|Barked: Wed Oct 7, '09 9:00am PST |
|Separation anxiety is partly why I lost my last home. I would chew up and destroy things in the apartment. My owner retaliated by putting me on medication and locking me in a small plastic kennel for 12 to 14 hours a day.
I haven’t had medication for anxiety since I got my new home. When she took me in, my person didn’t know about the meds. Her vet got the information when talking to my previous vet on the phone. (number was on my rabies tag) The kennel was given away and in my case, my person feels that it would be cruel to put me back in a kennel but used correctly, they work for many people and dogs.
I got better by having a playmate and a safe yard I could stay in all day. (We live in the country and have really good fences. This isn’t safe everywhere) Exercise, a pack, and kindness made the difference. I even learned my name and will sometimes come when called.
Your boy probably doesn’t know he did something wrong, when he hides from you. He just knows that people beat dogs when they come home and he better hide. (I would bet that he was beaten for chewing things up and didn’t know why) He will eventually get over this if you always pet him and greet him as a good dog no matter what he did a few hours ago. Only correct him if you actually catch him in the act.
He may be interacting with things that have your scent on them because he misses you. Try a Kong stuffed with food as the last thing you touch before leaving. A nice Kong could be chewed and played with to his hearts content. Just be sure to handle the Kong before you go.
If the Kong doesn’t work, maybe a kennel, a dog proof room, or one of those inside dog pens. He would probably be happier in a dog proof room or a pen where he can have a friend to hang out with. Outside is good only if you are in a safe area and have a completely safe fence that you check daily. You can try medication, but I wouldn’t go there unless you have tried everything else 1st. If you end up using a kennel, teach him it is a good place by feeding him in it and putting toys in it with the door open. Make sure he knows he will get to come out later so he doesn’t feel trapped. (my kennel had frantic looking scratches where I had tried to dig my way out. It took me a long time to stop peeing on myself in my new home, I didn’t know I could ask to go out and would hold it as long as I could)
Good luck, whatever it takes, he is worth it.
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