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Some help if you can!

(19 Posts)
gregssausageroll Mon 18-Jul-11 18:30:57

We are 48 hours into homing our rescue dog.

We were told that he'd be fine left on his own. In fact we were told just to leave his crate door open and he'd spend all day in there. He's not a chewer as long as "his" toys were there for him to play with.

I've left him 2 times today for an hour each time. I left him in the livingroom with access to the kitchen. His crate is in the livingroom - we have an average size semi but with an odd layout so no obvious place for a crate for a Wiemeraner!

Problems:

He's a howler - do I give him the benefit of the doubt in that he's in a new home or do I have an issue? I live in a semi with a neighbour who is on permanent nights to consider.

Destruction - he's ripped down my blinds, chewed my hands free home phone and DH shoe!

He has a bone, a kong and a squeeker toy of his own.

Probably silly of me to give him run of a couple of rooms but we were confident in the information we were given at the weekend. Damage happens so at the moment I am not too fussed with that.

Tomorrow is the day he's to be left from 8.30 until 12.30 and 2 until 4.

I think his crate is going to have to be moved to the kitchen and he will have to be shut in it all day which is something we didn't want.

Any thoughts/opinions?

I have had gundogs for 15 years prior to the last 3 when we've moved a lot but are settled down again now.

Tchootnika Mon 18-Jul-11 18:35:09

Give him the benefit of the doubt...
I do think you're leaving him on his own for a bit too long, bearing in mind how unsettled he must be, though.

gregssausageroll Mon 18-Jul-11 18:39:53

OK. Thanks.

No option tomorrow as I have to go out.

Longer than 48 hours. Since 9 am on Saturday we've had him home. Not

gregssausageroll Mon 18-Jul-11 18:40:11

that it makes a difference really.

Tchootnika Mon 18-Jul-11 18:42:07

Sorry if my post didn't seem helpful.
Are you suggesting returning him to rescue centre?

ditavonteesed Mon 18-Jul-11 18:47:08

hasz he had a good walk, lots of pllay, some training, some lovely cuddles? I wouldnt leave my dog with access to all that room for any length of time, she is shut in the kitchen/dining room if I am going out and it is a safe room for her. for an hour I would probably shut him in crate.
Can anyone pop in on hium tommorow, I am all for dogs just fitting in but I think 4 hours is a really long time to leave him in his first week.

gregssausageroll Mon 18-Jul-11 18:57:02

God, no return to rescue. We really don't want that because he is very loving and a good natured dog. In all respects, everything we wanted and asked for with the exception that I think we've been fibbed to a bit!

He is getting 2 longs walks a day. Lots of play time in the garden and he's slept part of today on my knee! Training yes as well. He also doesn't seem to understand basic commands.

If I am honest, we took him on Saturday because we were told that he'd be fine with me being away tomorrow and also for 2 days next week before we are all off for the month of August. We wanted to wait until August but were told he was used to being on his own and these 3 days wouldn't be an issue. He's been a crate dog all day on and off with his previous owners but I really don't like dogs being shut up like that all day.

I do believe he's the right dog for us but I just have panics about the howling in particular! That and if the bugger chews my new kitchen units!

gregssausageroll Mon 18-Jul-11 18:59:00

I am thankful that I tried to leave him today for short bursts rather than the times in question tomorrow as I hate to think the state he and my house would be in.

No one to come in tomorrow unless I get to be out and about with work in which case I can pop in but I am home for a good spell at lunch and I intend taking him for a long walk so that will be 3 tomorrow.

Tchootnika Mon 18-Jul-11 19:04:29

Nice long walk first thing in morning, then settling time with you, frozen food Kong when you leave and playing in garden at lunchtime?
Also, I've said this on here (probably to some silent snickers...) but have you tried playing him very gentle, soothing music? For some dogs it works a treat and can be really calming when you go out...

CoffeeIsMyFriend Mon 18-Jul-11 22:34:51

I always leave the radio on for my dogs when I go out - it just gives a background noise and stops them woofing at anything that moves outside. Luckily my dogs are not woofy/howlers.

Make sure he has a good walk in the morning, lots of stimulation, quiet and calm before you leave with a stuffed Kong in his closed Crate and all should be well.

How did you know he was howling when you were out? Did someone tell you?

Scuttlebutter Mon 18-Jul-11 23:45:11

Hi Greggs, firstly, congratulations on your new arrival. It's still very early days - your dog will be mightily confused by all the new things happening, new smells and so on. Depending on where it was living before, it will now have a completely new routine, and may be missing its canine companions, as well as any human carers.

I'd endorse the advice given by others. Lots of exercise, comfy crate, Kong to play with, soothing radio - all sounds great. If you're still concerned/howling is still happening in another two days, I'd give the rescue a call and discuss with them.

Hope things work out.

gregssausageroll Tue 19-Jul-11 06:58:12

Well, he howled pretty much on and off all of last night too. Woke DS which I am not happy with.

I knew he howled when I was out because I asked the neighbour. They have a dog so understand and said it wouldn't bother her initially (she works nights) but that they'd be patient but it couldn't go on and on which I totally understand.

He's ripped his bedding to shreds too.

ditavonteesed Tue 19-Jul-11 07:22:58

he does sound a bit stressed doesnt he. it is still very early days. carry on as you planned today and see how it goes.

Ephiny Tue 19-Jul-11 07:31:33

Ours was the same - apparently he'd been fine to be left in his previous home, but when he first came home with us, he was very anxious and unhappy about being apart from us at all, even in a separate room. Barking, howling, whining, not quite as destructive as yours but he scratched doors and broke the window blinds etc.

It's quite common for dogs to get separation anxiety after rehoming apparently. It makes sense when you think about it, the process is very stressful and confusing for them, they don't understand where they are, or how or why they've 'lost' the family they've known all their lives, and when they start to bond to you, you represent the only bit of security they have and they're desperate not to lose you too. Even dogs who were previously fine with being alone. Ours was very 'clingy' on walks as well, wouldn't run around and play, just wanted to stick by our side and not let us out of his sight.

We started with leaving him for very short times to begin with - literally just going outside and coming back in, then walking to the end of the road and coming back etc, building it up slowly. We left him with toys/treats as a distraction (not that it worked very well at first!) and to try and make it a fun/nice thing. But I think the main thing was just time, it took a while for him to understand that this is his home now and for him to feel safe and secure, and that we're his family and we love him and we always come back. You can't tell a dog that those things in words, so you have to show them and prove it to them.

Ours is fine now, but it did take a while and was a bit of a frustrating process - for a while it seemed like he'd never be ok with being left. Can't remember exactly how long it took for him to settle, as it was a gradual process, would think a few weeks though. He still gets a bit anxious and clingy in unfamiliar places, e.g. when we take him on holiday, but he's fine at home, and seems a very happy and confident dog in general.

At night, we initially 'trained' him to sleep downstairs on his own as we thought that was the 'right' thing to do - not sure in hindsight I would have bothered about this, as we now just let him have the run of the house, so now he often sleeps upstairs with us if he wants to anyway!

CoffeeIsMyFriend Wed 20-Jul-11 09:42:02

how are things now Greggs any better?

emptyshell Wed 20-Jul-11 10:20:41

I've got a destructive dog (it's not separation anxiety - it's mischief).

We cope by having one room of the house as dog-proof as possible (hideous early 1980s beige kitchen that destruction would probably improve), we've had to protect the doors as he's a scratcher and chewer there and keep him as distracted as possible. He gets his food in a wobbly Kong thing as we leave which helps get over the intial "oh, they've gone... ok breakfast get out of there and into me bash bash bash bash bash" factor, we leave a Kong, we've got various toys we only put down when we go out (so they're like mega exciting to him - especially the one you chuck up in the air and it squeaks from the movement and not an actual squeaker he can kill) and we tend to leave him with things like those filled bones from P@H and stuff as well so he's got plenty of things to occupy him that are like utterly utterly amazing!

Have also done lots of leaving for very short periods of time, leaving and watching through the window (he can't see that if you crouch down cos of all the crap on the windowsill) and checking with neighbours that he doesn't bark or howl. Basically with him though it IS a "woo hoo they've gone - BIIIIINNNNN RAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDDDD!"

It's a huge upheaval for them - I remeber when we first got him, we got a phonecall about the next week that a family friend was at death's door and we had to go basically to say our goodbyes - so essentially he had to cope with being packed up into the back of the car with us in a very wobbly emotional state and driven away - and you could see the look on his face panicking that he'd done something wrong and that he was being dumped again.... now when we make the trip (sometimes in similarly fraught circumstances - we had to return for the funeral) he's fine and relaxed about it because he's got the memo that he's here to stay and very very loved - but it probably took a good 3 months or so for the emotional shutters to come down and him to visibly relax - although he was always a calm dog, you look back at the photos we took of him when we first brought him home and his ears are back and his eyes are dull - and now you see him and he's got a real sparkle in his eyes - the difference is that marked.

gregssausageroll Wed 20-Jul-11 13:49:43

I'm afraid I have to tell you he's gone back. He got hold of my son's rabbit that he takes to bed with him. When I tried to take it off him he snapped. I won't have a dog like that in the house.

Possible knee jerk reaction but with very little sleep because of howling and neighbours passing comment, he had to go.

I have told rescue how let down we feel with the bending of the truth. DH won't have another rescue dog and wants to go back to rearing our own puppy so we are now back at stage one and that is a whole other post.

Thank you everyone for your help. Really, thank you.

Tchootnika Wed 20-Jul-11 15:49:03

gregs - sad - but probably best under circumstances.

A shame to be put off rescues, though.

Ephiny Wed 20-Jul-11 16:04:33

Oh that's a shame sad. I hope they can find him a suitable home, sounds like he'll need a lot of love and patience to feel settled, and will need a bit of work on the toy possessiveness!

I just wanted to say though, the rescue didn't necessarily lie to you or 'bend the truth'. Like I said about mine, some dogs can develop separation anxiety due to the stress of the rehoming process, so he may well have been fine with being left before that.

emptyshell - how lovely to hear about your boy and how he improved, sounds a lot like ours. It really is wonderful to see them gain their confidence and feel able to relax and enjoy just being a dog! (even if that does mean bin-raiding etc...)

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