Remember Kenny the wonder dog?(5 Posts)
I rescued our Staffie Kenny in January after starting a thread on here about getting a puppy. He continues to be a star and has really made our family complete...
You know there's going to be a but, don't you?
He suffers terribly with separation anxiety, no doubt as a result of his abandonment and probably being taken away from his litter too early. We stuff him a Kong, put the tv on, don't make a fuss on departure or arrival, he is walked very long walks twice daily, but cannot manage to be on his own without getting into a terrible state.
He is panting and out of breath and really stressed upon our return, and usually has wee'd and pooh'd even if he had been just before we left. Up to now he hadn't damaged anything (except when he managed to trap himself in the bathroom and chewed the door and the skirting board really badly)! Although upon our return today he had destroyed our front door mat. He hates being in an enclosed space, so leave him the run of the kitchen, sitting room with daytime bed, hallway, stairs and landing and ds room, where his night-time bed is. This is after we tried confining him to one room and again he really scratched the door badly.
It is really causing a problem, as my dh struggles to find the compassion for the state that drives him to this to override the wee's, poo's and today a chewed doormat! And I think it may be getting worse not better. Any advice would be welcome.
You might find this leaflet from the ASPCA helpful. It includes things to rule out first, as well as steps to take to fix separation anxiety.
The good news is that separation anxiety is completely fixable using gradual departure exercises, but the bad news is that it's hard work because to begin with you have to not leave the dog any longer than it can cope with, as doing so would set you back a long way. It could be worth getting a behaviourist in to help. He sounds like a lovely dog, best of luck!
It does sound particularly bad and you do sound like you have tried hard. Might be worth speaking to your vet as there are some drugs which can help in the short term,giving you a chance to modify dogs attitude without him being so stressed.
I'm sorry I can't offer any advice except perhaps another dog or cat for company. I fostered a boomerang dog on his 10th home, every other home he had come back because of this. he settled straight away with my older boy and the only time we ever saw that behaviour was when we took old boy to the vets and stupidly left him behind. Not a curtain left in the house. Since then, we have had periods when it was just him and the cat and he was quite happy. The shelter people couldn't believe it, he was on last chance saloon with me. I am a crap fosterer though, 8 years later I still have him.
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