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Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by Titch123, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Titch123

    Titch123 New Member Registered

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    Hi,

    I share my residence with an 8 year old CKC Spaniel rescue,a 16 year old feline buddy & human son flatmate.
    Titch came across our paths by chance - he also came with a long winded fabricated version of why,what & how & the real truth came out soon enough - he suffers acutely from separation anxiety.
    Instilled somewhat by his original family & have been trying to help him battle his demons since.

    Have joined this forum first & foremost to ask a question that google has vehemently failed me on but having a nose around this mine of knowledge,experience & wisdom I hope,maybe someone somewhere may be able to throw some new ideas/suggestions out there regarding the SA & help me fathom out the canine science/insight as to what is going on in his insecure little doggy brain & ways to help him stop being on such high alert before,during & after in regards to human departure & subsequent devastation when we leave him for 5 seconds/minutes/hours :-/

    Thank you in advance! x
     
  2. Rocky Rescue

    Rocky Rescue New Member Registered

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    Hi and welcome to the forum from Rocky and me.

    You may be able to help the SA by building up his home alone time gradually. First start off by just going into another room and closing the door just to hear what happens.

    Then try leaving the home for just a few minutes then go back inside, gradually build up this time until you are able to leave the home for a few hours. Try leaving an old jumper

    or T shirt in his bed - something that smells of you as this will leave him feeling safe too.

    Leave a radio on a talky station while you are out just on something quiet, radio 4 may help here.

    Does Titch have a crate as this may also help to make him feel safe and secure, just leave the door open so he can come and go as he pleases.

    Hope this helps, please ask again if not.
     
  3. Titch123

    Titch123 New Member Registered

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    Hey....thank you for the welcome ;)

    Love what you are saying & you are so right but this mutt is a little more advanced with his IQ to fall for any old China :D

    One of the perplexing/hardest things to conquer is that he thinks he has the routine sussed!

    #1. I'll go upstairs & shut the dividing door....fine. After about 20 minutes of me being absent he may give the door a tap or two to say 'oi,you staying up there for longer than I anticipated? - get back down here or let me up!'

    #2. I can leave this hound ALL night downstairs whilst I sleep upstairs with a door dividing us!.....8-9 hours straight-he's cool! (though if I'm not up by the time he deems necessary-8am ish-he'll then scratch at door)

    Any attempts though to leave the vicinity (front or back door) are greeted with an onslaught of woofing that does abate after 20mins or so but then takes up again when he see's fit....any noise or something 'out of place' he'll start up again whereas in human company - specifically mine,he won't bother

    He was calm when I left & returned though noisy whilst absent for ages - years - until the neighbour basically laid it on the line & said 'I'm going to have to make an official complaint if you can't stop the noise'
    Since then I have dropped him off at a carers whilst at work. This! is when his behaviour changed for the worse-even!
    He now clocks my every move...even down to getting dressed in certain (work) attire & judges the point of departure upon what stage of getting ready I am at. He's now on high alert even when I'm not going out....I could be just getting changed or moving my shoes from one room to another but he's there!

    I've been recently trying the route of dis-associating him from me...not paying him any attention unless initiated by me....shutting him in another room whilst I'm there....Instigating the rules of the pack .....theres so much 'good' advice out there :-/ but it feels like I am breaking his spirit....I love him & he loves me....why should that be a problem.....many dog owners treat their dogs as humans & go far beyond the call of what dog ownership should be all about yet THEIR dog doesn't fret - why mine when I have a much more mature dog language outlook/experience with it all?

    Wow, I could go on forever regarding this subject as it is a big part of my day-to-day life ATM but I've got work tomorrow & bigwigs pay packets to line so must leave it at that for now but this issue is a big stress. 50% me because my work & social life revolves around the dog but 50% Titch as I recognise he can't be happy & when I took the responsibility of dog ownership on I took it for life. I am the one nominated to give this canine a good life & I will,hook or by crook godammit!

    I always leave the radio on - but just mainstream! - while I HAVE to leave him. Leave lights on if I think it may be dark by the time I return but not tried the 'something that smells of me' trick....will do and am going to look at a second hand crate tomorrow as it happens in the hope that that may help ^_^ - he has a place under the radiator in the kitchen that is 'his' & gets quite put out when the cat plonks his bum there but doesn't attempt to move him :D
    Methinks the cat may try to adopt the crate too!

    Tried leaving him with a kong & a 'special' biscuit,tried paying him no attention prior to leaving & upon return :b
    Tried taking him for a walk in my lunch break but just puts him on high alert twice instead of once a day.
    He now drools as an added stress for him which he never used to do before I sorted out care in the day aarghh!

    Will test out the crate possibility as from tomorrow (I know to make it a happy place & not to shut him in etc)

    There is so much more I could add that I've tried but as already mentioned,must now get a few hours shut-eye....TBC?....

    Rocky Rescue,have you first hand experience with this issue - with more than one dog? What have you achieved re: the SA?
    Did the couple of minutes at a time technique work with you & your students then? If you have a success story please tell me to keep my morale up! x
     
  4. Rocky Rescue

    Rocky Rescue New Member Registered

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    Hi, this is something that worked for us. We got Rocky from a rescue centre and knew nothing about SA until then.

    The Centre sent out a lovely lady to do a home check on us before we bought Rocky home and explained about it then and what to do.

    This lady also did a follow up check about a week or so later to see how things were going.

    We built up his alone time gradually and his is fine now if left for a few hours, he goes and has a snooze on our bed while we are out.

    We only have one dog until we can move into a bigger property anyway and may well consider another rescue then.

    Things will get better in time. It's just takes some consistancy and peseverance
     
  5. Titch123

    Titch123 New Member Registered

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    Hey good on you for going rescue instead of new puppy - need more people like you in the world.

    Wow,so you were able to 're-train' him into understanding you weren't going to leave him forever?!....enough to even contemplate taking another into your set-up?
    From some of what I comprehend so far,Separation Anxiety is one of the foremost reasons dogs are surrendered into a rescue centre :-/
    It is one of most hardest behavioural traits to treat - takes the most time to fix.....
    One of the easiest things for a new puppy owner to unwittingly instil & then ditch when the going gets tough!

    Well,I picked up the crate - got a fiver off due to dents,go me ;)
    Will be trying the 'oh so sublimely leaving it lying around the house with super lovely bones,quilts & yummy stuff' in it in a couple of days.
    What I really wanna do is shut & lock him in with sound proofing included :devil: - but I wont :wub:

    The big hiccup I've had in regards to leaving him for one second,two seconds,half a minute is (perhaps I haven't pursued it long enough) that he needs more convincing!
    He is a bright old soul & clicks very quickly....suffers fools gladly-not!

    Problem I do have also ATM is time to apply! His barking in the morning is always met with a non-plussed attitude....I'm playing by the hierarchy rules & still no move from dysfunction to function.
    His dismay & disdain when I dare to change into my comfy stuff......It's wearing me out. I'm fed up.I'm fed up bowing down to the superior species & ever trying to sort his head out

    And there my friends....is it :shaun: x
     

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