Questions about adoption and separation anxiety?

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purpledoggy
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Questions about adoption and separation anxiety?

Postby purpledoggy » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:32 pm

So we've been looking at lots of dogs in order to find the right one for our family. We have narrowed down our search and keep coming back to one female. She is young about a year and a half old and was found wandering the streets before she went into foster care. She came over our house for a home visit and was fine with my daughter and cat. The only thing her foster mom says is she has separation anxiety. She is crated while they are gone during the day for work and has broken out of her crate and scratched the door to the room she was in. When she doesn't break out of the crate her bed linen in soaked with drool from her getting so worked up and the crate ends up on the other side of the room with her still in it. My question is can you treat separation anxiety? I've talked to some of my friends and they all think I should stay away from any dog with separation anxiety. Someone is usually home 24/7 at my house since my husband is disabled but he does get hospitalized from time to time so whatever dog we get will have to be crated while I'm at work and he is in the hospital. I've also read that most dogs that come from shelters have this issue so I'm wondering if I'm making a bigger deal out of this then it really is.

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ProudMommy77
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Postby ProudMommy77 » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:34 pm

did you ask them what measures they took, or are taking to correct the problem?

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Postby pitgrrl » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:43 pm

I think people too quickly use the term "separation anxiety", but on the other hand the description you gave certainly sounds like that's what could be going on.

One of my dogs had pretty intense separation anxiety (including, for example, drooling, destroying stuff, stress diarrhea in the house...fun stuff) which we did manage to get him over, but it was a long, intense, life consuming process. He's totally fine being left home now, but I would certainly say it's something to think long and hard about before committing to it.

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purpledoggy
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Postby purpledoggy » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:44 pm

They have her on some kind of medication (she told me but I can't remember what it was). I wasn't very thrilled that the dog was on meds when they came over for the home visit. They also switched crates to a metal one where she used to be in one of the plastic ones with the metal front. She seems to be doing better with the all metal crate.

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Postby tbluverjumper » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:29 pm

SA can be a pain to deal with. It requires a lot of patience, reading, evaluating the situation before and after, and also a lot of preventative work. Some come along faster than others, and I haven't seen to many that don't get over it with the right training. If you're willing to take the time with the dog and do the research, I don't see why not.

I deal with it daily and while it has impacted my life in several ways for right now, I.E. how long I can be gone ect. that is my girls only flaw in my eyes. I am blessed to have the time and ability to work her through it and give her a life she may not have with someone else. A lot of people toss great dogs out the door because they don't understand it. And truly how mad can you get at a dog for being upset that you're gone? It's always a work in progress, but she get's better every day. You're taking a good first step by researching, keep reading and talking to everyone you can about it and decide if it's something you would like to do.

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purpledoggy
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Postby purpledoggy » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:59 am

Is separation anxiety really that hard to deal with? I don't mind having to train our new dog (I plan on it actually) my only issue is if my husband can handle it by himself when I'm at work. I'm pretty lucky that I only work 4 days out of the week then I'm off for 4 days in a row. I've never had a dog with separation anxiety so I'm pretty clueless about it.

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NewOrleansSaint
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Postby NewOrleansSaint » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:21 am

One thing that will greatly help a dog with SA is TONS of exercise. Could you ask the foster parents how much exercise she gets a day?

One of the countless things I did to help my dog when he was battling SA was take up jogging. It helped him expend his energy in a constructive way, leaving less pent up energy to expel when he freaked out as I left for work.

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Postby NewOrleansSaint » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:26 am

Hey can someone find that SA sticky for them?

I tried to search for it, but that ridiculously ineffective search feature is driving me crazy. :po:

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heartbullies
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Postby heartbullies » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:44 am

I don't think "most dogs" have SA, just because they are rescues. I have lived with multiple fosters and adopted dogs, primarily bully breeds, and fortunately there has been only one that was a longer-term crate screamer/fusser, and even that I wouldn't classify that as SA.

My friend's adopted herding breed definitely has sep anx-- a SECURE crate (she uses a cage that was meant for a macaw-- it is as big as a dog crate but made of solid metal bars, not just wire, and she put a tray on the bottom to cover the grate) is a must because otherwise he will try to chew through the windows and doors to get out of the house. He drools a lot-- like BUCKETS of drool, and will not touch even the most delicious chews or treats because he is just too stressed. She has had him on clomicalm to help break the cycle and is seeing good improvements. I believe there is another drug on the market that also treats sep anx now, too.

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Postby airwalk » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:51 am

I agree that lots of folks tend to use the SA term too quickly. What some folks see as SA in shelter dogs is simply the process of them settling into a new home. Just remember every new home is new smells, new routines, new expectations, new people all of which increase tension.

My Standard Poodle arrived with me with SA. It has taken two years but we are at a manageable level now. I can actually be gone without a total flip out.

It is a lot of work, but is often trainable. Like said before, it takes patience, consistency, committment and yep there will be lots of times you will find yourself at wits end and then they will do something incredibly cute and you will start again.

msvette2u

Re: Questions about adoption and separation anxiety?

Postby msvette2u » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:48 am

purpledoggy wrote:I've also read that most dogs that come from shelters have this issue so I'm wondering if I'm making a bigger deal out of this then it really is.


I don't think that is true - I'd say most dogs need a "settling in" period but the saving factor is that they can be crated.
If a dog in rescue develops SA, and cannot be crated, it spells certain disaster for the dog as not many people want to deal with those kinds of issues.
It also sets the dog up for abuse in certain situations because of the amount of destruction they can inflict on their surroundings, not to mention the dog will, in all likelihood, be brought back to the rescue and bounced around more.
Some rescues do not feel SA dogs who are so severe they are destructive and cannot be crated should even be adopted out.

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tbluverjumper
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Postby tbluverjumper » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:03 am

purpledoggy wrote:Is separation anxiety really that hard to deal with? I don't mind having to train our new dog (I plan on it actually) my only issue is if my husband can handle it by himself when I'm at work. I'm pretty lucky that I only work 4 days out of the week then I'm off for 4 days in a row. I've never had a dog with separation anxiety so I'm pretty clueless about it.


It really depends on the case in particular. If your husband is home then he will most likely be able to deal with it, because that means the dog won't be alone so it won't be a problem. I totally agree that SA get's thrown around to quickly but the drooling/digging/chewing thing does sound like SA to me. MsVette made a great point in the fact that most dogs do need a settling in period, and this dog is also only a year and a half old and has probably been bounced around a lot.

It's hard to say with out you actually having the dog, how to work on it.

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Maryellen
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Postby Maryellen » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:03 am

my gsd has bad separation anxiety, and i got her at 8 weeks old.. once i got another dog she relaxed a bit, but even now 8 years later if i leave the house she flips out still, but doesnt destroy anything just barks and cries and pitches a fit. she was a huge work in progress, and it took years of work to get her manageable. me personally i wouldnt take a dog with SA ,its alot of hard work, and takes time, patience and the person to understand that if they come home and the house is eaten and there is chocolate and pee everywhere you cant get mad at the dog...

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Postby Stormi » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:23 am

kmcamara wrote:Hey can someone find that SA sticky for them?

I tried to search for it, but that ridiculously ineffective search feature is driving me crazy. :po:


I've not seen an SA sticky, but I'd be more than willing to write one up. We seem to be getting more and more posts about it, so it might be beneficial. Might help dispell boredom from true anxiety as well.

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tbluverjumper
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Postby tbluverjumper » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:30 am

Stormi wrote:
kmcamara wrote:Hey can someone find that SA sticky for them?

I tried to search for it, but that ridiculously ineffective search feature is driving me crazy. :po:


I've not seen an SA sticky, but I'd be more than willing to write one up. We seem to be getting more and more posts about it, so it might be beneficial. Might help dispell boredom from true anxiety as well.


:bowdown:


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