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Old 07-16-2013, 12:51 PM   #1
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Help me with my new Devil/Angel dog

Three weeks ago, I posted that I had to put down my pet of 10 years. Penny, a 13 yr old Chihuahua was the perfect camping buddy. I wasn't going to get another dog, because it was just too hard to say goodbye, but the emptiness and loneliness was just too great to handle. So a 1 1/2 weeks ago I got another dog.

Cinnamon is a 2-3 yr old Chi-wienie [Chihuahua and Dachshund mix]. She has a great personality and not a hyper dog, and not a barker.

I am a member of Good Sams and had to go to Ohio's Summer Samboree, so I really did not have enough time to ease her into my home life and camping life. So with only 4 days to work with before we left, she had several episodes when I tried to get her used to a crate, and she actually turned the crate over and got out several times, so I just let her have the run of the house, when I had to run short errands. So I didn't take a crate with me camping.

Well, the first evening at the fairground, I had to leave for a few minutes....when I got back to my new trailer...and my new dog....I learned a new phrase.....Separation Anxiety. Cinnamon wanted to escape the trailer and be with me....see the pics....later she destroyed the screen over the emergency exit window, and she jumped out of the window and headed off in the direction she last saw me. Fortunately a neighbor recognized her and called me to let me know where she was.

I was devastated and was going to drive the 175 miles back home, but stayed the 5 days figuring it would be good training for her....at the end of the stay the destruction was: 3 screens--1 door and 2 windows......2 sets of curtains and a bent curtain rod......bought a $40 resin dog crate at Walmart, she trashed it in 15 min. when she chewed a hole in the side[ now it would not stay connected] and dislodged the door---3 times and got out.

Since she is such a handful, I wouldn't even think about asking a dog sitter to stay with her....cause I think that would add to her Separation Anxiety and
her Escape Anxiety. And I'm not going to give up camping.

Any and all suggestions will be appreciated. Maybe I should change her name from Cinnamon to Houdini!!!
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:25 PM   #2
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just a couple of ideas lots of chew toys ,sleep with a towel or blanket to get your sent on it and put in crate. you need to make the crate the dogs safe place so she gets over her anxiety a bought it one way to do this is to place her food in it and leave the door open so she has to go in and get it so it becomes a good place to be rather than a cage.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:41 PM   #3
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just a couple of ideas lots of chew toys ,sleep with a towel or blanket to get your sent on it and put in crate. you need to make the crate the dogs safe place so she gets over her anxiety a bought it one way to do this is to place her food in it and leave the door open so she has to go in and get it so it becomes a good place to be rather than a cage.
Unfortunately, she doesn't like any of the chew toys that I bought her....she just doesn't play. I'll try the towel with my scent on it, but if she is left alone in the crate...she shreds towels or comforters, and then starts to destroy the plastic tray liner.

When I am on the computer, I will put her in the cage, and she will lie down and go to sleep, as long as we are in the same room. And I have been putting a Kong stuffed with peanut butter in the crate, and she will walk in to eat it. I can leave the room for 5 min or so, with no problem....it's just when I leave the house for longer.

I take her on 3 long walks a day, so it can't be that she is under-exercised and is bored. We go to the vet today for her 1st check-up...maybe he will give her some meds.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:47 PM   #4
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Separation anxiety is one of the toughest problems to deal with. Wish I had some answers. Cesar?
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:52 PM   #5
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I was going to check the library to see if they have any of Cesar Milan's books or DVD's
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:50 PM   #6
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Oh my goodness!

I would recommend finding a trainer or behavioral therapist locally that works in positive reinforcement. (Cesar Millan uses negative reinforcement methods.)

Separation anxiety is very hard to deal with on your own. It is going to take time to deal with, and honestly, you need a helping hand close by to try different methods with you.

You're going to have to take a lot of steps backwards and start with the crate. If you work carefully with her, she can get to the point where her crate is her "safe place". But that is going to take a lot of time and patience that you need to be able to dedicate. You can't just throw her in and hope it works.

Are you familiar with clicker training? It is one of the fastest methods for training, and is a great motivator.

I used to work as a positive reinforcement dog trainer and can help give you some tips and ideas for books to read. But first and foremost, find someone nearby to help.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:09 PM   #7
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Have you seen the Thunder Shirt?

See the attached link.

Thundershirt | The Best Dog Anxiety Treatment
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:18 PM   #8
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use the metal crate, cover it with a towel/light blanket so she can't see.. weigh it down so she can't flip it over. and leave her be till she calms down.

when she calms down, return, praise her for being good, then reward her by letting her out. repeat several times a day and then extend the length of stay in the crate.

she is training you right now. do not deviate from your goal. any compromise and you are getting trained, not her.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:05 PM   #9
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We got a pedigree Lab pup when he was about 10 weeks old and had been living with the breeder's family. He had awful separation anxiety. When we got him, DW had take early, medically-necessary retirement and had been home most of the first 6 months.

She was called in by her old boss to substitute for a pregnancy leave. She left for work about 30 minutes before I did. A couple of mornings after she started the temp job, I came out of the shower to find pillow stuffing all over the place.

Sam was so ticked off that she'd left, he took HER pillow and ripped it apart, scattering the filling all the way down the stairs. He also got terrible diarrhea when he was in a cage in our bedroom.

After a lot of counselling and discussions with animal behaviorists, a friend said "Get him a companion". We got a rescue female chocolate Lab and the problem ceased immediately.

The best cure for separation anxiety is a companion dog, otherwise, euthanasia might be the only other alternative if the dog is as bad as you describe.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:19 PM   #10
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:32 PM   #11
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Wow! Is she ever cute!!! It's going to be harder to train her because she is 3 years old, but not impossible! If you are committed to keeping her, it's going to take persistence and consistency. I too recommend formal training for both of you. For her to learn new behaviors and for you to learn advanced training methods. It takes two. I always take my dogs to training as I learn how to be a consistent leader. My new dog is a handful too, but not as bad. I can understand if you couldn't keep her though; just do a humane adoption or rescue. Don't give up either way. You can always find another doggie to love. Keep us posted. I know several people in the other dog thread were reaching out to you about your heartache and hoping you would try a new doggie. For you and for a doggie who needs a good home. Sounds like you have a lot of love and practical gifts to offer!
I expect it to take a year. Just like training a puppy. My new dog is named G.G. (good girl), but I wish i had the foresight to have been more accurate...her name would have been 5PT...5 pound terror! LOL.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:47 PM   #12
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You are in a difficult situation. What is the dogs history if you know it? Was the dog a stray, abused, abandoned? Knowing this can be helpful to you. It sounds like the dog still needs to learn trust. Trust that you will be back. This is not easy to teach. The turning over the crate and getting out of it was actually the first sign of the separation anxiety. Some dogs always have it to some degree. My old dog had it, seemed to get over it for years and then suddenly it emerged again when we started camping. She was never much of a barker but began barking when we left, she would try to push or dig her way out of the TT. We would come home to her bleeding face and blood all over DD's bunk. Then the behavior began to carry over to home. She even went through a screen door. We never were able to trust her with a screen door but did fix most of the other issues. We reached out for help and this is what we learned.

Lots of reasons for the separation anxiety. it can be caused by true fear of abandonment or from pain or changes in hearing or vision. The first being the most likely cause here. Now what to do about it? you can try DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) or rescue remedy (herbal anti anxiety). I don't suggest these as a long term but more as a bridge til you solve the root problem.

We began giving her chew treats everytime we left. This could be a biscuit, a kong filled with peanut butter or cheese, a rawhide chew or a real bone or whatever you want to use. When we came back we didn't pay any extra attention to her. Giving attention (positive or negative) when you come home feeds the behavior as it acts as a type of reward. No attention shows that coming back is nothing special. Eventually the treat turns leaving into something positive. A bone or hoof or something gives them a longer distraction also.

Next we would leave for varying time periods. Couple of minutes on up. We would make noise leaving so she knew we were gone. We would then circle back silently and see what we could hear. No noise then that was a great time to re-enter the trailer. Don't let noise carry on a longtime or you will have unhappy neighbors. We always let them know we were training the dog out of the problem and to please contact us if there were any issues or if the dog bothered them with barking or whatever. We then gave them our cellphone. No-one ever called but they always appreciated that we acknowledged the issue and were open to abandoning whatever we were doing to come back and handle it if the dog barked.

closing curtains decreases outside stimulation. Leaving a TV or radio on can help calm a dog and help them feel like they aren't alone. Sometimes another pet helps calm a dog but sometimes it can make matters worse. If necessary, you might need some anti-anxiety meds from a vet. Lastly make sure you microchip the dog. The dog has already escaped once. if it runs off and goes missing you have a much better chance of being reunited with a microchip as the dog can slip its collar. Best of luck to you and sorry to hear about your old dog. We lost our beloved Maddie in Feb this year. I feel your pain but have not talked DH into another one yet, no matter how many petfinder pics I show him.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:14 PM   #13
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We took Bella to the University of Penn Ryan Veterinary hospital behavior specialists for her chronic fear syndrome. They put her on Buspirone HCL 10mg tablets (she is stable at 1.5 tablets twice a day).

She still is "unhappy" when she hears trash trucks, semi's, or gun fire, but no longer tried to dig her way to china through whatever got in her way (carpets or crate). She used to curl in a ball and shiver. Now she just seeks out Laura or I and lays at our feet.

I suggest making an appointment with a dog behavior clinic at a teaching hospital. It will be worth every penny. We went from thinking about having her destroyed to a loving pet who loves to camp with us.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:18 AM   #14
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It's hard when you don't know what she's been through in her life to make her the way she is. For all you know, whoever had her left her by herself all the time, or the complete opposite, they never left her. I've never been one to use crate training, or using a clicker, or any other trick. I'm more of the Ceasar method, be a good pack leader, and when she learns you come back, and she's OK, she'll be OK. It was probably not the best timing taking her camping yet. If you want to go again soon, see if there is a good boarding facility. She may freak out at first, but she'll settle down.
It's just going to take a lot of love and time.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:25 AM   #15
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Crate training is your best hope. Dogs are den animals. Cover the crate with a light sheet or crate cover to give an added sense of security. Dogs respond and act on instinct as well as learned behaviours. Be consistent. Crate your pup at various times in the day and walk into anpther room. Talk to the dog while its in the crate in another room. Come back in the room and praise the pup but dont let her out intil she settles. Catch her when her behaviour is good and then let her out al the whole praising her when she bounces out. I give my dogs a small 'cookie' when they crate. They cant get in their crates fast enough. I leave a radio or tv on so they have white noise and human voices to listen to.
getting another dog is not the answer, that may only compound the problem and.ypu.may end up with 2 problem dogs as one will probably play off the others psyche. DAP is a great idea and extremely settling for anxious dogs. You can get it as an intermittant spray, on a collar or in a bottle to use as needed. DAP is a phermone that is similar to the smell a mother dog produces when she is nursing. It calms nervous dog and is incredibly helpful for dogs with seperation anxiety. You used to be able to order online if you cant find it, your vet should be able to order it for you. I would use this in lieu of any drug. Rescue Remedy is good for short term nerves not long standing issues. A Thunder Shirt is also a fantastic tool for calming a dog with issues.
Be consistent and dont cave in. Dogs are smart enough to learn what it takes to make you behave the way they want - dont give your new dog the chance to think shes training you. A couple chew toys/ropes and inexpensive bedding is all I would leave with her in her crate. If she begins to while or carry on, tap the top of the crate with a rolled newspaper/magazine and tell her "ah ah quiet!" and walk away. when shes quiet you go back after a couple minutes and tell her good dog! do it again and then let her out to play and repeat a couple hrs later. Crate her when you do yard work and let her watch you from a distance. When my dogs start to talk, I clap my hands (a distraction to their behaviour) and they reset themselves and settle down. Good luck!
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:26 AM   #16
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What a good looking dog! You've got some good recommendations already, and I would also recommend getting some help. Remember that the training is really for you, to understand your dog better and know how to handle your specific situation.

We also rescued a 2 year old dog a few months ago from the humane society. After getting him home a couple days we realized he had dramatic and aggressive reactions to other dogs. We've spent a lot of time now with an excellent trainer. Tonight, just a couple hours ago, our dog that I seriously thought would NOT be able to even pass another dog on the street without having a meltdown actually PLAYED with another dog. He has come a long way in just a few months, and so can your little dog too. I know you have a different problem, but you need keep at it until your dog understands everything is OK. Find some help, and keep at it. There are multiple techniques and things to try, you'll eventually be able to tap into that dog's head. Good Luck!
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:59 AM   #17
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I understand! One of my rescues was the same way. Put biscuits in the crate right before you leave her. It will eventually sink in that it is ok for you to go away. Will take time, but most of all - don't act upset when you leave. Just matter of fact tell her you are going out - she needs to go into her crate and be a good dog. You will return and give her the biscuit or kong. Again, it will get better if you are consistent.

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This is mine that had/has separation anxiety.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:00 AM   #18
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Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.
Cinnamon needs a companion.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:05 AM   #19
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Cinnamon needs a companion.
Might help. But with mine, I had two other dogs and that didn't matter to Carl. Every dog is different, good luck and do keep us posted! We are all happy you got another pooch pup!
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:54 AM   #20
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Baby steps in crate training

I had to run to the RV store, so I had to crate Cinnamon, and I knew from past experience that she would turn it over and escape through the bottom. So from reading all these helpful suggestions, a light bulb came on in my brain.

I got the idea to locate the crate in a confined space, that would prohibit her from turning it over, and might eventually act like 'den' atmosphere. Putting a blanket over the crate didn't work...she pulled it totally through the bars and chewed it up...looked like Swiss Cheese.

We spend a good amount of time, at different times of the day, in a spare bedroom/Computer room. This is where I had the larger dog crate placed in a corner of the room, and I would put her in it periodically, and would even put a peanut butter filled Kong in with her. And I would make it a point to go in and out of the room and stay away for varying times. All goes great until I HAVE to leave the house for an errand.

So I slid Cinnamon's crate into the small closet----and hooray, it was just deep enough and not too wide----and the front of the crate rests just inside the door jamb, so there is no way she can turn it over. When I got back from the RV store, she was only able to slide the plastic tray just 1/2 way out, and totally, totally chewed/shredded the comforter. I have put a bungee cord around the front of the crate, so maybe now she won't be able to slid the tray out.

This semi-victory in crate training was encouraging....the discouraging part was that I gave her the anti-anxiety meds that the Vet gave me yesterday, and the dosage didn't work. I guess I'll have to up the meds next time.
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