Separation anxiety begins after loss of older dog...what now?!?!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by TheNewMrsEvans, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. TheNewMrsEvans

    TheNewMrsEvans Songster

    Sep 15, 2008
    Big Sur, CA
    I have Mia, a 9yr old Pit x who I rescued at 1yr of age. She was used as a bait dog, starved/fed scraps, and left tied up until her collar grew into her skin. Amazingly with time and love she has turned out to be a great dog. In June my eldest dog, Ellie, passed away due to old age, but knowing that Mia would be lonely on her own we got a puppy, Indy, in November of the year before. Mia and Indy play non-stop and get along really well. You call one and they both come running...
    For about 2 wks after Ellie passed, Mia was noticeably depressed, but we understood how she felt. After that she started chewing on the wooden/wire gate which separated the driveway from the bulk of the yard every time we left the house for 1hr+. I work 4 days and my hubby works 5 days, so the dogs are left alone often. Our property is fully fenced, 2 acres. Part is the "pasture" which is fenced off for our livestock, and part is our gravel driveway, leaving about 1 acre for the dogs. We have a huge mud room that has a dog door and is filled with beds and toys. Because Indy likes to chew when he's bored, they are limited to the mud room during the day. Basically a dog rabbits and quail until you're pooped then go lay on your warm plush bed. When she started chewing on the gate we sprayed bitter apple on it and that limited her destruction for quite a while. Then she broke it a few times and got out into the driveway that is still fenced, I repaired the wooden/wire gate and she would stay in for a while longer...eventually she totally killed the wooden/wire gate...she ate the wire to shreds and I would need to make a whole new one from scratch, I was afraid she might break a tooth. So we just left it open so they could be in the driveway area as well. They tossed the recycling bin a few biggie. Then about 1 month ago she dug out under the chain link driveway gate. She was waiting in the front covered in horse doo and tired. We immediately lined where she had dug with pavers. That lasted a while, then she started squeezing out by bending the gate. We are so afraid she will get into trouble or be injured while out, so last week I bought a chain link kennel. We attached it to the front of the house so they can go in the dog door. We left for a minute and they pushed the entire 6x20 kennel off the edge of the deck and got out. We attached it to the deck, then she ate through the edge of the chain link and broke a tooth, which needs to be extracted now.
    I'm afraid that until we deal with the issue in her head she will do anything to get out, including breaking herself. We have tried the obvious...leaving the radio on, puzzle balls, kongs, chewy treats...I take them to the nearby lake as often as I can, but it's frigid and dark before and after work, so it's hard...
    Any suggestions or personal experiences that might help are welcome...I just know we need help.

  2. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    awww I am soo sorry we lost one of our bird dogs last march and our other bird dog got real depressed we ended up having to get a puppy, the first day he wanted nothing to do with it, the next day the puppy cuddled to him and all was better. Its the only solution I could come up with It was real sad seeing my dog so down.

  3. slightlyscrambled

    slightlyscrambled Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    Sorry for your loss. Had the exact same situation here, only thing that has worked is electric fence. Hated to do it but would rather that then them getting run over or bothering someones livestock.
  4. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    I replied to your PM. I am not sure this is what I would call Separation Anxiety. What is the puppy doing while she is chew/escaping?

  5. TheNewMrsEvans

    TheNewMrsEvans Songster

    Sep 15, 2008
    Big Sur, CA
    If she makes a huge hole or winds up pushing out the whole gate he will go out with her, but most of the time he will be in even when she is out...he is slightly smaller than her but lacks the motivation. Today I got out of work early, so I repaired and reinforced all the fencing, and set up a camera to record while I go get my hair done...we'll see what she does in about 1.5 hrs [​IMG] I'm hoping it will help us make her stop, otherwise I'll have to chain her or who knows...
    Glad u found my post Jamie!
  6. LyonFuzz

    LyonFuzz Songster

    Apr 28, 2008
    South Lyon, Michigan
    What about using a crate? It would keep her safe while you are out and you get to keep your sanity when you get home:)
  7. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Songster

    Apr 15, 2009
    You need to crate them inside when you are not home.

  8. TheNewMrsEvans

    TheNewMrsEvans Songster

    Sep 15, 2008
    Big Sur, CA
    I don't think that will work for 11 hrs some days... before the dog run, the pup would run around all day patrolling the fences, chasing bunnies and barking at passers by. I don't think he'd appreciate being in a box all day, and I'm not sure how well that would go over if only Mia was crated. Besides she would probably bust more teeth on the crate. We crate trained both of them as puppies, they slept in them at night so they couldn't wander off while we slept and have an accident, but of any of our dogs Mia never loved it with the door shut.
    So while I was gone yesterday, which actually turned out to be 2.5hrs they didn't chew the fence at all, in fact most of the time was spent inside resting until someone walked in front of the house, they barked, then went back inside. I was surprised there was no pacing or much makes me wonder what gets her going???
    I got a recommendation for a trainer and she's coming over tomorrow...hope it's not a waste of $50.

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