Need Advice re Separation Anxiety & Moving In Together
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Thread: Need Advice re Separation Anxiety & Moving In Together

  1. #1
    Diesel_Dawg is offline Senior Member
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    QuestionNeed Advice re Separation Anxiety & Moving In Together

    This is about the dogs, LOL, not me & my fiancé. SORRY!! Few issues so this is super long!!

    We just bought a house on the weekend... YAY... we get possession very quickly, April 18th, so aside from all the stuff we need to do for the move, my concern is currently focused on the dogs.

    My Diesel is 3, his Bo (choc Lab) is 5. They have met & played a number of times, get along famously, just never lived together. Bo is a bit of a mess & when we move in together because SO's job sends him on the road every Tue-Thur I'll be the main caregiver & I've already been given carte blanche to "fix" his dog. Thank God!

    Bo has SA & shows physical signs of either SA and/or a bad diet, we both agree his food needs to be changed (on Authority & always had problems, I want to put him on Acana which has done wonders for Diesel & is grain free which I think Bo may need), but we are waiting until the move due to SO away from home so much & currently has a neighbour come in to take care of Bo & we both worry the weaning off won't be done properly. Besides, it could just be SA & maybe once we move & he has a mama that is going to be there 7 days a week & a bro 24/7 he will adjust himself physically as the SA subsides (hopes!) He has a bit of dander, ear infections & currently chews his feet.

    Now with the SA, unfortunately, he is being coddled upon return. The exit is not so bad, SO throws him a PB filled Kong & just scoots out the door. Personally I wouldn't do this, I would think it would instill a bit of panic in an already anxiety filled dog to suddenly realize your owner just deserted you though a ceremonious goodbye would also not be in order. My biggest concern is the return where he gets greeted by Bo whimpering uncontrollably, sucking a toy and doing circles around him, around the house, following him like a shadow and instead of ignoring him, he plays into it which I know makes it worse. No idea what the neighbour is doing. Bo is visibly depressed. He has made a dutch door or two when left alone.

    How I want to handle the SA is to start by ignoring him upon return. No touch, talk or eye contact until he settles. I think that is the biggest start since I know he's being coddled too much right now, though likely guilt driven due to SO being away so much. What do you think? Is this the right approach, anything to do instead or in conjunction?

    Now for the tough one... this will be a new house to both dogs. I am not one to believe the whole dominance theory with respect to animals & humans, so I won't be setting my foot past the threshold first, etc. I will make them both do a sit/wait before they charge the door. What about the backyard? I am thinking they should both go in together leashed to sniff & do their business instead of having them investigate it one at a time? There is a pool in the backyard, the yard is fenced but the pool is not. So a leashed intro to the yard I think is a must to teach "leave it" along the perimeter of the pool.

    For indoors I want at the very least to have their area set up with their beds & bowls, toys etc. But should we also have all the furniture in place & all move in ready for the dogs? Diesel will be fine, he's moved before, just worried about Bo with the SA & his whole new lifestyle. It's all my furniture so he won't recognize smells per se.

    Oy! So much to worry about! Diesel is easy peasy, I just don't want to make Bo's stress any worse for him
    Last edited by Diesel_Dawg; 03-17-2013 at 05:28 PM.

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  3. #2
    Paddysmom's Avatar
    Paddysmom is offline Senior Member
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    Roxie. Breathe. When the two of you calm down, so will the dogs.
    Settle... settle... settle... you guys are in charge now, so BE in charge. Quietly. Commandingly, not DEmandingly.

    Seamus and Flynn

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    Diesel_Dawg is offline Senior Member
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    I'm surprisingly calm Sorry, I should have clarified that Bo has been like this since he was dumped on SO last summer by his friend who didn't have time for him, so it isn't so much a matter of our current events causing his anxiety, he's always been that way & SO never knew how to handle it so he coddled out of guilt. He'll be that way when we get there & until we can get him into a better settled state, I just don't want to do anything with this move to make things worse on him.

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    Mary Jane is offline Senior Member
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    How was Diesel when you moved? I think you are putting to much thought into this. I would let the dogs run around in the house before and after the furniture.
    When I come home for being gone for 30 minutes Mya acts like I have been gone for 30 days and weaves in and out and around my legs grunting like a little piglet. Has Bo ever been crated? I think that would be my first thing.

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    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    I think you should focus on creating a schedule for both dogs - a strict schedule will be comforting for the dog you suspect has some SA issues. I would also perhaps do a little NILIF with him.

    I personally don't think most dogs care much about moves at all - if their people are there they are usually just fine. But, the permanent addition of another dog into the household for each of them could be a little bumpy - I would monitor their interaction for at least the first couple of weeks a little more closely.

    If Bo is not crate trained, he needs to be trained and I would have both of them in crates for the first few weeks when you are not home.

    Good luck and CONGRATS on the house!!!
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    Diesel_Dawg is offline Senior Member
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    My main concern about the move was just pre-empting anything for Bo to not make things worse for him. Otherwise, I just let Diesel do what he wants & try not to make a deal of it.

    Bo has never been crated with SO, his past not sure. It will take some talking to get him to agree with a crate for Bo I think.

    SO & I have some differences raising dogs, he has no idea about food & how it affects dogs, he would have fed Bo Alpo if they still made it; he comes from the rural side of town where leashes & picking up dog poop is optional as far as he's concerned; no clue about the psychology behind dogs; nothing about training - he uses full sentences & talks to dogs like he's reasoning with a child instead of using commands... needless to say I am chomping at the bit for the carte blanche!!!

    But the most important thing is he LOVES Bo & will do anything for his boy

    Strict schedules, NILIF & (will try for) crate training when we get to the new house.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBrownDog View Post
    Good luck and CONGRATS on the house!!!
    Thanks!

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    Mary Jane is offline Senior Member
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    I was on my way out the door when I posted before, but I wanted to come back and say a big Congratulations on the new house. You must be VERY excited!!!!! Be patient with your SO. He sounds just like how I was raised. He'll come around.
    I am very happy for you Roxie!!!

  10. #8
    Diesel_Dawg is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Jane View Post
    I was on my way out the door when I posted before, but I wanted to come back and say a big Congratulations on the new house. You must be VERY excited!!!!! Be patient with your SO. He sounds just like how I was raised. He'll come around.
    I am very happy for you Roxie!!!
    Thanks, MJ! And absolutely re the patience, the reason I got the carte blanche was he was amazed at what I've accomplished with Diesel & how much food, etc has made a difference for Diesel, and the last time he brought Bo over I did a 5min training with him & had him sit/down/stay/come all with one word commands then just hand signals & he did a double take, shook his head & said "alright Miss Dog Whisperer, he's all yours when we're all under the same roof!" Wasn't a big feat what I did, but showed him Bo's potential Though he jokes that Deez is a wussy city boy & his Bo is a tough country boy!

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    kassabella is offline Senior Member
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    Congratulations.

    I talk to my dogs like they are little people. lol. I ask them what do you think we should have for lunch. Even show them 2 different things and which ever one is pawed is what I eat. lol. I think I would let him continue to talk to his wee person in a fur coat.If there has just been the 2 of them Bo has been his company. I also realise they are dogs and have commands. Maybe once he realises he needs commands it will help.

    When I come home I don't touch them no matter how much I want to. Erns gets my slippers and Tess waits at the pantry for the treat. lol. It has taken her time to realise sitting quietly will earn a pat.

    I tell mine I am going to work. Even if it is to the supermarket. Give them a treat and they know I will be home soon. I always show them my bag. Our routine. Once I went to a concert and didn't take a bag. Erns raced around the house the whole time looking for me driving his minder nuts.

    I think routine helps them. Tess had relaxed since she came here and part of it she knows what is going on.

    I let both out to the yard or one or what ever. They sort it. Only time I get involved is if I am going or there is a bit of argy bargy. Never from Tess.

    Good luck and relax.
    Last edited by kassabella; 03-18-2013 at 07:06 AM.

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