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rescued dog problems - should I get a companion for him?

February 28th, 2009, 07:40 PM
Hi all:

I have a rescued border collie/collie X. We've had him for about 3 years now. He is fine while we are home, but left unattended he will pee in the house. We tried crating him when we got him (he was 1 year old when we adopted him) and we went through about 3 different styles of crates but he escaped ALL of them! He cannot be contained - he finds a way out of anything.
Ipurchased a zone system to contain him in the kitchen area while we are out. It only took him a week to figure out he could run /jump past the unit if he did it fast enough, hahaha. I take him out for long walks/runs. He is let out frequently. He never pees in the house while we are here, but he suffers from separation anxiety I think which means when we go out to work, he pees or poops and gets really anxious. We have had to lock him in one room while we go out, but today i came back to find he has shredded the wooden door completely - there's a huge hole where the door used to be. When I go out I always give him treats. a toy, and/or a bone to occupy him. I am at my wits end what to do next. We love him very much but he HAS to be able to be left alone for at least a couple hours each day. No, I cannot afford to have a dog sitter or dog walker come by and even if I did, he'd still have the same problem when that person left. Someone suggested getting another dog so that they would have company. I am not sure - knowing my luck I'd end up with two sets of behaviour problems!! Thoughts and ideas would be extremely welcome as I am feeling quite despondent about the whole situation right now :(

March 3rd, 2009, 07:28 PM
That's one intelligent dog you got there!:thumbs up I do agree with you on the separation anxiety. My jap spitz is an angel when she is not alone. And then we we get home after a day's work/school, the house is a mess. We just let bambee (my jap spitz) run freely around the house. She usually poops and pees in one place only but when she is left alone, poop and pee is well, all over the floor. And papers are shredded which she does not usually do when she has a companion. Maybe you can place your dog in a large playpen with steel bars? And provide toys for him so he will not get bored. You can also get another dog and place them together in that large playpen. Just make sure that they are friends or else they will end up fighting each other.

March 4th, 2009, 09:44 AM
Do you have a nearby friend or relative with a dog that your dog likes a lot? Would they be willing to babysit your dog while you're at work? Or maybe you could "borrow" friend/relative's dog for a week to see if that would get rid of your collie mix's separation anxiety, then you would know whether getting another dog would work or not. Maybe worth a try?

March 4th, 2009, 09:58 AM
I think your Border Collie must be a relative of my American Eskimo (Spitz) - as other poster pointed out the Spitz are also great escape artists. Sometimes a second dog helps - other times not - it is all about the hierarchy. And while you dog may do well with other dogs away from home - sometimes best friends become enemies when on dog's own turf. My Eskimo can escape anything - but so far he hasn't figured out how to push a chair over to a counter to swing himself up on to the counter to open a cupboard to help himself for food. My 10 lb. former Dachshunds were able to do that AFTER back surgery. So a brilliant dog comes as no surprise to me. My SIL had a border collie who also had separation anxiety. She found that the dog would turn on the TV when she left for work, so she hid the remote - but then found the usual mess that you did - so the remote was left in the dog's paws and all was well. I guess finding something that works helps. My Eskie was left alone Sat. night for first time for 4 1/2 hours - I was a basket case, but he behaved - he was too worried - but is not clinging a little more. I feel for you as I know exactly what you mean.

March 4th, 2009, 12:29 PM
... Or maybe you could "borrow" friend/relative's dog for a week to see if that would get rid of your collie mix's separation anxiety, then you would know whether getting another dog would work or not. Maybe worth a try?

Good idea but there's no guarantee that another adopted dog won't have SA as well, in which case, obviously won't help.

We brought Penny home 3 months after we adopted Lucky (who had severe SA). She helped immensely. Then Ava came a year later...she had SA as well which set Lucky back quite a ways again.

I'll Be Home Soon by Patricia McConnell (you can get a copy at ) is full of exercises to help deal with separation anxiety. It helped us immensely.