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Old 05-05-2012, 01:55 AM
 
26 posts, read 36,349 times
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Default Will getting a second dog help with separation anxiety?

I have a 10 month old Great Dane, Talon. I love her but she has a bad separation anxiety problem, namely, chewing everything she can get her teeth on when she is left alone. This past week, two guys my husband works with have actually asked him if he wants their dogs...one is a chihuahua that the guy just does not want anymore, another is a dachsund that the guy can't keep because he is moving. At first I thought "No more dogs" since Talon is already a handful but then I wondered if having another dog around might help her...not only with separation anxiety but also with socializing and having some "same species" company. I have heard/read differing things...some say "Getting another pet will not help" some say "Getting another pet WILL help". So I was just wondering if anyone out there has personal experience with this.
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:38 AM
 
Location: In a state of denial
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Yes, very much so. Had this happen twice and both times the dogs were much calmer and happier. Dogs need to run in "packs". When there is just one they are lost.
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:34 AM
 
Location: zone 5
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It totally depends on the individual dog. It does the trick for some, doesn't help at all for others.
Are you sure she has separation anxiety? Chewing on things is pretty common in a dog under age two. In another thread you mentioned she had chewed electrical cords and some other things. For her own safety, you should really try crate training her (with a peanut butter-filled kong or something to satisfy her chewing needs) until she gets through this stage. Even if she does have separation anxiety, and even if getting another dog does help with that, it will probably not stop the chewing, although she might do it a little less.
The chewing is also a sign of boredom. Of course dogs, especially young ones, are going to get bored at times when alone. But the more exercise and fun things you can do with your dog, the less restless she'll be when you're not home.
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:15 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal
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I can't speak to the separation anxiety. Artie's peeved when I leave him, even to go to the grocery store -- since I work from home and we're together 24/7 -- but he just goes to sleep when I leave. I guess it makes the time go faster for him that way.

So, as I said, I can't speak to the SA, but I'm a bit concerned about a HUGE Great Dane interacting with a wee little chi or doxie. Talon could hurt a little dog, just by playing. Not meaning to hurt the other dog, but just playing with such a big size difference.

I don't have two dogs -- Artie wouldn't allow that and neither would my husband -- but maybe the variant size is something to take into consideration if you choose the two-dog route. Others may have more insight on this -- it was just something that popped into my head.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subject2change View Post
It totally depends on the individual dog. It does the trick for some, doesn't help at all for others.
Are you sure she has separation anxiety? Chewing on things is pretty common in a dog under age two. In another thread you mentioned she had chewed electrical cords and some other things. For her own safety, you should really try crate training her (with a peanut butter-filled kong or something to satisfy her chewing needs) until she gets through this stage. Even if she does have separation anxiety, and even if getting another dog does help with that, it will probably not stop the chewing, although she might do it a little less.
The chewing is also a sign of boredom. Of course dogs, especially young ones, are going to get bored at times when alone. But the more exercise and fun things you can do with your dog, the less restless she'll be when you're not home.
Exactly! In the world of dogs for many years, I have heard it can help or you can have the same problem(s) x 2. Crate-training is your answer. At age 2, our dog, Rinnie, developed separation anxiety and she would bark frantically by the window, scratching up the floor and then howl. Everyone suggested a another dog but I didn't want another dog and knew from many, many people that this may not solve the problem. I read everything and tried all the techniques even walking her for 2 hours before leaving! Putting her in the crate decreased the anxiety to a point and it lasted a shorter period - I audio taped the action. We recently got a second dog which I learned quickly had SA, the first time I picked up my purse to head for the door so I went and placed Rinnie's crate right next to Yellow Dog's and said "You all just drive one another nuts. Have fun!" and left the house. Not a peep. I have two alpha females and I think it is not the companionship but the fact that neither wants to look weak in the eyes of the other one. They are a good match, same size, same energy and both a little older.

I would never get a second dog unless I wanted one. Crate! Also, classical musical will using help "sedate" them. Mind pass out when I put on Beethoven!
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:20 AM
 
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I find two get along better than one. They are pack animals and like to be around others BUT at 2 or so a big dog like a great dane grows up slowly. So it is probably puppy behavior that will continue for some time.

Use the bitter spray for awhile longer and see if that helps.

If I ever get more dogs, it will be in twos.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Middle America
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It will depend on the dog. I thought about it, but ultimately, just feared ending up with two dogs with problem behavior...also really only have space for one dog.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:38 AM
 
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My dog was impossible when I left And living in a multi family building it was not acceptable. I brought in a second dog and now they both howl when I leave. But for about 2 minutes then it's all silent. So yes having a buddy helps big time ��
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
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You could be dealing with puppy behavior or boredom. Often in cases of seperation anxiety there will be damage to door frames, window frames as the dog is trying to get out to find you while boredom will cause a dog to do many destructive things. If I am not mistaked separation anxiety destruction happens right after you leave but if you can go out for say 15 minutes and there is no damage it is probably boredom . Have you tried leaving treat stuffed toys for the dog to find and play with when you leave?

If you have a friend with a calm stable dog that does not destroy things when left alone you might want to borrow the dog and leave it with yours and see what happpens. If you still come home to things chewed up then you will know that getting a 2nd dog is not the answer and it beats taking in another dog and then learning that was not the answer.
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:02 PM
 
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Hi everyone, and thanks for the input so far. I guess there is no real way to know if Talon will be ok with another dog unless we try. We told both of the guys who want us to take their dogs that we would be willing to give it a trial run for about a week to see how it goes and they have both agreed to take the dogs back if it doesn't work, so we're thinking of just choosing one of the dogs and seeing what its personality is like, if they get along with Talon, how they do when they are alone, etc. We wouldn't be taking it solely for Talon though, we have talked about getting another, smaller dog and this situation just happened to present itself now.

Talon actually is crate trained, she slept in her crate and would go in her crate whenever we left the house (I'm a stay at home mom, so most of the time, she was out in the house though). We did this from the time we got her until about 2 months ago. I guess I just felt bad about putting her in the crate and thought "Oh we will just leave her in the house" and she was actually fine for a few weeks, did not destroy anything, then one day she just started and since then every time she is alone, she does it. In fact yesterday I went to my dads to visit for a couple hours and put her blankie, a giant chew bone and her favorite stuffed toy out in the garage, because there is almost nothing in there to destroy. She managed to chew up the one thing on the ground, a box that had a playground in it for my kids. GAH! I guess maybe the solution is just to start using her crate again.

Oh I forgot to mention I have tried the kong type toys (it wasn't kong brand, but the same basic thing) and she didn't do a thing with it. Couldn't figure out how to get the food out so she just left it.
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