Terrible Anxiety in 4.5 year old Dobie - Help!

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nacosta's picture
Joined: 2013-02-17

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My Doberman has had anxiety since we've had him but over the past month, it has gotten so much worse. We've worked with trainers and I have an appointment with a behavioral veterinarian next week. 

About 2 months ago, we did move but I don't think his anxiety is 100% related to the change in a negative way. We moved across the street from the beach and he is OBSESSED with the beach. He loves it so much that he is constantly screaming, whining and literally convulsing to go outside. Once we go out, he screams the whole time (he recently started screaming whenever he sees another dog too). I think he also thinks that if he poops outside, his walk/playtime at the beach will end so he refuses to poop. He's gone 50 hours without pooping even though he clearly has to go. I've only taken him to the beach as a "reward" for going to the bathroom outside. He's now had 2 accidents in the house as a result of this issue. 

We are at the point where I'm nervous to go to work because of his anxiety and with our neighbors complaining, I worry we will be evicted. I have tried everything and am at a loss at what to do. I don't want to rehome him. 

He also gets 4 walks a day. About 2-3 hours total a day


Kim's picture
Joined: 2012-02-05

I would try a Thundershirt with him. I recently had to use one on my Aussie when he started having panic attacks at night, all night, and it worked amazingly well.

You can find them on EBay at a good price, and if it works, it's money well spent. (Not a bad price for it, either - I spent $26.) Your boy would most likely wear an extra large.

I only used it once, and the panic attacks have not returned. You may have to use it more than that - as in every time he starts to get wound up. Sometimes it takes once, sometimes several times. Dogs who are frightened of T'storms sometimes need it every time it storms. You'll have to play it by ear and see how he does, but if you've used it once, and he calms down, and then it starts up again, don't wait until he's a mess - put it back on.

Rescue Remedy might also help - you can find it online, or in a health food store. Just put some in his drinking water.

Lady Kate's picture
Joined: 2009-10-28

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I've used Rescue Remedy by Bach with great success.. It's harmless and does wonders for the fireworks and occasional thunder storm here in Baja..

AresMyDobie's picture
Joined: 2015-02-28

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I would start with one not coddle this behavior and get a crate. Use the crate as a positive and start with small sessions. Throw some treats all they into the back of it and praise him when he goes in once he goes in don't close the door right away. After he learns that the crate is fun start to close the door give him a treat and open repeat this for awhile. After he learns that the closed door is no big deal walk away for a min and come back to open the door work your way up to ten mins in the crate. Once he gets the concept you can leave him in there with something that lasts a long time to chew on while you are at work. 

As for you screaming problem and doing that to other dogs I would correct this behavior. I'm guessing here but are you walking him on a harness ?