- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Need help with insecure dog

October 16th, 2011, 02:46 PM
It has just come to my attention that my dog is pretty insecure. Let me give you some details.

First, she's 10 years old and spayed. The behavior I'm now noticing is not sudden. There have been no major changes in her life. But you know how you will notice that there is a certain behavior you have tolerated and it becomes a habit that you one day notice? That's what is going on here.

She gets plenty of exercise, she's in good health, she is spayed and and has a happy look in her eyes. She has her Canine Good Citizenship. She passed 9 points with flying colors, but the 10th one, (3 mins away from her owner) was probably a gift from the instructor, only because she knew I wanted her to get her CGC in order to be a therapy dog. (Which did not work out.) Lucy does not like to be away from me for one second.

There are 2 things I've noticed to make me think Lucy needs some confidence. One is that when I take her to day camp, which is about once every 2 weeks, the humans comment that Lucy spends all day trying to hump the other dogs. She will stop one dog when told to, but then in 1 minute resumes humping other dogs.

No matter how used to a place she is, if I leave her, she cannot stand it. If I am at someone's house that show knows well (say, my dad's house) and use their bathroom, she stands outside the door and will whine.

Things like this have been brought to my attention recently, so today I've observed her more closely. It is a gorgeous day outside, and she finally ventured out on her own, but she kept a close eye on me. I got up and went to the kitchen and being outside was over.

This would make you think I have sneaked out on her before, but I do not do that and have never done that.

I give her attention, petting, playing, walking, talking to her, etc. I never spank her, and if I have to discipline, I am very cautious about how I do it, because a little goes a long way with her.

Lately, too I've noticed something else about her. If I go to work at 7a, come home at 530p and stay at home, everything's fine. If I come home at lunch time for something and go back to work, or if I come home at 530p and go straight out again, oh boy there's hell to pay when I get home! She will tear up papers or the most recent thing is a chair. But if my dad comes to let her out at lunch time, she's ok. It is clearly my "punishment" (lol) for coming home and not staying.

One last thing - I do not make a big deal out of my coming or going. I've never done that.

Sorry to go on so long, but I wanted to give as much detail as I could, as I definitely need some help. I do not feel it's too late to teach her some confidence, and that's what it seems like is needed here.

Thank you so much in advance for help.

October 16th, 2011, 11:12 PM
I does sound like a mild case of seperation anxiety. Some dogs grow out of it, some dogs only have it while there is a major change (like going to shelter and being rehomed)..and some dogs experience it in later life.

Its good you dont make a big deal out of coming or going. and its good you change your schedule up some. Because if you did either of those it would actually reienforce her behavior..and make her thing its ok.

As hard as it may be, she may have to be kenneled or gated off to an area where she cannot destry things. Because even though she "knows" its naughty...its a "fearful and obsessive" mindset they get into and they cannot help themselves.

I have a dach that yelps, screams, hollers, howls, whines, and barks his full head off if SOMEONE is not within eyesight of him. If we leave the house, and he's not kenneled, no telling what he'd do to the house. FORTUNATLY he does not also. pee, vomit, and poo all over the place.
Some dogs with sep anxiety will also do those as well.
I also have another dach that follows me room to room, and if I block her from following she whines and yelps as well. (however she will sleep on a pillow in our room..and as long as she KNOWS we are in there...she's fine).

Colby (the one that is the worst case of sep anxiety) has to be kenneled in his own room..because if he's within sight, he thinks he has to be IN YOUR LAP..and when you are trying to sleep and you've got a dach on YOUR HEAD or biting your toes, or in the closet chewing your shoes, because you happened to fall grow weary of it fast.

So, it sounds like you are doing the right thing. You spend time with her, you dont make a big deal out of coming or going, she's socialised with other animals...and when you go somewhere , you often take her with you, so she can get to know other people.

The only thing I might would change is crate her while you are away so she cannot harm your belongings (and possibly herself if she accidentally swallows something).
Make the change slowly...and she'll adjust. Train her with the crate as you would a new puppy, until she gets used to it.

Colby was our hardest to crate train. he STILL will not willingly walk into it. We have to place him in. He will gladly DART OUT OF IT though :)