My daughter is almost 3, and she and Lilly (the dog gone crazy) get along beautifully. We moved into a new house at the end of July and Lilly learned to jump out the windows (it took us a while to figure out how we kept finding her in the backyard and I got a few phone calls from friends who had picked her up from downtown as she walked herself). Weather turned cold and we started closing windows. I started seeing strange things around the house, like pots that were by the window getting shuffled around, my neti pot was found broken on the bathroom floor (I kept it on the window sill) with muddy dog prints all over the wall......but the worst was my bedroom window: Lilly tried to scratch herself out the window and so all the frame has been clawed off and the glass is all scratched - she has now done this to 7 different windows. I tried several things: more exercise, leaving treats for her (kong) when I left, new toys...didn't work. I tried leashing her to my bed post so she could still sleep on the bed while we were gone but didn't have enough slack to attack the windows.....well, then she attacked the floor (hardwood floors). At this point, I started to leave her crated--- she has never needed a crate! I actually had to borrow one from a friend......well, she clawed and chewed through the metal crate (metal bars are missing, and she'll body slam the sides until they cave open). Keep in mind this is my sweet 35 lb mutt that loves going with us to drop my daughter off at daycare and just loves getting loved from all the other little kids. I feel terrible for her -- I don't understand why she's going so psycho. We have another dog in the house and when she acts out he just watches her (mainly to take her treats when she looses interest; she is a super slow eater). We've left a camera going and it looks very sad.
Is there another option I'm not considering other than doggy prozac? We didn't have this problem last winter when activity levels went down. When it's warm, we are very active, she runs next to my bike and we are out and about all day, and I know she loves lounging in the backyard, but that is now muddy/snowy/super cold so it's not a possibility. The thought of finding her a home where she could get more attention keeps crossing my mind, but we really love her and that would be the absolute last resort. Any advice?
Keep up the crate training. Try it when you're home so she can realize that the crate doesn't always mean you're leaving. Feed her in there, give her treats in there, special toys that she only gets when she's in the crate, make a positive place. She'll get it eventually.
There is doggy prozac but my vet said it does have side effects and isn't for long term. We adopted a dog in September who has horrible separation anxiety. After a morning of destroying my house, I started the crate training (we tried it the first day we had him and it stressed him out so much we didn't push it). When I was home, I'd put him in a for a few minutes and gradually increase the time. Now, he goes straight into his crate when we get ready to leave, he goes in there to hide out from our other dog and he's just figured out the crate is his place. It keeps him calm while we're gone and now he knows that we'll always come back.
it sounds like seperation anxiety, I highly recommend this book
Alyantavid, I've tried all of your suggestions to no avail. She's not a food hound so food isn't really a motivator for her. I take her on walks in the mornings and she has play time with other dogs before I go off to work (a friend and I walk our dogs together in the morning). I'm just getting nervous because I'll be starting grad school in the spring and will be busy busy.
Starrlamia, thanks for the book suggestion. I'll order it from amazon and cross my fingers.
Thanks for the input, Mamas. :)
are toys a motivator? Does she like tugging of fetch? Those are good stand ins for treats in training, if she is stubborn with training, the book When Pigs Fly by Jane Killion is brilliant at teaching your dog to focus on you and find training rewarding!
How long of a walk does she get and how much play time? She may not be getting enough exercise, walks for my dogs are nothing, I can take them for a good 2-3 hour walk and they still have energy to burn, so they usually get some hard exercise in the backyard with fetch or the flirt pole and spring pole.
Another suggestion is to give her some work to eat toys instead of kibble in a dish, it will help tire her out mentally as well, stuff like kongs, kong wobblers, tug a jugs, buster cubes etc.