Hi everyone -
I'm a new member, and I have a little problem with my 5 yr old yellow lab, Chili. We just moved into a new house which has a much smaller yard that our old house. She is an inside/outside dog, and loves to be with us. At our old house, she had the run of the back yard and garage, and the yard had a chain link fence. The neighbors to our right and left both had dogs for her to see and run the fence with. In our current house, she's having to make a big adjustment. We haven't had to leave her for very long yet, since my son is home and my wife if off during the summer. However, the one or two times we've left her outside, she's torn up a window screen and chewed at the back door, damaging the door frame. At our other house, she could see us leave, but she can't see us leave at our new house because of the privacy fence and lack of garage access from the back yard. Maybe she thinks we're still inside, and is having a hard time with that. She's fine either inside or outside as long as we're there, and seems to be OK if we leave her inside our bedroom while we step out for a little while.
I can fix the door frame damage and the screen, but I'm more worried about her state of mind and apparent separation anxiety (which seems to be worse when left outside). Has anyone else experienced this? Is there going to be an adjustment period? Help! and Thanks.
The move was a huge deal for your dog, and she's probably afraid you are going to leave and leave her there. I would keep her in the house when you leave, so she feels a bit more secure surrounded by familiar things and your scents.
Thanks for the reply. Yes, we seem to have more luck with Chili when we leave her in our bedroom for no more than an hour or two. But this really can't be a solution for when we both have to go to work, and are gone for longer. We're hoping she'll get acclimated to the new back yard soon. She may become just as destructive if we leave her inside for that long, something we've never done. I'm still wondering if she thinks we're still in the house, and that that is what's causing her to freak out. Remember, at the old house, she could actually see us drive away, something she can't do here.
a)-set up a concrete dog run to leave her in
b)-leave her inside in a dogproof room
c)-crate her or leave her in an exercise pen inside
My choice would be either b or c... for a number of reasons, most importantly safety - dogs left outside unattended can get into all kinds of trouble, and a frantic barking dog is no way to say hello to your new neighbours.
Seperation anxiety is probably what you are dealing with........ if it were me, I'd try a crate, inside. Has she ever been crate trained ? I personally think she would be much safer in one...... I've heard of dogs that went through windows, glass and all, because they were so frantic to find the owners. They can do damage to the surrounding, BUT they can also hurt themselves ......... since your wife has the summer off, I would work on crate training, or else find a behaviorist in your area to help.
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.