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Old 06-15-2009, 09:14 PM
 
1,817 posts, read 4,925,096 times
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Ok guys,

Those of you that read the last thread I made know that I have a 8 month old border collie mix that I rescued from a shelter.

I have only had this dog for a week and completely understand that it can take quite a long time for the dog to adjust to my lifestyle. That said I believe my dog already has or is in the process of having separation anxiety.

Let me explain:

-Anytime I move even a few feet my dog is quickly up and following me.
-Anytime I leave the house, the dog cries and barks for an extremely long time (hours i've been told.)

So here is my question:

I have been crating this dog any time I leave the house and at night as well. I am wondering if the crate is part of the reason for his anxiety. Would it help if instead of crating I limited his activity to one room (kitchen) during the day while im gone and crating him at night?

Any advice is welcome. Luka is a great dog but I am very concerned about his health when I am not around.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,667 posts, read 9,380,028 times
Reputation: 1654
Border Collies are a little hyper anyway. Yours is especially afraid of loosing his forever home he just got. Maybe if you fill his area with toys and chew bones. When I leave my dog at the vets overnight, I wear my favorite ratty old coat. As I tuck him in, I take off my coat and he lays on it, knowing I'll be back. The smellier the personal item you leave, the better. Not to sound awful, but socks and underwear work well. Your dog wants you there all the time. Smell is very important to a dog. See the connection? Eventually, you can quit leaving socks and things in his kennel.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:59 PM
 
1,817 posts, read 4,925,096 times
Reputation: 640
Quote:
Originally Posted by ESFP View Post
Border Collies are a little hyper anyway. Yours is especially afraid of loosing his forever home he just got. Maybe if you fill his area with toys and chew bones. When I leave my dog at the vets overnight, I wear my favorite ratty old coat. As I tuck him in, I take off my coat and he lays on it, knowing I'll be back. The smellier the personal item you leave, the better. Not to sound awful, but socks and underwear work well. Your dog wants you there all the time. Smell is very important to a dog. See the connection? Eventually, you can quit leaving socks and things in his kennel.
Ive tried leaving a shirt but it was not particularly 'smelly.' I will try socks next time.

I also leave raw hides and his toy in his crate, but that doesnt seem to do much.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:44 PM
 
4,627 posts, read 10,469,061 times
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From what I know about BCs, you're going to have to physically exhaust him before he'll ever settle down in a crate. Exercise him for a few hours, play games, etc. Get a battery-powered doorbell; put the doorbell on the floor and teach him to ring it when he wants to go outside. Also, if you schedule play-times that at least gives him something to focus on.

I wouldn't limit him to just one room rather than crating. They're supposed to be very clever dogs, and if he's bored in that room, he might end up making his own entertainment.

Can you get him a kong, or one of those toys that you hide treats in - the ones where they have to hit it or turn it a certain way before the treat falls out. Any kind of thing that will occupy his very alert mind!

My dog was extremely hyper when he was a pup. We had to devise all sorts of games to basically exhaust him...he eventually learned that when I was getting reading for work, it was his time to go to his crate. Play classical music when you're gone, something that's pretty mellow. Give him a very special treat only for when you get home & he get released from his crate.

I don't know if any of these ideas would work for him, but they worked with my dog.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:23 AM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
5,094 posts, read 12,584,576 times
Reputation: 10205
When Jazz ( border collie X cattle dog) was a puppy. I limited her to my downstairs ( Kitchen, dining room living room and pet door to a small fully enclosed outdoor area) which was all well puppy proofed. At Night she slept in her crate so I made sure to leave the crate on the landing of my stairs where she could get to it when I was gone as it was her safe place.

I got alot of interactive type toys and chew toys and left them out and I hid stuffed Kongs around the area so she had to find them( every morning she had them gathered together before I got home ) I exercised her VERY well, I mean for hours before I went to work ( I work 3, 6:30PM-7Am shifts). The most Important thing I did was to NEVER make a big production out of my leaving. I knew the herding breeds are very prone to seperation anxiety.

I know people that make a huge production before they leave , talking to the animal and kissing it, trying to rid them selves of their guilt that they were leaving but instead driving up the dogs anxiety.

Starting 1/2 hour before I leave I pretty much ignore the dog ( or dogs now!) and as I am getting ready to walk out the door Jazz is usually laying in her open crate so I drop a treat in it and I say " I have to go to work, I will be home in the morning. You protect the house " I do not touch her and limit any eye contact . Then I walk out the door. When I come home I try not to make a big production which is harder as I have Jazz following me around wooing like she is telling me the events of the night. Dash sometimes joins her and throws in a good woooo or two and now I have noticed Dazzle makes his version of a wooo, so it is Like I am getting the run down of what took place while I was gone.

They behave while I am gone and even as a puppy my neighbors said they do not hear them barking. When I am home they are velcro and I can't use the bathroom without them. But they all seem to accept my leaving ok.

Years ago when I took Jazz to an animal communicator which an agility club had as a fund raiser, One of the first things she said to me was Jazz thanks you for always telling her where you are going and when you will be back as she likes knowing. I had not said one word to this woman and it was not our club so no one there knew I did that! A shiver went up my spine as this lady was good and told me alot of very detailed things that only Jazz, my cat and I knew!

When I added Dash to the mix and more recently Dazzle I say be good to the boys then still tell Jazz the same thing, she is queen of the place so she is the one that is given the the protect the house command .

When Dash has had difficult days due infections related to his cancer it is difficult leaving as I want to hug him and kiss him just incase but I don't as I do not want his anxiety level up. Hugging and kissing a dog goobye when you leave is the worst thing you can do yet when I have boarded the dogs I see just about every owner dropping a dog off do that!
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:06 AM
 
1,817 posts, read 4,925,096 times
Reputation: 640
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeBee View Post
From what I know about BCs, you're going to have to physically exhaust him before he'll ever settle down in a crate. Exercise him for a few hours, play games, etc. Get a battery-powered doorbell; put the doorbell on the floor and teach him to ring it when he wants to go outside. Also, if you schedule play-times that at least gives him something to focus on.

I wouldn't limit him to just one room rather than crating. They're supposed to be very clever dogs, and if he's bored in that room, he might end up making his own entertainment.

Can you get him a kong, or one of those toys that you hide treats in - the ones where they have to hit it or turn it a certain way before the treat falls out. Any kind of thing that will occupy his very alert mind!

My dog was extremely hyper when he was a pup. We had to devise all sorts of games to basically exhaust him...he eventually learned that when I was getting reading for work, it was his time to go to his crate. Play classical music when you're gone, something that's pretty mellow. Give him a very special treat only for when you get home & he get released from his crate.

I don't know if any of these ideas would work for him, but they worked with my dog.
Seebee,

Thank you for the ideas. I tried the kong and filled it with all kinds of different treats and he had no interest in it at all. He also has very little interest in rawhide as well.

Based on everybody's opinions so far (both on this board and off)...

-I am going to take him to the beach early every morning before work for about an hour or so where he can run around.

-I am going to "ignore" him for a half an hour before I go to work.

Also, I have steadily been moving my crate further and further from my bed each night. Last night he cried a little bit, but nothing compared to what he does when I leave. I am hoping this will help. Any other ideas would be appreciated.

Also, as far as switching up my 'routine' when leaving the house, I ride my bike to work, so Luka immediately knows when im leaving based on when im taking the bike outside. But I will do my best to try and throw him off when it comes to that.

Thanks again everybody.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:47 AM
 
1,688 posts, read 8,144,864 times
Reputation: 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipcromer View Post

Any other ideas would be appreciated.
Have you considered adding a DAP diffuser to your arsenal?
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:18 AM
 
1,817 posts, read 4,925,096 times
Reputation: 640
Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveHorses View Post
Have you considered adding a DAP diffuser to your arsenal?
I have absolutely no idea what that is.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:21 AM
 
Location: California
10,090 posts, read 42,408,854 times
Reputation: 22175
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipcromer View Post
I have absolutely no idea what that is.
LOL...It's a pheromone diffuser that helps calm.

D.A.P. Dog Appeasing Pheromone - D.A.P. Dog Appeasing Pheromone Electric Diffuser (48 mL)
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 38,768,892 times
Reputation: 7185
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipcromer View Post
Ok guys,

Those of you that read the last thread I made know that I have a 8 month old border collie mix that I rescued from a shelter.

I have only had this dog for a week and completely understand that it can take quite a long time for the dog to adjust to my lifestyle. That said I believe my dog already has or is in the process of having separation anxiety.

Let me explain:

-Anytime I move even a few feet my dog is quickly up and following me.
-Anytime I leave the house, the dog cries and barks for an extremely long time (hours i've been told.)

So here is my question:

I have been crating this dog any time I leave the house and at night as well. I am wondering if the crate is part of the reason for his anxiety. Would it help if instead of crating I limited his activity to one room (kitchen) during the day while im gone and crating him at night?

Any advice is welcome. Luka is a great dog but I am very concerned about his health when I am not around.
I would encourage you to stick with your guns on the crate training. If you cave in to unnacceptable behavior, you've reinforced it. Crate training can be an unbelieveably frustrating process but it is extremely important and, in my opinion, it is at least part of the cure for doggy insecurity.

I've had success breaking crate panic with the following procedure:

The dog hates to be out of your presence, right? His reward is going to be proximity to you (keep some treats in your pocket as well).

Put the dog in the crate and step far enough away to trigger complaining. As long as the dog is wailing, keep your back to him and do not acknowledge him in anyway. At some point he will get tired and stop. Right then turn around, make eye contact, bestow praise and start to slowly approach. Hopefully he will get exited and start barking again, at which point you immediately turn your back on him and go back to where you were until he stops complaining again. Repeat this cycle until he can remain calm as you very slowly and deliberately walk across the room, kneel down and open the crate to release him - then you're done for the day and some treats are in order. NOTE: He's not cured after one day, this will take a while. With patience and a lot of repetition he'll get over crate panic and start to believe that you are actually going to return when you leave his sight.
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