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Thread: Need Seperation Anxiety Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    North Of Seattle
    Posts
    1,577

    Need Seperation Anxiety Advice

    Hiya! I just got back from taking our foster Norbert for his re-check appointment. All is going well. His ears have cleared up and he's much less floppy.....he even jumped up into the truck with no help! His hook worms are gone and he's put on 8 pounds! Anyway, one of the things the vet mentioned was he showed classic seperation anxiety behavior. (very true)

    Well, what I was wondering is what I can do (if anything) to nip this in the bud now. Should I be crating him a couple of minutes during the day and leave the room? Other than a german shepard that used to chew all the fur off his butt everytime I went on vacation I've never dealt with SA. Any advice would be appreciated.
    ~Kat

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    Off to the races....
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    11,250

    Re: Need Seperation Anxiety Advice

    Glad to here Norbert is doing better!

    Originally posted by Cheshirekatt

    Well, what I was wondering is what I can do (if anything) to nip this in the bud now. Should I be crating him a couple of minutes during the day and leave the room? Other than a german shepard that used to chew all the fur off his butt everytime I went on vacation I've never dealt with SA. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Yes, getting him used to the crate is a good idea. Put him inthe crate with treats and or sturdy toys (things he can not detroy and choke on...Kong's are great!) Leve him in for s hort time, maybe only a mintue to start. Gradually increas the time and make it a positive expereince. When he is quite, and clam, reward him. Do not use the crate as a punishment.

    The other thing is to make sure he gets plenty of exercise when you are home. Even though he has other playmates, he needs human interaction. If my dogs are oputside along, often they wander around or sit and watch the world go by. if I go out thith them, even if I am doing something else (like poop scoppin), they run around and play with each other more.

    Mental stimulation will also help tire him out. Try things like playing fetch, working on tricks. We also have "treat balls" that I put the girls food in and make them work for dinner.

    One other idea...do not make a big deal out of your leaving or coming home. ignore him for a few mintues before you leave and do not immediatly greeet him when you come home. Make him wait til you get in get your coat, off, then say hello. It is a hard thing to do, but it has helped us with Sadie's jumping. I try to make her sit calmly til I say hello to her and invite het to see me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Rambunctious, rumbustious, delinquent dogs become angelic when sitting - Ian Dunbar
    Posts
    21

    hm...

    Oo Cincy's Mom.. those are great tips! Although I don't have a lot of past experience with SA, Archie was pretty bad about my leaving to school when he was a puppy and I solved that very quickly by 1) Spending lots of quality time with Archie when I /was/ home, and having others visit him while I was gone 2) Crate training him very well, so that he knew his crate was a safe and comfortable place to stay. He did become quite destructive when I left, so this also solved those problems. 3) Giving him many things to entertain him while I was gone.. Sometimes, I'd hide his treats and toys all around the garden & yard and let him go out to find them just as I left. He loved this! It would occupy him for a long time, as did chewy nylabones, bouncy balls, kongs, and treat-dispensing cubes. 4) Definately do not make saying goodbye a big ordeal, just pat him and walk out. Dogs can sense if you are lingering and might get freaked out even more by that.

    So... all that I said basically just went after Cincy's Moms comments - but those /are/ very good ideas, exactly what I did when Archie was young and would cry when I left him. Also, you might want to check it out with an Animal Behaviorist to seek any other more formal training/methods to 'nip this behavior in the bud' as you said. But, I know that you'll do really well with Norbert and find him a great forever home! Just make sure you're positive about all of this. He might've had bad experiences with being left alone before (pound puppy, right?) and may need some real serious TLC to fix that problem of fear of abondonment. Good luck! Keep us posted on how he's doing.
    Archie <3

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