Hello from Nor-Cal
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Thread: Hello from Nor-Cal

  1. #1
    Jet-ster's Avatar
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    DefaultHello from Nor-Cal

    Hi,

    I am new to the forum and a first time dog owner. I have “inherited” a beautiful black lab/hound mix from my son who underestimated the time, money and dedication required to be a responsible dog-father. My intention was take him in while we looked for a suitable home. However, now I cannot imagine my life without him! He is so much fun!

    The only real issue is that he has extreme separation anxiety. I have been reading all of fantastic advice on this forum and praying that I can come up with a solution. Otherwise, it’s off to the doggie psychologist…
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    Hello!!! Welcome!!! I am new as well. You will learn quickly that every one on this forum is WONDERFUL and will help as much as possible.

    Can you tell us a little more about this separation anxiety? Maybe someone on here can help.


    “Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than you found it.” –Wilferd Peterson

    Regardless of what unholy, unconstitutional filth issues from the mouths of oath breakers in “Mordor on the Potomac” our answer is MOLON LABE.

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    dstyer65 is offline Senior Member
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    Hello and welcome to the forum! Your lab/hound is a cutie! I'm having some seperation anxiety with my 5 month old. But,he has been with me 24/7 since I got him. I started noticing the anxiety, crying, barking, etc, just when leaving him to run to the car! So, I started leaving him for short periods of time, like 5 minutes to start and then 10 etc. This week, I started leaving him at home instead of taking him to work. My daughter is a teacher and is done for the Summer and my son is home from college. He did great! My son took him for a walk and swim and they both left him to go to the store. BTW he is crated. So, my advise is start out in short intervals. I'm sure other members have some better advice. Now, I think I'm having some seperation anxiety, not having him around me all the time!
    Todd, Yellow Lab, 1/4/13
    Mr. Utley, Welsh Corgi, 2/20/02

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    Jet-ster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurenCortina View Post
    Can you tell us a little more about this separation anxiety? Maybe someone on here can help.
    Of course! My son adopted him from a shelter that estimated his age at 1 year, he is 3 now. He had been there a month and was very thin, which means he must have been extremely thin when they got him. I am assuming that he was either on the streets or neglected for quite a long time. I have had him for about 6 months now.

    He shows most of the signs for separation anxiety. He follows me from room to room, his behavior changes the minute I show signs of leaving; putting on coat, shoes, the sound of car keys etc. He starts breathing fast, jumping around, sitting in front of the door…basically, as obnoxious as one can get. He does not have “accidents” in the house or destroy random stuff like shoes or furniture; he just panics. It is heartbreaking to watch.

    I thought we were making progress so I left him for an hour and recorded it. He wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible. He whimpered and cried, paced nervously and stayed by the door the whole time. I would say he was at a level 8 anxiety-wise. I thought it great; it was a definite improvement.
    I tried it again the following weekend and he regressed back to his old ways. I came back to find that he chewed through the door, he was bleeding (from his mouth) and a dog that took me forever to calm down. I watched to video and it broke my heart. On a scale of 1-10, he was probably at a 15! He never stopped and he was panting the entire time.

    It took a long time for me to try again. I set up the webcam so I could watch him from my phone and return if he panicked again. He did much better. He actually “relaxed” a few times. He was not comfortable by any means but he wasn’t pacing as much and he would lay his head down for a few minutes at a time. I would say he was probably at a 7.

    After reading through some of the threads here, I am wanting to try several things. We are working on desensitizing now. I started with just walking out the front door and immediately coming back in. I did this every 10-20 mins for 2 days. On the second day, he quit coming to the door every time. Then I added grabbing the keys, locking/unlocking and immediately returning. We have been on that for about 3 days now and he is down to coming to the door about 70% of the time. The keys are a big trigger for him but I am seeing some progress.

    I was a full-time student when he came to me and didn’t have the luxury of figuring out what to do with him as I had classes the following day. So, I took him to doggie daycare every day. I think he was okay after I left but he had a meltdown every morning as we pulled in. He would literally tremble. It wasn’t the ideal solution but at least I knew he was safe.

    I have the whole summer to work with him before I return to school. I have been accepted to Berkeley, which is in the bay area and everything is ridiculously expensive. There is no way that I am going to be able to afford daycare there.

    I am committed and going to attempt this but I don’t have that much time. I am open to any criticisms and/or suggestions!

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome! I do feel your pain to a certain degree, my Emma suffers from seperation anxiety as well as fear of loud noises, (thunder, gun fire, raised voices and fireworks to name a few) Fortunately Emma is never without a canine companion and very rarely without a human. A thundershirt has helped tremendously with loud noises. I can not imagine the heartbreak of watching your dog injure themself because of the anxiety. I wish you the best of luck in getting control of this before you return to school. Medication may be helpful for your boy.
    Tammy
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    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

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    Jet-ster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tammyhuffman View Post
    A thundershirt has helped tremendously with loud noises.
    I was reading about the thundershirt a few days ago. It inspired us to watch the Temple Grandin story last night which was pretty amazing. I am going to buy one today. I figure I have nothing to lose since Petsmart has a satisfaction guarantee

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet-ster View Post
    I was reading about the thundershirt a few days ago. It inspired us to watch the Temple Grandin story last night which was pretty amazing. I am going to buy one today. I figure I have nothing to lose since Petsmart has a satisfaction guarantee
    It has really made a difference with my Emma. I also use it when my oldest son works late nights, he is Emma's "person" and she would get frantic when he was not home by dinner time. Now she will lay down and go to sleep. Huge difference! I just wish I had bought one years ago...

    I hope it helps your baby as much as it has mine.
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

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    J.R.&JNE is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome to the site. Your pup is beautiful. It is heart breaking to read about his separation anxiety. I wish I had some clever advice for you... I have heard some great things about the thunder shirt from friends at the dog park. I am curious to see if that helps. Good luck!


    J.R. and June


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    Garth is offline Registered Users
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    That's really heartbreaking. I hope you can get some serious help for him soon. Have you tried leaving the TV or radio on for him while you're gone? MAYBE the sounds of human voices will help relax him? Sorry, I don't know what else to suggest.

    Are you going to move to SFO when you go back to uni? Chico is an hours flight from there. I don't know how long it takes to drive but I'm guessing about 3 hours? I went to your town about 5 years ago. LOVED it. One of my favorite photos is of my Aunt standing between that giant pair of hands outside the municipal building. Next best thing? COSTCO!

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    Jet-ster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tammyhuffman View Post
    Medication may be helpful for your boy.
    I am not against trying medication but this is the first honest chance I have had to give him 100%. I just want to know that if we choose medication that is was truly the last resort.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garth View Post
    Have you tried leaving the TV or radio on for him while you're gone?
    I have tried that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Garth View Post
    Are you going to move to SFO when you go back to uni? Chico is an hours flight from there. I don't know how long it takes to drive but I'm guessing about 3 hours? I went to your town about 5 years ago. LOVED it. One of my favorite photos is of my Aunt standing between that giant pair of hands outside the municipal building. Next best thing? COSTCO!
    I haven't found a place yet. I'm assuming my options will be limited with a 60lb dog lol. I am going down in a couple weeks to try and get things in order. It is about a 3 hr drive from here. This is a beautiful area except the summers are so darn hot.



    Thank you all for the suggestions and compliments! He really is a great dog. I have a soft heart for animals but I have never had a lifestyle suitable to properly caring for pet. It is really hard when you don't own a home

    I bought the thundershirt yesterday. The good news is he doesn't hate it. He wore it with no complaints for about an hour. Then Dad come home and got him all riled up (as usual) lol. I will keep you posted...

    They tried to sell me a pheromone diffuser too. Has anyone tried this? I am willing to try anything but I will not be able to identify what works if I try it all at the same time.

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