Curb Seperation Anxiety before it starts? Just brought a new dog home. Training

Discussion in 'General Dog Chat' started by yeti821, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. yeti821

    yeti821 New Member

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    Curb Seperation Anxiety before it starts? Just brought a new dog home.

    Hello everyone,

    I just got a 2 year old Malamute. He's had a pretty rough few months. He's on his 4th home, and all these changes have taken place in the last 2.5 months.

    I guess I'm a little worried about him developing separation anxiety.

    His previous owner said he was good in the crate. I fed him his dinner in the crate while I ate mine upstairs (about 30 min.) and he whined and pawed the crate the whole time. I know he's pretty anxious right now (he just moved into my home), so I'm not surprised, and I was also wondering if he might just be seeing what he can get away with.

    My husband and I are home a lot this summer, so we don't really need to leave him alone, but in the fall he'll have to be left alone for a few hours a day. And I want him to be comfortable, and to understand that when we leave - we will come back.

    I guess I'm just wondering if there's things I should be doing right now, as he's learning the ropes in his new home, to set him up for success in this respect. Should i retrain him in the crate, using slow steps and positive reinforcement? Should I leave him alone for a while each day to he doesn't get too used to having us around all the time? If I leave him alone - I prefer to have him crated because I can't guarantee that he won't eat a sofa or something crazy.

    I've heard about giving good food or treats in the crate so they have something fun to occupy themselves with. I'm going to try a stuffed kong, but so far he seems to be more play motivated than food motivated. I don't have much experience working with a play motivated dog, but it is possible that I just haven't found the right treat for him.

    anyone have any advice? am i being too paranoid, too soon, and should just let him settle in before i start diagnosing issues?
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  3. Malka

    Malka Member

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    I know that quite a few people feed their dogs in their crates but for Tikva her crate is for sleeping in at night, not for her food. Or toys for that matter.

    Is it not possible to have him with you when you eat? It sounds like he was complaining because you had put him in his crate and then vanished, and maybe he was scared that you would not come back. You have already said that he does not like it if you or your husband leave him alone and although he will have to get used to it, slowly slowly is, I think, the way to go.

    He has to settle in before you put him in his crate and just leave him - he has not yet gotten used to either you or his new home, and trying to do things too quickly will just confuse the poor lad.

    You are not being paranoid but I think you might be trying to do things too quickly. Give him time, and lots of reassuring love. And keep talking to him in a gentle voice.

    And if he might like it, ear twiddles and tummy rubs from me.
  4. yeti821

    yeti821 New Member

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    Okay. I'll try not to crate him unless I absolutely have to, like if my husband and I both have to leave the house at the same time. Most days we can avoid this.
    I'd rather crate him and know he can't get into trouble / engage in any destructive behaviour than deal with the aftermath if he decides to eat the sofa. I'm not sure why I'm so hung up on this sofa-eating thing, he just has the look of a sofa-eater.

    I'll try to take things slow, and if, in a few weeks, I think he might be developing some separation anxiety or still has problems with the crate, I'll start addressing those issues then.

    Does that sound sensible?
  5. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    Give him a few days to settle in and get to know you.
    If he enjoys playing I would ‘tire’ him out before crating, you could start with having crate in same room, working up to putting the crate in another room but where he can see you, then build up to being able to shut the door for a bit so he can’t see you, gradually building him up to you going outside for short periods and so on.
  6. Varmint

    Varmint New Member

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    My Golden suffered massive separation anxiety. When we left the house he would absolutely tear apart our front blinds. Against our better judgement, we bought a cage to put him in while we were gone and we all hated it. Opie wanted out of that cage so bad that he bend the wire with his paws and teeth and bent the door enough to squeeze out! Luckily, we have a security door on our front door. Now, we simply lock the security door and leave the front door open. It's a great security door. Basically, a sheet of black metal with hundreds of holes in it. You can easily see out but looking in, you cannot tell if the real door is open or shut. As long as Opie can see out the door, he's just fine and anyone waking up to our front door is greeting by the sound of barking. We've had no problems since doing this.

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