My friend's sister Jill has just moved to Maryland recently, taking her 6 year old GSD, Guiness along. She moved about 2 months ago, and Guiness is having a hard time. She used to live in a place where Guiness could run outside and she could walk him in the woods and stuff, and he loved it. Now she is in an apartment. I guess she does have a small yard, but no fence, so he always has to be leashed.
Guiness is having a really hard time. When he is left home alone, he is destroying the apartment. He has pulled down all of the blinds, dug holes in the wall, chewed the carpeting, and pooped all over. He is house trained, and has been since he was a pup.
Jill is very worried about him, because he doesn't seem happy. She feels horrible for having him there when he is miserable, but she would never ever give him up in a million years, so that's not even an option she has thought about--she would rather keep replacing things he has destroyed. She has taken him to the vet to rule out any medical problems, so I'm assuming he is anxious or stressed.
I gave her sister an ad for the comfort zone thingie and told her to give it a try, but I'm looking for other options. I also told her to call a behaviorist, maybe he or she would be able to help. I know a few of you have had anxious doggies, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Is it possible that he is not getting as much exercise as he's used to? That's what it sounds like to me. If he's used to having a yard and paths to run on and expend his energy and isn't getting the opportunity to get rid of that energy now, then it could lead to destructive behavior like what you've just mentioned. Since she has seen a vet to rule out a medical problem, tell her to try increasing his exercise, and mental stimulation.
Best of luck to her.
maybe there is a doggie daycare in the town she is living, If not she could start on a weekend crate training. a german shepherd being axious could go through the apartment window which would be more serious. If crate trained he is safe and not destroying the apartment. and you can crate train an older dog and it is not cruel. Think about it you come home the place is destoryed are you happy to see the dog I dont think so. but crate trained you come home the house is in order you get the leash and go for a walk you are happy and the dog is happy and no 2 to 3 hours cleaning up the mess or spending hard earned money to replace the damage. most of all the dog is safe in a crate. and can not do something that could hurt him or cost him his life. I speak from experience. My German Rottweiler from europe had never been left along until one day I had to take my german shepherd to the vet. they always went to gether but not that day. when I came home the house was trashed I couldnt find my dog I thought someone had broke into my house I noticed that the dog food container was knock over and alot of food missing. I found my dog Under the bed dead he died of bloat. that day I found my rottie dead and the vet said the german shepherd would die also she had cancer. I crate my dogs when I am not at home or unable to keep an eye on them
Thanks for the advice.
I am not sure how much exercise he gets now, I had mentioned that to her also.
Guiness actually has gone through a window before--at her old place--I don't remember the story exactly, but it was very scary.
I am so sorry to hear about your dogs oodlesofpoodles, how very very sad that must have been.:(
She could also try Rescue Remedy. It didn't work for Penny Lane, but I have heard of other people that have had good results from it. You can get it from health food stores.
What about doggie day care a day or two a week. When Leo used to go to day care - he was one tired pup for a couple of days after. Playing with the other dogs gave him great exercise.
My sister had a GSD who had wind phobia. Anytime there was a windy day the poor baby would just go a little nuts. One time he leaped into the bathtub and ripped out all the plumbing. She eventually had to get some valium from the vet and dope him up with there was a windy day in the forecast. :(
Good Luck to your friend Jill and Guiness. I hope she finds something that works.
You've been given some good advice. :)
I say, he should be crate trained, or left with a daycare when his owner isn't home. The only thing about daycares that I don't like is that some don't pay attention to the dog; just keep him in a room all alone, and some reward bad habits and untrain a dog.
I also reccomend vigorous exersise when possible. It will tire him out for a while and leave him calm.
There are lots of herbs out there that are meant to calm a dog. If you look up some herbal recipes for dogs, it's very interesting to read. You can also buy some dosages in pet stores.
I was going to suggest a doggie daycare, or dog park, but I see that has already been done. We have a daycare we love, where many of the workers also teach or help with classes, so they reinforce all the basic commands. The dogs are either inside, or in one of 3 outdoor fenced in areas (including an agility yard) and there is never more the 10-12 dogs per staff member. The dogs are only kenneled during 2 nap times periods, so when I take them from 7am-4pm, they only spend 1 1-1/2 hrs in a crate...the rest of the time they are playing, and boy are they tired when they get home!!
If these option aren't available to your sister, she many try to find a "sport" her dog likes...flyball, agility, freestyle, etc.
Sadie is a super hugh energy dog with not much of an attention span. She loves to do tricks though, and we have used this to "control" her...for example, when we took agility there were times we had to stand inline to use the equipment. Sadie would pull all over the place. By gettingher to do tricks, like spins, rolling over, etc, while in line, she was much more focused. It is amazing how something as easy (and fun) as teaching new behaviors can help calm and focus a dog.
I have an update about Guiness:
Jill was beside herself with grief over Guiness, even mentioning once to her sister that maybe it would be better for him if he went to live somewhere else, even with her parents, because he liked it there.
One day, she suggested to her boyfriend that he take Guiness to work with him. Her boyfriend works construction, and there are plenty of people around all day. Guiness was so happy to be there!!!!
Now he goes to work with him every day, and gets so much attention, and just loves being out all day!!
Seems as though they've found their solution--everyone is happy!!
Emily - that is terrific, what a perfect solution. It makes a great deal of sense too, as GSD's are happiest when they are "working". Guiness probably feels like he is "on the job" all day.
I am so happy it worked out. A tired pup is a well behaved pup!! :D
This sounds like wonderful news. I hope it can work for Guiness that he has a new job and that it can last for him. You know...they just want to know that they matter. They want to have something to do.
I could imagine how unhappy the doggie would be: moving from a big house with lots of room and freedom to a small place and have to be leashed all the time. I am glad they found a good solution. :)