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New dog - separation anxiety in 13 month old labradoodle.

(16 Posts)
Lotkinsgonecurly Fri 02-Nov-12 13:46:36

We're in the process of maybe getting a new dog. We're rehoming a 13 month old labradoodle and from what we can see her only real problem is separation anxiety. She's on holiday with us at the moment for a few days until the owners and us decide what is the best course of action for her. She comes from a loving home but they just don't have time to spend with her.

So. my kids love her already and I'm wondering the best ways to try and combat separation anxiety and make things an easy transition.

Radio on when we leave her, toys specific for her when we leave her. Anything else?

Aquelven Fri 02-Nov-12 15:30:54

Hot water bottle to snuggle up to, ticking clock.
Don't make a big song & dance about going out if you can avoid it, just slip quietly away without her noticing. Try to go in. & out a lot for short periods during the day, so she gets used to you coming & going a lot & it 's no big deal.
And when you come home, don't make giving her a huge big fuss the first thing you do. Come in as if it's nothing special, take your coat off, put the kettle on, then make a fuss of her.
The idea is to get her used to the fact that coming & going is nothing special to get anxious about, just part of an every day routine with no major consequences. It worked for a couple of my worry guts.

Lotkinsgonecurly Sat 03-Nov-12 09:01:45

Thank you that's really helpful. It was our first night with her last night. The making her sleep in the kitchen didn't work at all. Maybe tonight.!!

bundle Sat 03-Nov-12 09:03:11

Aren't they completely neurotic?

Aquelven Sat 03-Nov-12 12:15:05

Could she not have her bed in your room?

WTFwasthat Sun 04-Nov-12 18:30:20

How are things today op? Our 13 week old rescue lab x is a nightmare at night. I have caved in and let him sleep in my room not crated. I'm hoping his confidence will grow and I can gradually get him to sleep on the landing or something but it's no prob ATM as no one here to complain about it!

WTFwasthat Sun 04-Nov-12 18:32:33

Lotkins- in what way did it not go well with her in kitchen?

Pollykitten Sun 04-Nov-12 18:35:20

It's worth remembering that quite often dogs get anxious not on their own behalf but on yours - they want to check that you are alright, so agree with other posters about not making much fuss on leaving or reuniting with them, but obviously lots of love in between.

Lotkinsgonecurly Sun 04-Nov-12 20:08:48

We've decided to keep her permanently and she is utterly adorable. She's currently sleeping in our bedroom at night. We've put a bed in the corner of our room for her and she seems to be happy. To be honest I quite like having her there but when we've got the separation during the day cracked I'll work on her sleeping arrangements.

I have been shutting the door on her when I'm in the bathroom etc. The first day she literally followed me everywhere and watched! Quite unnerving, also left her alone for about half an hour today and she was fine.

How are things with you WTF?

WTFwasthat Sun 04-Nov-12 21:44:15

well same as you really! Max ended up sleeping in my room overnight and it was fine. We both got more sleep than we had since he arrived last Sunday! I crate him for short spells in the day and he doesn't really seem to mind that. There are treats and itvis so cozy I'd like to snuggle in there grin. I have gated the stairs and he is not allowed up there any other time and will cry at foot of stairs if I am bathing ds etc but not too bad. The nights really freaked him out so I used the path of least resistance. You have done a great thing by taking in a nervous dog. Well done, I look forward to your threads smile

Lotkinsgonecurly Thu 08-Nov-12 20:15:56

At home this week she's been left for a couple of hours each time managing to completely destroy the kitchen where we are leaving her. Tearing paper, logs, plastic toys high up on shelves but not damaging the furniture. I did everything I meant to. Left her with a bone, treats etc.

Anyway we've spoken to the rescue centre and they recommended using a crate. We've got one we can borrow from friends who had it for their large labrador so I'm confident that our small Inca will be fine in it. We'll put one of her beds in there with treats hopefully it should be ok and she'll be less distressed with this. What does anyone else think?

WTFwasthat Thu 08-Nov-12 22:39:27

she may be very resistant to it. Does the rescue know if she has previously been used to a crate? At 13 mts It may be difficult. Maybe try leaving her for shorter spells. Two hrs seems long for a dig with S.A. I am no expert but I wouldn't leave a nervy dog with issues in a new environment for that long. if she has previously been left for great lengths of time she has no idea that is not the case now.

WTFwasthat Fri 09-Nov-12 22:33:50

how's doodle?

BehindLockNumberNine Sat 10-Nov-12 11:23:38

When we adopted our two year old whippety lurcher last year it transpired that he too suffered from separation anxiety. (he had been found as a stray, presumed abandoned / escaped from a traveller site so no history on him)

He destroyed the furniture in our bedroom (all the pine knobs and handles off the wardrobes, desk, dresser etc), destroyed two pine bedside tables, ate his way through shoes, belts, a leather handbag, books, electric razor etc etc. All put on high places and in closed rooms, but he know how to open doors and jump on things.

The lady at the lovely rescue centred recommended a crate and lent us one.
We took a few days of leaving the door open and popping treats in it just to get him to see it as a positive thing.
Then we progressed to shutting him in it whilst we were home for short periods of time, always rewarded with a treat if he was quiet (he was a champion whiner / howler)
After a week or so we started leaving him and hiding outside on the driveway, leaving the radio on, ensuring he had a stuffed kong and his favourite cuddely toy.
We were soon able to leave him for short periods and built this up, which was a huge relief as I work part time and had no option about leaving him for a few hours.

He now loves his crate. As soon as he sees us getting our shoes on in the morning, and he sees dd pick up her school bag he trots off into his crate and snuggles down.

It really does work smile

BehindLockNumberNine Sat 10-Nov-12 11:26:17

Oh, the thinking from the lady in the rescue was that our dog was feeling under pressure to 'defend' the whole house whilst he was on his own. She said he was feeling vulnerable and thus anxious. Nothing to do with 'missing us' as such, more a feeling of being left in charge and not being able to cope.
She said that in the wild dogs left behind whilst the pack is out would make a den under falling branches and by digging down. She said that is their instinct. Thus, if you get the crate, make it snug, cover it with a blanket so it is dark and secure, they should like it. It certainly worked for our dog.

13 months is not too old to begin crate training. But go about it gently and in small steps smile

Lotkinsgonecurly Sat 10-Nov-12 23:38:23

We really are going to try it tomorrow, a friend is dropping one off tomorrow evening. So we'll start doing what Behindlocknumber9 has recommended. Slow and sure etc.

However, I do work part time and need to go to work and have no choice but to leave the dog. A friend has offered to have her in the meantime whislt I'm at work, which is great. I think she'll be great company for her during the day.

All is well otherwise, she's settling in well and now sleeps on DH's side of the bed when he's not in there! He's not so amused.!!

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