My husband and I just adopted a 4 year old Chihuahua from a lady who was no longer able to care for him. We are unsure of his home life, but he seems to be healthy and well fed.
We expected that he would have some anxiety moving into our home where everything is new. We are trying to help him by rewarding him with a small treat when he does something positive. He enjoys scratches on his belly and behind his ears, so we do this too to help him feel comfortable. We know the adjustment will take time and patience from each of us.
The concern we have is that he is always looking for a place to escape. I know that he would run straight out the door if he could. Even in our back yard he paces from one side of the house to the other hoping to find a way of escape. Our yard is fenced and well secured. I think this too comes out of anxiety and fear. Most times his tail is lowered and not curled up like it should probably be. I think he may be stressed. My heart breaks for him.
What can I do to stop this behaviour? How long should I let this go on? Should I take him to a vet to seek treatment for this anxiety if this persists? I welcome any and all advice.
Try a calming collar. Available in most pet stores and some WalMarts. I have used it for several stressed cats and dogs. Worked like a charm! Usrs aromatherapy to decrease stress.
Thanks for the advice. I contacted the vet and was able to purchase one. I am amazed at how well it works. Our chihuahua was scratching frantically at the door and window yesterday but since wearing the collar he is content just to sit near the window and observe the outside. What an amazing product.
It is also for humans too. You spray two sprays in the mouth of the dog or the person.
The only problem would be if the dog didn't want to have you spray its mouth. So far he is letting me without complaint. There are drops also, but I bought the spray.
By Robyn Fed from Tri-Cities, TN
I bought the drops and I couldn't tell it did anything to calm my dog. They can be given to people also. I put some drops in water and drank it. Couldn't tell it did anything for me either. For others reading this I'd say give it a try. I've heard it worked for others but not in my case.
This stuff is amazing! Works on my dogs and me!
Robyn, you can spray it on their ears and rub it in, too. It never did anything for my dogs who are terrified of fireworks but I still try it now and then.
There is a Bach Rescue Remedy for Pets! Please don't use the regular Remedy for people, it has an alcohol base!
I use the pet one for my dog, and it works great!
My dog goes nuts especially if a storm is coming, he paces and paces, sticks his face in yours so you can't watch TV. He cries so I give him some Bailey's approximately 1 tbsp or less. It settles him right down so he can relax. Am I hurting my dog? My mom used to give me hot toddies as a baby, but Bandit likes either Bailey's or Amaretto. Anyone else do this with their dog?
By Debbie T.
Alcohol can be deadly for a dog. It depends on the size of the dog. In small amounts it is damaging to the liver and kidneys. In larger amounts it can be, and often is fatal. Try a "thunder shirt" for an anxious dog in a thunder storm.
Just when I thought we had heard it all this one takes the "championship" Have you never heard of a person called a Veterinarian who can prescribe mild tranquillizer by Dogs weight to help him. Alcohol will affect his canine heart / lungs / kidneys the same as it will humans.
I have a dog who looks a lot like your puppy. We have 3 dogs total, but I think your puppy would be less lonely if you got another dog. If you don't want to worry about house training another dog, you could adopt an adult dog from a local shelter-who is house trained-and your puppy will also learn from (him/her).
My dachsund had major back problems and we had to do a lot of therapy with him (got him to walk again)-but I think what made him want to walk again was playing with his older (brother) and seeing him get so excited when it was time to go for walks.
Some people have had success with doggie daycares, or taking the dog to someone who can watch him in the daytime (perhaps a stay at home mom who could use a few extra bucks?) maybe even post an add for someone who wouldn't mind watching your pup while you are at work. That or finding a job close enough so you could come home at lunch and give her a potty break. We work a lot too, and at least I know when I am gone my boys can cuddle up together. Good Luck!
11 hours is a LONG time to be alone. Since she is such a small dog, I would confine her to the bathroom. I would put her bed in one corner, a bowl of water and food in another, piddle pads in another. All her favorite toys, etc. If your bathroom is too small, I would use a room with a washable floor; tile, linoleum, etc.
You're wasting your time rubbing his nose in it. It's after the fact and he has no idea why he's being punished. I agree that if he's still young, 11 hours alone is too much. I have a 5 year old dachshund and it was the easiest thing to housebreak him. The only time he ever pooped in the floor was right after back surgery while he was healing. You have to be consistent. I started out at 6 weeks putting him on a pee pad and the vet told me to stop that and pick him up, take him out on the grass and all the while saying "potty". After awhile, he'll get the message and walk to the door himself. He is the cutest thing! Don't give up on him because he needs you to be patient.
You got some good advice here. I agree, 11 hours is too long to leave a young dog. With someone coming in to walk the dog, it might be better. Also a pal is a great idea. You didn't say if you walk the dog daily. That is essential, and quite a commitment. And yes, rubbing the dogs nose in it is pretty old fashioned and cruel in my view. The animal has no idea what you are punishing them for. They learn nothing from it. But they are confused and hurt. You might try ways to keep the dog off the couch. All that jumping can be hard on a dachsy's back. I kept my cat off the couch by laying a strip of aluminum foil on it for a few days. Good luck with your puppy. She is adorable.
I just recently rescued a 5 week old puppy. We've had him for a week and he has developed severe anxiety whenever anyone leaves (even so much as to freak out when you are on the couch/bed and he is left alone on the floor).
He used to love his crate and now he hates it because he now knows it means he will be separated from everyone. I want him to grow up happy and independent! And I also need him to love his crate like he used to so I can housebreak him.
I try my best to ignore him, but he has begun this awful "scream" bark to get my attention. It's not only heartbreaking, but very obnoxious (for my household and I'm sure for my neighbors!). It needs to stop. What is the best way to approach derailing his severe anxiety over being left alone?
By Brewster from CA
Congratulations that you rescued puppy, but because they should never leave their mothers and litter mates until eight weeks they can develop lifetime problems. Try finding an older female "from your vet/animal shelter" to foster mum him. Nature will take its course and the older animal will be his security when left alone. Dogs are pack animals and need canine company. (11/22/2010)
Maybe get him a soft, cuddly stuffed dog and a soft 'blankie' for his crate and put it close to your couch, so he's close to you when he's in it, just until he gets bigger. A wind-up alarm clock also helps, because the ticking helps soothe, but now they also make those things for babies that make a heartbeat sound, so if you could get your hands on one of those it would be really good. And don't just put him in his crate when you are going to leave or go to bed, or he'll learn that you leave when he is in it.
Good luck, he's still such a little baby and probably very frightened, poor little thing! (11/22/2010)
My 6 month old German Shepherd/Beagle cross suffers from terrible separation anxiety. Once we leave him, he whines then barks uncontrollably before destroying stuff. He is left alone in our kitchen/dinning area only for 3 hours, twice a day. He is a rescue dog, therefore I understand why he gets like this, but have no idea how to help him get over this. Can anyone please advise me?
By Stuart from Aberdeen, Scotland
Here is a great link to get you started. The main thing you will need to do is to go slowly. Your dog needs to know you will always come back. Start by letting him know you are leaving. Sneaking out the door will just create more anxiety. I use "be back" whenever I go out for ANY amount of time. It doesn't matter if I am stepping out to get mail or leaving for the day, I always let them know.
You can train by mimicking actually leaving for the day by grabbing the keys, your coat, coffee, etc. like you are heading out for the day and step outside for only a few minutes. Use this numerous times during the day increasing the amount of time you stay on the other side of the door. Leaving a special goody just for the longer periods of time will help. We use the white sterilized bones stuffed with a soft smelly treat like Solid Gold's Turkey Jerky. The bone cannot be destroyed for some time and the smell keeps your dog interested in it. I know this sound like a long process but it will net you a more confident and calm dog when you are gone. :) (01/12/2010)
Sorry I forgot the link: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/separation_anxiety.html (01/12/2010)
He needs a buddy. Believe me, 2 is always easier than 1. Lots of exercise helps as well. (01/13/2010)
He needs a friend. (01/13/2010)
When my mother was in college, she had a German shepherd named Sherry. Sherry didn't mind if my mother left the house, or my uncle, or my grandmother. If my great-grandmother left the house (which she did at least once a week to go to the hairdresser) Sherry would get very upset. She would go to my great-grandmother's room and take things. A hairbrush would end up in the living room. One slipper would be deposited in the kitchen; the other would find its way to the den. As far as Sherry was concerned, my great-grandmother was not allowed to leave.
Dogs are social animals, and some dogs experience separation anxiety when their people aren't around. In some dogs, the feelings they experience are mild; other dogs become so upset that they may injure themselves in their panic.
Attention and companionship is number one on your dog's list of wants. If the whole human family is gone, your dog may be bored. A bored dog can become a destructive dog, chewing whatever is available to chew, furniture, shoes, clothes, or just about anything. Destructive behavior is not "revenge". Your dog is behaving this way because he is upset and frightened.
So how do you deal with separation anxiety? Teach your dog that being alone is not a negative experience. Before you go out, give your dog a special treat, maybe a Kong filled with tasty snacks, a new rawhide, or a squeaky toy. You want your dog to learn that being left home is a positive experience.
You can also help your dog overcome separation anxiety by being unpredictable. Put your coat on, get your keys, and do everything you do before you leave the house, but don't leave. Your dog won't get upset when you get your keys out if he doesn't know for sure that you're leaving. Another way to help ease separation anxiety is to go out for just a few minutes, then come back.
One of my family's dogs used to chew her tail when she was left home alone. The vet told us that she might be nervous when she was by herself. Leaving a radio or television on while you're not home can be a kind of company and help mask some of the strange and scary noises outside.
Thank you for this great information. This is my next big step with my little girl.
I have left her alone with Gramma and I have left her alone without anyone in the house for a total of maybe 4 hours on two occasions (two hour each time).
I am looking forward to working this out. In fact today is when we are starting.
I agree with the original post and everything said in it. I was told to leave my dog in her crate with lots of toys and treats, but I won't be using the crate. She is fine in the house.
I will leave a radio on too. Talk shows are better than music.
I was told that when I return after leaving, to not make a big deal out of it as the dog maybe very very glad to see you, naturally but simply just say hi. Don't get into a major excitement mode and make it a big deal to see the dog upon the return. Just be very casual like it was never a big deal that you left in the first place. My dog goes totally wiggly when I get home, rubbing up against me and taking one of her toys in her mouth, tail curled and head held high, circling me forever more, following my every step. As cute as it is, I try not to make a big deal about it.
After I have been back for a few minutes (maybe 5) I crouch down to her level and say hello with a pat and maybe a tug if she has her toy still. I may pick her up and cuddle her for a few seconds before putting her down to play a bit.
If you have been gone for awhile, it is very important to take your dog outside right away so it may relieve itself.
I have a new 11 week blue brindle pit bull named Kai. I understand that puppies go through separation anxiety, but for the next 2 weeks I will be working and going to school. What can I do to ease this transition for him and my family (and neighbors), and also for the next two weeks when he is home alone?