Keoki's separation anxiety..

Dh and I took a quick trip to Oregon this week; we and the two youngest kids were gone for five days. The four older kids were home w/the dogs.

Keoki, who suffers from fairly extreme separation anxiety, is always kept in an ex-pen when we go anywhere because if he's crated he tears chunks of crate off. He is always in the same room as the other two dogs, so he's never actually alone.
Apparently, Sunday when the kids had him penned while they went to Mass, he freaked out enough that he had actually dragged the ex-pen across the room! in the process he did a nice number on his nose. :rolleyes:

We leave again Sunday for a week visit to my mom's. I can't take the dogs as we are taking two of the kids to Diabetes Camp first and the camp rule is that no dogs are allowed on the grounds. We are not sure how long the camp opening process will take, it will be around 90 degrees out, so…. the dogs will stay home with the two oldest kids {21 and 18}.
I'm curious what he'll look like when I get home this time . . . .😕


I should add we have to remove his nice beds when he's penned or he'll shred them. Usually I put them up on a shelf above the pen. The kids put it on the floor on the opposite side of the room from the pen – and he managed to move the ex-pen across the room to where the bed was and tear the bed bit by bit into the pen and totally destroyed it anyway. LOL

So, he's got ANOTHER new bed.... this must be bed #15 for his one whole year of life. LOL

Poor boy. Dallas always gets his nose scratched up from my sister's cat. However, being a basenji he keeps going after it's tail despite the scratches all over his nose. These dogs will do anything to get what they want huh? :p

And I swear he tore up the bed to spite you. LOL

Oh, poor Dallas. Cory and jayden are crated in pens when we leave the house and they don't like it either.

We put rubber bathtub mats under the pens and that has reduced the crate movement a LOT. We found that putting the mats down upside down with the suction cups pointing up works best. Cory used to be able to walk hers where ever she wanted!

Pat

@BasenjiDiva:

Oh, poor Dallas. Cory and jayden are crated in pens when we leave the house and they don't like it either.

We put rubber bathtub mats under the pens and that has reduced the crate movement a LOT. We found that putting the mats down upside down with the suction cups pointing up works best. Cory used to be able to walk hers where ever she wanted!

Pat

Do they not tear up the pads? I mean, there is NOTHING that Keoki won't destroy, and he has an incredible knack for getting at things I was sure were safe. :rolleyes:

Poor little guy! I wish I had some suggestions.

Hey Jazzy's mom…I have a question about fabrics you might have tried for dog beds. Brando has gotten into the habit of shredding. In my situation, it is very strange because he will still take food from my hand, etc., which Ruby would never do when she was crated and I was having problems with her. Ruby also used to hide in the morning, but Brando doesn't do that and will come to me when I call him. The ex-pen (technically a condo now w/crate and 2 dog beds) and having a buddy in the same room has all but solved Ruby's separation anxiety. She willingly runs upstairs and into her pen, no noise and will actually climb off the bed and sleep in there at night if I move around too much.

For Brando, I leave fleece blankets now which he shreds daily but I won't throw out until I can't figure out how to fold them. I can make it about a month before I have to throw out a blanket. He shredded both Ruby's small LLBean dog bed ($60) and a large LLBean dog bed ($80 - which I tried because I thought he'd have less access to moving it and thus fewer shredding possibilities...wrong) which I tried in his crate, so no more of those for him.

Anyway, I found some crate pads in a local pet store made of Crypton fabric. I bought one ($11 - they are thin, but if the fabric makes it, I'll buy either multiples and stack them or a dog bed made of it) and so far it has made it the entire week without him wrecking it or even making a mark on it. Another option I will try if the Crypton doesn't make it, is Sunbrella, an outdoor material...similar to boat canvas.

I was wondering, have you tried either of those? What was the bed made out of that Keoki shredded that was supposed to be "indestructible"?

Another option...the pet store that I bought the Crypton crate pad from said they are going to start carrying a product called bulldog bedz...I checked that website out, but I really don't want a rubberized product, I'd rather have cloth. They have a cloth one, but it doesn't appear to be available at present.

There definitely don't seem to be cheap options for "shredders".

@renaultf1:

Poor little guy! I wish I had some suggestions.

Hey Jazzy's mom…I have a question about fabrics you might have tried for dog beds. Brando has gotten into the habit of shredding. In my situation, it is very strange because he will still take food from my hand, etc., which Ruby would never do when she was crated and I was having problems with her. Ruby also used to hide in the morning, but Brando doesn't do that and will come to me when I call him. The ex-pen (technically a condo now w/crate and 2 dog beds) and having a buddy in the same room has all but solved Ruby's separation anxiety. She willingly runs upstairs and into her pen, no noise and will actually climb off the bed and sleep in there at night if I move around too much.

For Brando, I leave fleece blankets now which he shreds daily but I won't throw out until I can't figure out how to fold them. I can make it about a month before I have to throw out a blanket. He shredded both Ruby's small LLBean dog bed ($60) and a large LLBean dog bed ($80 - which I tried because I thought he'd have less access to moving it and thus fewer shredding possibilities...wrong) which I tried in his crate, so no more of those for him.

Anyway, I found some crate pads in a local pet store made of Crypton fabric. I bought one ($11 - they are thin, but if the fabric makes it, I'll buy either multiples and stack them or a dog bed made of it) and so far it has made it the entire week without him wrecking it or even making a mark on it. Another option I will try if the Crypton doesn't make it, is Sunbrella, an outdoor material...similar to boat canvas.

I was wondering, have you tried either of those? What was the bed made out of that Keoki shredded that was supposed to be "indestructible"?

Another option...the pet store that I bought the Crypton crate pad from said they are going to start carrying a product called bulldog bedz...I checked that website out, but I really don't want a rubberized product, I'd rather have cloth. They have a cloth one, but it doesn't appear to be available at present.

There definitely don't seem to be cheap options for "shredders".

I cannot remember what the "indestructible" :rolleyes: bed was made of, something along the lines of Kevlar. It lasted minutes, and he was a puppy then. :eek:

He does sleep in the crate during the day, by his choice, and at night. He's fine as long as the crate door is not latched. He will occasionally pull the beds out of the crates during the day and tear at them,but if I catch him the damage is minimal.
All bets are off, however, if we dare to leave the house. That is when he goes insane.

I've been through three different grades of fleece, some fabrics I cannot identify but that seemed "tough" at the time, soft cushy dog pillows, firm couch pillows… a lot of everything. :rolleyes:
Now I just buy dog beds for $10 or less, as needed, which is about every other month or so.

My friend puts a whole roll of papertowels in the crate.
Minus the plastic wrap..
The dogs makes pieces of the roll and then have a soft place to sleep.
Eating the roll has not been a problem…so
maybe this will work for you?

@sharronhurlbut:

My friend puts a whole roll of papertowels in the crate.
Minus the plastic wrap..
The dogs makes pieces of the roll and then have a soft place to sleep.
Eating the roll has not been a problem…so
maybe this will work for you?

I do put a pile of paper towels in the crate, but haven't put the whole roll in.
Hmmm, I may have the kids try that next week when I'm gone. Might be a new strategy. It's bound to keep him busy for a little while anyway!

Thanks!

have you tried to desensitize him to the closed (latched) crate? Start by not leaving at all, simply latch the crate. for ANY calm behavior, reward w/ a special, one of a kind, high value treat. use something that will only be used for this purpose (i.e. liver biscotti pieces). try to leave the room, for only seconds to start,, slowly working up to minutes… all the while reward ANY calm behavior. eventually you can work up to stepping outside, then eventually leaving. this will take plenty of time, treats, patience, but it may save you some money on dog beds/mats/paper products.

have you already tried things such as a Kong (black one)?

@JazzysMom:

Do they not tear up the pads? I mean, there is NOTHING that Keoki won't destroy, and he has an incredible knack for getting at things I was sure were safe. :rolleyes:

The ex-pen I have has a removal black tray on the bottom. They can't see the rubber bath mat because of the tray.

Pat

@jessi76:

have you tried to desensitize him to the closed (latched) crate? Start by not leaving at all, simply latch the crate. for ANY calm behavior, reward w/ a special, one of a kind, high value treat. use something that will only be used for this purpose (i.e. liver biscotti pieces). try to leave the room, for only seconds to start,, slowly working up to minutes… all the while reward ANY calm behavior. eventually you can work up to stepping outside, then eventually leaving. this will take plenty of time, treats, patience, but it may save you some money on dog beds/mats/paper products.

have you already tried things such as a Kong (black one)?

Oh Jessi, yes. This has been a year long process, including working with a behaviorist and even a brief stint with medications!
I spent the first 7 mos that we had him sleeping in the spare bedroom where the dog crates were kept so that I could work with him all night. Dh was just thrilled with that plan {NOT}.

He started out not even taking treats while in the crate and We'd worked him up to being able to sleep in the closed kennel as long as it was not latched and was inside the ex-pen. In May he started letting us latch the crate and I was able to remove the ex-pen entirely for a few weeks, then he suddenly decided to flip out again.
Now we are back to him sleeping soundly at night in the closed but not latched crate inside an ex-pen. Eventually I am confident he will allow me to latch the crate again at night.

The real problem is not so much the crate or pen themselves, but HIM when we leave the house.

When we leave the house he flips out to the point where treats are useless – KONGS don't work, tendons don't work, even raw marrow bones with beautiful bloody meat bits on them are ignored until we get home again. He will, however, tear bedding, chew up the crate, and pull anything within reach of the pen into the pen and destroy it. It's definitely a stress behavior.
The dragging the pen across the room to get to things to chew is a new behavior.
And again... only present when we leave the house; it does not happen if we are home.

So, yeah, we've "been there, done that" with the desensitization training, and it is still an on-going process. He's a special boy when it comes to us leaving the house, even though he's never EVER been left alone with out the two other dogs.

Oh, that is so tough.
You have done all the "right" things.
I do have a friend who has worked (often over the net) with dogs with issues.
If you e-mail me privately brescue@wavecable.com
I can put you in touch with her.

wow, sounds like you've certainly tried all you can! at least you've made the great progress you have! I hope, in time, it eases up a bit, it must be very stressful for you, your family, and especially the dog. good luck!!

I went through 6 dog beds in one year with Katie. I found one in a magazine that for me has been indestructible for 5 years!!!!

Removable cover is washable and is holding up really well–only and ink stain from a chewed up pen--

I cover it with baby blankets purchased at the local salvation army resale store only because the b's like to get under the blankets.

http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/andmore_home/andmore_dogstuff/98787.aspx?feature=Product_2

You have probably tried this already but its worth suggesting. Have you tried taking one of his stuffed toys and sleeping with it for a while maybe a week or so, and then putting it in his kennel while you are gone. When we went and got Indi we rubbed a toy all over his family members and then took a towel we had slept with and put both in the crate it seemed to soothe him. Pretty soon all we needed was something with out scent and he was ok. Now he just hangs out in the crate whenever he wants to be alone.

Thats the other thing, he always comes out of the crate on his own we NEVER go in there when he is there. Its his special spot.

Like I said you have probably already tried this but it's all I have to offer.

Poor boy. I've never had to deal with that…it sounds like you've done just about everything you can.

I wonder if taping your voices or making video of yourselves doing everyday things and playing it while you're gone would ease his anxiety a little? It's a just a thought.....

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