Registered: 1535639477 Posts: 2
We have loved our two mixed breed dogs for the past 13 & 14 years. The first 11-12 years of their lives were wonderful, but the last year and a half has been hell, as the dogs have developed severe separation anxiety. We have worked with trainers and behaviorists and have tried several combinations of meds with 2 different vets, but he severity has only intensified. Our house has been destroyed (down to the studs of the walls in some rooms), crating has led to severe self-mutilation, and the installation of a doggy door and fenced-in yard has led to them escaping the yard and destroying neighbors’ doors and windows in an attempt to get in their homes. We are at a complete loss as to what else to do. Our vet, several shelters and rescue groups have recommended euthanization as the most humane option, given their ages and severity of the situation, but we are still struggling with that decision. What would you do?
Registered: 1531963706 Posts: 104
I do not know what I would do honestly. But I will tell you, whatever you do, it is obviously done with great thought and care for your babies. It is clear you want the best for them both. I am so very sorry your horrible situation and decision. I will pray for wisdom and peace. Paula- Raider’s mom
Registered: 1535461586 Posts: 28
I actually work with dogs so I may be able to help. I have some questions for you if you don't mind answering.
1. What advice did the trainers and behaviorists give you? 2. Does this happen every time you leave or only specific times? Are certain times of the day worse than others? 3. Are you making what I call "The Grand Departure"? Where you make a big deal out of leaving by saying goodbye? 4. How often do you exercise them, not play, exercise. Walking? Running? Duration? Distance? 5. Do you know what breeds they have mixed in? Like, can you tell at least some of the breeds? 6. Was there a certain event or change at home that sparked the change in them? Sorry to reply like this if you weren't looking for this kind of advice. If you weren't, please disregard my reply.
Registered: 1535639477 Posts: 2
I appreciate your responses and welcome any advice! Please see my responses below. Thank you!
1. What advice did the trainers and behaviorists give you? Everything from increasing exercise, leaving tv and radio on, reducing external stimuli, crate training, changing our departure habits, using pheromones, fencing yard and installing doggy door, and offering special treats, all in combination with trying several different medications (none of which have had any noticeable effect). The only recommendation we’ve not implemented is the use of a doggy daycare, as I stay at home with our children, so the dogs are rarely left alone for long periods of time and it is not feasible to take them somewhere so I can run short errands. 2. Does this happen every time you leave or only specific times? Are certain times of the day worse than others? Time of day doesn’t seem to matter, but there are times when the dogs are left for a few hours with little to no damage upon our return and other where there is pure destruction after we’ve been gone for 20 mins to preschool pickup. 3. Are you making what I call "The Grand Departure"? Where you make a big deal out of leaving by saying goodbye? We try to keep both our departures and returns very low key. 4. How often do you exercise them, not play, exercise. Walking? Running? Duration? Distance? Walks up to 2x/ day for about 30-35 mins each. At their ages, that seems to sufficiently tire them out, but not enough to calm them if left alone. 5. Do you know what breeds they have mixed in? Like, can you tell at least some of the breeds? One is a smaller mixed breed, likely lab/terrier and the other is a bit larger, resembling a black golden retriever, likely a lab/collie mix. Both were SPCA adoptions as puppies years ago. 6. Was there a certain event or change at home that sparked the change in them? Not that we can pinpoint. We’ve been in our current home for 5 years and the last baby arrrived 2 1/2 years ago, well before the anxious behaviors began.
Registered: 1533415950 Posts: 8
I am not sure if my advice is any good. I would give everything to bring my two German Shepherds back. I recently read about Cesar Milan's audiobooks for dogs and I think they are good for dogs when we are gone or at work. Another option to see if they can be separated for a short time and see if that makes a difference. A relative takes one dog. Do the dogs behave the same with all members of the family? Do they listen better to particular member? I know my dogs needed 30 min walks 2 times a day even when they got old. I love the idea of doogy's daycare. They have loving people working there and some dogs went there just during the day to socialize. They are watched really well and I trusted the people working there. My students volunteered to help out there.
Sorry if it did not help. I will do anything to bring my babies back...and spend more time with them...