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My golden, Dex, had a very poor first year in life, spending all day chained up to a 15 foot heavy chain, only getting fed every few days, drinking black water. His area was pure mud except where he went to the bathroom and there were holes a few feet deep everywhere he could reach. But dispite all he had been through, he was an excellent dog from the start, loved children, never went potty in the house and never chewed on anything he wasn't given to play with. He is so smart and I have grown very fond of him, but unfortunately, he has become very distructive when me and fiance leave for work. I come home and he is shaking and scared, sometimes even urinating on himself. I know he feels bad, but he can't stop himself. We would hate to give him up, but we are running out of things to try. Have any of you had a dog like this of so how did you cope? Or if you can give any helpful tips, that would be greatly appreciated.

I know it's not because he has too much engery. We take him for a long walk and swim everyday when we come home, he gets fed at 7am after we take him out to go potty. He has a ton of toys, and we give him challenges to stimulate his mind. Before bed we always play with him for at least an hour so he is worn out. But for some reason, for just a few minutes after we leave, he destroys anyhting around him. Even if we just run to the store and come back, we are faced with the same outcome. I take him with me when I can because he loves it, but I hate seeing him terrified when we come home. I neve scold him, usually I go and check my e-mail and then tell him he is a good boy and give him love and take him out to play until "daddy" comes home and we can go for a walk.

We've thought about getting a smaller dog to keep him company because I've heard many success stories about dogs who have anxiety being cured by a new pack member. Anyways, any help and advice is greatly appreciated!!
 

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Debbie
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I'm sure you will get lots of good advice here. Have you tried crating him while you're gone? Or maybe you can block off the kitchen for him.
 

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this may soubd dumb, but what about
leaving for only a few minutes
at a time, gradually increqsing?

does it happen when youre in different parts of the house too?

do you comfort him wheen is scared?
 

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First, Congratulations on taking a dog who has had a bad life and helping him!

A companion dog is not a bad idea. Have you spoken to your vet about the situation ? If not, they may be a resource in regards to a doggy downer. One thing you might want to reconsider is that you walk him in the morning and split the length of the walk between the morning and evening. That way he will be tired while you are at work. Another thing you might want to add to his walk is a back pack. This way his walk is a little more of a challenge and you don't have to walk as far each time. I read somewhere that walking a mile with a backpack is equivalent to walking three miles.

Where are you leaving him during the day ? Is he allowed to roam or do you have him in one place ?
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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My guess is that having the run of the house while you are away is actually increasing his anxiety. I think the crate with a sheet over it would give him a nice safe and secure den while you are away. It will also protect your belongings.
 

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Lost Her Mind
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I agree about leaving him alone for just a few minutes at a time and gradually building up, and the crate idea. Especially with the sheet over it. They love that. :D
 

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I also think crating would work as well. Once he gets used to it he will see his crate as a comfort area. Since he seems to be getting exercise, crating would be my next suggestion. You may also try leaving a TV on or playing classical music (proven to calm dogs down) while you are gone. I would really hate to see this poor dog given up on. Thanks for taking him in.

PS-If you put a sheet over his crate, be prepared to have it chewed on. Tysen was known for doing this during the beginning stages of crate training.
 

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Lost Her Mind
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PS-If you put a sheet over his crate, be prepared to have it chewed on. Tysen was known for doing this during the beginning stages of crate training.
urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh. Mojo didn't chew his until, oh, three weeks ago. Max chewed hers right away. I feel bad because neither of them have a covered kennel anymore.
 

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When I got Hogan(he was a Beagle) he was the exact same way! I got him when he was 5 and he had so many anxieties. He was terrified of everyone and everything. Since he had such a poor life I too did not want to crate him. It was very hard to transfer him to a crate but it really helped. Actually, in the end it made it better because it was his "safe" place. When something scared him (which was definitely less) he would have a place of his own to go.

Also, I happened to over hear a discussion with Lucky's trainer and a vet last week. Long story short, I heard them mention the dogs can be prescribed Xanax for help with anxieties. I really do not know any information about this or if it is recommended but something to look into possibly.

The other thing I would consider is dog classes or having a trainer come to you if you think he has too many anxieties. They can help you work through them. Plus it is a nice bond for you and him.

Good Luck! I hope everything works out!
 

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Faux Wanda
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My dogs are notorious for chewing up the blanket over their crates. I usually put a board on top of the crate that is a little larger than the crate itself. Then put the sheet on top of the board. That way the sheet covers the crate and they can't get to it to destroy it. Also, if they are going to be in there for more than an hour, I fill one of the kong toys with food and put peanut butter on the end to hold the food in. Then I freeze it. I give this to them to keep them busy while I am away. They love it.
 

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Faux Wanda
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I came across a post in this forum about NILIF. I had never seen it before so I started looking into it. It was very helpful to me in describing how we can intensify our dogs behavior without even realizing it. You can google it if your are interested. It has worked for me.
 

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we rescued a 9 month old lab in may and he too has seperation anxiety...when we would leave he would get into things and go into the pantry and destroy and eat whatever he could....he would rip things apart and bring them to the front door...this happened a few times and we now crate him when we go out...we also have a golden that doesn't need to be crated but we crate her along with him and their crates face each other from across the room...he goes nuts as soon as i get my keys or sweater or shoes and won't let me out the door and runs to the van to get in so most tomes comes where i am going....we are still working on him and his other issues...it just takes time we do not know anything about his past or what he went through but he has a few fears that give us a bit of an idea....
 

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urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh. Mojo didn't chew his until, oh, three weeks ago. Max chewed hers right away. I feel bad because neither of them have a covered kennel anymore.
It's really not necessary. Just helps them from being able to look out and bark at things. Maybe makes it a little more den like.
 

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Hey There,

I don’t recommend crating Dex. Here’s why because I’m going through the same thing with Sir Ozwald.

Three months ago I adopted Ozwald. I’m his third home. His previous owners had him for two years. I don’t know if his Separation Anxiety started then or from his first home? Anyhow, in his second home as both owners worked he was crated for long hours, between 7-8 hours a day. He wasn’t doing well and they decided in his best interests to find him a new home. Before I go any further these folks are very sweet! They did the right thing and I just happened to be looking for another Golden. It was fate! Anyhow, I took him on and the next day needed to get him a new tag with our phone number & address on it. I crated him thinking it would be OK. When I crated him he went into meltdown that I just can’t describe and I was very unhappy leaving him. I was only gone for an hour to two. Upon my return he greeted me at the door! Yup he’d busted out! Upon inspecting the house he’d peed upstairs, the bed was unmade and he’s ripped a cushion on the love seat. After checking Ozwald out I discovered that after two years of crating him, his top and bottom teeth were worn down to nubs. Ozzie could do with dental implants!

Things didn’t go much better. More peeing, chewing on case molding around the doors, etc, etc. I got him into the Vets as soon as I could get his previous Vet records. He was also thunderstorm phobic and was peeing a lot. We worried that though it is rare in dogs he might be diabetic. Upon reading his previous vet records I realized why he was surrendered. There was a recommendation for a medication for anxiety. I forget the name as I type but I don’t recommend this drug as it’s basically Prozac with lots of very serious/fatal side effects.

OK, trying to speed this up for you but after trying holistic stuff that was throwing money out of the window we got him on Clomipramine which is a generic version of Clomacalm. I can tell you within 24 hours we saw a difference. He started on one tab (50mg’s) twice a day for two weeks, then two tabs twice a day for six weeks and now we are weaning him off it. He’s back on one tab twice a day for another four weeks and then after that, one pill a day for a week and then we take him off it. With these medications you cannot keep dogs on them long term. They just help them and you need to do other things that I’ll get to in a moment. We have had no side effects with this medication and it does not make them drowsy whatsoever.

Medication does not though help separation anxiety. It’s work on our parts too! Basically you have to juggle things up and get him from a routine that sets off anxiety to a routine that doesn’t. It’s tough! Ozzie is a lucky dog, I’m a stay-at-home dog Mum. Many folks have suggested great things on this Forum. There are many more suggestions on the internet. One thing to remember is not to make a drama of leaving Dex.
Don’t give him cookies and ask him to be a good boy as that actually sets his anxiety off. I know you work but one of the things to do is grab your purse and keys & just drive down the driveway and return and like suggested you’ve got to do this a couple of times. In essence you are tricking Dex out of knowing how long you will be gone. It’s hard. It takes time, patience and love. As you work is there any chance of a friend or neighbor that can help out? If so, again they need to check on Dex at odd times of the day.

Well that’s it for now. I wish you all the very best.

Should you have any other questions you can email me at: [email protected]. I’m a great listener!

Oh…., Ozzie also has two senior Goldens and three cats and that didn’t help either. So don’t rush into getting Dex a companion yet until you can mend his anxiety issues. Again crating him is a bad idea as he was chained. It’s going to take time my dear but he’s well worth it.

Keep us posted and feel free to contact me.

AnnieVA.
 
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