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Old 04-01-2012, 03:42 PM
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k9krazee k9krazee is offline
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Default I want this to work - I need help.

Jack has been with me 1 week today. First couple days he was great, quiet, spent some time alone, spent some time in the office. Awesome.

Beginning on Friday things took a turn for the worse. There was a thunderstorm (and he is very thunderphobic, usually pants, shakes and hides in a closet). That day he tried to eat through the apartment door. The ladies in the office let him out and he chilled with them all day and was fine sleeping under the desk.

Saturday was a rough day because I was gone for 12 hours. I woke up early and took him for a long walk. I left at 8am and came back around 2pm, let him outside and walked around the block a couple times. Put him back and he started chewing/scratching on the door shortly after. I went back around 5, let him out and fed him dinner. Had to go back to work until 7:30-8pm. By that time he was visibly very stressed and anxious, it took him 20 minutes to relax and let me out of his sight.

Today we slept in, I fed him breakfast, we went for a couple mile walk and played a bit. I went in to work at 11am and checked in on him (stayed outside the door) about 2 and he was fine & quiet. About 4 o'clock things were quieting down at work so I went to let him out so he could hang out with me in the office until I close up at 8. His nose was bleeding (from the door), he peed on my chair and once again, is very stressed and anxious.

This is uncharacteristic of him and I need advice to make him more calm and comfortable alone by himself. He has bones, toys, kongs, etc but he won't pay them any attention until I come home.

At my parent's house he would be home alone for at least a few hours a day, the other dogs would be crated and he'd be loose. The only times we ever had an issue was if he was confined in a small space like a bedroom or a bathroom -then he panics and eats doors. He lived with me in my parent's cabin over 2 summers and was content to stay home all day alone while I was at school.

Peeing in the house and destroying doors is not going to fly, but I'm not ready to give up yet. I've ordered a thundershirt and rescue remedy and it's in the mail. I really wish I could crate him but I don't know how to go about it now. I honestly thought the biggest problem I'd have is barking. He is usually a very vocal dog but he has not barked one single time. At 7 years old he should not be peeing on the floor and trying to break out.

Does anybody have any 'staying home alone' advice or vibes? I try not to make a big deal when I leave and when I come home.

My mom told me to send him back to her and get a new dog. Oh how I wish I didn't care and that it was that easy
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:41 PM
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Beanie Beanie is offline
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What about one of those DAP diffusers - I believe at least one person on here has used one...
I would imagine it's most likely an adjustment period thing, so maybe you could even look into some medication to use for a while during the adjustment period, and once he has settled more, wean him off it? Just something to help him take the edge off.

If you wanted to try crating him, I would do it when you are home for the day so you can monitor how he's doing, if he starts barking or if he tries to bust out of the crate...
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:33 PM
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Bailey08 Bailey08 is offline
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My dog has separation anxiety and general anxiety. What's worked best for me is lots of place work and relaxation protocol (http://dogscouts.org/Protocol_for_relaxation.html), and when I leave, leaving him with super high value stuffed Kongs. B's anxiety is primarily about me actually leaving him, though.

Thundershirt hasn't made a huge difference (though I know a lot of people have seen success) and I didn't notice a difference with the DAP collars and diffusers (though I kept them up for a while anyway!).

I'd also try white noise and/or background TV/music. It may also be the new sounds that trigger him.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:31 AM
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Taqroy Taqroy is offline
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I'm not very good with separation anxiety, but we use the DAP diffusers in our house and it's made a big difference. Unfortunately, the main way to tell if they'll work for your dog is to get them and then see if there's a difference after you run out. (I know we've run out when Mu starts acting like a jerk). I also dose both of the girls with Quiet Moments when they, or I, am on edge and I want to have them both out together. It definitely seems to make a difference with Mu and it makes me a lot less worried (which can't hurt).

I was told that Rescue Remedy actually works better after immediate trauma but it doesn't work very well for daily long term use. I don't know how true that is but Quiet Moments is much more effective for my dogs than Rescue Remedy was. I hope something works for you and Jack!
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:39 AM
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Do you have just one room? Or like an apartment space? If you have both, was he locked in your bedroom when the storm occured?

Frodo had a very similar thing happen about 2-3 weeks after we moved in. Started getting SUPER anxious and digging under the bedroom door when we would leave. Let him have run of the apartment and he was 100% fine. Not sure if something scared him in the bedroom or what, he will still willingly go in there and sleep, just doesn't want to be locked in there.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:18 AM
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My apartment has a bedroom & a livingroom in one area, a door (the door that I was closing) then a hallway with a bedroom and bathroom at the end. Outside of the door I was closing is another door that leads into the work offices & is where the printer is.

I'm trying something new today. I think he could feel trapped with the door closed and he could hear people anytime they went back to the printer. Today I out a baby gate in the doorway of my bedroom and closed the door - it's big, heavy with windows. Hopefully the gate will provide protection to the door an he can still see out but not hear people by the printer. I also opened the blinds in the bedroom (they are usually closed 100% of the time). I didn't allow him to have his peanut butter filled kong last night. I immediately put it away and am only going to let him have it when I'm gone.

I talked to a our cleaning crew yesterday and their daughter might be interested in walking Jack on days that I'm not able to.

We'll see how today goes! I need to figure outhis threshold. He's food for a period of time before he goes crazy.

I'll definitely check out Quiet Moments and the DAP collar/diffuser. I did pick up a cheap anti-anxiety collar yesterday.
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