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Separation Anxiety flipout

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All has been great with Miles and he was showing great progress with the separation anxiety. He is on amitriptyline during a training phase of 6 weeks. There’s no way he’s ready to stay in the house yet, I couldn’t afford the damage. So, I’ve been training him to get comfy with the kennel, which has a chainlink top and concrete around the bottom. It’s shady and large and in the yard.

I would take his favorite treat: Yam wrapped in chicken. Go into the kennel, get a yammy treat. Then I’d close the gate and leave him for 10 seconds, get a yammy treat. We worked up to going in there for a few hours when I’d run to town on errands and he seemed comfy with it, but I was putting Mom’s dog Cowgirl, his little buddy, in with him.

Well, I guess I jumped the gun, the drug stopped working, or he just had a setback, but I left him in there for a few hours *without* Cowgirl a week ago and he was screaming like a little girl when I got back. 🙁 After that, I couldn’t drag him to the kennel, not even for steak. It’s not a Happy Place any longer. And to top it off, I think given time, he could actually chew his way out. Least case scenario, he’d bloody his face or break a tooth and go to the vet’s.

On the side of the kennel:

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In the gate:

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It’s a substantial hole in the gate now:

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I am at a loss! I am going back to Baby Steps. Using raw tritip chunks to lure him into the kennel, Yammy Treats aren’t getting it anymore. And not leaving him, just getting him there, and we’ll start all over and build from there. He’ll need more amitriptyline, his 6 weeks are up.

My Mom lives next door and she’s my daycare when I am gone. But it’s wearing thin as she is sequestered if I am not home, not having any options for leaving him anywhere at all unattended without damage to property or himself. She’s missed lunch dates and a meeting or two. I keep promising her that he will get better…

Miles, come on sweety, I will NOT leave you forever.

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6 Responses to “Separation Anxiety flipout”

  1.    etgayle Says:

    looking at those beautiful brown eyes, hard to believe this guy could get so overwrought as to chew up chain link… we have no suggestions, but we’re pulling for you and miles to figure this out.

    charon & gayle

  2.    Mackenzie's Mom Says:

    What a sweet face – I agree with Charon – it’s kind of hard to picture this little guy crying and so distraught like this when you leave him. He must really love you! Boy your mom’s a saint too. I have no suggestions either but we’ll keeping our paws crossed for you.

  3.    jerry Says:

    oooh Miles, we’re so sorry you had a setback. You’re giving Wyatt Ray some competition!

    This must be so difficult for all of you.

    Our friend Sarah Wilson, a very awesome dog trainer, has some GREAT separation anxiety advice here, hope this helps:

    Help for Dogs with Separation Anxiety
    http://mysmartpuppy.com/services/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=428

  4.    Chloes mom Says:

    Hi Miles and family. Boy can I sure relate! Chloe has always had separation anxiety but it has been worse due to the stress of the move and it doesn’t help that I am here nearly here all the time (ie. she is used to me being there nearly 24 hrs a day). She has only been here a month and I have had animal control called on me 2 times within 2 weeks and am now looking to crate train her to be an indoor dog. I am pretty sure our next door neighbors have something against dogs.

    We are beginning the journey of getting SA under control and we wish you the best!! We know what you are going through!

    -Chloe’s mom

  5.    dsimas Says:

    How frustrating! It sounds like your neighbor is more of a problem than Chloe. 🙁 I am curious about your crate training venture. Miles flips out at the sight of one. It seems to carry over to the rest, being cooped up and left is the trigger. The kennel, the house, just bigger versions. I didn’t even try crate training when I saw his reaction to it, I couldn’t imagine it every being a happy place to him. Does Chloe go in one okay?

  6.    Chloes mom Says:

    Chloe has really no association with me and a crate first of all. I am sure she has been put in one when she is at the vet or waiting for me to pick her up at the groomers, but it has never been me who put her in one.

    Since I have time to properly crate train her, I am just getting her used to the idea of staying in there. I do not plan on just locking her in there and leaving her all day, which means I just put her in doggie day care on the days I have class. So far, she likes the crate, slept nearly 6 hours in it yesterday with no bribe and all of last night in it (door open). And that was her first day with it. I think it helped that I put her bed inside and in the same place she has been sleeping for the last month. That way, the only thing that is different is the fact she now has walls around her.

    I have made a forum post about her SA and you can check it out to see pictures and a video of her in it!! http://tripawds.com/forums/anything-goes/advice-for-tripawd-with-possible-separation-anxiety-and-destructive-behaviors/page-4/#p42752

    Also, Cherry’s Dad has been very helpful to me with regards to crate training. His new poodle Chloe (yes this might get confusing) has a similar problem to Miles in that she didn’t like the site of the crate. He just spent time baiting it, sitting near her while she was in it, gradually increasing the time (praising once the time element was accomplished) and desensitized her to the dislike. I recommend you PM Cherry (username) about how he is training his Chloe. I wouldn’t recommend just locking Miles in and leaving him or else he will just associate the crate with being alone. Gotta get him to like it and then progress from there!!

    If you have questions I know I would be more than happy to answer them and I know Cherry’s dad referred me to your blog because of what you are going through, so I am sure he would be more than happy to share his experiences with you too!!!

    -Chloe’s mom

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