Ditto…I am not a big fan of getting another dog to fix a problem with a current dog.....often you end with two dogs with more problems. I would try the meds first....
(I'll apologize in advance, this is gonna be long!)
Ditto here, too. I feel your pain, GriffinsMom, having been in the same situation with my Magnum (although I don't think Magnum's SA was quite as bad as Griffin's).
I'm presuming you've tried distractions (i.e., filled kongs, hiding tiny treats in the area he's confined to so he has to search them out, treat balls, etc.)?
Have you tried leaving for a minute, then coming back and working your way up in time? If you haven't, you should consider it, but it's not something that can be done in a day.
A couple of things I thought of:
Was Griffin paper-trained as a wee pup? I found with Magnum that although he was house-broken when we were home, he would mess when we were gone. Luckily, I accidentally found out that he remembered his paper-training, so I'd lay out thicknesses of newspaper on a plastic tarp in the area he was confined to, and he'd use them (and not rip them up, surprisingly).
I also used to put shredded clean paper (long shreds, not cross-cut) in his open crate and hide goodies in there for him to search out. (In fact, that's how I found out he remembered his paper training, lol!)
At the height of his SA, here's what I did even when he was only going to be left alone for a short time:
Confined him to my [safe] bedroom (where he also slept–so lots of stuff with our/his smell on it) with thicknesses of newspaper on a plastic tarp. Lots of windows were available for him to look out of. Hid tiny treats all around the room for him to discover. Left him two frozen, filled kongs. DAP diffuser plugged in. TV on low tuned to Animal Planet. Hid tiny treats in shredded paper in his open crate. Left several tiny treats immediately obvious to distract him right away and spur him to search for more. Made him a bed on the bed with lots of pillows. Left him water (I know, might sound a little bit crazy, but Magnum's SA came with a lot of panting--that'll make a dog thirsty).
I kept my leavings and coming-backs low-key. I tried to switch up my routines so he wouldn't start getting anxious before I left. I pulled my car out of the garage and left it running, closing the garage door, so those sounds wouldn't perhaps pull an anxiety trigger. I'd let him see all the goodies I was leaving for him before I "treated" the bedroom, then I'd go into the bedroom without him, close the door, treat the room, then exit and close the door--I wanted him to WANT to get into that room (and he always did). When the time came to go, if he wasn't already waiting at the bedroom door, I'd call him over, pat him on the head once, say "Be a good boy. You wait." Then I'd let him into the room.
Once I got into my car, I'd be careful not to close the door completely until I felt I was out of earshot, hoping, once again, not to pull an anxiety trigger.
Although we've since built an indoor/outdoor kennel, so he's no longer in our bedroom, he's come a long way. Now I leave him with one filled, frozen kong. If he has to potty, he's got a doggie door into the outdoor kennel. I call to him "Kennel, Magnum!" and he shoots right down there, waiting for his kong. I still pat his head once we're in the kennel and say "Be a good boy. You wait." He starts gnawing on his kong as I'm leaving the kennel and closing the door.
Two things that were suggested to me, but I never tried:
- If Griffin is confined somewhere that has a window view, put a bird feeder out there where he can see it. It'd be a good distraction!
- Tape record yourself reading a book or a magazine out loud. Set the playback to loop continuously, then set the player somewhere he can't see it. (It was also suggested to videotape yourself and run it while you're away, but I don't think videos can be endlessly looped, so once the movie's over, any benefit from it might be over, too.)
SA is a tough row to hoe, and, unfortunately, there's generally no quick fix, no magic bullet, GriffinsMom. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of time to overcome or at least manage, but keep trying, eventually, he'll at least get to a manageable point.
I'm sorry this is sooooooo long!