on 10-30-2013 10:17 AM
hi everybody, we rescued out pit bull bane a couple of weeks ago and although he is very sweet and very obedient he cant stand to be left alone. he has destroyed his crate and will destroy the house if he gets to break out of it. I start working next week and dont have much time to train him, he needs to learn to stay calm when left alone, i cant afford a sitter and much less a dog trainer. i dont know what to do. he wont even let us sleep at night cuz he doesnt see us. i need to be able to go to work in peace. HELP!!!!!!
on 10-30-2013 10:21 AM
Hi @texxyruiz and welcome to our group!
I'm so, so sorry you are going through this and I promise you we will all do our best to help you (and your pup!) get through this.
If his anxiety is severe, I'm sorry to say that it is not going to be a quick fix. This behavior issue takes a lot of patience and (unfortunately) time to "fix" (or at least get to the point of being managed).
My first question for you -- if he is not crated, what does he do? Does he destroy your house?
Some dogs who have separation anxiety get much WORSE when they are crated. That may be the case here - so is it at all possible to NOT have him crated while you are out?
(Retired) Community Engagement Manager, Pet360
on 10-31-2013 11:43 AM
Hello & Welcome to the Pet360 Separation Anxiety group! Rebecca's right, you've definitely come to the right place. Unfortunately, she's also right that managing SA is not easy and definitely takes time and patience, but it most certainly can be done! She's also right that most pets with separation anxiety also have crate anxiety.
My little dachshund, Moco, had pretty severe crate anxiety. It took us quite awhile to realize that he would do much better when left in a restricted area of our home than when he was crated... Something about being confined so tightly made his symptoms drastically worse. I can't really explain it any better than that. So what we've done is we block off the majority of the house and let him have "free roam" of our living room & kitchen with all of his toys spread out. Would your home's layout be able to accommodate some kind of arrangement like that for your pup? I've heard of many people buying baby gates to block off the kitchen so their pup has "free roam" of just that small area of the home. You can control what your dog has access to just like when he's crated, but somehow the wider space just makes them feel better. Sorry, can't explain it any better than that.
Anyway, I was able to get my dog's SA symptoms to a very manageable place, but it's taken me nearly 8 weeks to get to where we are today. But for starters, try leaving Bane for 1 whole minute and return. If he was good (nothing's torn up, no howling while you were gone, no urine, etc.) then give him a treat. Wait about an hour or so and try it again. Once he's consistently OK with the time frame he's left alone for, start increasing it by 1-minute intervals. You'll want to keep on going with this exercise until you can start leaving him home alone for hours at a time without issue. This is why it takes so long to "cure" separation anxiety; you've gotta gradually increase the time he's left alone so he doesn't realize it's increasing.
Best of luck to you guys and please feel free to read on other threads in this group to see what our experiences have been with SA.
Pet360 Foster Parent