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Anyone have ideas to ease my dog's separation anxiety?

I have a 10 month old german shepard/pitbull mix - so he's a fairly large dog already. I've had him for almost 4 months (he was my ex's dog but he had to get rid of him when he moved to a different apartment) and he quickly became a mommy's boy, he hates being alone but even when other people are home he acts out when I'm gone. He strips pillows and blankets off the beds, he pulls out shoes and clothes, and leaves them all on the floors (though he rarely chews anything up which is good) and because of his size he tends to knock things over when he's running around pulling everything out. He also tends to mess with my other dog and my cats and I know the other animals are getting fed up with him - its to the point now that my cats will go after him if he's even in the same room with them. I'm hoping he'll eventually grow out of this behavior but it would help a lot if anyone had suggestions to stop his behavior sooner rather than later. Once I get home he goes nuts jumping and running around for about 10 minutes but then he finally calms down and cuddles with me.


Asked by anon1986East at 7:00 PM on Apr. 1, 2011 in Pets

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Answers (6)
  • Don't just kennel him, that is something that needs to be done gradually. We are going through this with my 9 month old puppy at the moment. We recieve free telephone guidance from my vet (trained behaviourist) each week but can call her if we need her...she'll come out to us too if we are still struggling. I reccomend calling your vet and seeing what they suggest. We use spray Dog Appeasing Pheramone (DAP) we buy it from amazon for £10 and it does work. Toby isn't very destructive, he just whines and cries if left even for a few minutes. We have been told to shut him in the lounge for a few seconds at a time and then open the door. He just needs to get used to the fact you will always come back. If he manages 5 seconds without barking or crying, try 10 seconds and so on...but its is important u dont rush it...u must do it very slowly and it will take time.

    Answer by little.knickers at 8:39 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • He is a puppy!!! He will settle down.

    Answer by dancer at 7:02 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • Victoria Stilwell of It's Me or the Dog has some great techniques for helping a dog over separation anxiety. Villalobos Rescue Center (Pit Bulls and Parolees) might have some ideas for you too, they're in California.

    I've only ever had cats so I'm not much help other than pointing you in the direction of people that know more than me.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 7:06 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • Kennel him while you are gone and put one of your shirts or something with your scent in it while gone.

    Answer by 8Tinkerboo8 at 7:08 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • My mom had a dog like that when I was growing up..she left the tv on for her and called on the answering machine and left short messages for her. I know it sounds crazy, but it worked for her...before my mom started doing that the dog would tear and chew the wooden door apart that separated the downstairs from the upstairs where she was. She was 7 months at this time.

    Answer by dolphingoddess at 7:14 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • My beagle used to jump the three feet to get to the hutch beside the door when we left him home (he was a shelter rescue) and he'd tear everything apart, have accidents, etc. We got him a plastic kennel (one with wire doors, but otherwise plastic to prevent him being able to chew his way out. DO NOT GET A WIRE KENNEL when you're starting out. Dogs with severe anxiety can chew their way through the metal (they pull it apart) and get caught. It can be very harmful. Make sure it's appropriately sized, and take the collar off before putting him in. Also, try kongs with frozen wet dog food inside of them to keep puppy entertained while you're gone. GL!

    Answer by BisketLiss at 6:18 AM on Apr. 2, 2011