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Seperation Anxiety

Discussion in 'Doberman Talk and Discussions' started by dieseldog, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. dieseldog

    dieseldog New Member

    As I posted yesterday, we rescued a five and half month old male doberman. I spoke to the breeder today and according to them he was with them until 8 weeks old and then purchased and the new owners had him 2 months and because decided they couldn't keep him. According to the breeders he was in bad shape when he was returned and they feel he received little attention or work. They had him for about two weeks and then now he is with us. He is very hyper, but I am more concerned that he has some separation anxiety and wondering if with time and trust this goes away or if I need to seek medical intervention? He did better the second night with crate training, but doesn't want to go out in the yard and play or be himself for even minutes. As soon as he realizes he is alone he barks and whines like crazy. Not to mention how crazy he goes when I put him in his kennel to leave for the day. I know it has only been two full days with him and he has been through a lot, but wanted feedback to see if I need to continue same consistent expectation or should I seek a vet appointment. Thanks so much for all the support, I think I would have already given up without all of you.

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  2. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I’ve had 1 dobie with a severe case of separation anxiety, it ain’t pretty I can tell you that.
    He was 7 months old when we got him from the rescue, we were his 6th owners. So yeah, the poor bugger had a shitty start to life. He got screwed over well and truly.

    With Max it didn’t matter if you were gone 2 minutes or 2 hours, it was all the same to him. He channeled his anxiety by barking, howling, pacing and destroying.....
    We are talking FULL BLOWN ADULT anxiety. I don’t think pups show quite the same thing?! It’s a bit early to class it as separation anxiety. It’s natural for a puppy to show anxiety the first few weeks or so.

    You need to start building his confidence. Teach the sit and stay command with positive reinforcement.

    Giving attention when he’s demanding your love is creating a needy dog that's likely to develop anxiety when you're gone.

    Don’t coddle.

    Try leaving him for short periods of time. Return, and keep increasing the period of time away.
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  3. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I agree that he's still young and needs to adjust to his new surroundings, routine and you but I do think it will come with the consistency. I don't really think it's separation anxiety yet at this age and stage either.
    This is very common; especially with this breed that wants to be with it's owners as much as they can. We always go outside with our dogs and they're 6 and 8 years old.
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  4. AresMyDobie

    AresMyDobie Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    You could use some natural calming tabs. I use them from time to time on my Dobermans to help them relax for things like vet visits or long travels, or hotels.
    Here are the ones I use. They both get four tabs each :)
    Also really start training him, and a good amount of exercise would do some good, mental and physical exercise.
    And maybe some structured walks as well :)

    Attached Files:

  5. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    My two want (demand) that I go out with them to potty or play. How else can they show me where to pick up their poo.:rofl:
    They have to be right with me all the time unless they see an iguana, then it’s all about chasing it. This is a breed that was bred to protect their people and they need to be with you to do that. If I get up and go upstairs they both immediately follow me, they won’t stay downstairs with my hubs. They need to know everything I am doing.
    My last girl Gracie suffered from separation anxiety but eventually was ok alone at home, however if I took her to another house she would get anxious, really anxious after 15min and wanted to go home. She was definitely a home body. She also had an extreme fear of thunder and storms, fireworks etc.
    My two pups now are totally unphased by loud noises. I trained them in wind, rain, thunder, lightning, around fireworks and gunshots. They don’t react to those sounds at all thank goodness. I thought they would freak out during the hurricane but they didn’t, they slept through most of it.
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    GOD'S GRACE Notable member

    This is why we got them right? To be our #1 ... I'm sadden at times when I read a post from a person who didn't understand the meaning of Velcro & Protection...Grace doesn't shy from a thing either and, as she is the only one here it's nice she cares to be with me...not like other women!!!! LOL

    But seriously I have never understood buying a car, house, boat, gun, tv, etc without doing some research...I've been blessed with many an adopted unwanted dog, Grace is my 5th and it's been because the dog wasn't right for the others. And when they get here is like a switch was turned on....I'm done :wacky:
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  7. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Hey there!

    I'm no expert in this, but:

    What you describe may well just be a Doberman who has had an inconsistent home life thus far and has to learn to trust and has to become part of your home's normal predictable routine.

    I'm not willing to call it separation anxiety at this point. Try to develop routines in your life as it relates to your Dobe. I'd say he needs predictability and calm, firm consistent leadership. Work training into your daily lives. As you probably know, dogs need a leader and working dogs especially need structure and discipline – even a job to do. This makes them feel more secure.

    Barking and carrying on when left alone or in a crate is not uncommon. Hopefully it's just related to what I talked about above.

    Our current boy, Oji, I do believe has some separation anxiety. He came from a good breeder and has had a stable start to life in experienced hands. From night one, though, he could not be left alone – even on the other side of a baby gate without barking and making all sorts of noise. We started crate training right away and he did very poorly with it – would pee and poo in the crate every time we left him, and he'd just sit, walk and lay in it. This went on for a long time. It took consistency, persistence, training in obedience and in all aspects of becoming a good family Dobe. Incidentally, the first day he stopped peeing in his crate was when the weather had finally taken a turn for the warmer and I decided to move his crate to the cool, relatively dark basement. He was so hot after exercising outside (he hates hot sunshine) and he apparently was so content crated in the cool basement that he knocked off the peeing. Lessons learned from bringing up Little Oji? He needs two things: 1. Routine 2. Comfort.

    Things are still a challenge with him. When we boarded him with a reputable boarding kennel he apparently freaked so badly and was probably barking just about the entire three or four days. He lost about 15 pounds, wore grooves in his teeth, had scratches on him, had been laying in his waste and was hoarse in voice.

    Any time I tie him out (relax, I'm talking about tying him in a playground area so I can push my daughter on the swing, or tying him to a tree so I can pop into a bakery for a loaf of bread) he snaps into this maniacal mode, looking like he is vicious. It appears to be a fearful reaction to being left alone.

    So these are just some examples from our experience with a Dobe with some level of separation anxiety.

    I hope your boy settles into his stable new life and does not have any real problem.

    Oh, as for a vet visit and possible drugs for him: I would wait on that. We did try Benadryl a time or two with Oji, and we did finally get a vet prescription for – what's it called? – Trazadone? when we had to take a trip and bring him with us in the car and to stay crated in the hotel. The prescription drug maybe helped just a bit – maybe. That's the only time I've used it by the way. The bottle sits almost full on the shelf.
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  8. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    You're right. It has only been two days and your pup has been through a bit. I think if you play kennel games mentioned in your other thread that you'll see this through and have a pup that runs into the kennel!

    I adopted both of my girls 9 and 10 years ago and they were estimated to be about a year old so whatever training they didn't have didn't matter. Paige broke out of her kennel a few times the first week. We played kennel games and she learned to trust us. They've been running into their kennel at full speed for many years now.

    Give it a chance, put in the training to build that trust and stay consistent :) You'll see it through!
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  9. nicole.vignola

    nicole.vignola Novitiate

    Dear Viemarangelrock

    I was wondering how long it took you to soothe Maxs separation anxiety.
    Ive just rescued a 7 month old doberman who's now almost 10 months, he didn't even know how to sit or stay when he came to us, don't get me started on the lead walking skills, or lack of. Has previous owners were leaving him at home for 8-12hours and he now weighs 43kg.

    Anyway, I am doing all of those things you mentioned, perhaps not enough, I also leave him in a separate room while im in the house and he's actually quite happy to sleep in his bed in the living room whilst I do work in the kitchen which for a long time wasn't ok, whenever I moved rooms he'd constantly get up to follow me and check I wasn't leaving, but when it comes to actually leaving, he is relentless like you said, 2 min or 2 hours.

    How many times a day did you do this training and how long roughly did it take you to get him in good shape to stay alone?
    If you did have to leave did you just do it anyway? A lot of people say that you should never go above their threshold.

    My partner and I both work freelance hours so we could mange a maximum of no more than 3 hours alone time in an ideal world but right now we cant leave him at all.

  10. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    It never really ‘went away’ but with work it became manageable. You will not get a quick fix with this, it takes time to build up confidence.

    Is he crate trained? If he has never seen or been in a crate before I would advice a slow introduction and training. If he is not taught to relax and feel safe in there first, he can do himself more damage as he will likely freak out. So you would have to be sure before you left him and went out. Take him for a good, long walk before you have to leave. Play games such as fetch and Find It during the walk. You want him to be mentally and physically worked.

    We also left the radio on when we left him.

    Baby steps, like putting on my coat, but not leaving. Then walking out the door and right back in again. Putting shoes on, then taking them off....

    Start small. Small parcels of time where you leave him alone, so he will come to understand and trust that you will come back. Then gradually increase to more and more time.
  11. nicole.vignola

    nicole.vignola Novitiate

    Yeah we’re doing loads and loads of training with him. He has a lot to catch up on.
    The old family said he was crate trained, they said that “they threw his toy into the crate and he goes straight in” but really they were actually tricking him into the crate because when he came to us we realised he was head butting it to try and break out of it. we haven’t really tried to train him into it again but he does have his bed which he loves and I can take that anywhere with me and if I put it down he’ll lie and curl up into it.

    I think we’re doing all of the right things and it’s still early days.

    How long roughly did it take you before you could manage it?

    thanks so much for your reply and your help.
  12. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Oh my gosh, I’m going back almost 19 years now. Yikes! If my memory serves me correctly it was a matter of months before we left Max ‘comfortably’ in the house, alone. I use the term‘comfortably’ loosely! We had to turn all our door handles upside down because he was a smart ass. Limited access at all times.
  13. nicole.vignola

    nicole.vignola Novitiate

    Ha! Toni is the same, I’ve changed the door handles to door knobs.
    Anyway thanks again for your help. We will keep on keeping on.
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