Hello all. I took in a stray lab mix about a month ago who had severe injuries to two of his paws and now that they are almost fully healed... I need help. I don't know whether to be impressed or horrified by his skills of escape and leaping 6ft fences. I have never owned a 60lb dog before and though he is a gentle giant when I am home when I am away it's another story. He literally jumped through a window destroying the screen to get back inside the house. He has now jumped over the outside fence 4 times in one 2 hour period (the fence is 6ft tall) and today he chewed his way out of a metal crate, not those nice lined and new foldable ones, the ones that you have to build and have metal rods through them. Please keep in mind that during all of these events he was wearing a cone!!! I'm at the point where I don't know whether to laugh or cry and although he is a gentle giant I can't afford to keep paying to replace screens. (Today on his rampage to try and get in the house he destroyed 3 other screens on top of the one he jumped through yesterday.) Please note that as we speak I am ordering him an anxiety vest now. It should also be noted that he does not destroy furniture or potty in the house.) Please I need help and support. I feel all twitchy and emotional just thinking about it!
First of all you are amazing for rescuing a stray. It can be a hard thing not knowing what has previously happened with the dog. It sounds like he has a lot of energy, how old is he? How does he do on walks? I have a 5 month old puppy and the more I can wear her out by throwing the frisbee and playing with her in the yard, the more calm she is.
We have one of those large enclosed metal fence kennels and we put it on the concrete. They can't dig out, and it has a top on it so they can't climb out. I suggest one of those. Before you put him in it though you need to make sure he has had plenty of exercise. Good luck!
It sounds like your pup may have separation anxiety.
What I would do is first find someone who can stay with the dog when you are away for the time being.
I would start to work on getting him more confident when you are away. Is he left in the backyard when you are gone? Inside the house? Wherever you leave him I would suggest spending twenty minutes a day in that area and just throw treats around for him to search out and eat. A dog who can scavenge for his own food will eventually become more confident with his surroundings.
When you return home have a treat ready for him. Don't make a big deal out of it, just throw a couple treats down.
Use frozen kongs filled with yummy treats to keep him busy while you are gone, but be sure it is the right size kong for your dog.