separation anxiety in dogs, another dog the answer? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 05-30-2011, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been reading some of the threads here about separation anxiety in dogs, and someone suggested adding another dog to the family can sometimes alleviate that.  Has this worked for any of you? 

  My dog is about 3 years old, and was adopted from the pound at about 1 year old.  He has always had a lot of separation anxiety, follows me around, has destroyed carpet and scratched grooves in the drywall when I am gone.  I have a crate, but he freaks out in it, and I don't want him to hurt himself.  Therefore, I bring him just about everywhere. 

  He is a very social dog, and gets along well with all other dogs we have encountered, so no agression there.  He is actually pretty submissive with other dogs.  If I were to adopt another dog, is there a particular breed/personality that may be a good match for a nervous dog prone to separation anxiety? 

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#2 of 12 Old 06-01-2011, 12:46 PM
 
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Honestly, I doubt another dog will help. His anxiety is focused on you, KWIM?

 

Have you tried any of the techniques to help him unlearn his anxiety?

 

I feel your pain; I have a dog who suffers anxiety when I go upstairs. For almost all of her life we had another dog and it didn't seem to help her. In my research I have read that another dog is not usually the answer... but maybe your dog is different.


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#3 of 12 Old 06-02-2011, 08:11 PM
 
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Another dog can help......but I wouldnt rely on that alone.  Have you checked out Patricia McConnell's I'll be Home Soon or Nicole Wilde's Dont Leave Me?


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#4 of 12 Old 06-04-2011, 02:16 PM
 
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Our dog was also an abandoned rescue, and we had two friendly cats at the time and he still had horrible separation anxiety. I was a SAHP at the time so pretty much worked a schedule around him. When we had to leave him, I'd leave a Kong filled w/ treats to occupy him, or a new bone or toy and that seemed to help, as did a long walk/exercise before leaving him, lots of walks in general. He eventually got over it, but it took at least 2 years, maybe 3. We didn't even notice--it was my mom who pointed out on a visit that he didn't have to be pressed up against us anymore whenever we stood still or sat down. He was about 5 when he came to us so he's probably around 11 now and he doesn't have SA at all and can be left w/ others or at home for hours w/o special preparation w/ no issues.

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#5 of 12 Old 06-04-2011, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input.  I will have to check out those books.  Unfortunately, I think he may always have some separation anxiety, but I'm hoping it will minimize with time.  It can be a pain, though.  I grew up with dogs, and we had some that were strays/rescues, and a few had SA till the end, even though we gave them a permanent, loving home with other animals to interact with, walks, toys, etc. 

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#6 of 12 Old 06-06-2011, 12:10 PM
 
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Ya, it didn't help my dog that separation anxiety to get another dog.
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#7 of 12 Old 06-15-2011, 03:57 PM
 
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have you talked to a trainer that uses positive reinforcement? They usually have some answers you would never think of. Have you looked into a doggy daycare?


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#8 of 12 Old 06-15-2011, 06:22 PM
 
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agrees with this 100 percent. my dog is now 10 yrs old and had seperation anxiety since we got her at 8 wks. and we got a 2nd dog to see if it would help with her anxiety and it did not. she still had anxiety. now that dog lives with my mom cuase he was a very active dog who needed a place to run outside. and since we dont own a home we couldnt give him that.

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Originally Posted by Carolinamidwife View Post

Honestly, I doubt another dog will help. His anxiety is focused on you, KWIM?

 

Have you tried any of the techniques to help him unlearn his anxiety?

 

I feel your pain; I have a dog who suffers anxiety when I go upstairs. For almost all of her life we had another dog and it didn't seem to help her. In my research I have read that another dog is not usually the answer... but maybe your dog is different.



 


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#9 of 12 Old 06-16-2011, 09:05 AM
 
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I have had three dogs with different degrees of this. My greyhound would tear things up and do diarrhea everywhere. I finally got her settled down by pretending to leave several times. Like I would pick up my keys, backpack and then notice her getting upset, and I would put them back down and start doing normal house things again. I did this over and over and did not talk to her or look at her when I did this. Then when she was calm as I was doing this (alert but not panicking) I started to open and close the door in this routine. Then I would lock the door and unlock it from outside. I slowly would add more time outside before I came in. It took several weeks but she ended up being a great dog who was totally trustworthy in the house after that.

 

Sadly one dog was so severe we had to return her-- that training didn't work on her. Our current dog has mild SA and does okay in the crate when we leave.


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#10 of 12 Old 06-16-2011, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the input.  :)  I don't have the cash for a trainer or doggy daycare at the moment, but if anyone has any good book recommendatons that have not been mentioned, that would be great, or websites.  I think I need to get a good routine going with him to combat some of the behaviors, and make him feel more secure. 

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#11 of 12 Old 06-16-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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I heard a dog trainer on Fresh Air a couple of weeks ago talking about this technique! It sounded like a great idea - I am glad to hear it worked! I have a dog who is now 13 who had SA for most of his life. The second dog didn't help, either.:(
 

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Originally Posted by USAmma View Post

I have had three dogs with different degrees of this. My greyhound would tear things up and do diarrhea everywhere. I finally got her settled down by pretending to leave several times. Like I would pick up my keys, backpack and then notice her getting upset, and I would put them back down and start doing normal house things again. I did this over and over and did not talk to her or look at her when I did this. Then when she was calm as I was doing this (alert but not panicking) I started to open and close the door in this routine. Then I would lock the door and unlock it from outside. I slowly would add more time outside before I came in. It took several weeks but she ended up being a great dog who was totally trustworthy in the house after that.

 

Sadly one dog was so severe we had to return her-- that training didn't work on her. Our current dog has mild SA and does okay in the crate when we leave.



 


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#12 of 12 Old 06-17-2011, 11:42 PM
 
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Getting a second dog to alleviate an existing dog's behavior problem is NEVER a good idea.  Sometimes the new dog will even take on the old dogs neurotic behavior. As far as seperation anxiety goes, crate/kennel training is often a very valuable tool to have on hand. It can give a dog a place to feel safe and a way to contain them so they can't damage property or get themselves into to much trouble. I've always started my dogs as puppies or as soon an I introduced them into my household though, so I'm not sure how doable it would be with an adult dog who won't tolerate it.

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