Dog Anxiety

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AWest72112

In Dogs

Hello All!

I have a 4 year old pit mix that is having a really tough time lately. Let me give a little backround information and maybe someone will be able to suggest something to help us!

We rescued Moppett from a very bad situation 3 years ago she was not being fed let alone getting any personal interaction. This women that i knew that had her adopted her and was not aware that pups (she was 8months at the time) were so active and was not prepared to take care of a dog. So my husband and i gladly freed her from that situation. We tried to kenne her from the begining but she started hurting herself to get out of the kennel. I could barely get her in there to begin wtih. We got her the DAP and that helped but not for long i guess maybe they can get used to it. She eventually was able to break free of 3 different kennels and wasn't doing any damage to our house so we just stopped trying. Well about 5 months ago we moved 1100 miles away sold our house and bought a town house. We left her out of the house once and she destroyed the carpet upstairs so we are back to trying to kennel again.

Not only is she trrrified of going into the kennel exen if we are home she has cracked her nails on her front paws and her lips are brused from trying to chew the kennel. When i get home (usually 5 hours is the max in the kennel) she is soaked in slobber and freaking out. This is very uncharacteristic of her she is usually a very calm and loving dog. We were taking her to doggie daycare but the staff said that she really doesnt play she just sits at the door waiting to be picked up. When i leave to take her she is shaking and drooling, and when i pick her up she acts like i have been gone for years.

I have a feeling that i have caused this behavior, i have always babied her because of the horrible life she had before she joined our family. I took her to training for the first few years we got to exp obediance and she got her canine good citizen, we did agility as well for sometime, she really thrived in training.

Her behavior towards my husband and our other dog has also changed recently. She has become overly protective of me (no im not pregnant). She wont let the other dog sit with me and if my husband gives me a hug she barks and growls at him. She was never like that before. I took her to the vet because i thought something was wrong like she was in pain or sick but all the tests came back normal.

If you read all of this and are still awake, i would really appreciate any input you may have. Moppett is my best friend (other than my husband of corse) and i dont like seeing her like this.

Thanks!

AW

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jacksmom

In Dogs

Reply To: AWest72112

I would first of all suggest you watch all of the "Dog Whisperer" shows and "It's me or the Dog" shows you can. Cesar Milan wants people to know that to feel sorry for the dog's past keeps it stuck there.


Victoria Stillwell uses mostly praise and treats and bad behavior techniques that are quite interesting. 

I will give you an example of what I've learned about kennels. I dog-sat a rescue dog that a friend was having problems with. It hated the kennel and was in it for hours and very nervous. Now, this was one of those open wired kennels. So the first thing I did when I got the dog to my house was cover the kennel with a towel so the dog would feel more den-like and secure. 

The next thing I did was coax the dog into the kennel with the most delicious treats. Then I let the dog go in and out of the kennel at will. Each time I wanted it to go back in I would put a great treat in there and praise him and pet him when he went into the kennel..It did not take all that long (repeating over and over for about 20 minutes?) and the dog became comfortable with the kennel. I also had the dog sleep in the kennel in our bedroom at night, which helped a lot. (By the way, I do a similar thing when I want to get a cat used to a kennel. I will leave it in a room and put treats and catnip in it. By the next day when I need to load the cat in, he is used to it).

I also walked the dog on a leash regularly, insisting he stay next to me and not pull. He loved it. By the time I gave the dog back to the person, he was calm and happy. Of course, once she got it back the same problems started, so she ended up giving it back to the rescue place.

From what I can tell, I wonder if your biggest lesson is to not pet your dog when it is acting anxious and stressed. The dog wants to please you, so he thinks he is doing the correct thing for you when you pat him when he is anxious or stressed. You can do that for a child or a cat, but NOT a dog. It will make it neurotic. Especially a Pit Bull that so wants to do what you want him to do. "Oh, she is holding me or petting me while I feel stressed. She must want me to be that way..so I will stay stressed to please her", he says to himself ...

Instead, when you get to the day care and he is acting that way, don't say anything, don't do the high pitched voice thing when you see him, but immediately go into some sort of training activity with him. Make him sit and stay (use treats if necessary when he sits and stays), or just put the leash on and walk out the door. Do not act in front of him like you feel sorry for him. Just be the calm pack leader and do not say anything to him. Just put him on the leash and walk out and around the block, if necessary. Keep walking until you can tell he is calmed down. Then praise and pet him when he is calm, not stressed out! He needs you to be calm, too.

Can you afford a dog walker while you are away? Maybe staying in his own neighborhood would be better than being thrown in with a bunch of dogs. They could come a couple of times a day at first.

Hope that is helpful...

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JeffLee

In Dogs

Reply To: AWest72112

Separation anxiety is triggered once dogs become upset thanks to separation from their guardians, the folks they’re connected to. Escape tries by dogs with separation anxiety area unit typically extreme and may end in self-injury and social unit destruction, particularly around exit points like windows and doors.

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