Separation anxiety

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Princesse's picture
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Hi everyone, I'm Duke's mom. So I'm running into a pretty new behavior from Duke. When he was about 5 months old we had started to leave him home alone for about 1/2 hour at the time and slowly increased to an hour and he was fine all along until the pandemic hit and we were stock inside with him for a few months. So after the lockdown were lifted we tried to leave him again and unfortunately he had developed separation anxiety I think that's what it is. We came home that evening to a destroyed couch cushion on our leather couch. I always leave him home when we are leaving home alone with puzzles and a marrow bone and plenty of toys to keep him busy. Now we left him alone again and he didnt touch the couch than another time he destroyed another cushion... so I didn't really crate trained him since I don't have the room in my house. We had made a pen in the kitchen blocked with a baby gate when he was really young. So I'm looking for a solution to how to brake him out of the behavior and get him back to act alone like when he was 5 months old... he was perfect for months before the pandemic...thank you for your suggestions, I'm pretty new in joining a forum and I hope that I started this post at the right place. Looking to correct the behavior without crate training, I dont have the room...thanks

It seems that he is a very young dog, and quite frankly, most really young dogs are not house safe.  Most of my dogs have been crated till at least 2 years of age when we are not home.  I know you are saying that you don't have room, but you might want to consider making room. 

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Hi Fitzmar, thank you for for answering me, oh really crate until 2 years of age wow. I'm just not use to this behavior since my back then my 8 month old Princesse never touch anything in the house that wasn't hers.shes now passed at 12 years old last October. So maybe I got spoiled... now with my beautiful 11 months old boy Duke I guess I have to switch gears. Since I'm not familiar with crate training, how big the crate needs to be? He's a big boy at 90 some pounds right now and i would have to measure his height. that I guess that ivwill have to make room lol... but also to start crate train him now, wouldn't this be difficult? How would I go about starting it? Like I said I never done it...and hes 11 months old. Thanks for the advice

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It seems that he is a very young dog, and quite frankly, most really young dogs are not house safe.  Most of my dogs have been crated till at least 2 years of age when we are not home.  I know you are saying that you don't have room, but you might want to consider making room.

 

 

Agree on all points you made.

Once you meet a few people that had dogs swallow stuff they could not safely pass - 'most' choose the crate route until such time as the dog is house 'trained' and tested as being house 'safe'. 

 

Princesse's picture
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Okay thank you.

DobermanGuy's picture
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If you are dead set against any crate training at least be prepared and know how to make your dog puke in the event that he or she does accidentally swallow something  that needs removal.

I keep a kit like this at home and work for 'just in case' and it has come in handy on more than a few occasions -

 

Usually only takes an ounce or so of that (in the picture above that bulb holds about 2 oz of liquid at most ) to quickly and completely empty the stomach contents of any dog out and unless you go way overboard with it - It is not going to be harmful.

Last time for me was a Doberman swallowing some steel wing nuts of mine that were left laying around on the floor. It took me less than 10 minutes to get them ALL back and the dog was ready to eat more real food about 30 minutes after being emptied out.

Could an adult Doberman safely pass a handful of small steel wing nuts? Possibly, but if I know for sure that the dog swallowed them and they have not been 'missing' for very long - Why take chances when I know I can get them out the same way they went down?

 

An outside activity for sure -

 

Only sharing the following because I can and because the dog in the picture above has impressed me with her swallowing skills many, many times in the relatively short time she has been around -

If I break out a pack of hot dogs right now, line up all three girls and start distributing hot dog halves or thirds to each - Every single one of those dogs is going to suck those pieces down and put them in their tummies without chewing much of anything. How they can even taste the things without chewing I have no clue but I see how fast they get sucked down and I know for sure that not a single dog chewed anything.

Poof - Hot dog pieces gone! :)

 

Patience (dog in picture) has above average brain skills and body control in my opinion. That girl will wait in line to suck down her hot dog pieces just like everyone else and then 5 to 10 minutes after all the treats are gone go off to her crate, get comfy and spit them all back up again (looking just like they did when they went down) so she can eat them again slowly with no other dogs around super close bothering her or getting in her space while she has her treats.

Does the same exact thing with pig ears. Long after the other dogs have finished and their treats are GONE - Patience is off in her crate having the treat again... :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have the same supplies in my house and have used them more than once!! 

As far as crate size:  In a wire cage a 42" should be sufficient. Some people do the 48" for boys, but it is really bigger than you need.  In an airline type crate, I use a 40Lx30Hx27w  (a vari kennel size 500) for both boys and girls. I do have the really big airline crate (700) that I use for my boy, but he is also fine in the size I mentioned. 

DobermanGuy's picture
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I have the same supplies in my house and have used them more than once!! 

 

Great minds think alike.

lol! :) 

Princesse's picture
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Thank you guys for all the great information! I will have that kit ready as well! Thanks for the pictures Dobermanguy and explanations! And thank you Fittzmar for the crate size information, but I probably wont need to do it after all. I have an update.
I had read also that if you exercise your pup to nearly exhaustion and you also give him a shirt with your scent on it that it will most likely take care of the problem. A tired doberman is a well behaved one they said

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Hi I had just posted an answer to my problem above a minute ago and my post was cut in half! Only half I'd posted is showing! Any idea on why? Do I need to select a format for how many characters I'm allowed to write? My first post in this tread was pretty long and it all showed... anyway the conclusion of my above post was that we came home to a sleeping pup with my shirt and no damage to the couch or anything else for that matter

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Sorry to be a pain but these 2 last post are getting cut in more than half...this is only occurring this morning, previous post were all there long short as posted. I also said thank you very much to dobermanguy for the pictures and explanations..

DobermanGuy's picture
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I can see my girls using the shirt to play tug with and destroying it... Lol!

:)

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Bella became a princess as soon as she moved in at 10 months and never stole or chewed a single thing! Loki is learning from her and both of them were trained not to steal kitchen/ food very effectively before we adopted. Loki's weakness is leashes. 

We leave them alone and Loki alone, without crates and no toys. It all depends on the dogs! Of course Bella was left alone , back B.C. when we were working....

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Lol yes I can see that happening with 2 Dobie's together! Haha luckily for me Duke fell asleep with the shirt, he didnt destroy it what so ever! We're trying it again tonight same level of activity and leave him with his 2 level 4 puzzles marrow bone toys of course and shirt finger crossed, update tomorrow!

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Yes I agree it does depends on the dog Principessa! With our beloved Princesse we rescued her she was 8 months old and I swear she never touched anything that wasn't her own...she is now passed after 12 wonderful years with her.
With Duke now 11 months old it's a different story, but I think we might just had it figured out ! I posted earlier what step we are now taking and it worked at that time. We're doing it again tonight and we're hopping for the best! Thank you for sharing!

Princesse's picture
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Hi everyone, update on Duke's night alone! (1.30 hour) And separation anxiety if it was actually the behavior he had when he chewed on the couch cushion...and maybe it was just boredom. I'm happy to report that after exercising him plenty at the dog park and 2 long walks during the day, 1 in the morning and 1 in the early evening ( which by the way after months of training we finally mastered heel walking with the help of a prong collar..a tool often discussed in this forum and it worked great for me!) We again for the second time now since the problem had arised, came home to a perfect house! Thank God, it's sure true that a tired doberman is a well behaved one! Haha
I'm an happy maman again❤ excuse my way of writing, my first language is French so I make grammar errors sometimes but often use french words or way to spell a word in French on purpose;) thanks to all. Princesse