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Old 03-19-2010, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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Oh poor W! Don't let that owner even see him again, it sounds like it was waaay too traumatic for W. OK, so now we know it's not untrained dog but terrified dog. That is something that can be worked on. You know how much I like McConnell's other book so I'm sure the one recommended above would be just as great. Give that poor boy a kiss and hug from me.

 
Old 03-19-2010, 11:32 PM
 
Location: San Diego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaime_mac View Post
Mak...from what you said in just the few previous responses of the fact that hes afraid to be left alone I would try the all wire crate instead of the plastic one you have for him now. Perhaps if hes in the same room as PC and can see him every where he goes he won't be SO afraid. In the plastic crate he has limited visibility, so if PC moves to a spot where W can't see him perhaps if he was in a wire crate it would ease his pain.
We will be getting a wire crate. When I went out tonight, I put his diaper on and left him with PC, out in the open. Other than chewing the coffee table (which we really don't care about, but should probably discourage nonetheless) he did fine. He did go in his diaper, and sat in it, which I think is worse than him going on the floor. I am washing his diaper right now and had to bathe him. He did poop and pee like 5 minutes before I left, but it never matters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by World Citizen View Post
MAK,

Just so you know that I really know what you're talking about, here's a link to the thread that I started when I first got my lab.

Crate training...separation anxiety..

In my dogs case, I finally found that putting him in an outdoor kennel when I left kept him from destroying anything. He didn't try to escape. The outdoors also seems to placate him. From reading over your posts, it seems that you're in an apartment so an outdoor kennel may not work out for you.


There's a booklet by Patricia McConnell called "I'll be home Soon"... that I would recommend that you read.
It explains the symptoms of separation anxiety and it gives step by step solutions to the problem....
Thanks for the link and book rec! I will definitely check it out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honeycrisp View Post

Another thought, is there a chance he's hearing impaired. Deafness is not uncommon in the breed, esp. in blue-eyed bt's. It's possible he's hard of hearing and that may account for some of the separation anxiety. Probably even leaving music or the tv on when you leave may not make a difference if that's the case (alth. you'd prob. want to leave it on for your other guy).

Thx for being there for him and I hope your dh isn't too upset about the damage, I hope everything works out, best of luck to all.
Funny you mention that, but I'm afraid if I say something about his blue eyes and hearing, I'll get blasted for not knowing the breed. I brought that up to the vet and he said it's very possible. W does not have any sort of recall at all. At first I thought it was from lack of training, but the vet will do further testing, as he didn't respond to him well either. I took him in for an illness, so it was an emergency visit and they didn't really have time to do more thorough exams. I'll know more next week!

I took pics with my cell phone to show my husband during dinner so he was not shocked when we got here. Surprisingly, he took it better than I though. We are both committed to working with him and hope to resolve this issue soon! After his neuter next week, he's signed up for obedience training with the humane society and we'll be booking an appt. with a behaviorist as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rottnboys View Post

If your life is one that keeps you out of the house on/off every day - then you might not be the best home for Winston - even if you rescued him with that intent....he might need a very active, newly retired lady who walks each morning and evening and would love a walking buddy - and the rest of the time, he can be her lovebug on the sofa.....doesn't mean you are a bad person.....just means Winston needs something better suited to who he is and how he is wired.
That's the thing. My husband works from home and is inside the house all day long, until at least 4. I am home 99% of the time as well. We take them to the park around 5 for 1.5 hours every single day. Yea, we want to go out to dinner sometimes, and we should be allowed to without coming home to all this damage. We rarely ever go out anymore and it's not like we work outside the home and leave him crated for 8 hours. I'm talking about 1 hour, max. Never anymore than that. Most dogs I know are crated for at least 8 hours a day, some even more. I think I'm not asking for a lot by wanting to go out, without dog, for one hour of the day. I think retired people have better social lives than us at this point!

When we got PC, we made sure we would be home most of the time because we both feel it's wrong to leave dogs alone all day. I take them both out for a long walk in the morning, off-leash time in the canyons in the afternoon, followed by the dog park at night. They both get plenty of exercise during the day! In fact, it might be too much, given their excellent muscle tone. PC has an amazing figure for a Bulldog and is extremely agile, thanks to all I do with him. We hit up the beach almost every day that it's not freezing (below 70). This has been our routine before W and now, so he is getting more than enough exercise. I also take him to farmers markets several times a week, stores that allow dogs, restaurants, downtown, etc. to get him used to different surroundings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kansas sky View Post

In my personal opinion, your pup could probably benefit from some pharmacological intervention. He needs to learn that the crate is a safe place and that you will come back after you go away, but it sounds like he's in such a state of distress that he's unable to learn anything. Each incident is just going to build on the last, I'm afraid. My heart goes out to you. Severe separation anxiety is tough to deal with. Another poster suggested doggy day care, would that be a possibility for you? What about a veterinary behaviorist? They can be pricey, I know.
I called our vet and left a message. They are closed til Monday, but I'm hoping to get a prescription for something by then!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
Oh poor W! Don't let that owner even see him again, it sounds like it was waaay too traumatic for W. OK, so now we know it's not untrained dog but terrified dog. That is something that can be worked on. You know how much I like McConnell's other book so I'm sure the one recommended above would be just as great. Give that poor boy a kiss and hug from me.
I will look into that book and thank you!
 
Old 03-20-2010, 12:19 AM
ZSP
 
Location: El Paso TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAK802 View Post
To say a dog is only as good as its owner might work for a one dog household. We had PC since he was 8 weeks old and he is absolutely wonderful. Loves people, loves all dogs, loves road trips, just a happy go lucky kinda dog. He's very well-known at the parks and in our neighborhood and is a pleasure to be around. We are doing the same exact things with W that we do with PC, so he is raised in an identical environment. Brings to mind the whole nature vs. nurture argument, but I won't go there. We have one that can be left unattended and has never destroyed a thing in our house, even as a puppy. And one that will destroy anything in site, if left for any amount of time. I doubt that's my fault.
Oh, I didn't mean you when I said a dog is only as good as its owner...you must know I meant his previous owner(s) who obviously didn't do right by him. I feel for you, I really do. And, I have no doubt I would be feeling exactly the same way if it was me in your shoes.

You did a good thing in taking Winston into your home but evidently, his previous frequent visits weren't an accurate representation of his troubled little soul. I feel badly for him and I know you must too. My offer still stands if you'd like me to make a few calls.
 
Old 03-20-2010, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Middle America
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I know your frustration, as the adopter of a dog with significant separation anxiety. Willie had been shuffled from home to home due to destructiveness and the fact that he will pee every.single.time. he is crated, no matter if he has just gone for an hour-long walk where he peed three times and no matter if said crating is for 10 seconds while you step out onto the porch and wait on the other side of the door and come back in. He, too, cannot be left alone in the house uncrated; we tried to forego crating when we first got him, and tried varying levels of confinement to certain areas, all the way to full run of the house, and it is always calamity. The pictures you posted are very similar to damage Willie did the one and only time he broke out of his wire crate (FWIW, you will probably want to invest in those zip ties to reinforce a wire crate, if you get it, just like you planned to do for the plastic crate...we sure did). Believe me that we wish we could leave him free, but it's not safe for him, and it's not good for our home repairs budget. He just simply panics when he is left alone.

Commiseration out of the way, here's hopefully some encouragement...we've had Willie for almost six months, and believe it or not, he has made some notable progress. We have not backed down on the crate. Even when he ripped the plastic crate liner to shreds, we just ended up making a mat out of an old blanket to line the crate (we don't put a dog bed in there, both because of the soiling issue, and because he was shredding everything we gave him at that point, out of anxiety). The blanket actually seemed to calm him, possibly because it was one that was on the foot of our bed (where he sleeps) and smelled like us. And he hasn't shredded it yet. So I know he's calmer when in the crate than he was six months ago, even three months ago. He also trots into the crate at the one-word command of "crate," and sometimes doesn't even need that; he just goes in on his own when he sees me putting his nylabones and kongs and waggle in there and calls the command early. For the first few months of crating, when it was time for him to go in, he would just curl up where he was and look at me balefully and have to be coaxed with a biscuit, and would go warily and begrudgingly even at that rate. So that's an improvement, too, and shows more acceptance of the crate. He used to always whine and cry when first in...now, he only does one of every five times, maybe, and only if I linger in the house instead of leaving straight away upon crating.

The catch, though...he still does pee. Every time, or nearly every time. He does, however, lift the old leg now and pee outside the crate. It's always a puddle on the floor outside the crate (the linoleum of the kitchen, so it does clean up well with Nature's Miracle, etc.). It's not always a huge puddle, but there's nearly always a little something. He always gets a long walk and poop and pee time immediately prior to crating...he's never put in there on "full." It doesn't matter if it's a whole workday that he's left, or me taking ten minutes to run to the convenience store. If he's in the crate, and no human is within earshot or smelling distance, he panics and pees. I'm hoping it eventually tapers off, since he's improved so much in general. Hope this gives you some hope. You don't know how many times we asked ourselves, "Can we really keep such a destructive, anxious dog?" We decided that, yes, we had to, knowing how hard he'd been to home, and knowing how hard he'd be to rehome.

We also thought about an outdoor roofed run instead of the crate, since, as another poster mentioned, being able to see things going on outdoors may be soothing. But I'm not sure, since he's a beagle mix, and tends to get agitated by "intruders," ie the Bassets next door, birds who dare to light on a tree branch, rabbits and squirrels and mail carriers who pass through. And, although he doesn't have the beagle bay, he would likely be barky if unattended, and/or if any of the above "intruders" were visible or smell-able. Probably not an option for you, since you're renters in a complex, but you at least have the year-round warmer weather if an outdoor confinement is possible. Here, we're currently experiencing our umpteenth snowstorm of the season, mere days before spring. So outdoor confinement isn't the most practical except in a certain season.

Best of luck to you, though, and know that there are def. others who are going through similar things.
 
Old 03-20-2010, 01:26 AM
 
Location: California
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This might sound strange, but maybe you could hire a dog-sitter for a few hours when you need to go out. At least while you're working on the problem, so he doesn't practice being so freaked out. It sounds like he has a confinement phobia in addition to the SA - some dogs are fine when left out but panic in a crate...though it sounds like yours panics no matter what.

I liked the suggestion about using a wire crate and leaving him where he can see your other dog...I wonder how he would do in a tall ex-pen with a top on it? Maybe it wouldn't be as terrifying as a small crate? Something like this:



Only with a top on it, they sell those too. You'd probably have to secure it somehow so he can't knock it over.

I was going to also suggest a CD called "through a dogs ear" which helps relax them, but if he is deaf then obviously that wouldn't work. Poor guy, and poor you guys! Good luck, you've put up with a lot that many people wouldn't, I hope you can find something that works for all of you!

ETA: Oh, I also second the medication suggestion. It can help take that panicked edge off enough for him to learn that he'll be ok, really, when you're not home.
 
Old 03-20-2010, 01:37 AM
 
Location: Middle America
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misfitz View Post
I liked the suggestion about using a wire crate and leaving him where he can see your other dog...
This brings to mind that, for us, one of the only times Willie didn't panic-pee while crated was when we were at my brother's house for Christmas, and he was crated right next to my brother's dog, Cooper, when we went to an aunt's house for her Christmas Day gathering for about 5-6 hours. I think the presence of a buddy next to him soothed him. Unfortunately, we don't have the space or budget for two dogs, two crates, etc., or a buddy might be the answer for us. It seems that PC's presence doesn't keep W calm, though, eh? Unfortunate.
 
Old 03-20-2010, 02:37 AM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
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[quote=misfitz;13369398]This might sound strange, but maybe you could hire a dog-sitter for a few hours when you need to go out. At least while you're working on the problem, so he doesn't practice being so freaked out. It sounds like he has a confinement phobia in addition to the SA - some dogs are fine when left out but panic in a crate...though it sounds like yours panics no matter what.

I liked the suggestion about using a wire crate and leaving him where he can see your other dog...I wonder how he would do in a tall ex-pen with a top on it? Maybe it wouldn't be as terrifying as a small crate? Something like this:



Only with a top on it, they sell those too. You'd probably have to secure it somehow so he can't knock it over.

I think he would probably still get out of an Ex pen even with atop as The first time I took Dash to agility with Jazz he was in an Ex-pen that was too tall to jump so he lifted it with his nose and crawled out under it Someone in the club as yelling who's black and white aussie is that crawling under the ex-pen? I already knew plastic crates made him panick so that is when I got him his wire crate. A treat filled kong inside the crate with him taught him to see a crate as a good place.

At my dad's we wanted a room the cat could go in to escape the dogs so I bought a 42" high gate that had a small cat door on the bottom . It said cats up to 12 lbs could get through the small door..well they were off on that as despite it being a small door Dash could manage to cram his 45lb chunkey monkey body through it and soon taught Phoenix who also is about 45 lbs to do so too So I can not see a baby gate or an Expen keeping a determined dog in or out .( jazz could not do it as her chest is just too deep)
 
Old 03-20-2010, 07:53 AM
 
Location: San Diego
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There is no way an ex-pen would contain him. He can jump over that and I am positive he'd figure out how to get the top off. He jumps on our kitchen table, which is bar style and very high. I mean, look at how high the damage in the bathroom is...he had to have been jumping up and down the entire time he was doing it because there is no way he could reach that high, even on his hind legs.

I gave him a Kong filled with treats and it was untouched. He loves treats, but only when hand fed. I wish we did have outdoor space, but we don't. We have a small patio and if I left him there, he'd go crazy. Not only that, right above our patio is the upstairs neighbor's balcony. Basically, they can see into the patio. And given their nature towards W, I am positive he would try to poison him when we weren't home.

I don't want to have to hire a sitter when I have to run an errand or two occasionally. As I stated, we are both home during the day and he is rarely, if ever, left alone. Maybe that's the problem. His previous owner would leave him for hours, sometimes as many 12, and claims that W has never destroyed anything in his apartment. Though the soiled and torn up carpet, couch, hats, camera equipment, remotes, etc. say otherwise, but I digress.
 
Old 03-20-2010, 08:19 AM
 
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I think you should try closing PC with Boston in the bathroom (without a crate!!).

That way Boston will have PC to keep him company.

As it is now, PC is no comfort to Boston because they are separated.
 
Old 03-20-2010, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Middle America
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Again, I feel you. Willie's not a big dog, but he can jump like he's spring-loaded...we used to let him roam in our fenced backyard, until he caught wind of a rabbit and scaled/leaped the fence to chase it. He'd jump out of an ex pen for sure, and would likely just flip a roofed one by sheer force...can't tell you the number of heavy-duty gates he's just busted through when we were in the "confine him to just part of the house" phase.

Filled treat dispensers do actually entertain him (he's a super food-motivated hound, it's way more about the food than the hand feeding him) and sooth him while crated, but the issue is that he can clean one out in under a minute, and he's a power chewer who will tear every treat dispenser that's not a Kong Extreme (even the supposedly bullet-proof material of the Busy Buddies Tug-a-Jug, just took him a few more hours) to bits. So it's only entertaining for so long. We did find that the wolf-sized Nylabone that's flavored like meat keeps his interest, so that always goes in the crate for longer-term stimulation...I wouldn't have predicted it, because he always seemed bored by anything he couldn't actually ingest, but he surprised me. But it took loads of dollars and many toys that either didn't maintain interest or were instantly torn to bits to find that one that actually seems to soothe and doesn't get snubbed. I guess what I'm saying is, for a dog with particularly severe behavioral issues, finding the right reinforcer can be a long row to hoe, but don't give up, there is something, somewhere, that will work to help take the edge off his anxiety at being left alone.

It might be good to crate him briefly even when you are home, so he doesn't always associate it with, "People are leaving!!! I'm anxious!!!" We started doing that with Willie to help build some good associations, since we have no way of knowing if he was crated as punishment, etc. in previous homes. We noticed that on days when my SO works from home, or I'm on break from school or have a long weekend (I'm a teacher, so lots of extra holidays sprinkled throughout the year), and he doesn't have mandatory crate time, he's even more loathe to go back in once we're back on schedule. So it may not be the best thing for him for you guys to always be accessible, if it's making him totally crazy when you're not. Even when you're home, make it a point to leave the house, even for short bursts of time, where he gets crated, with consistency, and see if that helps. It didn't for Willie, for the longest time, but then one day, it finally seemed to click for him that us going out the door didn't mean we were leaving forever. Just like with a child with separation anxiety, you can't just opt to never leave the kid alone, or you're not addressing the problem behavior, you're just enabling it. You have to help them to gradually adjust to being more okay with being alone, and it can take a loooooooong time and a ton of patience and will trigger lots of frustration. Trust me, I honestly did NOT think I'd ever see a day where Willie did not go nuts when crated, but he's getting there. He'll never love being alone, but it's also something I've learned that he will tolerate if he must, and my mind's finally at ease that it's not going to be a constant source of trauma for him (or us!).

We got Willie after I'd been working for several years in special ed utilizing applied behavioral analysis. With the behaviorally disordered kids I work with, the appropriate behavior modification technique is to take gradual steps and reinforce the he** out of preferred behavior, and ignore/refuse to pay off nonpreferred, and I've found that that works well with my dog, too. Behaviorist approaches, whether animal or human, don't really vary that much...it's all about redirection, boundaries, finding and appropriately utilizing valued reinforcers, and gradually fading yourself out of situations where you want the kid/dog to be able to function without you there. Interesting stuff. I'm constantly using stuff I use with the kids on my dog.

Last edited by TabulaRasa; 03-20-2010 at 08:55 AM..
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