Please Help, Our Dog Freaks Out
So, I love Lily to death, but she is really becoming a serious pain in the backside. She likes to freak out when my mom leaves the house. And by freak out, I mean she goes completely bonkers.
If me or my dad are awake when mom leaves, she climbs up next to us and cries, whines, screams, and shakes. Then she starts clawing at us. She likes to aim those huge feet right at our faces and she got me in the eye one day, which was not pleasant. You can't just pet or scratch her. You have to dedicate your undivided attention to her until mom comes home, and sometimes even that isn't enough.
If I am asleep and no one is home, she comes up and whines at my door. It gets louder the longer it takes for me to respond, and responding usually speeds up the whines to screams. If I don't come out of my room and give her this undivided attention she begins to literally throw herself into my bedroom door. If I still ignore her she pees on the carpet.
If we all leave, she pees all over the carpet.
This morning she was hell bent at ripping the computer up. I haven't had a decent night's sleep since I took vacation (which I was trying to use to rest up and recharge) because she's up there before the sun even rises to throw herself into my door. I yelled at her twice and chased her down the stairs once. The third time I heard noises and came out to see her down the hall trying to flip over the computer desk, which would have broken the computer but it may have killed her, too.
We know she has seperation anxiety or whatever they call it. But how do we stop her from going bonkers? I'd like a full night sleep one of these days. She jumps gates and flips crates. What else is there to do? I want some peace, and she is eventually going to hurt herself badly. Help!
Just a suggestion but have ya tried shooting it yet??
That might help!
Seriously have you tried one of those ultra sound things the postmen use??
Last edited by scooter; 02-20-2007 at 12:03 AM.
Definitely seperation anxiety... My Golden Retriever has it when I leave, it took me a long time to get him to the point where he can somewhat handle it when I leave. When I'm at home he's like velcro and doesn't leave my side. Where ever I go, he's no more than a foot behind me... Anyway, I'm in the middle of trying to get him certified to be a "Therapy Dog", when we took the test to get him certified he passed everything but that. Which I didn't know that he would be tested on that... Anyway... The only thing you can do is start working with her. Actually, your mother needs to start working with her, since in lily's world, your mother is the alpha. Your mother is the only one who can teach her that she (Lily) will be ok when she leaves...
When your mother leaves, Lily freaks out because the "alpha" is gone and there is no one there to take care of the pack... Which is a pretty scary thing to some dogs... You guys don't matter because your part of the pack, but not the alpha... Some breeds are worse than others, some are rock solid and could care less.
Last edited by js; 02-20-2007 at 12:27 AM.
"bing bang boom! hair out...hamburger time" - William Murderface
Oh Lord, I have let mom know that, too. Lily is going through basic training, she's actually graduating phase two this coming Saturday. Eventually she is going to start training for Therapy Dog as well. She'd be great at it, except for that.
Originally Posted by js
put her in a crate when you all leave the house. maybe even put her in a crate for like half an hour or so while your mom is home to seperate the 2. She'll most likely won't pee in the crate but if she does....well, it's in the crate not on the carpet. A bark collar might help with whining...but do a lot of research before you spend the cash, there are many that are useless.
she needs to be reassured that your mom will return. she needs training. your mom should leave the house for 1 minute, return with a treat, repeat leaving for 2 minutes and so on, gradually building her up. you have to implant it in her head that YES mom is going to come home again.
and to curb the peeing on the floor when everyone leaves, y'all should try crate training her. i would not suggest leaving a dog in a crate for more than 4 hours though.
Our dog had the same problem however we would crate him. In the crate he would either tear holes in the wall if it was next to the wall, bend the door in, or kick the bottom out and dig through the carpet. Neighbors would say when the windows were down they could hear him crying for hrs after we left.
After a visit to the vet we came home with a med for him called Amitriptyline which is essentially a human tricyclic antidepressant. He gets 50mg/12 hrs. It seems to work. he is now able to be out of the crate and will ocassionaly tear things up and chew, but nowhere near what he used to do. I blame whats leftover on him being a puppy (1 yr old). As long as we don't leave anything out in reach he is fine.
I am hoping to ween him off of it as i don't like medicating a dog. i think it will be something he outgrows.
how old is this dog?
We can't crate Lily. We've tried, and after the first disaster the vet told us to stop. We tried doing the training and what ended up happening was after we had to physically drag her to the crate and then stuff her inside, she went out of her mind and flipped the crate over several times, breaking the crate and hurting herself in the process as well as ripping apart most of the room. We believe the dog had something happen in her early years (she's an SPCA rescue that was picked up as a stray, but she knew tricks, so someone owned her at some point). She is horrified of the crate and apparently afraid of canes and rifles. My mom walks on a cane sometimes and it sends the dog running every time. And when mom cleans her rifle the dog can't be found for hours. So something happened, and part of it may have involved a crate. Either way, we can't risk her hurting herself again. Last time it was a few bruises and a cut or two, next time it could be a limb or worse.
I may bring up jeepgirl's idea of mom leaving for a minute, then two. That may work. I brought up what js said about the therapy dog training, too, and mom took that seriously. So we'll see what happens.
put her in a kennel...sounds like too much trouble. :P
don't give up on her and keep trying, y'all will pull thru this.
it is so weird what can trigger a dog's fears, like the cane and rifle. i had adopted a neglected dog once that refused to walk thru doorways. i had to pick her up and carry into a different room in my house.
You have been given a lot of good ideas. I would add that everyone in the family needs to be the dominant/alpha in lily's world. Don't try to comfort her when she is in this state of mind. I've heard that only teachers her that her behavior is acceptable. It sounds like she is nervous and insecure.
Have you tried taking her for a walk. Your mom might try this before she leaves, this way she won't have so much energy.
You might try a dog trainer that specializes in getting rid of unwanted behavior.
Have you ever seen the show "Dog Whisperer" on National Geographic Channel? I feel he has some good ideas.
As for a electronic collar, I'm not sure it would be the best thing for a dog in her state of mind.
Yeah, you could get one of the collars that shocks them when they make noise. It would atleast keep her from waking you up. I would worry though that if she wasn't whining what she would be doing.
It sounds like you need an ivention with Cesar Millan.
Mom's done the walk thing and even the giving of food thing before. She'll actually ignore food until mom comes home.
Originally Posted by 2400
I agree the collar isn't the thing. She'd go from whining to just throwing herself into the door and I don't want her to hurt herself.
She did something new today. I was awake and eating lunch in the living room. My mom left to go to the store and Lily got onto the sofa. Now, I was in the rocking chair and between the rocking chair and the sofa is an end table that holds a lamp, a big one. It's not a huge table, just a little wooden thing that been in the family forever. Anyway, I was ignoring her while she was on the floor (as I always do, I don't do the comfort thing) so she gets onto the sofa and then climbs up on the table.
She does this. My mom has suspected she's been getting on that table for some time now. I know she comes upstairs into the computer room and pulls down pillows from the sofa here as well as generally pulls down room decorations. Mostly because mom will almost never see it (bad legs, she rarely comes upstairs).
Mom has agreed to talk with the vet about this behavior. It isn't fair to the dog because she's stressed out and is going to get hurt. It's not fair to the family because we can't funtion, sleep, or do anything at all. And it's not fair to mom, either, because she has to deal with the dog pinning her to the sofa (something else that has only recently begun) and God knows what else. I'll keep you all updated on the progress.
Get Cesar Millans book. Has some very good ideas in it and it will show you how to become the Alpha and quit being the Omega.
Originally Posted by SuckLead
Be The Alpha! Come On Sucklead! Suck It Up And Take Charge! You Can Do It! Just Do It!
Well, that's great, except when we're not home and she freaks. That's part of the problem, she sees mom as the alpha and freaks when she leaves. We've got a real problem now, though. When we all leave the dog is getting up on top of my mom's antique end table and not only knocking everything off with her 40 lb. self but she put these huge gashes in the wooden top. My mom is pissed. I think she's going to start forcing the dog into the crate from now on.
Dogs live in a world of hierarchy... They have to know their place in the pack. If it's just your mom, dad, you and lily... then lily should be number 4 in the pack. Meaning, when your mom leaves the next in line takes charge.
Originally Posted by SuckLead
What it boils down to is everyone in the house/pack working with her. She needs to know who's in charge when one in the pack leaves.
I suggest you do some reading on wolves and how they live in packs. It will help you understand more of how a dog thinks. And that's the bottom line, you need to understand what's she's going through before you can fix anything. Until you guys do that, it will just get worse and you will start resenting the dog.
I've spent many, many hours... probably hundreds at this point working with my dog. He was a mess when I adopted him. He has come along way, night and day difference... He's fully trained, knows a ton of commands, has damn near perfect manners while out in public, laid back... I could go on and on...
The pay off for all that work is incredible and well worth it.
"bing bang boom! hair out...hamburger time" - William Murderface
My mom has her in training classes right now and for this entire session they've been working on establishing the alpha. It works to a point right now, and to Lily mom is the alpha and when she's gone I'm it, then my father. At this point she probably sees my father as below her since he doesn't bother working with her. Her problem is that she needs to be near the alpha at all times. If mom is home she follows her around, seats at her feet, etc. If mom leaves and I'm still in bed and dad isn't home to stop her she comes upstairs and tries her hardest to get into my bedroom. I keep the door closed to buffer the sound of the TV when dad gets up at 4:00 AM and puts the TV on at top volume. I've tried letting her in hoping she'll get on the bed and calm down or sleep at the foot of the bed, but that won't work, either. She just whines.
My mom thinks her previous owner died and whoever was left threw her out the door. So when my mom leaves she thinks she's dead or not coming back and that her home is no longer stable. It's obvious someone very much loved her and someone else may have actually beat her (although we think she may be trained as a hunting dog, too).
Have you tried tying her up outside when your mother leaves? The dog has serious behavioural problems, if she's still acting like that and she's about to go to the next level of obedience school, something is wrong. I don't have any practical experience with abused animals, but that's just my take. We've had Georgia since she was a puppy and we started training her with the good ol' reward system, and the only thing that kept her from whining, eating electrical wires, and peeing/pooping everywhere was the crate.
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