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Old 12-24-2012, 11:11 PM
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Separation Anxiety

So, I've been bringing Beau to my boyfriend's house a couple times and it is blatantly apparent that he has separation anxiety. I've been bringing him because Michael has dogs and a fenced backyard - two things Beau doesn't have. He gets to play with dogs over there and doesn't have to be on a leash or hooked up to anything. It's not ideal because the other dog (a husky) humps him.... almost constantly. One of the other dogs is little, and it plays good. We keep the husky hooked up while Beau is there so that Beau can play with it on his own terms and not be humped the whole time, and he can get away from the husky.

The problem doesn't arise until we try to go into the house and leave him outside to play. (After we made sure all the dogs got along good, and there wasn't any way for him to get out, etc). When we tried to go inside, Beau thought he was supposed to come inside too..... Which he can't at Michael's family's house, sadly. (Which is why we only go to visit) Beau went crazy trying to get into the house with us, busted through the door several times and ran into and through the house. Then when we finally got him back outside, he whined/whimpered, clawed, jumped, chewed, gnawed on the door to the point that I was a nervous wreck thinking he was going to hurt himself or break their door down and come running in the house again and knock one of the kids down!

We've been through this twice. The first time was almost traumatizing for both of us, because we're always together. The second time was better, only because when he busted through the door that day (Mind you, this is the third or fourth time he's busted through their door and flew into the house), I took him back out, made him sit on the steps, and calmly told him "Stay" then I stood up, took a step back, and closed the door. After a minute or two, he went to play with the dogs, and he spent most of the time that day playing with only a little time by the door wanting inside.

Am I doing anything wrong? My mom is horrified that I'm leaving him in the backyard and he's not allowed inside. (Also - this is for maybe a max of 4-5 hours, and I'm constantly peeking out windows to check on them, and going out to play) Is there anything I can do to help Beau with his seperation anxiety? It's not only at Michael's that he does this kind of stuff. If I go up stairs at my house and leave him downstairs behind the baby gate, he'll whimper and gnaw on the gate until I come back, or try to jump it if I don't come back fast enough. Or if I'm outside and he can see me, he'll jump at the door or windows so bad my mom has to either tell me to come inside or put Beau in the kennel for fear he'll break the windows. And he does the same thing with our doors at home (chewing, scratching, etc) when we leave - we don't have the problem with him busting inside because he's an inside dog because we don't have a fence. But I've hooked him up outside a couple times to his tolley thing and he'll jump at the door if someone isn't out there with him. I know goldens are family dogs, but he needs some dog time too.



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Old 12-24-2012, 11:49 PM
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Sorry, but I have to agree with your mom--he's an indoor dog, he needs to be inside. I'd be afraid that he's going to develop bad habits outside and worse case scenario, get stolen or jump the fence in search of people. My 3 aren't outside unless I'm with them.

Have you considered crate training?
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:22 AM
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Separation anxiety is very real and it means your dog is suffering when he goes through this. I would suggest you address the anxiey issue by seeking advice from a professional. Tying your dog to a trolley to keep him from bursting through a door due to anxiety is not going to solve the problem. The longer it is allowed to go on the more of a problem it will become and will probably show up in other places as well. Even though this sounded like a good idea for you to leave your dog in the yard with the other dogs it seems like your dog's anxiety suggests you might need to look into another plan.
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:13 AM
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I have no financial means to seek help from a professional, unless they want to talk to me for free, but I'm willing to take advice from anyone who's got any ideas.

The only reason he's not use to being outside right now is because he's never had the opportunity to be outside without a leash. I don't see him having a fenced in yard to play in as anything but an opportunity for him to grow. When I move out of my parent's house, I hope to have a fenced in backyard where Beau can play outside, or even just lay outside on the patio, without being crazy to get back inside with me. I don't want him to be suffering when he is away from me, outside or not. And for the trolley thingy - it's not to keep him from jumping on the door. Its just a trolly that lets him go all around the backyard since we don't have a fence. I hate that he has to be hooked up to something in order to go outside. When I mentioned him being outside hooked to the trolley, I meant if we hook him up to go potty, he'll go potty, sniff around, then come jump on the door. The trolley doesn't keep him from doing that.

As far as crate training - he is crate trained and will stay in it for a good amount of time (while I'm around), but I would not leave him locked in his kennel while I was gone - for his own safety, because I'd be afraid he'd chew on the metal or get his teeth stuck or hurt his paws trying to dig out.
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:47 AM
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Many Goldens that have access to fenced in yards...dont like to spend time out there without their humans....they are more human focused than many other breeds...

If you are afraid that he will destroy his crate (break his teeth hurt his paws) while you are gone then he is not crate trained...
Start there....

Slowly over time building up his endurance....crate him...step outside for a few minutes...come back where he can see you...DONT immediately let him out...mill around a bit...toss a cookie into his crate...mill around a bit more - If he is calm... then let him out.

Rinse and repeat - building up more and more time while you are away.

Please remember that every time he has a bad experience being away from you...you are writing his history.
Overcoming his history of bad experiences is going to be MUCH more difficult then preventing the writing in the first place...

Plus he is learning that if her preservers, that with his brute strength he can knock down doors!
IMHO this is a very dangerous thing for any dog to learn.....
ESPECIALLY if you plan to have a fenced in yard someday. You are effectively letting him learn and perfect his technique of how to break down gates and escape.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BeausMama View Post
I have no financial means to seek help from a professional, unless they want to talk to me for free, but I'm willing to take advice from anyone who's got any ideas.

The only reason he's not use to being outside right now is because he's never had the opportunity to be outside without a leash. I don't see him having a fenced in yard to play in as anything but an opportunity for him to grow. When I move out of my parent's house, I hope to have a fenced in backyard where Beau can play outside, or even just lay outside on the patio, without being crazy to get back inside with me. I don't want him to be suffering when he is away from me, outside or not. And for the trolley thingy - it's not to keep him from jumping on the door. Its just a trolly that lets him go all around the backyard since we don't have a fence. I hate that he has to be hooked up to something in order to go outside. When I mentioned him being outside hooked to the trolley, I meant if we hook him up to go potty, he'll go potty, sniff around, then come jump on the door. The trolley doesn't keep him from doing that.

As far as crate training - he is crate trained and will stay in it for a good amount of time (while I'm around), but I would not leave him locked in his kennel while I was gone - for his own safety, because I'd be afraid he'd chew on the metal or get his teeth stuck or hurt his paws trying to dig out.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:30 PM
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No offense intended, but he is crate trained to the point that I want him to be. I have no intentions of ever leaving him in a kennel while I'm gone. He is not a destructive dog, I'm not worried about him getting into anything while I'm gone, and he's never hurt himself while I'm gone. He's not the type of separation anxiety that destroys the house and hurts himself while I'm gone.

If I'm GONE from the house, and he knows that I am gone - to school, shopping, etc - he just lays down until I get home. The problem doesn't arise until I try to seperate myself from him while I'm physically still around. I do not want a dog that has to be up my butt to be happy. It isn't healthy. He should want to play outside in the backyard. Even when I'm outside with him, he just walks beside me. It takes so much coaxing to get him to go do anything that's not around me. I can't leave the house for any extended period of time because my family starts calling me telling me my dog looks depressed and I need to come home.

I want Beau to be able to be HAPPY even when he's away from me.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:19 PM
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If you don't want a dog that needs to be stuck to you all the time, you may not have the right kind of dog. I have my second Golden and my limited experience with my own dogs shows exactly the behavior you don't want. My first Golden was clingy, my second one is worse. I can't go to the bathroom alone. He goes grocery shopping with me in good weather. He NEEDS to be with me. The only place he is happy other than with me is doggy day care.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeausMama View Post
I do not want a dog that has to be up my butt to be happy. It isn't healthy. He should want to play outside in the backyard.
Then you probably shouldn't have gotten a golden--in rescue, we call them "velcro dogs" for a reason. My 3 are where ever I am, they do not want to be outside by themselves.

You can teach him a settle command and "got to mat" command, but keep in mind, goldens are people oriented, they want to be with their people.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeausMama View Post
I do not want a dog that has to be up my butt to be happy. It isn't healthy. He should want to play outside in the backyard.

I want Beau to be able to be HAPPY even when he's away from me.
Quick question: Why does his desire to be around you cause a burden? No judgement here, just trying to get to the root of the problem. Thanks in advance!


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Old 12-26-2012, 05:50 PM
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Brave -

The burden is that he acts nuts when he can't be with me, and there are times when he can't be. A couple examples:

He's not allowed in the kitchen anymore because its the only solution we can find to keep him from counter surfing. I need him to be able to stay in the living room while I cook. This is for his safety (as well as my sanity) because the last straw was when he tried to eat french fries out of a deep fryer on the counter WHILE THEY WERE COOKING.

Another - if I have to go upstairs for any reason - to help my memaw, to use the bathroom, to get something from my room, to clean my room, to get laundry, etc - he gnaws on the gate at the bottom of the stairs, whines, and eventually tries to jump it (where he might hurt himself, and if he does - it causes a fight with my memaw's dog that lives upstairs (Lori). I don't know if yall have stopped a dog fight on the stairs, but its slightly terrifying.)

If Beau is hooked up to his trolley in the backyard and I have to go do anything - check the mail, talk to a neighbor, etc - that is out of his reach, he goes nuts. I have to put his harness and his collar on because if he pulls just right in either one, he'll get out of it. Or if someone else in my family appears and is out of his reach, he'll do the same thing - like, if my dad comes home from work or someone drops my sister off after school.

The situation at Michael's house is a burden because I have two options: go to my boyfriends and leave Beau at home, and have my family calling me constantly telling me to come home that my dog is depressed and needs me. Or take him with me (Which I WANT to do, to let him play, and have him with me) and let him play in the backyard, but he's not welcome inside.
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