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I’ve had my Malt for 3 years now (he’s 4). During that time his separation anxiety has decreased slightly, but it’s extreme. When I first got him, he went into the crate with my older dog until this became a problem. Fergie would bang his head on the side of the crate until he had welts and/or was bruised up on his head. Then they started getting left in the bathroom while I was gone (my other dog, who has since died, liked being confined). He literally clawed the linoleum up down to the concrete and hurt his claws terribly one day. There were bloody paw prints everywhere. Now I was only gone for about 5 hours and he had my other dog for company.

When I got my new job 1 ½ years ago, I knew I was going to away for longer so I started diaper training Fergie. (He’s a boy and had problems going on pee pads). He has complete run of the house and doesn’t destroy anything or hurt himself, but he CRIES all day. It’s pretty extreme crying and howling. I’ve always made sure not to look at him or give him any affection in the morning before I leave, but it doesn’t make any difference. He even cries at the door if I go to another room. I give him lots of exercise and attention when I'm home.

The problem is that my roommate doesn’t wake up for over two hours after I’ve left (and she often sleeps all day after working the night shift) and she’s losing sleep. Ideally he’d like to watch Animal Planet all day (and bark at it), but the TV is on the same wall as my roommate’s room. (Animal planet isn’t even on my cable listing anymore?!)

Do any of you have experience with this? I’ve tried reading different books, but nothing seems to help. You’d think after crying every day for years he’d be over it by now.
 

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Sounds very sad to me. Is there someone to come in and take your baby for a walk...keep him all day. He is very stressed and needs a different situation to relieve his anxiety.
Please get Fergie some help.
 

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That is pretty severe. The problem is not your roommate - it is that your dog experiences extreme anxiety all day. Every heard that people who are constantly on edge are not healthy? Stress isn't healthy for dogs either. Your poor dog has suffered for a long time. You need to seek professional help. Ask your vet for a referral to a veterinary behaviorist. A dog trainer is not adequate. You need a veterinary behaviorist as your dog likely will benefit from medication in addition to behavioral modification.
A good book while you get your appointment is I'll Be Home Soon by Patricia McConnell.
 

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You mentioned that your malt is 4 years old but you 've had him for only 3 years. Who was he with the first year of his life? Maybe he's had a difficult past.
What he is going through is NOT normal . Please try talking with your vet and getting him the help he needs. Good Luck
 

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No, he didn't have a bad past. He was bought from a good breeder and was well loved. He wasn't neutered when the previous owner had him and he used to mark A LOT (there was another boy dog there too.) The marking was the main reason that he was given away. I think he's just a very dependent dog. He has always cried instead of barking (even when I'm near him and he's happy).

When I first got him and realized how upset he was at my leaving and the constant marking, I didn't think I could keep him either. It has taken a lot of work (and neutering) to get him to the point he's at now where he just cries. It's 500X better than when he came to me. I just haven't found a way to train him to stop crying. I NEVER come back to the front door when he cries.
I can tell that he plays with his toys when I'm gone. I don't know what else could occupy him?
 

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I wish I lived close I would dog sit for you. It sounds like he's just lonely, hummm I have a great idea send him to me. lol your trieing to do your best hang in there
 

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I really feel bad about your situation and I was thinking of some suggestions.
When you are not home can you leave the tv on or maybe a cd playing classical music. When I am not home I either leave the tv or some sort of calming music in the backround. Amazon has really good cd's geared towards nervous dogs.
 

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I’ve had my Malt for 3 years now (he’s 4). During that time his separation anxiety has decreased slightly, but it’s extreme. When I first got him, he went into the crate with my older dog until this became a problem. Fergie would bang his head on the side of the crate until he had welts and/or was bruised up on his head. Then they started getting left in the bathroom while I was gone (my other dog, who has since died, liked being confined). He literally clawed the linoleum up down to the concrete and hurt his claws terribly one day. There were bloody paw prints everywhere. Now I was only gone for about 5 hours and he had my other dog for company.

When I got my new job 1 ½ years ago, I knew I was going to away for longer so I started diaper training Fergie. (He’s a boy and had problems going on pee pads). He has complete run of the house and doesn’t destroy anything or hurt himself, but he CRIES all day. It’s pretty extreme crying and howling. I’ve always made sure not to look at him or give him any affection in the morning before I leave, but it doesn’t make any difference. He even cries at the door if I go to another room. I give him lots of exercise and attention when I'm home.

The problem is that my roommate doesn’t wake up for over two hours after I’ve left (and she often sleeps all day after working the night shift) and she’s losing sleep. Ideally he’d like to watch Animal Planet all day (and bark at it), but the TV is on the same wall as my roommate’s room. (Animal planet isn’t even on my cable listing anymore?!)

Do any of you have experience with this? I’ve tried reading different books, but nothing seems to help. You’d think after crying every day for years he’d be over it by now.
How long does he cry for, after you leave? is it hours or say 20 minutes? Does he come up and want on your lap, push your hand for petting, bring you toys?? There is a fine line between separation anxiety and ASB anxiety. ASB is attention seeking behavior. Dogs that get undivided attention, in the wrong way (ie:when they want it or how they want it) can become addicted to it. It can create this scenario or aggression. Generally, for ASBA dogs will cry for short times after being left alone and then be fine. Have you video taped your boy? it will tell you alot.

I agree with Jackie. You need to talk to a veterinary behaviorist because putting dogs on meds can take the edge off while also using behavior modification.. I've got a Malt that had severe SA. 4yrs later, I can leave her at home now and she's fine. She's on meds and I moved her attachment from me to another dog. (which is a whole nother SLOW process, it took a year and a half to do that). My point is, I'm a behavior consultant and vet tech and I still went to a veterinarian behaviorist for medication. He needs to have meds that take the edge off of his anxiety so he can learn how to be calm. It is very unhealthy for him to be this way AND you too! Trust me..I KNOW! My life revolved around SA for 3 years. No one understands and it is a huge problem.

If I left for more than 2hrs, two times in one day or two days in a row, Indi would end up with bloody dia and pancreatitis symptoms w/in 2 days. Her front teeth are barely in her mouth from her pulling at crate bars. I have gouges in doors and door trims from her teeth. She CHEWED through a baby gate (the ones with the hard plastic criss crossing) large enough hole for her to fit through...in 20 min. If left w/my mother OR husband, she would HOWL for HOURS.. (my mom reported 12hrs).

I took her everywhere with me, especially to the clinic and I conditioned her to be calm if set her in ONE spot (in her crate). If she was moved 2" she would bark, dig, cry, whine urinate and defecate in her crate. 2"!! At first, as long as I was in the office, she was fine. I slowly conditioned her to be ok, in that one spot and I could be in surgery and she was fine. BUT, the second the girls came in at lunch (taking over my afternoon shift) she would immediately start in. I had to plan my errands. I either had to do them really fast or take her with me in the car, which she still barked, but it was shorter spans than actually being left alone at home. Once I video taped her, got home and rewound it a bit... thought, hm..must have hit the camera and moved it, there was NO crate in view. I rewound it all of the way to retape the next day..I hadn't hit the camera.. Indi had spun in the crate so much she had moved it clear out of viewsite! I used the camera alot to tell me how we were doing.

Then I worked on working her and Feather together, as I said, over a year and a half. you HAVE to go slow with this and it doesn't always work.

Trust me, you need to get him professional help and someone that understands behavior, not a dog trainer. He will not get better with training. This is a sickness and it needs to be treated that way.

Karla
 

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I wish I lived close I would dog sit for you. It sounds like he's just lonely, hummm I have a great idea send him to me. lol your trieing to do your best hang in there
Um this does not always work... :( sad to say. Ask my husband and my mother! Indi would HOWL for HOURS.. once,when I left I took all of the ice and the ice maker then kicked off, every 15 min. when I called to check in, my husband said DON"T EVER take all of the ice again. Indi thinks it is you coming, every 15 min!" THAT is how bad it was. I'd rather deal with an aggressive dog, than this. I truly would!
 

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I agree with JMM, please seek professional help for you poor dog. He really deserves a better quality of life. I know it's a tough situation, but it's important to do everything that's in his best interest. Good luck and please keep us posted on his progress.
 
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