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alibi2007
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PostSubject: separation anxiety   Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:16 pm

I have a 2 year old female lab. She will be 3 in November. She is a inside dog because of past issues. She has always been pretty good but had her problems. I just got a male lab in April. He is also inside for time being till he is big enough to stay in back yard where I have a 4 year old male lab. My 2 year old female labs name is Alibi. We just had her fixed in June. Since then she has been acting like a different dog. The vet in thinking it may be separation anxiety. I kind of think it may be but I also wonder if it may be from me getting the puppy and him being inside. Is there anyone else who has a dog who has separation anxiety? Alibi used to be so good with my 14 month old neice and now Alibi always knocking her over and taking her food. Which i think is normal for a dog to take food if able to reach but Alibi will jump up on eat off her highchair. While I am gone Alibi stays in house. A few different times while i was was she chewed on my blanket but that was before i got puppy. If i am gone and she stays home and my room mate is here Alibi will just stay in bedroom and not come home till i come home. Vet is talking about a pill I can give her but would rather find another way to help Alibi without drugs. Does anyone have any ideas???? HELP PLEASE! Nervous
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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:32 pm

First off welcome to K9Academy Alibi!

From what I gather here, it doesn't really seem like a separation anxiety case. In all honesty this dog seems to be in more need of training and some more physical activity.

SA is usually characterized by a dog being a velcro dog, which means that while you are home he/she wants to be with your no matter what. Then when you leave SA dogs usually will bark endlessly, have accidents in the house, indulge in extremely destructive behaviors and sometimes self mutilation.

The fact that your pooch has chewed a few things and steals food doesn't really show that she has SA (Vets should stick to diagnosing diseases not behavioral problems Nervous).

However, stealing food, chewing, jumping are a sure sign that you need to draw more clear guidelines as to what she can and cannot do. And enforce them 24/7. For a problem like this constant obedience training is a must. Also you may want to start using the NILIF (Nothing in life is free) mode of training. This helps you establish authority in a non-aggressive and non-dominating way. Its much like setting clear rules for a human child. Here's a link with a few pointers: http://k9domain.org/leadership.aspx

Also, being how labs are high-energy dogs, you may also want to up the amount of exercise she gets. At least two runs a day is necessary for a well behaved lab. If you can't spend time walking/jogging here are some other ideas: http://k9domain.org/games.aspx

Try the things I mentioned above first before moving on to medication. Hope that helps, and if you still have questions feel free to post! Grin

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alibi2007
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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:48 pm

I am hoping you are right! I dont want her to have SA! Alibi does get alot of exercise! I take her in the back yard atleast once a day and she runs with my older lab. She is very good at playin fetch. She will sit and stay till i tell her to go get it. She is a very smart dog and in very good shape. When i got her the plan was she would be a outside dog. But we havent had the best of luck with her health. But ever since she was 6 weeks old she would always have to be with me. Even when i go into the bathroom. If i didnt let her go with she would sit at door. Anytime i am home she follows me around. When i go outside to take puppy out or run to truck she will run crazy inside house and pull down curtains. She is a friendly door she has never been mean to anyone. Before she got fixed in June I would always just say she was really spoiled but now its got to where i am really worried. She is a 75 pound dog who thinks she is a lap dog. She always tryin to get into my lap or into bed with me. She will still my neices food when i am not looking. If i am in the room she knows she will get in trouble and sits by my feet and stares at my neice. But I went out of town in July and all i got was bad reports on how she was while I was gone. She stayed with my room mate. I hope its just a jealous thing about puppy?
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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:07 pm

Well its good to hear that shes getting the exercise she needs. Playing with another dog sure does wonders for active dogs. But how often do you do obedience training with her, e.g. commands, tricks ect. Remember that a dog has need for both physical and mental stimulation, activities that get her mind working fulfill the latter requirement.

What you describe sounds a little worse than what I initially thought but still doesn't seem like full blown SA. A few confidence problems. I do have a few tips right here, if you have time you might want to read over: http://k9domain.org/separation_anxiety.aspx

Best of wishes!

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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:00 pm

Let me also start by saying Hello and Welcome to K9A ...

I agree with Steven and the article he posted for you is a very good one.

My experences over the past 30 years have shown that building the dog's confidence is the key to removing SA. The reason they have SA is because they feel scared and even threatened when you are not around. Thats why they become "velcro dogs" ...

LONG walks, play sessions and training will do wonders. I didnt see anything posted about how long you work her each day. Labs are very high energy and need at least 1 hour of heavy exercise every day. My two girls get 45 mins in the morning, 1/2 hour at lunch, and about an hour in the evening. This is a mix of walks, play time with neighbor dogs, playtime with me on the livingroom floor and some short training sessions.

One other thing worth mentioning is mental stimulation. Something as simple as a "Kong" with a milkbone in it will keep them stimulated for 15-30 minutes. Basic training (sit, stay, come) as well as trick training will keep the dog's mind busy too. Most Labs LOVE to play "fetch"... So go to the dollar store or a Goodwill and get a cheep tennis racket and some balls. If you dont have a large yard, go to a quiet park or feild and hit some balls for her. This will burn off the energy and keep her mind busy too.

REMEMBER: A tired dog, is a happy dog!!!

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alibi2007
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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:53 pm

I work with her alot. I am here with her most of the day. She plays outside alot and inside with my 4 month old. Depends on whats going on that day and weather to how much time she is outside. But normaly atleast 45 mins and on good days over 2 hours at a time. In the summer time it is harder because if she gets over heated she gets really sick. ( I live in South Texas about a hour south of Houston ) I work with on on sit and stay daily. Anytime I take her out to potty or play I make her sit and she does. She is very good at playing fetch. She will sit and stay till i tell her to go get it. I know its sounds crazy but she knows alot of what i say. She knows things like want to go potty> you want to eat? want to go to petsmart? want to go to bed? along with normal things like sit stay lay down and fetch. She is a very smart dog. But also very spoiled. I am almost 25 years old and she is my 1st dog that I have ever had. The 4 year old lab is my boyfriend. His dogs name is Hank and he was 6 months olod and full time outside when we got together. I got Alibi at 6 weeks old and she has been with me pretty much everyday since. She is really attached to me. I feel really bad because i feel like because i spoiled her so much she is having all these problems. Sad thing is that she has started doing more since I posted my first message. Friday I was cleaning up house and Alibi just started pee'ing in the living room and walking while doing so and got pee all over living room floor. Which is hard to understand becaise she will be 3 Nov 14 and she is house trained. She never goes in house she always will let me know and i will ask her do you need to go potty and she will run to door and back then i make her sit at door before letting her out. Also..... She started trying to hump my 4 months old lab. ( Barrett ) But when Alibi was 8 months she started humping a big fish pillow to the point we had to take it away. The vet said she had a hormone problem. Where she would go into heat but not really be in heat... hard to explain. I didnt fully understand. They said getting her fixed would help but it seems like it has made it worse.....
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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:57 pm

also we do have a Kong... well we have 3 and tennis balls she plays with. The Kongs have been the best. Even with no treat inside she will play with. She rolls over on her back and chews on it and uses her paws to keep it in her month.... she has LOTS of toys she plays with.
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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:26 pm

I'm sorry to hear that things are taking a turn for the worse.... Well mounting pillows when she was not spayed could have been a result of sexual frustration but mounting a 4 month old pup might be a way to show the pup her assertiveness....I see no other reason why a spayed female would want to mount another dog. Once the dogs know more or less where they stand in the family order, the mounting should stop.

Well, it looks like you may indeed have an SA case on your hands. Sorta anyway, true SA is both a physical ailment and an extreme dependance on someone. So if its possible I'd ask your vet to see if her hormone levels are all normal (an imbalance in these could trigger SA), he/she already suspects there might be something wrong with her hormonally so its better to double chech to see if its something they can remedy.

In this case, anxiolytic drugs might be of good use to you to help her train though. If you had a chance to read through the last link I gave you it describes two 'exercises' that you can do to help boost your dog's confidence. Something the anxiety might interfere with these two exercises and thus this is where the medication can come in handy. Slowly throughout the training you start reducing the dosage to the point to where she can cope with being alone without the use of drugs.

Believe me, from the experiences that I've read, I can tell you that this is not a problem you can fix overnight. You need to remain consistant and keep at it for weeks. But in the end it will surely pay off.

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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:27 pm

well here is a update on Alibi. We started her on meds on the 7th and it hasnt helped any yet. I talked to the vet today and he wants me to take her to a behavior expert in Sugarland. Only thing with that is it cost $350 the first visit and that does not includ any meds. Plus she has started acting depressed the last few days. Like would just go into bedroom if i was not messing with her. I am really starting to think Alibi is just really spoiled. Well hoping. She really is a good dog! Plus se is a very pretty dog! She still looks like a puppy in the face. : ) Thank you so much for your advice! And I would like to keep in touch!
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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:31 am

I would try to keep looking at the issues separately and working on them that way too. The first thing that jumps out at me are the incontinence issues. There is a real condition called spay incontinence and it's not all that uncommon. Has your vet brought this up? I think it's usually treated with a very inexpensive OTC med.
Taking food from a child...wouldn't most dogs do this or at least try it occasionally if someone wasn't diligently watching? My grandchildren have readily offered and shared tidbits off of their plates from time to time. I don't make an issue of that. What they're NOT allowed to do is take food that is not offered, and if I have to stand guard for awhile to keep that from happening, well, that's my job.
Racing around in the house is a fun activity for a dog who would actually at that moment rather be racing around the yard but is making the best of what they have at that exact moment.
Spaying means to remove ovaries and uterus, rendering an animal incapable of producing offspring. It does NOT remove the urge to procreate from the brain or other sexual organs. I've seen neutered males mate, I've seen spayed females relieve sexual frustration with males or other females, and sometimes some other object. I know that it doesn't happen with every dog, but I have seen it happen with a few.
If your dog is displaying real separation anxiety, ie; trying to jump through windows to get to you, ripping apart furniture and possessions in frustration at being separated from you, there are ways to work with that and make it better, although it may never completely go away.
Dogs are dogs. We can't expect them to undertand all human rules and adhere to them at all times. If I wanted another creature who had the thought processes of a human and never acted like a dog, I suppose I could adopt an adult male or female human. I don't want one. I like dogs better, even though they don't think quite the way I do. I don't mean to sound flip or sarcastic here. Just trying to point out that dogs are not human and don't live by the same rules, don't have the same priorities.
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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:10 pm

I think Ann nailed a lot of that with pure common sense Wink

If your dog is acting depressed, by the way, its most likely the medication actually having an effect on her.

But yeah, if possible try to get some professional help, they will be more helpful because they can actually see and interact with the dog whereas we can't. We can only give suggestions that might amerliorate the situation.

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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:50 pm

I know alibi is not a human even though i may treat her as one sometime. lol. I do get on to her and stand my ground about taking food from my neice and nephews. but as soon as i turn around she will take. But the time she was jumping on her highchair and taking food i was out of town. As i was told when i was gone she acted out alot. I took Barrett ( my puppy ) and left alibi home with my boyfriend and room mate. But when i am home she does not jump up and steal food just takes if its given. And a 14 month old baby doesnt know not to give it to her. Alibi does go crazy if i do go outside and leave her in the house. she will jump on the windows and pull down my curtains. She has chewed up my blankets while i was gone. But somedays I just think she really spoiled then others i think she really has a problem....... I confused.
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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:27 pm

alibi2007 wrote:
I know alibi is not a human even though i may treat her as one sometime. lol. I do get on to her and stand my ground about taking food from my neice and nephews. but as soon as i turn around she will take. But the time she was jumping on her highchair and taking food i was out of town. As i was told when i was gone she acted out alot. I took Barrett ( my puppy ) and left alibi home with my boyfriend and room mate. But when i am home she does not jump up and steal food just takes if its given. And a 14 month old baby doesnt know not to give it to her. Alibi does go crazy if i do go outside and leave her in the house. she will jump on the windows and pull down my curtains. She has chewed up my blankets while i was gone. But somedays I just think she really spoiled then others i think she really has a problem....... I confused.

Well many of us say that no one knows a dog like their owner, we can only give suggestions and you decide if they'll work or not. Best bet is to stay consistent, and seek professional help if available.

Let us know if you see any improvement with the meds later on (I hear that sometimes they take quite a while to work...not sure if that could be your case).

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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:05 pm

She been on them a little over 2 weeks now and havent seenany change to good yet.. she seems more depressed now days.... Helps I work at a paw spa so i can take her with me somethings... like 1 or 2 days a week. depending on how busy we get....I have got to point i hate leaving her home so i try and take her as much as i can. I even taking her to lake charles for my birthday. She will have to stay in hotel while we go out but atleast she will be with me at night when we sleeping.....lake charles less then 3 hours from home but still dont want to leave her so long...but then i think maybe thats the problem is i never leave her.....
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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:30 am

alibi2007 wrote:
She been on them a little over 2 weeks now and havent seenany change to good yet.. she seems more depressed now days.... Helps I work at a paw spa so i can take her with me somethings... like 1 or 2 days a week. depending on how busy we get....I have got to point i hate leaving her home so i try and take her as much as i can. I even taking her to lake charles for my birthday. She will have to stay in hotel while we go out but atleast she will be with me at night when we sleeping.....lake charles less then 3 hours from home but still dont want to leave her so long...but then i think maybe thats the problem is i never leave her.....

One question came to mind as i read this: Is her mood and actions better on the days you take her to work with you?

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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:39 pm

She is alot happier when she goes to work with me. I had to take her in to the vet last Wednesday because of a bad cough which was not kennel cough. so I had a chance to talk more with vet about her problems. I asked him if lack of training or excise would make her have these problems and he said no. It is something in her brain. I also asked if its still sepration anxiety if its just from me and he said yes. I got a collar from vet for her to wear that has some smell on it thats suppost to help but it made her very lazy and big eyed so i already took it off. It was a waste of $31. But i am hoping everything gets figured out soon!
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PostSubject: Re: separation anxiety   Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:26 pm

alibi2007 wrote:
She is alot happier when she goes to work with me. I had to take her in to the vet last Wednesday because of a bad cough which was not kennel cough. so I had a chance to talk more with vet about her problems. I asked him if lack of training or excise would make her have these problems and he said no. It is something in her brain. I also asked if its still sepration anxiety if its just from me and he said yes. I got a collar from vet for her to wear that has some smell on it thats suppost to help but it made her very lazy and big eyed so i already took it off. It was a waste of $31. But i am hoping everything gets figured out soon!

Its not to bash on vets, but you have to remember that they specialize in dog health not behavior and training. In my vet assitant course we hardly went over training and behavior and even what we did cover some of it was outdated. The same thing is true for vets more or less. Although I do agree with him that if this is true SA, it could definitely be something in her brain. Only a full blood panel might indicate what that problem could be though.

I hope things get better for you though!

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