Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

All topics pertaining to agility, obedience, sled racing, search & rescue, therapy training, etc.
Post Reply
Tamtastic
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:15 am

Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by Tamtastic » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:04 am

Hi. Maska is now coming up to a year old. He is a fantastic dog in every way apart from one thing.

He gets very stressed when left on his own. He is destructive if left out of his cage and whines and paces when left in his cage.

I have consulted a Dog Psychologist who has recommended that he is only left on his own when absolutely necessary and to work on crate training him. Problem is I have school runs to do twice a day and after that I am pretty much housebound.

He sleeps upstairs under our bed now, as he didn't like being left at night and used to wake us (and all our neighbours) at 5 am. Now he sleeps until we get up around 7 or 8 am.

I am crate training again, but he will go in and out of his crate quite happily because we are about. As soon as I leave the house he paces his cage, tries to escape, whines and howls. Our other dog is in his crate and is sleeping quite happily. Have tried putting both in one cage and first two times, Maska lay down and settled (only left them for 5 mins). Third time left them for 10 mins and Maska did his usual routine.

Any advice would be welcome.

User avatar
blufawn
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1758
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 1:10 pm
Location: Lincs, UK

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by blufawn » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:10 am

All the things I was recommended were leaving the tv/radio on, rescue remedy (for humans) you spray it on the tongue an hour before you go out and also a plug in which releases calming chemicals into the air that you can find online.

This has some good herbal medicines
http://www.hyperdrug.co.uk/Herbal-Suppl ... ducts/200/

What worked for me was to leave the house, going through the usual routine of dogs to toilet, coat on, keys in pocket, lock up and then wait in hiding until they started howling, then I would run back into the house and give them a good telling off, this actually worked (eventually)
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
.............................................................
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Tamtastic
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:15 am

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by Tamtastic » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:28 am

Have tried the plug in wall calming solution. Literally 2 inches from his cage. No effect.

Psychologist told me to put tv/radio on, only if I have them on whilst at home. Generally I don't. She said that by putting background noise on, if there isn't normally any, would only make the dogs anxious.

She also told us not to tell Maska off for his behaviour whilst on his own. I used to reprimand him when I came home to total destruction. She told me that he would associate being told off with us being out!

AARRRGGHHHH. I just want to be able to leave him for an hour to go and do a shop or catch up with friends. Having to get a dog sitter to look after him.

Rahne

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by Rahne » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:49 am

Some tips:
http://www.petsalley.com/newstipsforlea ... alone.html

I wish you good luck. I know how frustrating this problem can be, I also have trouble leaving my tam girl (15 months old) alone. Lately she is doing really well though, she can now stay alone for an hour without destroying anything or whining..

...well most of the times, if I'm lucky :lol:
She also told us not to tell Maska off for his behaviour whilst on his own. I used to reprimand him when I came home to total destruction. She told me that he would associate being told off with us being out!
This is really true! If you reprimand your dog then ONLY do this when caught in the act. A minute later your dog won't remember what it did and he won't be able to link his punishment to his act.

My boyfriend had punished Konah once when he got home. After that she started to pee every time he came home because she was stressed and expected punishment of him. Took a lot of treats to break that habit.

User avatar
blufawn
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1758
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 1:10 pm
Location: Lincs, UK

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by blufawn » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:18 pm

Rahne wrote:
She also told us not to tell Maska off for his behaviour whilst on his own. I used to reprimand him when I came home to total destruction. She told me that he would associate being told off with us being out!
This is really true! If you reprimand your dog then ONLY do this when caught in the act. A minute later your dog won't remember what it did and he won't be able to link his punishment to his act.

My boyfriend had punished Konah once when he got home. After that she started to pee everytime he came home because she was stressed and expected punishment of him. Took a lot of treats to break that habit.
Totally agree, never tell your dog off unless you have caught them being naughty, if they look/act guilty because they know they have been naughty I might give them a low growl followed by a 'what have you done now' and a bad girl when I find what's she's chewed.

But if you shout at your dog when you get home because of something he/she did maybe an hour before you return, the dog isn't going to associate the bad deed with the punishment and will start to fear your return and that stress will make them worse. This is one of the causes of seperation anxiety, fear of the owners return and the inevitable punishment that always follows and the dog doesn't know why.
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
.............................................................
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

User avatar
Blustag
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 2971
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 7:53 am
Location: UK

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by Blustag » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:32 pm

Is your garden safe. Sometimes dogs left outside for a while arnt as stressed as being locked indoors. You would need to be sure they cant escape though. I agree completely about dogs being punished on return from being away or sometime later as they just dont associate the punishment with the crime. Have you tried things such as a stuffed Kong? These can keep dogs occupied for ages trying to get the contents out. ;) Could you start now to put on the radio so that he will be used to it and then wont see it as unusual when you are out. Also the normal 'getting ready to go out' procedure can bring on the nerves and anxiety. COuld you change your routine? Could you sneak out the back door for a change with no coat? ;)

User avatar
Misaya
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1731
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 3:31 pm
Location: Central Scotland

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by Misaya » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:54 pm

There is a lot of conflicting advice on leaving the house. Some suggest doing the things you would normally do (putting on your coat etc) but then not actually leaving, so the dog stops associating these actions with being left alone and doesnt start to get stressed so quickly. Others say get ready and go out but keep doing it for a few minutes at a time and building the time you leave them gradually. I guess a treat when you come back in wouldnt go amiss. I have also read that you should stop paying them attention a while before you go out and dont fuss over them when you leave.

I wouldnt be comfortable leaving them caged unless I was 100% sure they wouldnt become too stressed, as they might hurt themselves trying to escape. I think they need to see their cage as a refuge not a prison.

We are lucky with our two, as they dont create a fuss being left. We tell them to "Guard the house" when we are leaving so they know they are not coming along.
- Fiona -

The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog. - Ambrose Bierce

User avatar
blufawn
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1758
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 1:10 pm
Location: Lincs, UK

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by blufawn » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:15 pm

Also a big walk before you go out helps too, knacker them out so they sleep while your gone as they are so tierd
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
.............................................................
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

User avatar
Sylvaen
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 5207
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 3:53 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by Sylvaen » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:33 pm

Tamtastic wrote:Have tried putting both in one cage and first two times, Maska lay down and settled (only left them for 5 mins). Third time left them for 10 mins and Maska did his usual routine.
It sounds like you might have been on to something here. If you put them both together and go out for 5 mins at a time... but practice over and over. Not just twice and then 10 minutes, but 15 times over the course of 2 days at 5 minutes, then 10 times over the course of 2 days at 8 minutes, then 8 times over the course of 2 days at 10-12 minutes. You have to build it up gradually, and over time. It can't be rushed because you have to reinforce the concept that you WILL be coming back. That's what freaks them out the most: the idea that they are being left behind / abandoned. Even with a routine like this there will be occasional set-backs but if you stick with it, he will learn and overcome his anxiety. Jasper was much the same from a pup to about 15 months old (or so) and then he made drastic improvement. :)
Image
The future lies before you, like a path of pure white snow...
Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.

User avatar
michifloo
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 301
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 5:04 pm
Location: South Central Wisconsin, USA

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by michifloo » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:04 pm

Have always tried to make my leaving and coming home "not a big deal" Like, I wouldn't hug and kiss and love the dogs when I leave and I don't pay any attention to them when I come home until they are calm (OOHHH its hard some times!) AND I use only special treats placed in a KONG, of which they only get when I am not home. The dogs (yes, even the rescues) willingly go to thier crates when they see the KONG come out... Maybe try freezing the kong with the treats before leaving, it'll give the pup something to concentrate on for a while longer ;)

Hope that was helpful... Oh, Loo is never crated anymore, totally OK and reliable in the house AS LONG as there is a doggie companion, even if they are created, she is totally non destructive at this point... but that may just be maturaty, too...
"I like my dogs more than most people"

User avatar
Misaya
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1731
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 3:31 pm
Location: Central Scotland

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by Misaya » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:34 pm

I was just having a look at my It's me or the Dog book by Victoria Stillwell. She recommends teaching your dog to be independent which may help with the separation anxiety:
An independent dog is not a dog that does what he likes, whenever he wants. Instead, he's confident enough in himself to allow you to disappear for periods of time. He won't trail round after you all the time or get upset if you close the bathroom door.

Here's some ways to encourage independence:

Dont always respond immediately to his demands for attention. Give him attention on your terms. If he comes to sit by you, move away. If he paws at you and whines, ignore him. This is not cruel or rejecting on your part. This is simply a way of providing him with an all important social skill.

If he is overly boisterous when he greets you after an absence, ignore him until he has calmed down and then reward him for calm behaviour. If he jumps up, turn around.

Make him work for attention by doing some obedience training with him.

Keep him stimulated with play and exercise.

Dont allow him to follow you whenever he wants and wherever he wants. Close the door behind you.
She also recommends what Denise (Michifiloo) has already suggested re withdrawing attention and not fussing when leaving or coming back in. And leaving stuffed Kongs (frozen are good).

Sorry, bit of a long post there :)
- Fiona -

The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog. - Ambrose Bierce

User avatar
Blustag
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 2971
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 7:53 am
Location: UK

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by Blustag » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:40 pm

LOL mine jump all over me like they havnt seen me in years when I come in :lol: but they are very good when Im going out like they dont care lol.. I dont mind the jumping up to greet me but do make them behave when I have guests.

User avatar
sky
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 11:56 pm
Location: NC USA

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by sky » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:49 pm

Mine is/was the same way. If he knows we are leaving he wants to go. We never have left him in the house in fear of his destructive nature. Even if I just leave and the husband is home, he will go door to door looking for me. He never did like the kennel much, so we gave up on that a long time ago. Therefore he has the garage and the fenced in back yard when we go anywhere.

I will say as he has gotten older, he has gotten better. Example... the other day we decided to leave him in the house as a test. I had let him out to go to the bathroom, brought him back in and then we left for 45 minutes. We closed all the bedroom doors, picked everything up off the floor and left the entire downstairs open to him. When we left I made him lie down on his bed for a treat, and when we returned he was still there. He didn't even come to the door when we got back to greet us. He just stayed on his bed until we looked over the house. Once we saw that all was as it should be we excitedly gave him praises. There is hope for all if mine can be finally trusted!

User avatar
kendrrat
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:49 am
Location: California

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by kendrrat » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:48 am

hmm this sounds like i tricky situation.

what happened with my dog is that at first when we would leave her she would run to the windows and bark, look for us, and when we got home we could tell that she pretty much did this the whole tome we were gone. but now we've started giving her a special treat that she only gets when she is left alone. also we have made it so that she doesnt have access to the windows but instead has a special bed/den area that she curls up in. we also make it "no big deal" when leaving, just give her the treat then, bye! and leave. however, now it seems like shes more excited about me leaving than coming home! :lol: we also leave the radio on for her, but i dont think she really cares too much about that- mostly makes my mom feel better.

i would definitely limit the access to the house, but i wonder if leaving Maska outside would feel even worse? like there was something even more upsetting and out-of-place than usual? and i agree, you may be on to something putting both dogs together, but definitely see if working up the time helps keep Maska calm for the duration of your absence. Also like Victoria said, shutting the door behind you/not letting the dog follow you around all the time could probably help Maska not feel so distressed when you leave. Currently youre around Maska alllll the time, so maybe creating situations during the day where Maska is separated from you for short periods of time while youre still in the house could help him get more comfortable with that?

sorry that was so long, just my thoughts at the moment...

Tamtastic
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:15 am

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by Tamtastic » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:49 am

Have put both dogs in one cage on a couple of occasions for a couple of minutes each time. We are gradually going to build up the length of time that they are left. Hopefully this will work. Going to take some time to sort out, but we are more hopeful now. Will let you know how it is going.

User avatar
TeresaC
Tamabulous (Promoter)
Tamabulous (Promoter)
Posts: 720
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 4:30 am
Location: WI USA
Contact:

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by TeresaC » Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:29 am

A very easy to read program was written by Dr. Patricia McConnell called "I'll be home soon'" It is a wonderful little book and I had to pull it off the shelf when we adopted Luna. She has destroyed a few things in our house and ate her wire crate. It looked like a truck hit it and she was out!!!

The book goes throug a really easy to follow program. I have used it twice now. We also find really great things for Luna to have only when we are gone. For example, on Sunday nights I spend the afternoon preparing a few special items for when we have to go to work. I have bags of cow stuffed with canned dog food, yogurt, peanut butter and any other smelly yummy stuff. I also stuff this into hollow bones with tidbits of treats.

She only gets the yummy things when we leave. I started by giving them to her and coming back after a few minutes and putting them back in the freezer.

After following the program and coming up with something that she wants so bad that she wants us to go to work has made a world of difference in only a few week.

Good Luck!!
Teresa Cutler
Moondance Tamaskan, Wisconsin
US Tamaskan Dog Club, Secretary

User avatar
michifloo
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 301
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 5:04 pm
Location: South Central Wisconsin, USA

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by michifloo » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:43 am

TeresaC wrote:After following the program and coming up with something that she wants so bad that she wants us to go to work has made a world of difference in only a few week.
That's great advice! Hadn't thought about that!
Hope you are working through the separation anxiety behaviors... let us know how its going :)
"I like my dogs more than most people"

Tamtastic
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:15 am

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by Tamtastic » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:14 pm

Have gradually built up the time that we have left Maska and Ripley in the same cage. Up to 40 minutes at the moment. He is doing really well. Yesterday Maska was sitting in his cage (his choice ... this in itself is unheard of) and I decided to go out. Put Ripley in with him and left. Was gone 40 minutes to the dot. Got back, he was still lying down, opened the cage door ... Ripley strolled out and settled in the lounge and Maska .... well he stayed in the cage for another hour!!!! Can't believe it. Things are looking up.

User avatar
Sylvaen
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 5207
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 3:53 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by Sylvaen » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:24 pm

Well done! :D

That's fantastic news... I think it just boils down to time and patience. As pups they really are very clingy but, as they mature, they become much more independent. I am confident that soon this problem will be a thing of the past. Keep up the great work! :)
Image
The future lies before you, like a path of pure white snow...
Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.

User avatar
Misaya
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1731
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 3:31 pm
Location: Central Scotland

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by Misaya » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:25 pm

Glad to hear its going well :)
- Fiona -

The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog. - Ambrose Bierce

User avatar
DUBS
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 5:00 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by DUBS » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:56 pm

So glad to hear! Our Sookie still does not like it when we leave and she is almost 2 yrs old. She has her own room (garage) that is her den when we are away and happily goes down to her room. Last week I left her in the house while I made a quick run to the grocery store (thinking I would see how she would do in the house alone). Oops! I came home to find her standing, yes standing!!! on the dinning room table and I howling I must add. She loves her "den" and lesson learned I will always be sure that is where she is when home alone.

User avatar
Hawthorne
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1817
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Pennsylvania | USA
Contact:

Re: Help needed for dog that can't be left on his own!!!!!!!

Post by Hawthorne » Tue May 10, 2011 10:03 pm

DUBS wrote:So glad to hear! Our Sookie still does not like it when we leave and she is almost 2 yrs old. She has her own room (garage) that is her den when we are away and happily goes down to her room. Last week I left her in the house while I made a quick run to the grocery store (thinking I would see how she would do in the house alone). Oops! I came home to find her standing, yes standing!!! on the dinning room table and I howling I must add. She loves her "den" and lesson learned I will always be sure that is where she is when home alone.
You didn't get video of that, did you? :lol:


Advice: Darwin is 6 months and can't be left in a crate at all without trying to escape or urinating in his crate. Do you think this is too severe for us to handle on our own? I understand and agree with the above discussion about building up time, using DAP diffuser, not making a big deal about leaving and using special treats, etc. Our other two dogs love their crates so we did something right (which, actually WAS all of the above minus the diffuser). Darwin, being a rehome / rescue / whatever has some special needs. We just want to get him on the right track quickly. The trick will be finding a (good) dog psychologist. Wonder if there's an Angie's List for this type of thing... In the meantime, we'll start him on the crate training today.
Oh--he does sleep in his crate all night just fine.
Tracy Graziano
http://www.hawthornetamaskan.com

bark as if no one can hear you
catch the ball on the fly
lick like there's no end to kissing
sleep on a sofa nearby
jump like the sky is the limit
sit by the fire with friends
stay with the ones who love you
run like the road never ends

Post Reply