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seperation anxiety... sometimes (dog)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a 7 year old beagle/collie mix we rescued when she was 1. She's been a great dog, smart, calm, trainable, etc... and well-behaved.

I moved in with my boyfriend a few months ago, and within the last month or so, started showing signs of seperation anxiety. She's raided garbages, eaten a variety of things such as: 1/3 of a bar of soap, chewing on one of my favourite pens, (first 2 are most recent transgressions... tonight), kleenex, 2 tubes of chapstick, knocked over the answering machine... She doesn't always lash out... most of the time, she leaved the apartment intact, but every once in a while (I can't figure out what the trigger is), she decides to trash the place. I know I can't really punish her if I don't catch her in the act, and I don't know what to do short of coating the entire place in bitter apple!...

Let me just say, I am NOT happy right now!
post #2 of 7
Please please please please please crate your dog when you are gone. She is feeling very unsettled due to the recent move, and the addition of your bf to the family. If you will crate her when you are gone, it will help her feel secure and know you are coming home.

Give her a favorite toy, or something that smells like you in her crate, and tell her what a good girl she is when she goes into the crate. Instead of wandering around the apartment in fear that you won't come home, she will take a nap.

Another idea is to leave at times for a minute or two. That helps remind her that Mommy goes away, but she always comes back. If your dog isn't familiar with a crate, this would be a great way to start crate training.

Good luck!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
When I moved to Ontario originally (had my own place for 7 mo) I'd crate her when I left, but unfortunately, we just don't have the space for the crate here (and my boyfriend hates the idea of crating a dog!). She's got 2 toys out to play with whenever she wants, she has her own cushion, and she spends the days keeping my boyfriend company in the store (he's opened up a comic book store on the ground floor of our house), so the only time she's left alone is when we step out for dinner, and it's never for much more than a few hours at a time... Wondering if we might have spoiled her a bit too much?
post #4 of 7
I would still dig out the crate, and use it for the next month whenever she is alone. I think once she gets to feeling secure again, she will stop acting up. And the stuff she is doing could hurt her-eating soap and chapstick?

Google on dogs for bf, to help him understand how crates are very helpful with dogs. And once she is retrained, you can put the crate away again.

Maybe just the pretending to go out, then coming home after a few minutes to catch her being good would do the trick. But I would worry about her getting hurt eating bad stuff!
post #5 of 7
I agree with the crate. Really it is not cruel, it would be far worse for your dog to eat something bad.

And like beckiboo said, it should only take a month or so to re-train her.
post #6 of 7
Beckiboo gives great advice. We had some separation anxiety with Sandy awhile back but it's gone now. We smothered her with love, and left the radio on when we were gone above her crate. We also took a super soft cotton comforter and made a "womb" in the crate for her. Now she loves it, and all the anxiety is gone, but we try to take her everywhere with us, as it is.
post #7 of 7
Crating is the best solution for seperation anxiety.
You'll just have to explain to your boyfriend what crates mean to a dog.
They aren't punishment, they are the dog's private 'safe' place, someplasce to feel secure.
Explain to him that dogs den by nature, and are quite happy in them when they know them as 'their space'.

My dog was a shelter mutt, he suffers seperation anxiety bad, he'd literally destroy the condo if left to his own devices. He has destroyed a cargo van once.

Crate > destroyed apartment/belongings.
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