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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Ask your vet's office if they carry Composure by VetriScience. Lots around here do since vets seem to favor that brand. My old vet gave out a few to try.
There are many reasons not to use collars but I never use a collar in a crate ever. I never use a collar in the house at all ever, only his harness when we are out walking. Many years ago, (40) my dog got his collar caught on something and could not escape. Luckily I was home and found him trapped. I had to remove the collar to free him.
I am not 100% sure he is sleeping since he is black and it is hard to see if his eyes are shut when I've tried to record him during outings but he is resting with the radio on for company. He appears happy and ready to race around the dining room table a couple of times. His crate is located about 100 feet from the garage but he can hear the garage door open and he knows that I am home. That would wake him if he were sleeping.
Good luck with it. I hope it works out for you both. It was heartbreaking to know how upset Shadow was.
Thank you so much. Yes, it's so upsetting seeing our pets upset. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the information.
 

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At this point I honestly think you need help from a behaviorist. All of the things you鈥檙e doing will help in the long run but it sounds like he is reinforcing his own fear. The problem with separation anxiety is it naturally reinforces itself so each time he thinks, this is awful, and of course it is! So the more times it happens the harder it becomes to teach him he鈥檚 okay. I think a plan with a behaviorist to incrementally train him to be by himself without putting him over threshold is what he needs. Then all of the other things you鈥檙e using will be much more effective to help keep in calm and comforted when he鈥檚 alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
At this point I honestly think you need help from a behaviorist. All of the things you鈥檙e doing will help in the long run but it sounds like he is reinforcing his own fear. The problem with separation anxiety is it naturally reinforces itself so each time he thinks, this is awful, and of course it is! So the more times it happens the harder it becomes to teach him he鈥檚 okay. I think a plan with a behaviorist to incrementally train him to be by himself without putting him over threshold is what he needs. Then all of the other things you鈥檙e using will be much more effective to help keep in calm and comforted when he鈥檚 alone.
Thanks. I have been working with a behaviorist from day one. I even met with her before I brought my pup home. I had a lot of concerns about apartment life and puppies. She suggested I leave my pup - who I got at 8 weeks - alone in the crate every single day, beginning with minutes, then hours, changing the times. I also videotaped him. All was going well - he would just sleep - but then a couple of weeks ago he started barking when I was gone. I then added - with the behaviorist's advice - the diffuser - with dog pheromones, I tire him out more before I leave, I added a kong with delicious frozen food - and I continued to alternate the time gone. He seemed to improve a bit - he would take about 20 minutes to finish the kong then bark - with spaces in between. But when I was gone for 90 minutes for a dentist appt. he barked the whole time, didn't touch the kong, and was distraught when I got home. I haven't had a chance to talk to the behaviorist about this because it's our Thanksgiving and she is away. I'm also talking to my Vet - who is awesome - next week. Because I'm in an apt - I get ready to take the pup out 4-5 times a day and also for walks - I think he knows that coming with me is super fun and wants to be with me all the time. He is 5 months now. He never barks otherwise - at least yet. Before I would use a bark deterrent, I'll see what the behaviorist and Vet say. But I'm a bit frantic because barking for 90 minutes in an apt. is an infringement on others but so far the tenants have been great. I'm a bit disappointed because from day one I have worked hard at this issue but I know I'll be able to figure it all out. I just love him so much and we'll work it out. Thanks.
 

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Thanks. I have been working with a behaviorist from day one. I even met with her before I brought my pup home. I had a lot of concerns about apartment life and puppies. She suggested I leave my pup - who I got at 8 weeks - alone in the crate every single day, beginning with minutes, then hours, changing the times. I also videotaped him. All was going well - he would just sleep - but then a couple of weeks ago he started barking when I was gone. I then added - with the behaviorist's advice - the diffuser - with dog pheromones, I tire him out more before I leave, I added a kong with delicious frozen food - and I continued to alternate the time gone. He seemed to improve a bit - he would take about 20 minutes to finish the kong then bark - with spaces in between. But when I was gone for 90 minutes for a dentist appt. he barked the whole time, didn't touch the kong, and was distraught when I got home. I haven't had a chance to talk to the behaviorist about this because it's our Thanksgiving and she is away. I'm also talking to my Vet - who is awesome - next week. Because I'm in an apt - I get ready to take the pup out 4-5 times a day and also for walks - I think he knows that coming with me is super fun and wants to be with me all the time. He is 5 months now. He never barks otherwise - at least yet. Before I would use a bark deterrent, I'll see what the behaviorist and Vet say. But I'm a bit frantic because barking for 90 minutes in an apt. is an infringement on others but so far the tenants have been great. I'm a bit disappointed because from day one I have worked hard at this issue but I know I'll be able to figure it all out. I just love him so much and we'll work it out. Thanks.
Sounds like you have lots of wonderful support, and I鈥檓 sorry to hear that you鈥檙e struggling with this despite your careful planning! Our older guy had separation anxiety when he was young and we were living in an apartment, and it took a lot of training, but he got to a better place.

My younger pup went through a stage of barking when we left, but I think it was more FOMO than anxiety. But we essentially treated it the same way with lots of short absences (including a game called 鈥榙oor is a bore鈥) and she seems to have gotten over it (which also reinforces that she wasn鈥檛 actually anxious鈥 it would have been that easy!) One thing that I found interesting in my research and learning this time around is that a lot of behaviorists now think that for TRUE separation anxiety, a crate can make it worse, and that when training for sep anx you shouldn鈥檛 leave them with food distractions bc they need to learn how to be calm (otherwise they just get anxious as soon as the distraction is done). This is definitely different than 10 years ago when we were working with Charlie, but methods change. Of course talk to your behaviorist and vet about your particular situation, but maybe there鈥檚 a safe puppy-proofed place where you can leave him when you go out?

Youll get to the bottom of this, and one thing is for sure鈥 he鈥檚 very lucky to have such a caring and attentive mom to work through these bumps in the road!
 

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Thanks. I have been working with a behaviorist from day one. I even met with her before I brought my pup home. I had a lot of concerns about apartment life and puppies. She suggested I leave my pup - who I got at 8 weeks - alone in the crate every single day, beginning with minutes, then hours, changing the times. I also videotaped him. All was going well - he would just sleep - but then a couple of weeks ago he started barking when I was gone. I then added - with the behaviorist's advice - the diffuser - with dog pheromones, I tire him out more before I leave, I added a kong with delicious frozen food - and I continued to alternate the time gone. He seemed to improve a bit - he would take about 20 minutes to finish the kong then bark - with spaces in between. But when I was gone for 90 minutes for a dentist appt. he barked the whole time, didn't touch the kong, and was distraught when I got home. I haven't had a chance to talk to the behaviorist about this because it's our Thanksgiving and she is away. I'm also talking to my Vet - who is awesome - next week. Because I'm in an apt - I get ready to take the pup out 4-5 times a day and also for walks - I think he knows that coming with me is super fun and wants to be with me all the time. He is 5 months now. He never barks otherwise - at least yet. Before I would use a bark deterrent, I'll see what the behaviorist and Vet say. But I'm a bit frantic because barking for 90 minutes in an apt. is an infringement on others but so far the tenants have been great. I'm a bit disappointed because from day one I have worked hard at this issue but I know I'll be able to figure it all out. I just love him so much and we'll work it out. Thanks.
That makes a lot of sense, that this was a change in behavior, and that it is especially stressful to you because of neighbors. My guess is there was some kind of strange sound or other incident that day, and maybe it wasn鈥檛 something obvious on camera. I鈥檝e had similar experiences with Sundance, who does have separation issues, and I鈥檝e been able to back up and 鈥渞etrain鈥 and it is much faster than it was the first time, it鈥檚 not completely starting over. It happened once when we forgot it was going to get dark and left all of the lights off, which meant the passing lights from cars were flashing inside. We actually also had a 鈥渞elapse鈥 not too long ago when DD鈥檚 friend stopped by to drop something off when no one was home. Sundance recognized the friend and did not understand why he was leaving and panicked, and we noticed on the security camera that he was upset the rest of the time he was home alone. Both times we practiced leaving him for very short periods much more frequently afterwards and monitored him. I can see when he鈥檚 about to escalate and I鈥檓 careful to return before that. Sundance doesn鈥檛 bark much while we鈥檙e gone though, he paces and pants, so I can鈥檛 help with that. He does cry but it鈥檚 not loud enough to bother the neighbors.

Since the dentist appt. have you tried going backwards and leaving him for just a few minutes again, to get the mail or something, and is he barking then?
 

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Sounds like you have lots of wonderful support, and I鈥檓 sorry to hear that you鈥檙e struggling with this despite your careful planning! Our older guy had separation anxiety when he was young and we were living in an apartment, and it took a lot of training, but he got to a better place.

My younger pup went through a stage of barking when we left, but I think it was more FOMO than anxiety. But we essentially treated it the same way with lots of short absences (including a game called 鈥榙oor is a bore鈥) and she seems to have gotten over it (which also reinforces that she wasn鈥檛 actually anxious鈥 it would have been that easy!) One thing that I found interesting in my research and learning this time around is that a lot of behaviorists now think that for TRUE separation anxiety, a crate can make it worse, and that when training for sep anx you shouldn鈥檛 leave them with food distractions bc they need to learn how to be calm (otherwise they just get anxious as soon as the distraction is done). This is definitely different than 10 years ago when we were working with Charlie, but methods change. Of course talk to your behaviorist and vet about your particular situation, but maybe there鈥檚 a safe puppy-proofed place where you can leave him when you go out?

Youll get to the bottom of this, and one thing is for sure鈥 he鈥檚 very lucky to have such a caring and attentive mom to work through these bumps in the road!
Interesting on the crate or no crate thing. I definitely wouldn't have agreed with that with my last dog - she got really really anxious if we left her outside of her crate - spent the whole time with her nose to the bottom of the door waiting for me to get home, but was super chill and relaxed in her crate.

However, one of my sister's dogs had major separation anxiety and was 1000x worse in his crate than in a small room. He wasn't great in the room, but he would claw his feet/ nails bloody in his crate and at least never hurt himself in the room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Interesting on the crate or no crate thing. I definitely wouldn't have agreed with that with my last dog - she got really really anxious if we left her outside of her crate - spent the whole time with her nose to the bottom of the door waiting for me to get home, but was super chill and relaxed in her crate.

However, one of my sister's dogs had major separation anxiety and was 1000x worse in his crate than in a small room. He wasn't great in the room, but he would claw his feet/ nails bloody in his crate and at least never hurt himself in the room.
Hi there,
My pup seems to like his crate. He sleeps there all night and often during the day. He hasn't done anything destructive in it. I might try leaving him loose and step outside the door to see if that makes any difference. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
That makes a lot of sense, that this was a change in behavior, and that it is especially stressful to you because of neighbors. My guess is there was some kind of strange sound or other incident that day, and maybe it wasn鈥檛 something obvious on camera. I鈥檝e had similar experiences with Sundance, who does have separation issues, and I鈥檝e been able to back up and 鈥渞etrain鈥 and it is much faster than it was the first time, it鈥檚 not completely starting over. It happened once when we forgot it was going to get dark and left all of the lights off, which meant the passing lights from cars were flashing inside. We actually also had a 鈥渞elapse鈥 not too long ago when DD鈥檚 friend stopped by to drop something off when no one was home. Sundance recognized the friend and did not understand why he was leaving and panicked, and we noticed on the security camera that he was upset the rest of the time he was home alone. Both times we practiced leaving him for very short periods much more frequently afterwards and monitored him. I can see when he鈥檚 about to escalate and I鈥檓 careful to return before that. Sundance doesn鈥檛 bark much while we鈥檙e gone though, he paces and pants, so I can鈥檛 help with that. He does cry but it鈥檚 not loud enough to bother the neighbors.

Since the dentist appt. have you tried going backwards and leaving him for just a few minutes again, to get the mail or something, and is he barking then?
Hi there,
Thanks. The next day I left him and the moment I shut the door, he started to bark, so I didn't stay way long - minutes only. The next 2 days I didn't leave him. It's our Thanksgiving and I didn't want to create any noise for tenants here. Today I will begin all over again and leave him for a few minutes and see how that goes. Hilarious that my cat loves the crate, so I put another one beside my pup's and the cat sleeps there all the time. LOL. Thanks for your answer and information. It means a lot.
 

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Hi there,
Thanks. The next day I left him and the moment I shut the door, he started to bark, so I didn't stay way long - minutes only. The next 2 days I didn't leave him. It's our Thanksgiving and I didn't want to create any noise for tenants here. Today I will begin all over again and leave him for a few minutes and see how that goes. Hilarious that my cat loves the crate, so I put another one beside my pup's and the cat sleeps there all the time. LOL. Thanks for your answer and information. It means a lot.
I would be careful about leaving him free in the whole apartment (though many do with no problems) as there are always hazards there for a pup - do you have a room that you could gate him in to ensure that he's safe from other things when you're gone?
 

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However, one of my sister's dogs had major separation anxiety and was 1000x worse in his crate than in a small room. He wasn't great in the room, but he would claw his feet/ nails bloody in his crate and at least never hurt himself in the room.
We left Sundance in an expen when we was a puppy and at some point we started setting it up next to the sliding glass door so he could look outside and noticed he did better. As an adult we leave him in our family room and it seems to work best. It鈥檚 small but we can easily block off access to the rest of the house and he has access to the window and glass door so he 鈥渕akes the rounds.鈥 I hate that he 鈥渨aits鈥 the entire time we鈥檙e gone, but compared to his more frenzied stress it鈥檚 much better. I wish he wasn鈥檛 stressed at all but I honestly can鈥檛 imagine that happening. Walking must give him someplace for some of the energy to go? But even though it seems to work better for him now, it wouldn鈥檛 have worked with a puppy! And I think a large number of dogs with anxiety respond really well to being crated when they鈥檙e alone, which is why it鈥檚 recommended so much. 5 years ago the advice to me was that the crate is one option, it鈥檚 not the only option. This is what our trainer told us and what I needed to hear.
 

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I'm a bit disappointed because from day one I have worked hard at this issue but I know I'll be able to figure it all out. I just love him so much and we'll work it out. Thanks.
I just want to add, I do think your hard work will pay off. It鈥檚 sounds to me like this is a frustrating setback, but you have a good foundation. You were smart to work with a behaviorist early on because you don鈥檛 have to face a months鈥 long waiting list to get in person observations!
 
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