Seperation anxiety

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Freddy77
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Seperation anxiety

Post by Freddy77 »

Hi everyone,
Sorry for the long post but I could really use some help as Freddy seems to have suddenly developed quite bad seperation anxiety. Its only this week it has started. My neighbour politely mentioned I may want to know 'He has been barking and howling all week when you are not home'. I've done my own investigation this weekend, and he certainly does go mad, and does not stop until I return, no matter how long i'm gone for. I'm so upset for him as he is such a happy, friendly little guy and it is heartbreaking to hear him so distressed. I have not changed my routine so am at a loss to figure out the cause.
He is 21 weeks old today, the longest he is ever left is 3/4 hours once a day, he goes to day care once a week, has plenty of excersise, stimulation and attention. He has always been a bit of a clingy pup which I have been working hard on. He just wants to be with me wherever I'am and won't settle easily if I leave him with my parents etc. However he always seemed quite relaxed and sleepy when left at home. But now he starts pacing, blocking the door and generally being a diva. Then as soon as the door shuts, he lets rip.
I've left him my clothing and shoes, treats, a frozen kong, and classical fm! I have also ordered an adaptill collar and plug in this morning. Do you think it might be a phase and he is just testing me or something more serious? Any advice would be gratefully recieved.
Thanks
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Lewis
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by Lewis »

Sorry to hear you are going through this - it's horrible I know. My 7.5 month old pup was fine when really young when I left him, but started howling and barking 2 or 3 months ago. I got an adaptil plug-in, make sure he's had a walk before leaving him, leave him with a treat, very low key departure and return on my part, stick to a routine when leaving him - basically tried to follow all the advice on the forum, which is helpful. Someone suggested leaving treats hidden around the room where the pup is to keep him occupied.
I confess I was filming him, but I've stopped now as it was too hard to view. He seems ok when I get back after a short while (up to 45 mins), but he might still be howling as far as I know.
The other thing I'm looking into is borrowmydoggy.com where you can team up with someone locally who loves dogs but can't have one. They borrow your dog for whatever period of time (half a day, day, evening etc) to avoid dog being left alone.
I'm just hoping, like you, that this might be a phase and he will get used to being left and not get too distressed. Good luck. :-s
Freddy77
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by Freddy77 »

Thank you Lewis. It is upsetting, but he seems happy in every other aspect of his life. I've ordered an adaptil plug, so fingers crossed. Hope your little guy is just having a phase too!
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by lj_thorne »

Oh bless him, he's still very young and they do through a fear phase where things you thought they could do ok need reinforcing.

Adaptil is brilliant, I'd get the spray too and spray his bedding etc before you go out as well as the plug.

Does he have a crate or are you leaving him in one room?

Borrowmydoggy ... I'd be wary, maybe I am just too worried but I'm sure someone told me proper checks aren't made, I wouldn't trust anyone I didn't know with my pups.

It prob is a phase, but definitely reinforcing time away would be good... Try leaving him but stand outside until he stops wait a little then go back in and build that up maybe? What's he like if you leave the room? Could you try shutting him in a room but stand outside till he's quiet then go back in?
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BeeBee
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by BeeBee »

Shame for you both. From the little I know, separation issues take some consistent approaches over a good period of time to work through. It's not a quick thing to fix once it develops. But it can be fixed if work is put in. Good luck, but put the work and time in now while he's young and eager to learn and changes are happening quickly with him. It's sad to think of our dogs being upset, and when we really consider what a dog's life would be if they could choose it, it would be one where they are with us all the time, its in their instincts, their very nature. So, it'll take some patience and training for any dog to be fully content to be on their own for any length of time.
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by Pennyblack »

Sorry to hear you're having problems just now. Re the Borrowmydog site, my daughter and her flatmate signed up to it in Edinburgh as they can't have dogs full time but have a couple that they look after at weekends when owners are going away. It's been very successful for them but the owners vetted them before they left their dogs with them.
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by KeithMoonQuinlan »

Keith has 2 'borrowers' from BorrowMyDog - at the time neither of them could have dogs of their own but one of them is now getting a pup (unfortunately not a Schnauzer). We can't wait and we'll be helping out with the new pup when she's old enough to come to play at ours.

It's true anyone can sign up, but I only ever contacted members that were fully verified, visited their home and met a few times before handing Keith over.

Keith loves both his borrowers. I signed up as I work from home and Keith had terrible anxiety if I left him. The time away from me has eased his separation anxiety greatly and if I pop out the house he just waits on the sofa until I return. He goes camping, for walks in the Dales and just to visit their homes for a few hours on occasion. If you find the right borrower it can be a very rewarding relationship. Best of luck.
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by Sandyman »

Good evening for the last six weeks my little girl has started to get very upset whilst we are out the house. She is only alone for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon our Familie have changed our work patterns to make sure that this is the maximum time that she is alone. The little one is two years old on xmas day bless her.
She is slowly making her way through all the shoes in the house when we moved them she started on the wooden beds we closed the bedroom doors and she moved on to the skirting boards.

We have tried most of the recommended ways to make sure that she does not suffer from separation and will keep it up. Problem is that she is eating the house from top to bottom as soon as we get in she is happy as can be.

We are now looking at getting another one to keep her company and will be going to see a breeder this week. My wife and I have always had a dog for the past 29 years of our marriage I at fist thought she could be missing our children one who is at uni in the week home most week ends and our daughter who has just started work.

My lad took two weeks break from uni and stayed home with her and slowly increased separation time up to the two hour limit but to no avail.

I do not care about the house any thing destroyed can be replaced my little one comes first hopefully another little one will help if not I am at a total loss.

The worst thing for me is that I was a military dog handler for 24 years and always had my working dog and a home dog and when my working dog ended their careers they can home with me and we had some rough times in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seeing this going on is really starting to affect us all a loving happy little girl is slowly changing. It gets worse she is almost out of control when out walking she barks like mad at every one and it's not a hello I am here bark it's really aggressive. We dare not let her of her lead for fear of her going for some one. Our breed are known for being a shouty look at me dog but his little one never was.

When she is walked it is always with other dogs and she has lots of friends and they are now starting not to want to play being as she shouts at their owners.

Any thoughts please would be really really welcome.

Ah one last thing we have now bought web cams so that we can see if any thing sets her off when we are away so far nothing strange has been seen apart from her eating my nice new leathe sofa thankfully I work about 15 minuets drive away from home so managed to get home in time to stop her.

I am sorry for the long post. :( :(
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by jacdales »

I would suggest a crate and put her in it with a blanket over the top and some treats and toys you can build up her time in it while you are in so you can get her used to it. Then when you need to go out she can go into her crate. .
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by BeeBee »

There was a documentary earlier this year which showed that some dogs even with a friend in the house are still anxious when their human companions aren't there, so it might be worth getting her issues under control and helping her with everything first, then bringing in a new friend? You may just end up doubling your problems, especially with it sounding like it's not just the separation issues that's going on.
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by Dawnspell »

I second what Bee says. I've been doing loads of research into severe separation anxiety, which is the problem I have with Barney.viewtopic.php?f=46&t=21560" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; The only time it seems getting a second dog helps is if your dog is showing signs of SA after a companion dog has died.
A second dog learns an awful lots of behaviours from its adult role model most of them good but the last thing you want is your girl teaching new puppy to bark at people out on walks and pass on separation issues. Its a huge expectation of a puppy to correct an adult dogs behaviour.
It involves a lot of time and energy into training a new puppy. Instead use that time and energy to help your girl :)

With her being destructive I'd also suggest crate training. Barney isn't destructive but I've gone back to basics with him on day time crate training in the hope of giving him a good place to go. He sleeps in a soft crate at night but has never been crated during the day. At just over a week of training he goes in freely and settles to sleep with doors open right down by my chair. I'm up to 10 mins with doors closed and he normally stays in asleep once they're opened again. I still have to stay seated by him otherwise he will freak out if doors closed and I make a move. I'm happy with that even though its slow progress.
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by Maty »

Not sure where you are in the country but how about getting her out on Schnauzer Walks and see if that helps on the barking. We are all very tolerant of shouty schnauzers ;)
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by zeta1454 »

Are the separation anxiety, destructiveness and barking aggressively all new issues for your little one as, at two years old, if they are I would maybe also be looking at whether there is some kind of health issue too.

I would second all the advice above - definitely do not get a second dog while you are struggling with issues with your first as you may be doubling your problems for sure!

If the behaviour is not new, then the suggestion re crate training is a good one and could be helpful anyway - dogs do generally feel much safer and more secure in a "den" or contained environment and either a crate or secure puppy pen will also avoid the problem of her destroying furniture or causing damage to your house or to herself. However, the mention of the aggressive barking as well as the other activities did make me wonder if there is something more behind this behaviour and it might be worth a visit to the vet to check that your little one is not in any physical pain or if there is any likelihood of her having some other health issue. Have a look at this linkwhich also highlight some reasons for abnormal behaviour in dogs

http://www.clickertraining.com/node/4384" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And this from an article in Dogs Naturally Magazine:

"Is your puppy or adult dog acting strangely, being aggressive, fearful, phobic, hyperactive or depressed?

Many of these and other canine “problem” behaviors can result from thyroid dysfunction, or a vaccine or drug reaction.

Even food with a high sugar content can cause behavior problems, as it can with children.

Before calling your dog trainer to “fix” your dog’s problem, read what these three veterinarians (specializing in three different fields) have to say. Retraining may still be required, but check out your dog’s health first. Maybe the behavior was caused by thyroid disease, vaccination or medication.

THYROID DISEASE AS A CAUSE OF BEHAVIOR CHANGES

“The principal reason for pet euthanasia stems not from disease, but undesirable behavior” wrote pet vaccination and thyroid expert, W. Jean Dodds, DVM. Below is an excerpt from “Behavioral Changes Associated with Thyroid Dysfunction in Dogs” by Drs Dodds and Linda P. Aronson:

… an association has recently been established between aberrant behavior and thyroid dysfunction in the dog, and has been noticed in cats with hyperthyroidism. Typical clinical signs include unprovoked aggression towards other animals and/or people, sudden onset of seizure disorder in adulthood, disorientation, moodiness, erratic temperament, periods of hyperactivity, hypoattentiveness, depression, fearfulness and phobias, anxiety, submissiveness, passivity, compulsiveness, and irritability.

After episodes, most of the animals appeared to come out of a trance like state, and were unaware of their bizarre behavior. … Investigators in recent years have noted the sudden onset of behavioral changes in dogs around the time of puberty or as young adults. Most of the dogs have been purebreds or crossbreeds, with an apparent predilection for certain breeds. For a significant proportion of these animals, neutering does not alter the symptoms and in some cases the behaviors intensify. The seasonal effects of allergies to inhalants and ectoparasites such as fleas and ticks, followed by the onset of skin and coat disorders including pyoderma, allergic dermatitis, alopecia, and intense itching, have also been linked to changes in behavior.


Many of these dogs belong to a certain group of breeds or dog families susceptible to a variety of immune problems and allergies (e.g. Golden Retriever, Akita, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, English Springer Spaniel, Shetland Sheepdog, and German Shepherd Dog). The clinical signs in these animals, before they show the sudden onset of behavioral aggression, can include minor problems such as inattentiveness, fearfulness, seasonal allergies, skin and coat disorders, and intense itching.

The typical history starts out with a quiet, well-mannered and sweet-natured puppy or young adult dog. The animal was outgoing, attended training classes for obedience, working, or dog show events, and came from a reputable breeder whose kennel has had no prior history of producing animals with behavioral problems. At the onset of puberty or thereafter, however, sudden changes in personality are observed. Typical signs can be incessant whining, nervousness, schizoid behavior, fear in the presence of strangers, hyperventilating and undue sweating, disorientation, and failure to be attentive. These changes can progress to sudden unprovoked aggressiveness in unfamiliar situations with other animals, people and especially with children….

The major categories of aberrant behavior [are] aggression (40% of cases), seizures (30%), fearfulness (9%), and hyperactivity (7%); some dogs exhibited more than one of these behaviors. Within these 4 categories, thyroid dysfunction was found in 62% of the aggressive dogs, 77% of seizuring dogs, 47% of fearful dogs, and 31% of hyperactive dogs. *Our ongoing study now includes over 1500 cases of dogs presented to veterinary clinics for aberrant behavior. … findings confirm the importance of including a complete thyroid antibody profile as part of the laboratory and clinical work up of any behavioral case.



VACCINATION AS A CAUSE OF BEHAVIOR CHANGES

Patricia Jordan, DVM, VND, CVA, CTCVM & Herbology, is a vaccination expert and author of Mark of the Beast. She writes:

My experience as a practicing veterinarian for over 25 years, matched by Dr. Stephen Blake (37 years) and Dr. Richard Pitcairn (40 years) — has been that of watching vaccines result in disease in animals — and behavioral changes.

UC California at Davis recently finished studies proving the development of anger, aggression and anxiety in both animals and humans following vaccination. This should not be surprising as the mercury in vaccines (yes, it is still there) and aluminum are neurotoxins which are in combination synergetic. Aluminum opens the blood-brain barrier allowing mercury, aluminum and viruses (both intentional and unintentional contaminants) into the brain. The ensuing inflammation that develops is, well, encephalitis!

A French study showed, both in animals and humans, that the more viruses that are collected, the more apathetic the individual becomes. Vaccines are the best way to infect the body with viruses.

The aluminum from vaccines sequesters in the hippocampus of the brain, the seat of endocrine regulation and even dys regulated endocrine systems, and leads to behavioral changes.

I have seen plenty of behavioral changes following vaccination and will actually be speaking on this at a national veterinary convention next May. The sad thing is that this has been recognized for the past 150 years and there is still no consensus........

Those involved in training puppies and in the socialization of the dogs have linked the coincidence of behavioral changes in some dogs that follows the puppyhood series of vaccinations."
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jacdales
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by jacdales »

The Jean Dodds article is very good I have many american e-friends on the Airedale rescue group I belong to and they swear by Jean dodds and send blood samples to her because regular blood tests are not as comprehensive as hers and a thyroid problem is often not picked up.

My first Airedale ate great lumps out of the plaster walls in our house. She would just walk up to the wall and scrape it with her front teeth. The vet said it was a vitamin deficiency as she was raw fed he gave us some vitamin pills for her and she stopped chewing plaster.
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Re: Seperation anxiety

Post by nessclair »

My Monty has been through periods of separation anxiety which I have needed to manage. I found Caesar Milans advice helpful which you can find by googling, especially avoiding any contact with the dog (touch, voice or eye contact) before you leave for a period and when you return so that it doesn't make your presence so special to the dog. Quite hard to do, but worked well with Monty. Also, reducing the trigger points eg monty always knew I was going out to work when I put my cereal bowl in the dishwasher, so doing those things at random times so it isn't so significant. I also used to leave him a t shirt that I had been wearing so he had my scent. All those things plus adaptil really helped. Good luck :)
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