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Old 11-25-2012, 04:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Name: Jessica
Dog's Name: Noah
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Location: San Antonio
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Default Severe separation anxiety

Hi my name is Jessica and my little one is named Noah. I have had him for two years and he is ten years old. I adopted him and love him to pieces. I have been evicted out of apartments because of his barking and howling. I need so advice on what to do to get him to calm down faster without medication. Medication is my last source. I have tried leaving him in a kennel and letting him bark. It seems to be getting worse and better at times. Can anyone give me some advice that would help?


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Old 11-25-2012, 04:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Jessica, separation anxiety is a very tough thing to deal with. I have that myself when I leave the house with Zoe. I just bought Bach's Rescue Remedy but have not tried it yet. They sell something my vet told me about called the Thundershirt which is suppose to calm them when put on.....if you google Thundershirt the site will come up. I think leaving him in a cage when you leave is more frustrating to him. Also, you can leave him with a Kong filled with his favorite treats and he can spend time getting them out. It is a tough thing to deal with....I can totally understand.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I can really relate, Jessica. Zooey has had separation anxiety issues since I adopted her 2 1/2 years ago. She's gotten better, but she's certainly not cured. I do use the Rescue Remedy and a Thundershirt on her while I'm away from home. I keep her crated in my hallway/bathroom so that she is secure, but not trapped as she would be in a crate. I always give her a treat that takes time to eat while I'm leaving. I leave the TV and a loud fan on.

This is a really complex issue and I would HIGHLY recommend getting a dog trainer to help you, as I had to do when I first moved into my condo with complaining neighbors. You need to build Noah's confidence over time.

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Old 11-25-2012, 04:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thundershirts are great... Gus has one. He gets very anxious with the Monsoons we get. He loves his "Thunder"

I need to get one for Grace.

I"d try the shirt like suggested above And the Bach's.... I'd also look into some of the scent things you can plug in that are supposed to be calming.

A trainer would be helpful.

I wish all doggies could go to work with their people. Would cut down stress for both!

Others with more experience will hopefully chime in
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Poor Noah When we adopted Teddy she had some major separation anxiety. Crating did not work, and it only made things worse in her case. Here are some steps we took that did work. I realize that what works for one dog won't work for another but they're worth a try.

1) Make sure he is all tired out. We take Teddy for a long walk, and then play fetch in the house. Exercise is so important in helping a dog deal with separation anxiety - a tired dog is a happy dog.

2) Apart from physical exercise, mental exercise is key. Learning new tricks, hide and seek, or treat dispensing toys are all great! About 30 minutes before you leave, get him to do some tricks for you and give him a kong to keep him busy.

3) The reason I say 30 minutes is because about 30 minutes before you leave, ignore him. Don't play with him, don't give him any attention. By this point he'll be tired, he'll have a kong (or something similar) to keep his attention. This step really worked for us, as Teddy would relax and when we left she wouldn't be jumping on us or whining.

Let us know how things go! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for little Noah.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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He doesn't have but two teeth. Will a kong work for him because that is made for chewing. I haven't quite tried that yet.


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Old 11-25-2012, 08:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When I adopted my Nadie she had SEVERE separation anxiety!! It took time patience and LOTS of 'training-exercises' with her.
In true S/A, it helps to understand it is a true phobia not just 'lonely'. They feel their well-being is only safe when with the particular person they have attached to. Naddie immediately attached to me... so when I left her..even if hubby was there with her she still got herself into a major 'twit'. She was so bad she couldn't bear to even be separated from me within the house!

The goal is to help them feel secure with themselves .. to learn they'll be OK/safe even if you are not there.

In her case, and many with S/A... a crate/kennel will often make things worse not helpful.

I started within the house and would leave the room she was in... close door.. and matter of factly used the phrase"mommy has to go... mommy will be right back'. I only left for matter of seconds.. and returned. I did this many times over with various rooms. and extended time as we went on.

Then I went to the outside.. always using the same phrase... and left her a tiny treat as I walked out...( the treat has them associate your leaving as a positie thing) then came back before she got 'worked-up",...again several times and eventually extending times.

I DID MAKE MISTAKE at first to make a 'fuss' over her when I returned home. I then learned you should basically ignore at first when returning . Sooo , I'd open door and walk past her..put parcels/purse down or walk thru house..THEN in a minute or two would say hello to her and pet her BUT all in a very matter of fact voice.. not 'excited-pitch". Once I learned this it helped a LOT! In a short time I'd then fuss over her as usual... just not at the initial return. Again the concept is to make the leaving..thus returning a no big deal event.

We had an extra ''challenge" in the beginning because she wasn't potty trained and I had to confine her to my office. That didn't 'sit-well' with her and she'd do major damage to the doors, sills, and even broke one of her teeth trying to 'escape'. Once I worke out the potty training.. I gave her full run of house and that too helped a lot so she sould access windows, skiding glass door to see out.

Soo yes it took time BUT Naddie is a happy and secure little dog today. Oh she'd rather
come with me or I stay at home...but if I do have to leave her she is fine!
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice.


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Old 11-28-2012, 11:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessiLea View Post
He doesn't have but two teeth. Will a kong work for him because that is made for chewing. I haven't quite tried that yet.


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If he can't chew, you could put a little peanut butter in it and he can lick it


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Old 11-28-2012, 02:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I will try that when I got paid this Friday. I just didn't know if it would work. I tried treats and he lost interest in them when he saw me leave. I don't know if he ate them after I left.


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