mentionned stuff, as any calming aids are not a solution in and of themselves.

Keep in mind this isn't a problem that can be solved overnight. The dog has learned an anxious response to being left alone, so you need to slowly work at breaking that habit and making new, calm and good, associations with being left at home.

October 9th, 2006, 01:02 PM
When i leave she whines really loud..almost screaming like.

basenji's can certainly scream.

you got GREAT advice on some methods already, so I won't repeat them.. however, while you are working on it, you can look into doggy daycare. it may be helpful to put her in daycare if you can afford to.

I wouldn't leave ALL her toys with in the crate - only a stuffed FROZEN kong to work on. you should also rotate her toys, so they always seem "new & exciting". my dog only has 2-3 out at a time, and I rotate them so he doesn't get bored.

anxiety is the type of thing that takes TIME to fix, or just get under control.