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Someone posted this on another board I frequent, any advice from you awesome lab owners?......Here is her original post

I have an issue with my 1yr old chocolate lab. Mya is a wonderful, playful puppy and I adore her but we have a HUGE problem when we go out. When ever I leave her home alone even for 15mins I come home and she has destroyed something of mine. She has chewed up 6 different headsets, a mouse, my shoes, my clothes etc. She rarely eats anything of my children's and never anything of my husbands. And the thing is she only does it when I leave her home. I leave her toys around, bones, rawhides etc. Anything I think she will chew on I put away before I go out. We can't crate her because she absolutely freaks out, she chewed her way out of a metal crate numerous times and if I put her in a room she tries to dig her way out. She has dug holes in the carpet when she accidentally got closed in a bedroom while napping and pulled tile off the floor when I went out to mow the lawn. I am at a loss on what to do. If anyone has any ideas please, please let me know. She is an angel otherwise.
 

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Hehehehe. Is this a familar sight in your household???



Boy oh boy, i feel you. Apollo, my black lab-mix has SA like you wouldn't believe! Can ya tell? lol. Apollo had issues with his crate. He would urinate in the crate and then lay in it. So we had to use other methods. Make a barrier (like the one in the distance in the above pic) and block off your pup into a hallway or other "safe" area. Fill the room with toys and other items. Put a blanket in there that you have slept with (to make it smell like you). Make SURE she can't jump the barrier. Practice leaving her alone for short periods of time. Also make sure to go around your home and put all items up out of reach that you wouldn't want her to get through, yes, it will take a while, but if she jumps the barrier, its worth having your valuables up. DO NOT comfort her when she flips out when you leave. Only praise when you return to her and she calms down. Its alot of working dealing with a dog with s/a issues. Perhaps a day of doggy daycare would help? Apollo's only costs $15 a day. He goes once a week. Kongs are also a life saver, stuff them nice and tight. Get her into the habit of chewing the kong when you are home and then when you leave her with it she should know what to do with it. Hang in there, it DOES get better. Its been 3 weeks since apollo chewed ANYTHING (and you see how bad his s/a was, by looking at the above pic).

Hope this helps your friend out.
 

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Crate. That is it in one word. I put Boo in a crate whenever we go away whether it's for 15 min or 4 hours. When I put her in the crate I give her a stuffed Kong. She loves her crate and the kongs and I love having a house in one piece. :)
 

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Is there a "doggie proof" garage they can leave her in? That works for mine. Otherwise, there is a way to get her crate trained, but it's a very patient and time consuming process.
 
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How can she chew her way out of a metal crate?

It will take time, but with consistency and patience she will learn. Maggie has destroyed our house so many times. She is now able to stay outdoors for most of the day. Also, a day or two at daycare will help. When we know we are leaving her for a little while we will play ball/fetch for about 15 minutes to kind of run some energy out of her. That really helps.
 

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Mocha said:
How can she chew her way out of a metal crate?
Dogs with separation anxiety can surprise you. Not only can they take down a metal crate, but they can actually hurt themselves pretty bad while doing it. It has nothing to do with getting more exercise, etc. SA can be mild to severe depending on the dog.
 

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Have the dog lay on its rug and stay there while the owner is doing something else around the house. This is to get the dog used to being on its own and apart from the owner while the owner is still in the house. Do several mock leaves, where the owner goes outside but waits by the door. You can usually hear the dog starting to get agitated pretty quickly. Open the door clap your hands loudly and say "NO" in a deep low voice. Repeat this several times several days in a row. Pretty soon the dog will get the idea that you are right on the other side of the door waiting for them to misbehave.
Try and figure out if there are any triggers that are setting off the anxiety. For some dogs it is seeing the briefcase come out in the morning. For other dogs it is a certain coat. By changing your pattern a little, for example, putting the briefcase in the car at night rather than the morning, you can eliminate the trigger. When you leave the house don't stand over your dog giving him hugs and kisses like your going off to war and may never return. A dog with separation anxiety takes this to heart! Simply put him in his crate and walk out the door as if your are going to be back in 5 minutes and its no big deal.
Olie
 

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zoezoe said:
Mocha said:
How can she chew her way out of a metal crate?
Dogs with separation anxiety can surprise you. Not only can they take down a metal crate, but they can actually hurt themselves pretty bad while doing it. It has nothing to do with getting more exercise, etc. SA can be mild to severe depending on the dog.
I never could have believed that apollo could chew the doorframe like that, but he did! I totally believe that a dog can chew out of a metal crate if they get frantic enough.
 

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Re: Major Separation anxiety issues please help.....

"I'll Be Home Soon!
How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety"

Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D.

This booklet explains the difference between dogs who truly have separation anxiety and those that merely misbehave and then describes a behavior modification program for the prevention and treatment of both problems. A treasure chest of ideas for keeping your dog happy in your absence, this booklet can help prevent and treat both minor and severe behavioral problems related to dogs being "home alone." Clear and understandable, this easy to read booklet is written for anyone who wants to leave the house knowing that their dog is happy and their house is safe.

"This little booklet saved both my life and the life of my Weimaraner, Misty. Misty's separation anxiety was so serious that she went through a glass window, badly lacerating herself in the process." - Sharon Stern and Misty the Weimaraner

Available from http://www.dogsbestfriendtraining.com

It gives the standard protocol to overcome SA.
 

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In addition to the behaviour mod protocol, with cases of severe SA, some behaviourists will consider the use of medication to relax the dog.. this is something the owner may want to discuss with the vet.

The drugs are NOT a cure in themselves, but simply a way to get past the frenetic panic so that learning and behaviour mod. can take place.

If drugs are not an option, the owner may want to consider rescue remedy or Comfort Zone DAP diffusers/sprays.
 

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rushpuppy said:
Crate. That is it in one word. I put Boo in a crate whenever we go away whether it's for 15 min or 4 hours. When I put her in the crate I give her a stuffed Kong. She loves her crate and the kongs and I love having a house in one piece. :)
Couldn't agree more. Dogs are den animals and need, well, a den!

I am by no means an expert in dog behaviour as I have my own issues with sadie. Luckily though, crating and separation Anxiety are not an issue for us as it was an area we tackled from the get go with Sadie.

IMO:
A plastic crate with a metal door is the way too go. I wouldn't trust Sadie at home alone in a metal wire cage. They just seem flimsy to me. Nor' would I leave Sadie home alone and not in her crate. That would be insane!! She'd destroy everything!!! :eek:
They need to crate Mya while they are at home to get her used to it. Short periods of time at first and then slowly increasing the time. Of course, never giving in by letting her out when shes whines and cries, and then whines and cries, and then WHINES and CRIES AGAIN! They'll also be able to observe her behaviour to be sure she is not hurting herself. They can always intise her into the crate with stuffed kongs and treats to keep her occupied as so she forgets that she is even in the crate for the first while. She'll end up having her snacks/goodies in the crate, then cry and whimper to be let out, but then in the end when she has been ignored, she'll finally give up and go to sleep. This is good. I'd suggest crating for 1/2 hour here and an hour there during the afternoons /evenings, crating her at night, and of course, crating her while they are away from home!
 
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