How do I help Separation Anxiety??
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  • Hi All! Everyone was so helpful when D.C. was sick with his food alergies… I figured someone might also be helpful with Lexi's separation anxiety.
    It seems to be getting worse! They have both been kennel trained since day one, and she will lay in her bed with her toys even when we are home and the kennel doors are open. She was kind of bad before when we went to work. She would eat bits of her blanket and it ended up looking like swiss cheese after a while.
    Since I have quit my job about six months ago to stay home and run my business they are out of their kennels all day. When we go out for dinner or shopping or something, she now eats her bedding... I have sewn up her bed so many times, i finally took it away from her. Putting down only a small towel. Which she ate. Now she gets nothing but the plastic try in the bottom of the crate. I feel horrible as her brother next to her is on a nice comfy bed, but I'm so afraid she is going to get a blockage of this stuff, and those beds are not cheap!
    Anyone out there with similar problems?? She's a very sensitive little girl, almost two years old. Any and all comments greatly appreciated !!
    Thanks!!
    Jennifer
    PS, D.C. is doing absolutely fabulous!!

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  • Maybe try crating her, leaving the house for 5 minutes, then come back in with praise and a treat to show her that her family returns and she shouldn't be worried. Work with the 5 minutes and gradually increase the time, always providing a treat and praise with each of her successes.

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  • This isn't Separation Anxiety! People are way to quick to toss out the "Separation Anxiety" condition.

    What is the state of your dog when you come home? Is she panting and shaking? No? Has she destroyed furniture, urinated, vomited, pooped, frantically scratching/chewing at the door until her paws bleed? No? Then it's not separation anxiety.

    I have a Basenji with serious Separation Anxiety, and have been battling it for almost a year now! Trust me, what you have mentioned does not come close.

    This sounds more like boredom, or protest that you have left her. Remove the bedding, have some safe toys available, like a stuffed KONG or something when you leave. You want her to enjoy that you are leaving. So only give the KONG when you leave and not when you are at home.

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  • Now, I am just curious, and not making a comment on anyone's dog's actions, but can there be different levels of separation anxiety? I'm asking purely from a perspective of gaining more education.

    Nerdy, that sounds like it's quite hard for both you and your basenji. So sorry to hear that you are going through that. I definitely see the merit in giving a favourite toy when leaving the home. Excellent suggestion.

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  • Well yes, just like any condition. The thing is people think because their dog cries and howls when then leave, then it's separation anx. Same if the dog is following them all over the place. Which it's not.

    The panting is a dead giveaway. Dogs don't sweat, so if you see your dog panting and shaking like crazy when you come home, just picture a person shaking and sweating….you would know instantly that that person was breaking down.

    Gizmo would be like that. He would be panting and shaking, whimpering and fast pacing back and forth not knowing what to do, when I entered the room after being away. He would claw and chew til his teeth bleed and paws bleed. Poop, vomit, urinate, destruction...you name it, he did it.

    If you are interested then there are several good reads out on the internet to read on the subject. Books too, one that I liked, was I'll be Home Soon: How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety. It's not a super book (actually it's more of a pamphlet than a book), but it does have some good general information on the condition and tips on how to battle it.

    With Gizmo I had to end up using drugs. I had tried every Technique , and was getting nowhere. They helped to calm him down enough so the training took hold. But we are not 100% out of the clear yet. But it is far better now than it was in the beginning.

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  • I have had some who will eat holes in anything left in or near the crate, just because they can, they are not overly upset at being in the crate, just will chew if given the opportunity. I have had dogs who do not chew anything in the crate, but if not watched outside the crate will chew corners off pillows and eat shoes, and then I have had others that do not chew anything. The safest route is to not put any bedding in the crate, a kong or other toy might work, but I have had nylabones demolished and ingested, so try it out in short time periods just in case. Do not feel guilty for taking away her bedding, its for her own good, you definitely don't want to deal with a blockage.

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  • S

    Put in a roll of paper towel. Yes, paper towel…take the plastic off first. My boy, when crated was crazy..so the breeder suggested putting that in. The dog will tear it up relieves his need to distroy won't hurt him if eaten, like blankets will...and it gives him a "nest" to sleep on when he is done with all that energy.
    I did do that for him, at first, but now he has house manners, so we don't use a crate.

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  • Have you tried a DAP? google dog appeasing phermone. i have the plug in and use it when my female comes in season. it helps with the intact male dog in the house. at any rate it cannot hurt.

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  • While paper towels might be a choice… I would still worry about all that paper binding in the gut... have seen it happen... if you can determine that for sure it is not eaten.. that is one thing, if not... it would not be my choice. Just an opinion...

    And I have to say to all with either this or crate problems, I have not had that.. but then I don't have to crate mine when not home. We have a dog room and a doggy door to the back yard. We have 12' privacy fences with padlocks on the gates... and in a pretty quiet neighborhood except for the squirrels.... so have not had to deal with what many of you have.

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  • @sharronhurlbut:

    Put in a roll of paper towel. Yes, paper towel…take the plastic off first. My boy, when crated was crazy..so the breeder suggested putting that in. The dog will tear it up relieves his need to distroy won't hurt him if eaten, like blankets will...and it gives him a "nest" to sleep on when he is done with all that energy.
    I did do that for him, at first, but now he has house manners, so we don't use a crate.

    I do this with Querk….also newspaper is good. It does help :)

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  • And to add, Querk has excellent house manners, so he is rarely crated, only when we travel, or in the car, etc…so I don't have to use a roll of towels per day...that would get pretty spendy!

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  • S

    Newspapers have ink which can give dogs reactions… so I would be careful with newspaers.

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  • Sharron, I have been told that most newspapers are printed with biodegradable non-toxic vegetable ink now…but regardless, he doesn't eat it.

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  • It does sound like this person's dog is actually eating the bedding, towels, etc. because he/she is worried about the dog getting a blockage. Something that is safe to eat would be better than paper, I think, but I've given Paco Busy Bones and Kongs with treats inside, just to find when I get home that he's totally ignored them. I'll get home, open the crate, and he'll pick up the Bone or Kong and start working on it outside of the crate. I think it's his protest to being left home alone and not getting to come along more than a protest to the crate, as he never minds going in there.

    To the OP, I wouldn't worry too much about your dog not having bedding - Paco shoves his bedding to one side of the crate and sleeps on the plastic bottom all the time. I don't think they mind too much, as long as they're not in there for long. Have you tried video-ing your dog after you leave, or sneaking back to the house and spying on him? I video'd Paco once and found that he pawed at the corners and sides of the crate for six minutes, then curled up and slept until I came home 4 hours later.

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