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Hoping for some genius ideas because we are getting frustrated. Sorry for the length of this post.

We have THE sweetest 2 year old Golden who is from a very reputable breeder. We got him at 8 weeks and he was very anxious from the start. I’ve raised guide dogs and assistance dogs and put 2 dogs through therapy dog certification so I am very experienced at socializing puppies. My last Golden was an adult rescue with severe anxiety issues and we were able to overcome those with a lot of work.

Our current pup has not decreased his anxiety at all. He is PETRIFIED of many things including the car (we literally have to pick him up and put him in it....he came terrified from day 1 and we have done EVERYthing to work with him on it). Every other dog I’ve had we’ve taken in public frequently (bars, restaurants, parks, festivals, etc). That is not an option with this puppy because he’s so scared of everything.

We’ve basically given up on being able to take him places and given up on decreasing his overall anxiety (open to ideas but it’s not the priority). However, we have baby #2 due any day, and he is beside himself with worry. Constant pacing all day, climbing in my lap, staring at us for hours, tripping us because he’s ALWAYS under foot. I know that it’s due to anxiety and I try SO hard to have patience but it is beyond frustrating and I am so sick of telling him to lie down literally every couple mins. He gets good exercise and tons of attention.

What else can I do? He seems stressed constantly being around our toddler and seems like he could use time to himself but he’ll bark in a crate and thinks he’s being punished if I put him in our room for a break (with his bed and toys). He wants to be near us 100% of the time but then can’t relax. I know it’s our environment because when he’s at his dog sitter’s he’s calm and sleeps during the day (which never happens here). I feel awful for him and just want him to be happy!! Any suggestions (keeping in mind that I have an 18 month old and a baby due any day haha).
 

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My boy Pronto was also an anxious boy. He came to me when he was 15 months old from my breeder for some obedience work. She thought it would help. It didn’t. When the puppy came home 7 months later he was a wreck. His first night here he was terrified. It took a month for him to be able to sleep out of his crate. The car was a disaster. Since my first golden went everywhere with me that was a huge disappointment. Pronto just shook and drooled in the car. Let me mention he was a breed dog and intact when he came to live with me. I recently found a puppy picture of him. It broke my heart. At 8 weeks he had that anxious look on his face. His ears were rarely on top of his head.

I ended up taking him to a canine behavioral vet. We put him on an antidepressant. The drug helped. I was able to work with him and got him to settle down in the house and not be jealous of his sister. Just petting her set him off whining. After 6 months we had made enough progress. I took him off the drug. He was much better. He was neutered at 4 1/2. It was the final piece of the puzzle. He calmed down. His life moving forward was infinitely better. He was the sweetest, kindest dog I’ve ever know. His heart was filled with love.

He hated the car his entire life. That never changed. He lived to 14. His last 9-10 years were really good. He and his sister settled into a routine. She absolutely adored him. They were together 12 1/2 years. His passing broke her heart.

The fact that he’s different at the dog sitters is very interesting. Maybe he needs to be rewarded for being calm and quiet. Praise and treat when he’s calm and try and ignore him when he’s needy. When they’re worried it’s easier said than done.

I feel your pain and understand your concerns with another baby coming soon. Drugs may not be a permanent fix. They did help me get through to my boy. Good luck!
 

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