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Old 07-23-2013, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,536 posts, read 6,222,023 times
Reputation: 3923

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I am hoping you may have some advice for me!

We own a terrier/schanuzer mix named Cari. She is about two years old. We have had her for well over a year. She was a rescue doggie that we adopted.

Typically, she could be left alone at home with no issues. At our old home, we would put a gate in front of our bedroom door, but, the rest of the house was pretty much up for grabs. We would usually shut the doors to any unoccupied rooms.

A while back, we came home, and she had torn up some of the carpet in front of one of those doors. That was very unusual for her... she never chews or tears up anything! The next day, we came home, she had basically knocked over the gate in front of our room, and was laying in that room. We started gating her into our living room and entry room, which were both hard floors. For a while she was good, then, we came home one day and she had torn a huge section of carpet from in front of two doors!

Fast Forward... We moved in April. At first she was very well behaved. We bought a pretty nice gate, and started gating her in the kitchen. Her crate is in there, as well as her food and water, and a box of like 100 toys.

Last week, I came home one day, and it looked like she had been hanging on the gate, as some of the wall anchors were coming off. Weird..

The next day, we came home to discover that she had somehow reached under the gate and dug up some of the carpet. Also, the area around there was drenched, in only what could have been her drool. She had also managed to practically rip the gate off the wall. The next morning, we put her in her crate. Came home for lunch, her mat was drenched again and she had pushed the bottom of the crate out and had bent a lot of her crate. I ziptied the bottom piece, put on some music, and left. She seemed to be better this time.. I had put a videocamera up from my laptop to see what she was doing for this last time, she basically sat there panting for a while, then paced, then slept.

The reason I question what this is, though, is that she is not amused with us at home. She doesn't really follow us around at all. In fact, she usually goes to lay under an end table. She doesn't want to play hardly. When we let her out, she barely comes in, we have had to go get her. When I leave her outside, she doesn't try to get out or anything, she usually is laying on the patio.

I don't want to crate her all day, and I don't want to leave her outside either. But, I need to come home to a non-destructed house as well.

Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions?
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:29 PM
 
10,608 posts, read 13,422,201 times
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I would have a full vet workup including a FULL PANEL THYROID test.

There's no such thing as "acting out" there's something going on and she either doesn't feel well physically or something else.

There are alot of symptoms here. The drool, the hiding, the apathy.

I would get the vet check and not pass on the FULL PANEL thyroid these are symptoms. Anxiety etc.

THEN, I'd do very good DAILY walks with her to see if that helps her get into balance. Poor girl, something is not right here. I think she doesn't feel well, personally. Separation anxiety is when the dog thinks THEY are the pack leader and they are worried that the pack is not in order. That doesn't explain her behavior when you're home.

Does she eat normally and is her stool normal? It's not normal for a young dog to "mope" all day when you're home, then spazz when you leave. Are you ignoring her when you ARE home? Just askin'.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,536 posts, read 6,222,023 times
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No, in fact, we try to play with her a ton at home.

We did some pretty extensive bloodwork at the first time, only thing that came back at the first time was tonsilitis
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,536 posts, read 6,222,023 times
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Sorry, meant to add... She has not been eating in the morning... she waits till later. Except for today, I put her bowl of food outside and she gobbled it right up. Even weirder!
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:13 PM
 
1,699 posts, read 3,383,225 times
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Rule out medical causation before proceeding with a behavioral approach.

Here are some strategies to help with separation anxiety:

- Never punish your dog for destructive behavior that occurred in your absence. Punishment will add to anxiety, not decrease it.

- Make arrivals and departures as low-key as possible. There should be no emotion connected with your coming and going.

- Desensitize your dog to your ‘departure cues’ such as coat, keys, purse, garage door sound, blow dryer, etc. Your dog should get to the point where she is indifferent to those cues.

- Leave for short periods and gradually increase time away. You can not expect your dog to be ok alone for 5 hours if she's not ok alone for a half hour. Going out for short trips helps to reassure your dog that you'll always "be right back".

- If it can be done safely, leave your dog with an interactive toy or irresistible, long lasting treat to keep her occupied while you’re away. Try the BusterCube, a Kong stuffed with frozen peanut butter, or one of the many treat puzzle games.

-Leave classical music on for your dog to listen to while you’re away. There are even cd's designed to calm dogs: Through a Dog's Ear - Using music and sound to improve the lives of dogs...*and*their people!

- Be sure your dog is getting adequate exercise. A tired dog is more likely to relax and nap while you’re away than a dog with pent up energy.

- Until your dog has largely overcome separation anxiety, have someone stay with her when you need to be away for extended periods.

- Consider doggie daycare or hiring a pet sitter.

- Look into the Thundershirt and other anxiety wraps as well as DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) plug-ins.

- Continue to film your dog in your absence! This is a brilliant way to find out what works to ease her anxiety. You'll be able to determine whether she does better in or out of the crate, figure out if a long lasting treat is helpful, etc.


You mentioned you moved recently, and a new environment can certainly trigger mild separation anxiety, but it sounds like she started these behaviors before the move? Again, I'd strongly encourage you to get a thorough veterinary workup to rule out medical causation before taking a behavioral approach.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,536 posts, read 6,222,023 times
Reputation: 3923
Thanks for the tips!

Yeah, it started well before we moved. Once we moved, she was wonderful. Now, she is doing the same things as before. Very strange. Funny thing is, she has never been super playful... She is not one to play with a ball or toy for long... I could usually throw the ball 2 or 3 times before she would stop
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