Please help me avoid rehoming my dog [sad]

(33 Posts)
BLACKTUESDAY1 Sun 15-May-16 10:57:58

We have had our 6 year old lhasa apso for 4 years. We got him from pets4homes (I know how bad that is now but didn't at the time and desperately wanted a lhasa but not a puppy). He is a gorgeous dog. So loving and calm and brilliant with the dds (13 and 10). He was fine for the first couple of years when we used to leave him to go out and would happily stay a good 4 hours on his own. Suddenly one day a couple of years ago we came home and everything had been knocked off the window sills. It was really odd but we thought something may have just spooked him. After that it got gradually worse. Even if we left him for an hour he would chew through wires, scratch at doors and break stuff. He used to scratch so hard his paws would bleed. We had to introduce a crate. We did this gradually and he loved being in it when we were home but when we ever went out he would try to escape the crate to such an extent we would come home and he would be dripping with saliva and blood. He has broken out of two crates now, damaged his teeth and paws and is trying to make his way through a third. Myself and dh have changed our work patterns so he is never left all day or for long periods. Only if we go out for a meal as a family or when my dh is working away and I need to go to the school. Every time we come back it is so distressing not to mention the absolute hell my poor dog is going through. He physically shakes when we get ready to leave home. I have read such a lot on this and I have tried all the training recommended (get ready to leave but don't, etc). We always leave a radio/tv on but it doesn't help. He also barks the WHOLE time we are away so is annoying neighbours. He is fine in the car but obviously with the warm weather I can't keep leaving him the car. We really are at our wits end. I have spent another weekend unable to take the dds to see a film they wanted or to do anything as I can't leave him on his own so it is really affecting their lives too.

I strongly feel he needs to be with someone who never goes out and would make an excellent companion for an older person. I called a dog rescue up who have put us in touch with a foster carer. She has spoken to me and said she has a place for him at her house where he will go until they find him a permanent home (which she is confident she can even after I told her everything). She told me that we need to be sure because once signed over we can never get him back. I spent most of yesterday in tears. The thought of dropping him off with a stranger miles away and never seeing him again makes me and the rest of the family distraught. Likewise the thought of seeing him in such major distress every time we go out is also awful. We all love him so much and want to do the right thing. We don't have anyone that could sit with him every time we go out and being a young family he does need to be left some of the time.

What should I do sad. They are holding his place for a week so I need to decide.

tabulahrasa Sun 15-May-16 13:10:12

I can see why you're thinking rehoming is better for him, but... No-one never needs to go out, there are still things like doctors appointments where he couldn't go, and, rehoming him may very well make his separation anxiety even worse.

Have you tried having a behaviourist out?

TheoriginalLEM Sun 15-May-16 13:21:29

oh gosh. poor dog.

The problem is that this has gone on for some time.

I personally dislike crating dogs but i know it works for many.

i would ditch the crates myself and try to dog proof the house as much as possible.

look into ADAPTIL plug ins and maybe acollar.These emit dog pheromone and are very calming, although your dog's anxiety sounds severe.

also could you afford doggie daycare? some people will take the dog for a day. This would reduce the longer periods of absence, allowing for you to work on reducing stress for shorter times.

There are lots of things to try some work for some and not for others.

i really think your dog shouldn't be crated as it doesn't suit her.

Is there a relative willing to dog sit?

it's so hard when animals become anxious as there is no hard and fast thing that works.

As the poster swys above no one never goes out so it is about trying to deal with her anxiety. Maybe avisit to the vet who can check for underlying illness and recommend local behaviorists.

TheoriginalLEM Sun 15-May-16 13:22:17

i meant to say poor you as well. it must be upsetting flowers

Deadnettle Sun 15-May-16 13:24:24

I agree with tabulahrasa, but know someone who has just rehomed a dog with very bad SA so it is possible.

My puppy has SA, not as bad as your dog but it is something we are working on. I am following the plan in this book.

The book is written for dog trainers and behaviourist but might be worth a look. The book had 5 phases and will take time, maybe a long time but I am hopefull that I will be able to leave my dog eventually.

Good luck with whatever you decide op.

Tonis2297 Sun 15-May-16 13:25:18

Have you tried 'calm-eaze' tablets? There for hyperactive or anxious dogs ? Can buy them in pets at home just give them a few hours before you have to go out ..

KoalaDownUnder Sun 15-May-16 13:27:08

Can you set a camera running in the house to see what he does when you go out? What 'sets him off,', so to speak?

Re: crating - I thought the crate was supposed to be a safe place that they went into by choice, not something to be locked into. Maybe that has freaked him out (the fear of being trapped)?

BLACKTUESDAY1 Sun 15-May-16 14:26:45

I have tried all the suggestions, calm eze, adaptil, taken advice of behavior expert who informed me severe sa cannot always be cured. Crate/not crate makes no difference to his behaviour. He will chew skirting board/door frames until he bleeds and claws until he injures his paws it is that extreme. Even being left for less than an hour he can severley injure himself. Impossible to dog proof the house. We have filmed him while out and it starts the minute we leave and he is relentless until we return. Believe me we have tried EVERYTHING which is why this has been going on for so long

BLACKTUESDAY1 Sun 15-May-16 14:28:22

No-one to dog sit and i am talking of just popping shopping or to the school for various things so never left for too long

BLACKTUESDAY1 Sun 15-May-16 14:33:43

Just posting here in the hope someone may have a suggestion that we haven't tried yet but i know that is a long shot sad

KoalaDownUnder Sun 15-May-16 14:43:16

Gosh, that is awful. sad

It is going to be difficult to rehome a dog that can't be left alone, ever.

Was the behaviourist you saw an expert in separation anxiety? Maybe get in touch again and say 'this isn't working'.

Or see a different behaviourist? I know their approaches can vary a lot.

I feel for you - I'd be beside myself.

tabulahrasa Sun 15-May-16 14:43:50

I'd be looking for an APBC registered behaviourist and short term for a dog walker/sitter.

Sorry, I know that's not hugely productive, but I really think you're beyond any sort of DIY training at this point....and no it won't be a quick process to resolve and it may not be resolvable at all ultimately.

Rehoming will mean you're no longer affected, but it won't help your dog, he'll still have SA.

I don't say that as a criticism, if you're no longer able to cope then you're no longer able to cope, it's not an easy situation to be in and if you do decide to rehome him - it's totally understandable, sad, but understandable.

BLACKTUESDAY1 Sun 15-May-16 14:55:03

The foster carer i spoke to was quite sure they would find him a home. There are housebound people that pay for dog walkers and he would make an excellent companion. She also promised he would never be PTS and he will stay with her until a home is found. I am so so sad and cant imagine him not being here but there are a good 4-5 occassions coming up where I will HAVE to leave him for short periods and can't bear to do that to him any more.

tabulahrasa Sun 15-May-16 15:05:52

I'm sure they would find him a home, but nobody never leaves their house, rarely yes, but not never.

And I do think you need to know that rehoming a dog can cause SA in dogs that have never displayed it previously, so it may well make him worse.

I'm not trying to talk you out of rehoming him if that is the best thing for you and your family, but it's better if it's an informed decision.

There is nothing wrong with not being able to cope with a severe behavioural issue and SA to that extent is definitely a severe behavioural issue. It's totally beyond what an average pet owner is cut out to be able to handle.

TheoriginalLEM Sun 15-May-16 15:07:08

oh OP how sad for you but i tend to agree that the rehoming scenario you describe does sound positive and in your position id be doing the same. Yes dog will miss you to start but i think in the long run will be happier flowers

BLACKTUESDAY1 Sun 15-May-16 15:12:48

Thank you all for being so kind. I will miss him much more than he will miss mesad

BLACKTUESDAY1 Sun 15-May-16 15:28:39

I know rehoming can make SA worse but in his case it is so bad already it couldn't possibly be any worse

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sun 15-May-16 16:02:50

No-one never needs to go out

hmm

In your world, perhaps. In my world I have to go to work occasionally and my young children certainly can't take themselves to school.

Op would it be possible for him to have a dog sitter for set periods every week? So you could do stuff at those times? Can you take him with you when you take the children to school? You say he's fine in the car.

What's he like at night?

BLACKTUESDAY1 Sun 15-May-16 16:16:38

He sleeps on his cushion in my room at night and always has. He loves going to bed and makes his way up there when i turn tv/lights off. Dh works away 4 nights a week so he is good company. We take him on every school run and i have left him in the car when shopping etc but it is too hot for that now. Sometimes we have to go out without much warning. Eg daughter had asthma attack and i had to go to hospital, school phoned to tell me dd got star of the week and to invite me to assembly....things that make it impossible to arrange a dog sitter. We are unable to even go out for a meal as a family. I just wish he wouldnt do it...he must know we are coming back!sad

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sun 15-May-16 16:23:47

So he won't go up to his cushion during the day then? I expect you've tried that. Perhaps get a blackout blind and make the room cosy and dark like bedtime? Mind you he'd know you weren't there I suppose. God I don't know. I really feel for you but as you say, it's like you're prolonging his misery.

MozzieRocks Sun 15-May-16 16:25:15

So sorry for you and your dog flowers

CMOTDibbler Sun 15-May-16 16:29:00

Does he get on with other dogs? Maybe he'd be better with company. If you could try him with another dog on a foster basis it would be worth a whirl

BLACKTUESDAY1 Sun 15-May-16 16:38:38

Thanks so much for all your replies. We thought about another dog but were told that rarely works and he can transfer his behaviour on to another dog and that would be truly terrible. He is only happy and content when someone is at home with him. I think i know there are no other options for us but i am going to find it so hard to cope when he's gone, sounds silly and i know he's only a dog but he's one of 'us"sad

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sun 15-May-16 16:41:25

Oh god I know. At least you'd have the comfort of knowing he was happy and settled and not stressed and hurt. It's not like your having to pts or anything, it could be worse. So sorry though. flowers

BLACKTUESDAY1 Sun 15-May-16 16:50:10

Thank you. The dds are okay as they don't like seeing him so very stressed when we come home but dh and myself are struggling with it. I am happy he has a lovely foster home to go to. She sounded so nice and understanding. I am happy he wont be in kennels and hope they find him the perfect place.

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