Help! Seperation Anxiety!
I have a 10 month old Beagle named Griffin who is crate trained but suffers quite severe seperation anxiety.. Does anyone have any words of wisdom or advice? We try to do everything right such as not making it a big deal when we leave, rewarding him for going in his kennel etc but we don't know what else to try! I recently videotaped him while we were gone and it was heart breaking! He was so stressed and although he wasn't constantly whining (he would stop for 10 min or so and then start again) he was panting and shaking. I really want this to stop but I have to go to work.. Please help!
Try Bach Flower Remedies Rescue Remedy. Might help him a bit. Does he get a lot of exercise before he is left in the crate, and has he peed/pooped?
....to read how upset your pup gets.
I don't have a lot of knowledge on the subject and don't know how long you have owned your dog.... am wondering if it is fear of abandonment (if he was from a shelter etc.)
I did read that sometimes if the owner leaves the dog alone for, say, ten minutes the first time; then next time, say, fifteen, then half an hour until the break is for 90 minutes, it can help
As I am new here I don't know if you have already tried this
ps My dog is 18 months.... I do remember taking her with me when I went out in the car to the store, and then only took her every second trip....
sort of so she knew where I was going (does that make sense)? She knows now that sometimes she can come with me/us and sometimes has to stay home.
Depending on the severity of SA, it can take months to work through it but, take heart, there is hope. Because you're working, it's a bit more difficult to work on it as you can't control your time away. Is it possible for a trusted friend or neighbor to puppysit while you are out? Or, is doggy daycare a possibility for you?
In the meantime, you can work on exercises to have him feeling comfortable in the crate and alone while you are home in the evenings and weekends. First thing I'd recommend is you get yourself a copy of the book, [I][B]"Don't Leave Me! Step-by-Step Help for Your Dog's Separation Anxiety"[/B] by Nicole Wilde[/I]. She takes you through everything you need to do to manage and modify your dog's reaction to staying home alone. She also discusses nutrition, exercise, confidence building, pharmacological intervention (if absolutely necessary), amongst other important things to learn about SA.
Some suggestions as to what you can do for now until you can pick yourself up a copy (I got mine through dogwise.com):
1. [B]Mix up your 'leaving' cues[/B] when you are at home in the evenings and weekends. Put on your coat, pick up your keys, sit down and watch t.v.. Put on your shoes, pick up your purse or bag, then sit at a table and read the paper. Depending on the weather, leave the house in your jammies/housecoat and slippers. Wait a minute or two and re-enter [I]before[/I] your dog starts to panic. On weekends, pretend as if you're leaving for work (go through your regular routine).
2. [B]Training classes:[/B] Positive training classes are a great way to build his confidence.
3. [B]Exercise:[/B] Make sure your pup is getting an adequate amount daily. Beagles are high energy dogs so 2-3 hours of walking (split into two or three walks) is ideal to start with. Don't forget to mix in some training. Some off-leash playtime is also great to help him expend energy.
4. [B]Meals:[/B] You can feed him his meals by mixing his kibble with some soft food and freezing in a Kong. Feed him in his crate only while you practice mixing up your leaving cues. For the days you work, leave him his breakfast in frozen Kongs as it should keep him busy for 1+ hours keeping his mind and jaw busy.
5. [B]Crate Games[/B]: A fantastic DVD I've come across that teaches you to teach your dog to LOVE his crate and learn to associate it with both fun and relaxation... [B][I]Crate Games For Self-Control and Motivation[/B] by Susan Garrett.[/I]
Don't know how effective the following are but they are harmless and often recommended for dogs that suffer SA. Alone, they won't solve the issue but I think it can useful to add as a compliment to behavior modification.
6. [B]Rescue Remedy[/B] (available at most health food stores): Rub several drops several times per day on your dog's gums or on the inside of his ear lobe (do [I]not[/I] put drops directly into his ear). You can also add several drops to his bowl of water.
7. [B]Music:[/B] There have been studies to show that classical music, preferably simple piano, calms stressed dogs. CD's and information are available here: [url]http://www.throughadogsear.com/research.htm#studies[/url] .
8. [B]DAP[/B] (Dog Appeasing Pheromone): You can get this through your vet or pet supply store (I found it considerably less expensive at a pet store). It comes in plug-ins and spray form. [url]http://www.petcomfortzone.com/[/url]
Please let us know how you and your pup are coming along and, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
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