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Old 12-12-2016, 08:30 AM
2 posts, read 4,659 times
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I guess I'm looking to vent and get advice. My husband and I adopted a dog 1 month ago. We decided we were ready after losing our dog of 11 years early this year to cancer. Before I adopted I told the rescue a dog that would be ok with being crated was very important because my husband works full time and at the time I working part time. I took 1 week off from work to help get the dog comfortable in his new home. He is just the sweetest, most lovable dog. He didn't have any accidents and rarely barked. But from the start he hated being crated. He destroyed the first crate when we went grocery shopping one day. And we found claw marks all over the door of the room he was in. After he broke out of the crate he scratched at the back of the door to try to "get out" of the room.

I always crated the dog I had. This was the same breed I had before - a spaniel breed. They are hyper dogs and sometimes when left alone they can be destructive. My last dog liked his crate. It was like his den.

So after the new dog destroyed his crate we went online searching for very heavy duty crates. We found one that cost 600 but would be impossible to destroy. So we ordered it and filled it with a blanket and a toy filled with peanut butter. We also put on music for him to listen to. We also went to the vet and told her about his separation anxiety. She prescribed a medicine for him to help calm him down. She suggested we eventually use switch to Prozac. The medicine he was on worked ok the first week but then he started chewing on the steel bars of the crate. Each time we returned from crating him there were more and more bite marks. I noticed one of his teeth was looking worn. We knew with his anxiety he couldn't be left uncrated when we went out and we thought with everything we have tried nothing was working. It broke my heart to see how terrified he was to be left alone, even for short amounts of time. We were going to switch to Prozac but it takes 6 weeks to kick in and even then its not guaranteed to work for the issue we had. I worried that he might hurt himself or break his teeth while waiting for the Prozac to take effect. I even considered quitting my job to work on his anxiety but its not possible right now to do that.

This weekend we made the heartbreaking decision to return him to the rescue with hopes he would find a home where he could have an owner that didn't have to go to work. We returned him Saturday evening and I can't stop crying. I'm at work breaking down and I have called the person from the rescue that is currently caring for the dog to see how he was doing three times. He told me the dog has been crying for a day and a half. He is playing with another foster dog but when he isn't he cries. I would love nothing more then to make it work with this dog but I just don't know how. We can't afford doggy daycare or someone to watch him during the day so I'm at a loss.

Last edited by Diane233; 12-12-2016 at 08:56 AM..
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Old 12-12-2016, 10:02 AM
294 posts, read 179,910 times
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I experienced the same exact thing with my chihuahua. Had the dog for three years. She too would not stay in crate. Also, wouldn't go to the bathroom outside no matter how many times I walked her. Just kept going in the rug.

I thought she was lonely so I got a cat to keep her company. She had no interest in the cat.

The last straw was when she jumped up on my laundry bag and urinated on my clean clothes.?

Ended up returning her to the shelter and told them the dog needed to be in a home where someone was with her all day. Found out that approximately 2 weeks after I returned her to the shelter they found her a new home.

I still have the cat and he's great!
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Old 12-12-2016, 10:16 AM
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You did the right thing by returning him. It sounds like it wasn't a good fit. The dog will be fine and hopefully be in a new home soon.

I would recommend adopting a more low key dog that doesn't have be be crated so much since you and your husband are both working.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:36 PM
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Im sorry. Don kick yourself, you did everything you could.

We adopted a dog who freaks out when crated and after about a month, we were able to leave him in our room with our other dog. As long as they were together, he was fine. We still cant crate him. But that took a month where I hardly left the house and only for short periods of time. And it involved having a second dog. Not right for everyone.

Give yourself some time and look again. You might want to try a rescue that allows "sleep overs" of a week or two to make sure its a good fit.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:01 PM
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Thanks for the kind words. It helps a little. I'm feeling very sad but I hope he knows I did it out of love.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:03 PM
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You did the right thing. Both you and the dog deserve to be a good fit with each other. Any good rescue would want you to return him rather than have you and the dog be unhappy.
The dog will find another home where he won't have to be crated. It's a win, win.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:56 PM
10,171 posts, read 7,071,744 times
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Originally Posted by Diane233 View Post
Thanks for the kind words. It helps a little. I'm feeling very sad but I hope he knows I did it out of love.
I think its crappy that the volunteer person you are talking to is guilt tripping you about him crying. I wonder if it even accurate. Dogs adjust pretty quickly.

It really is best for the dog. Think about it, if the rescue org does their job, they will place him with a family who will be able to not spend too much time away, maybe have another dog (if that helps), etc. He is going to be a happy camper when he meets the right match.

And you will go on and find the perfect fit for your family, also making a dog very happy!

You went above and beyond to make it work and clearly he was just in too much distress. Separation anxiety is tough to treat in dogs.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:28 PM
Location: Midland, MI
505 posts, read 526,816 times
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My partner and I are also returning our recently adopted dog (had her 5 weeks) to the rescue. The dog is a gem; she is 8 years old, friendly, active and very lovable, even knows some commands. However, she has gotten into two scraps with our 12 year old dog and we just can't have that. Our older dog has some heart disease and got two wounds in a fight yesterday - had to see the vet. It seemed to be working out great and all of a sudden they started to fight.

I know the rescue will find her a great home (there were 10 other potential adopters when we got her). Still, I feel bad and I really like this dog.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:31 PM
Location: Midland, MI
505 posts, read 526,816 times
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Sometimes it just is not a good fit. Someone who doesn't work (retired or disabled) might have worked out great for that dog. That's what we are telling ourselves. The dog we adopted might just be better off as an only dog.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:11 PM
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Some dogs will never do well in a crate. You can probably train it to tolerate being in one for a short period of time. But longer periods is risking the dog of injuring itself and damage around the home. Separation anxiety requires a lot of patience, work and medication if needed. Using a dog daycare won't help much as it doesn't address the root of the problem which is the dog's anxiety and insecurity of being left alone by the one it bonded.

I cannot crate my dogs. I trained one and it went well for 4 weeks. Then it was completely disaster - the heavy panting, destroying the crate, etc. The other has so much fear that she is literally shaking and frozen in fear. In such state, all the peanut butter and treats in the world couldn't get her to respond. I knew immediately I cannot crate her as well. They are quarantined in a small area in the living room using babygates when we leave for work or havd guests. They did very well in it, and as time goes on, they relax more and goes in by command.

I know it's too late now. You did the right thing as you knew your limits. It's good have those limits as one should never have to quit what is a normal daily activity (I.e. work) for a dog. There are PLENTY of dogs that need a home like yours. Don't feel discouraged by this. For your next dog, try the babygate to see if you would havd better success.

On a side note, I too had returned a cat to the shelter after a year of trying to make it work. It wasn't a bad cat at all. He was stressed by my older cat who picked on him constantly. And he peed on my blankets and cried loudly every 4 am every damn day of the year. It just didn't work out and sometimes, it is how it is.
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