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Old 08-20-2009, 08:13 AM   #1
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Default Does this Sound Like Separation Anxiety to you?

Hello All! Smokie became a member of our family on June 4th. We found him on Craigslist. When we brought him home, we quickly discovered he was about a year or just over. (He was advertised as a 5 mth old) First thing my daughter did was check his teeth. (She has worked in vet clinics)

We took him to the vet for his puppy check, and he got all his shots, and has been doing great Im having him groomed next week for the first time. We are either his 3rd or 4th home since he was born. He has clued in big time to the fact that this is his home now....or so I thought.

His regular area is the bedroom and into the kitchen, and our bathroom where his food is. This is his every day/night area.

Hubby's mom lives with us, and Smokie knows she is here, she even takes him out to potty while we are gone. If he goes potty she gives him his treat. But when put back into his area, he will sit in the kitchen on the rug or in the bedroom in front of the window and just bark! Non stop. Until I get home, or my husband gets home.

Smokie loves mom, but even if he goes into her room, he still barks. He doesn't tear anything up. Doesn't potty inside. He just barks, non stop. Mom feels he has a bad case of separation anxiety when I leave

I got rid of the crate. Maybe I should reincorporate it, but when we first got him, I didn't make him stay in it. And I let him sleep with us, got him a dog bed, and his own blankie, and he ends up sleeping on his blanket and bed. So he is very comfortable in this space. I really don't want another crate.

I am open to receiving your wisdom, your suggestions, and comments. (Even on crates.. )

Smokie was a Godsend to us. I hate to see him so stressed! How do I convince him its okay - I'm coming back. And I've been out for 5 mins and gone for a couple hours. His behavior is the same. Thank you in advance for your help!

Reva - Smokie's mama

Smokie responds very well to the treat for reward behavior and we use it all the time.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:43 AM   #2
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Is your MIL at home when he barks? It could be anxiety because your not
home. Dog's love when their family is around them, being pack animals,
their family is their pack. You may want to try pennies in a can.
This is the only thing that helped me with Buddy's stress when I was leaving
in the am. Shake the can every time Smokie barks unnesscerialy. When
he stops and he will because he will be starled from the noise tell him
good boy and treat. Leave the can where he can see it and when he barks
again no matter where you are you have to get to the can and shake it
and repeat the proceedure above. It may take a couple of days for him
to associate the barking with the noise and not barking and treat.
It does work but you must be consistant.
It's been around three years and I still use it today at times when I leave
if I have too. I hope it helps you and Smokie. Thank you for rescuing
him, when he settles into his new home I am sure he will bring you great
pleasure.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:18 PM   #3
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Carol, Thank you for your idea. It is a thing he does when I leave, so I'll have to fix mom a shaker can. I know that him being so stresed that he barks so much can't be easy on him - mom said it doesn't bother her, but she worries about Smokie. I'm so glad we got him. We had two other dogs, big dogs, and when we had to come live with mom to take care of her, we had to get rid of our life dog pets. We were devastated, but mom needed us. So we believe that our babies got together with God, and picked out Smokie for us. He is perfect, and he has a life long home with Harry and I. Well, off to get the shaker jar fixed up. May try it on other things besides only barking. Let him learn that when he hears that jar, he is doing wrong. Thanks for a great idea! Will let you know how it works. Reva
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:21 PM   #4
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A PS - Yes, mom is home when this barking occurs. She pays attention to Smokie, she takes him outside to potty, gives him treats, yet he barks insanely when I am gone. I do take him with me when I can, but if it is 100 outside, he is staying home in the AC. I can't put him through sitting in the car for a doctor's appointment. But yes, it is when I am gone. Poor mom! Having to listen to him cry and bark, but I also want him to learn that it is okay. We will be back. That will happen with time. Poor guy. He's probably scared to death I won't come back to him. No telling what happened in his other homes.

Last edited by Nascar Fan; 08-20-2009 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nascar Fan View Post
I do take him with me when I can, but if it is 100 outside, he is staying home in the AC. I can't put him through sitting in the car for a doctor's appointment.
Just a quick reminder; in Kansas (and other states too) it gets so terribly humid that a day which is in the 70's can quickly turn deadly for our pets if left in car, for even a few minutes. Dogs can not sweat therefore their temperature will rise quickly and can lead to brain damage or even death. Not trying to be mean, just a little reminder....
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:03 PM   #6
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It sounds like it to me. We would leave a shirt with my husbands or my scent on it for chachi and leave the tv or radio on
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy bunny View Post
Just a quick reminder; in Kansas (and other states too) it gets so terribly humid that a day which is in the 70's can quickly turn deadly for our pets if left in car, for even a few minutes. Dogs can not sweat therefore their temperature will rise quickly and can lead to brain damage or even death. Not trying to be mean, just a little reminder....
I certainly understand what you mean! I know you are not trying to be mean. We have to be very careful when we take our babies anywhere, especially when they may have to stay in the car for a few minutes. I only take him with me if staying in the car means a 5 min wait, and its a cool enough day to take him. I also always keep water in the car for him. But on days we can take them, I know Smokie sure enjoys it. I will enjoy it better once I have his car seat made. (They are so expensive I got a pattern and am making my own) I'll just be happy when he is no longer scared that we won't come back. Have to remember he had 3-4 homes his first year before we got him. I think that has alot to do with it. Sure appreciate your feedback! Reva - Smokie's mama
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:01 AM   #8
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I can totally sympathize with you. We got our second yorkie in October of 2007 (his name is Smokey too!) and he has a similar story. We were his 5th home and he was only 6 months old. I can tell you the whole story, I just don't want to hijack your thread lol. Anyways, he was great and just the best little puppy when we were with him, but the second we would even put him somewhere where he couldn't be touching us, he would get severe diaherria and walk all in it. I'm not kidding - we could baby gate him in the bathroom 10 feet away from us to go to bed and he would freak out. Finally, we figured out that he couldn't handle being alone and that if we let him at least free roam in the master bedroom with our other dog, he was fine.

I know your situation isn't exactly like ours and I know this might not be feasible, but maybe see how he'd react to a puppy friend. Also, when you leave and come home, don't make a huge fuss because that will make it worse. When you leave, don't even look at him or talk to him. When you come home, do what you have to do first and wait for him to calm down, then go to him and pet him, but still don't make a huge deal out of it. It does make it easier on him... maybe not right away, but it should help over time. Just an example... when I drop my yorkie off for grooming, I usually talk to them and love on them and when I turn to leave, they FREAK OUT. The last time I dropped them off, I tried the approach I told you about. I just put them in their crate, closed the door and walked off without even a pet or two words. It killed me inside to do that, but you know what, they didn't even make a sound.

Hopefully some of this helps. Like I said, my Smokey has a similar story and it's been almost 2 years he's been in our home and he's great 99% of the time with his anxiety now. You could try consulting a vet or a trainer about the problem too. He sounds like he's gotten really attached to you and wants to make sure you aren't going to leave him. Poor guy has been through a lot. For a long time my Smokey wouldn't even jump in the car by himself and wouldn't come out either.. when I'd pick him up, he would just shake all over and hide his head in my arms. He doesn't do that anymore! Now he prances and goes wherever whenever. Anyways, if you have any other questions or whatever, you can PM me and I'll try to help the best I can.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:32 AM   #9
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Whew... You never know how a response will set with people. I hope all works out soon for your liitle Smokie. Maybe the can thing will work. Also, when you get your car seat done, make sure to share some pictures!! Best of luck!!
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:37 AM   #10
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Thanks so much to all of you! Its just tough on the little guy, but he made a huge step forward today. He stayed outside by himself. This is the first time he has done that. (Of course the grandkids were here - LOL!) But he was rolling in the grass, playing with his toys, mama was watching threw the window. A couple times I went out and gave him a treat for being such a good boy and so much a big boy!

I own and manage anoher group for those with chronic pain, so I understand about - should I post this, should I say this? But I handle other's opinions well.

And I will be happy to post pictures of my carseat for Smokie! If its not hard to make, I'm going to make some up to sell at affordable prices. They are so expensive. And I want this one to attach to the seat belt in the car. So I shall share the finished product when completion comes!

Have a wonderful day everyone! Reva
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:44 PM   #11
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I just noticed this thread, and I don't know if you've resolved this issue or not. When my dh and I got Bear from the shelter he had been living there for 6mths. He was 2-3yrs old and I have no idea what his history was. We brought him home. Everytime we'd leave, and at the time we only had cats in the house. We'd come home to scratched interior doors, torn curtains etc... He is a large breed and was obviously having some serious separation anxiety issues. He was glued to my dh in the house and since we needed to spend alot of time at the VA hospital we needed a solution, fast. Looking at normal house habits...my dh would go in the bathroom and close the door, for showers..reading time (lol) etc.. and Bear would lay in front of the door and wait patiently for however long it would take for dh to come out. Do you have a room that you go into alone that your dog waits for you? Anyway, I had dh read a long long long time into a digital recorder, boring book. I distracted Bear while dh snuck out the back door. I went into the bathroom and shut the door. Opened the bathroom window, dh went to the window where I had a conversation with him, as if he were inside the bathroom, hit play on the recorder, slipped out of the bathroom, told dh I'd see him later, told Bear to be a good boy and watch daddy while I was gone and left. When we returned a couple of hours later. Bear was shocked to see us return thru the back door, he came from the direction of the bathroom. We did that 5-6 times longer, next time not doing the window converstion, next time just the recorder, etc...and eventually he realized that daddy always returned. That was 4 years ago. We've never had to do it since. But it was a stressless, painless way to alleviate his anxiety. Just a thought.

I agree with the can solution when they are barking inappropriately, like at strangers at the front door, or something, but perhaps, if they are already stressed this could be an alternative.
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