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could Molly have overcome her separation anxiety?

August 22nd, 2008, 04:42 PM
Just some background info here first:

we rescued Molly in April. She was approx 6 months old and had been surrended by her owner, to a shelter in Kentucky. The shelter was going to have her PTS but then the rescue group from London ON heard about her and put her in a foster home there for 3 weeks. Thats where we found her :lovestruck: Molly was already crate trained when we got her, but since I wasn't working at the time, she spent a lot of time with me and not a lot of time in her crate. I think the move to NW Ontario was difficult for Molly- she had been shuffled around a lot in her young age!! We couldn't leave her alone in the house for even a minute or two without a lot of whining, yipping, jumping at the door, and destructive behaviour. So now she has been in her crate any time she is unattended. At first she put up a fuss about it- refused to go in, escaped once, and whined a lot and chewed at the door of the crate. Well a few months later, and now she is an angel in her crate. I have even been brave and have left her alone in the cabin if I have had to leave for a few minutes (5 mins max) and come back to find her happily sleeping in her bed. I won't risk it and leave her alone without crating for longer, but do you think she may have overcome her SA now that she realizes we aren't going to dump her like the previous humans in her life have?
One more complication.... we are moving in a week, to a new town and new apartment. :frustrated: I know its not good timing for her as she is just settling in here, but I got a job and need to move. So I am worried that it will be back to square one. Does anyone have any advice to smooth the transition??
Thanks for listening... sorry for the long/ confusing post. :pawprint:

August 22nd, 2008, 04:54 PM
if possible, take her to the new area and walk her around a LOT.

a few times for an hour or so.

if possible even into the building and out a few times.

she will know she has been there before when you move.

August 23rd, 2008, 08:04 AM
she has been to the apartment, twice already. Once when we went to look at the place, and a couple weeks ago when we moved all our stuff in. So at least it will smell like us. Unfortunately its 3 hrs away so I won't be able to take her there again before the move.

August 23rd, 2008, 08:23 AM
if possible, take her to the new area and walk her around a LOT.

a few times for an hour or so.

if possible even into the building and out a few times.

she will know she has been there before when you move.

:thumbs upgreat idea!!!!

cool. I would say that advice too.:)
I hope it all goes well. keep us posted:D

August 23rd, 2008, 10:33 AM
IMO, she has probably improved more as she has realized YOU are not going to abandon her, as opposed to getting used to her surroundings. That's not to say environment doesn't affect dogs at all.....I think all dogs struggle when their family has to move. But I think the largest aspect of the improvemnet is because she's learned to trust you are not going to leave her.

Re: helping her manage the move, I haven't been through this, but hope to be soon and have already developed a game plan. I would think with all the boxes and chaos, it is important for the dog to have a space that is theirs and that remains as familiar as possible. That would be the crate. Make it the first thing you set up when you get to the apartment. Add her familiar blankets that smell like the old house, her favourite toys, and maybe an extra special new toy to offer some distraction. That way if she's uneasy or overwhelmed, she can go to her crate full of her things. It may also help to cover it with a blanket if she becomes really nervous.

You mentioned you are getting a new job. Since you have been home with her all this time I think this is where you will have the most difficulty. Will hubby be home with her at all during the day? Are you working full or part-time? I would be prepared for some initial reactions to you leaving. I find it helps to ignore the dog for around ten minutes before you leave - just go about your business like she's not there. When you go, just slip out the door quietly. No goodbye, no eye contact. Let her know it's no big deal. Also have a super special treat ready, like a frozen peanut-butter kong, for her to get right when you leave. It's best for them to only get this treat (whatever you choose) at times you are leaving so they associate you walking out the door with that awesome treat appearing.

I hope this helps! Good luck with the move and congrats on the new job :thumbs up Keep us posted with how things go!

August 23rd, 2008, 02:15 PM
Thanks Chase's Mom!!!
My new job is a supply teacher, so luckily I won't be away every day... especially for the first while because it takes a few weeks for teachers to get run down and sick!! :laughing: my husband is staying here for work until the end of Sept, so it will be just Molly and I at the apt for the first month. so yes, she will be alone more than often. But I do plan on leaving her alone for longer and longer, and then hopefully by the time I get steady work, she will be more used to it.
Setting up the crate is a great idea. She loves her kongs (only gets then when I am leaving) so whenever she sees me "making" one, she gets in her crate. such an :angel: (sometimes!) :evil:
I will update on the move once we get there at the end of the week. :pawprint:

August 23rd, 2008, 05:24 PM
Sounds good! I would suggest trying to leave her alone for at least a short period of time most days you are not working then, so it's less of a shock to her when you disappear for a whole day. Just try to do errands or take a short walk....anything to ease her into more alone time at the new place.

Good luck with the move! Those are never a good time....:frustrated:

August 24th, 2008, 07:13 AM
I have moved many time with the different dogs that I have had through the years and never had any problems. Although if you are moving from a cabin to an apartment, different noises could be an issue. If you stay calm and do what Chase Mom suggested, I don't see any problems. Remember, the dogs biggest ove is you and hubby. :lovestruck: You will be with her and she will be fine.:D She will still have her cage and blankets and toys.

Good luck and let us know how you make out. :thumbs up