Dog behavior

asked 2015-02-12 11:38:58 -0500

Hello all. I have a dog in my care who has separation anxiety but I was not told he did. I asked the owners before they dropped him off and they said no, he is able to stay alone for 2-4 hours. Well I stepped out for an hour and he barked the whole time, driving my own dogs crazy. I suppose I will tell the owners when they get back from vacation but in the meantime, what do you do when you need to step out? He is not crated. I put baby gates up to separate my dogs from the guest dog in a very large space (kitchen, eating area and living room, its all an open area) clearly he needs to be around people. Needless to say, he is with me for 7 more days. Besides that he is a good dog but I feel stuck at home now. Thanks for your advice.

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I had a dog stay and he did same thing what I did was leave music on and gave him some toys with good smelling food in it he stayed quiet I tested my thoughts out before really leaving I went outside and next door he was quiet between music and something to chew on he was fine

Shannon J.'s profile image Shannon J.  ( 2017-02-23 15:39:03 -0500 ) edit

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answered 2015-02-12 12:36:33 -0500

There may not be much you can do in the few days you have with him, though if he really doesn't show these behaviors at home, he may just be unsure of his new environment, so they may improve on their own as he becomes more comfortable in your house. You can try working with him as much as you can in the next few days, but separation anxiety is a hard one to recondition, especially with only a week to work on it, since you're trying to change behaviors that you aren't present for. Here's a video that will show you some exercises you can do with him while he's with you to begin the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvW5D...

For the next few days, though, your best course of action will be to give him lots of physical and mental exercise before you have to leave so that both his mind and body are tired. This will make it easier for him to relax while you're away. Then leave him in a safe environment with things to do - a stuffed, frozen Kong would be a good idea to help keep him busy, or other types of treat dispensing toys (make sure they're tough enough that he can't accidentally chew through them and swallow pieces). The Kong Wobbler is one of my favorites. You can fill it with kibble or other small, dry treats and it's like a solid one of those punching bags that keeps popping back up, occasionally spilling a treat or two. It may not end the problem, but hopefully giving him enough distraction and exercise will minimize it for the rest of his time with you.

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I have Thunder Shirts in a couple of different sizes for the small dogs I board. The Thunder Shirts with the Thunder Shirt pheromone spray. That's really helped me out a couple of times.

Betty S.'s profile image Betty S.  ( 2019-03-21 23:18:15 -0500 ) edit
answered 2015-05-18 06:17:00 -0500

Hi, Frances,

I looked up Separation Anxiety and found your question. It makes me wonder if we are talking about the same dog, as we live in the same area! We have exactly the same set-up as you do in our home. We came downstairs this morning, after a night of barking and crying, to find our guest on top of our kitchen table. As much as we hate it, will have to crate the dog when we are not at home. We have a huge crate from when our dog was younger, and we plan to supply plenty of toys, plus our own Kong. I do not plan to say anything to the family until they get home; there is no point in stressing them out while they are away. In addition, I plan to review the dog for http://Rover.com so that other sitters can be forewarned (I understand those reviews are not available to the public).

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The dog I was talking about at that time has been to my home several times and he has been a delight. Actually he just left my home yesterday he's one of my favorites. Dealing with separation anxiety is very hard. Keep the dog entertained as much as possible. Did you ask the owner about his sleeping arrangements? Maybe he is use to sleeping in the bedroom with them. When you step out give him a kong with frozen peanut butter so it'll last a while and see if that helps and definitely tell the owner about his separation anxiety. I try to be as honest as I can with the owners and hopefully they won't get offended, you never know.

Frances M.'s profile image Frances M.  ( 2015-05-18 09:16:19 -0500 ) edit
answered 2021-10-01 10:16:35 -0500

I have taken care of a dog twice in my home recently, the same dog, that has never been taken care of outside her home. I DID tell the owner about the separation anxiety because she needed to know. The owner appreciated me telling her, so she's aware of it. I just do my best to keep the dog's attention as much as I can. When I need to go to bed, I leave a radio on for her. She does have a dog sister that I take care of at the same time that doesn't have the separation anxiety issue. I just think it's going to take this dog more stays for her to be comfortable in my home.

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answered 2015-02-17 09:19:44 -0500

Thank you for your response Laura. I actually have Zak George on my facebook, he gives great advice.

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Awesome - he's one of my favorites. The other one I follow constantly is http://paws4udogs.wordpress.com/ - she's a trainer who deals with a lot of more severe problems than Zak covers in his videos, especially fear, aggression and socialization issues.

Laura R.'s profile image Laura R.  ( 2015-02-17 11:39:49 -0500 ) edit

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