Please help us with our rescue!!!

(16 Posts)
littlepeaegg Thu 16-May-19 20:13:37

Hello!

We adopted a puppy a little while ago. He was found in a bucket with his brother riddled with worms and malnourished around 6/7weeks old. Really sad.

We fell in love when we saw him, and although we weren't really planning on getting another dog (we have a 2.5yr old jack russell cross), we decided that he was just too adorable to not adopt! (We obviously spoke about it etc).

Our cross was an amazing puppy. Yes, he took a little while to toilet outside like lots of puppies. But apart from that he was easy. We could be happy when he was old enough to leave him to pop into town etc and he'd just sleep. We did crate train him although he's not in a crate now. But yes, he's a perfect dog in our eyes, in regards to behaviour! No chewing etc etc when he was a puppy nor now.

So fast forward; we've adopted Oliver, he's a lurcher but not sure 100%! We took him to a 8 week puppy course- as we knew he'd need a little bit extra. We even paid for him to see a dog behaviourist as from an early age he really showed separation anxiety.

He's now about 8 months old- and we just cannot leave him at home for ten minutes. And when we do we just have anxiety as we know we will come back to carnage.

We tried crate training but he absolutely hated it- the dog behaviourist said it might be because he was found in a bucket with a lid on... but unsure.

He's a big dog too. But the thing we are finding difficult the most is the destruction! He will get hold of anything and he will destroy it- we understand that perhaps this is due to him worrying?? As he doesn't chew anything he's not meant to when we are home.

My partner luckily works from home so he really is hardly ever left alone. We tried to do the whole; ten minutes alone, fifteen alone.... so forth. We didn't just leave him for an hour and wish for the best.

So far he's chewed the bottom of the stairs, the bottom of the door, ANYTHING from the sides of we have forgotten to move it. Remote controls, the sofa....

We have tried to leave meaty bones but surely we can't do that every time we leave?? It'll get v expensive? Unsure...?

We also walk him before we go out anywhere- but sometimes this is a pain if you just want to pop to Sainsbury's quickly!

Our jack cross is so easy, I know all dogs are different, I get that. And I wasn't so naive to think our lurcher would be the same! But we
Just don't know what to do? Any tips would be much appreciated.

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sleepismysuperpower1 Thu 16-May-19 21:05:39

I haven't been in this situation before but would it be possible for you to section off an area of the house to leave him in when you go out, and leave lots of things for him to chew (eg: an extra large antler chew which lasts for a while). all the best x

Nettleskeins Thu 16-May-19 21:28:20

When I went to puppy training, one of the helpers who had labradors, mentioned that in her house, the "crate" took up most of the kitchen ie it was ginormous, like a entire room for the dog, except protected. Might that be a solution instead of your standard, small crate. She still put a table cloth over it I think, so it had a den like feeling. My 7 month old has gone off his crate, and I think now need a separate room as his crate, with low lighting, familiar soft furnishings (tatty ones). He seems perfectly calm when I put him in there, because he associates it with sleep not play. Might your dog feel a bit overwhelmed by all the space he has to himself when you are out?

My dog hates medium wire crates, I think some association with his early life as a puppy but he liked large soft cloth ones, the travel kind, although he has now learnt to undo the zip...confused and certainly seems more settled in a familiar enclosed room sized space with low lighting. Too much light is too distracting for him to settle.

My DSis has a rescue labrador who has taken quite a while to cope with being left, but now she likes to be left the run of the house (small house) downstairs, and to be able to look out the window and wait for the return of her loved ones..That is a different approach. What worked for my sister was to include her in everything and not use a crate at all, ever or even shut doors much, and make comings and goings so random that the dog didn't have time to get tense or anticipate being left. That dog is now 6 though....needed a lot of tlc to be settled, there wasnt really any solution that to accept she needed to be left only for short periods. Once a week my sister uses doggy daycare where dog is never left.

Wolfiefan Thu 16-May-19 21:31:30

It sounds like your dog may have separation anxiety. It’s a very hard problem to solve. For now you can’t leave him alone. At all.
The FB group Dog training advice and support has great advice on this.

Prettyvase Thu 16-May-19 21:35:06

Use doggy day care when left alone and always have a massive bone or other things for him to chew.

Is there an outside space for him that is safe he can be turned out in?

Or a dog flap so he can go in and out from at will?

Crating is a bad idea as forcing a large reluctant dog into one is traumatic for all concerned.

Nettleskeins Thu 16-May-19 21:43:02

Does he like the car for example? That is a form of "Crate". A room is a crate with a door and walls. It is just a question of what is IN the crate, and it being big enough to not feel like a cage. And the sense that it is part of his daily life not some place he gets "locked" when you go out.

littlepeaegg Thu 16-May-19 21:44:58

Yes I definitely don't like the idea of a crate. He's a big dog... im 5ft 2 and when he jumps up he easily puts his front arms on my shoulders.

He's such a loving boy, I absolutely adore him. I think you are right with the separation anxiety and I'll check that Facebook group out.

We don't need doggy day care as my partner works from home. It is just when we want to go out for a meal etc. We walk him before hand, leave bones etc but nothing seems to work. I hate the thought of him panicking sad but we can't be prisoners in our own home forever!

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littlepeaegg Thu 16-May-19 21:45:38

He also hates the car! Unsure for what reason... but he never settles, and just whines.

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littlepeaegg Thu 16-May-19 21:46:54

Also have a huge garden so in the day time the back door is just open all day.

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Wolfiefan Thu 16-May-19 22:00:24

That group is brilliant. Their advice can take a long time to work but it does. For now never leave your dog for longer than he is happy with. (Been there and know that’s tough!) Each time he’s left it reinforces just how scary it is to be left.

Reaah Thu 16-May-19 22:53:36

If you have a second device, Facetime it before you go out and mute your end, when he starts doing something he is not meant to, talk to him through the device, then mute it again, so he only hears your voice and not any background noise.

Even better if you could put it somewhere like a kitchen windowsill so you can watch what he is doing but it's far enough away that he can't reach it.

We have a Smartfrog camera that we can watch and talk through when needed.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Fri 17-May-19 07:30:32

We have tried to leave meaty bones but surely we can't do that every time we leave?? It'll get v expensive? Unsure...?

With regards to the expense, try a local independent butcher. The one in my local traditional market (definitely not the organic farmers market type!) does beef bones for dogs and a fist sized lump works out at about 20p. More bone than meat, but still great value. My only concern would be that meaty bones are so high value that he could guard them if your JRT got a bit close.

Other things you could try instead of a meaty bone would include a lickimat or stuffed kong. Chewing and licking are both relaxing activities for dogs.

NoSquirrels Fri 17-May-19 07:41:19

Stuffed kongs are good - make a couple at a time and keep them in the freezer. Whilst you’re working on the separation anxiety given them whilst you’re in the house not just when you go out - try to make it all routine.

Lurchers can be counter surfers - I think that’s just when you need to train yourselves instead of the dig unfortunately! Your JRT just hasn’t had the chance to get at stuff - little legs!

Veterinari Fri 17-May-19 07:58:37

You red a red referral to a clinical veterinary behaviourist.

It’s likely he needs anti anxiety medication and a long term counter conditioning and to address his anxiety.

Veterinari Fri 17-May-19 08:00:14

Enrichment and food reward can be useful but if he has true separation anxiety (which it sounds like) it needs to be treated as a mental health condition

OverFedStanley Fri 17-May-19 08:36:59

I would not leave an anxious dog unattended with a bone

To save yourself a lot of heartache and wasted time do get advice from a qualified behaviourist. Get on the right path to help your dog asap.

This will not go away on its own or by leaving a bit of food games etc to side track him

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