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Separation Anxiety in Newly Adopted Dog

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by MortythePug, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. MortythePug

    MortythePug PetForums Newbie

    Aug 2, 2019
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    I know there is a big thread on this topic but I read through the whole thing and I feel I want some more specific advice because I guess I am a bit overwhelmed still. I adopted a dog a week ago and whenever I leave the room or I leave, even for 5 minutes, he pees on anything that is on the floor. Even when he can't see me he will pee. This is after we have been for walks. Note, he is not peeing a lot just like some drops.

    He does follow me everywhere and we have bonded a lot. I love everything about him except the act I can't go anywhere without him. I work from home and I do want a dog that loves being around me but I also want him to be ok when I go away for 4 hours tops, but right now he isn't even ok when I leave for a few minutes. He used to be alone for a long time before so not sure why he gets so sad now. Is it because when his previous owners left they didn't come back for so long so he thinks I won't?

    These are my thoughts and notes on my situation:

    - So he is not castrated yet, could this be a cause?
    - Because everything is new and nothing smells like him he is marking my place?
    - I have cleaned everything with Enzyme killing dog spray and he still pees.
    - He was said to be house trained and never had issues apparently.
    - Is the problem that I work from home and spent too much time with him?
    - Is this just something that will stop once he settles into our walking routine?
    - Should I be crating him until this stops as Id really rather not?
    - I can't restrict him to one room as I am in an open plan flat.

    Sorry for my rant, but this is new to me and I'd rather fix any issues now rather than anything sticking as a bad habit.
  2. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2010
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    It’s pretty much all anxiety and the only thing that will help is time. Lots of it! All you can do at this point is help him to feel safe and secure by being present. That doesn’t mean you need to be constantly interacting with him, in fact often more is less and don’t fall into the trap of putting more pressure on him by trying to get him to play or walk or train etc. Just let him be, but be there.

    You could look at getting a puppy pen if you want him to be ‘enclosed’ but don’t want to use a crate. If he only marks when you’re not there then this might be a good thing to do.

    Definitely don’t rush into castration until he’s properly settled. Just keep cleaning up the pee with It showing you’re frustrated, make sure he has plenty of opportunities to toilet outside, and hopefully you should see it decrease over time.

    A week is no time at all.
  3. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jun 24, 2011
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    Been there with both my girls, although in their case, it manifest as howling/screaming.

    As @McKenzie says, a week is nothing. It can take them up to 6 months before they're fully settled.

    But there are things you can do to help him;

    1) Wherever possible, 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 knackered so that he's like the dog on the Volterol or the Vitalife (?) Insurance ad. "Oh no! Not more exercise!" :D

    2) Mix up your routine. Coat on, shoes on, grab your keys, phone, money. Then sit down and read/watch TV/do some tidying up - whatever. With Honey, I went so far as to carry my shoes downstairs and put them on outside the front door. Leave, and then immediately return.

    3) Leave an item of unwashed clothing near the dog when you have to leave. It has your scent on it.

    4) Leave the TV/radio/CD player on.

    5) Invest in an Adaptil diffuser. It releases a synthetic pheromone similar to the one the bitch would release to sooth him as a puppy. You can also try Pet Remedy's diffuser, but it didn't work for Honey.

    2) Zyklene tablets. I got mine off Amazon.

    It's daunting, when you haven't dealt with SA before, I know, but he's just left everything he's ever known. He has no idea where he is, who you are or that he's home. He doesn't know the rules or what to expect from you yet.

    At this stage, he just needs some time. :)
  4. Coco&Ruby

    Coco&Ruby PetForums Newbie

    Jul 24, 2018
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    A new environment and owner may cause tension and anxiety for a dog. If your new pup gets used to going potty on the pee pads, he may tend to do the business on the floor. Also, if he is a puppy, he cannot hold the pee over 3-5 hours. It's necessary to introduce him to go potty outside. There are many training tricks in blogs or youtube, such as using positive reinforcement instead of scolding for the accidents. Here is a part of tricks: bit.ly/positive-reinforcement-in-dog-training

    In my experience, crating a dog with separation anxiety is not a good option, it may aggravate his anxiety and get reluctant to stay in the crate in further life. Try to gradually increase the time you leave and put your clothes in the place he sleeps. Of course, do everything after your pup has adapted to the new house and reduce the dependency on you.
  5. SusieRainbow

    SusieRainbow Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 21, 2013
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    If you read the first post it states that the dog is a potty trained adult so much of your advice is irrelevant.
    May I ask that you read the whole thread before commenting ?
    Burrowzig, Torin. and lullabydream like this.
  6. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

    Jun 25, 2013
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    If a dog has been crate trained properly. The crate is s/he safe environment. A place to feel secure. Depending on a dog it can help them feel secure...it also can be placed away from distractions, such as windows etc where people walking past just add to a dogs anxiety.
    It's when dogs are not introduced to a crate properly then it doesn't help.

    Crate/baby gate/ door which all limit space can help massively in some cases of separation anxiety. All dependent on the dog as always, like any tool for training. A dog in distress wandering round a large area such as a whole house can be frightening for dog,rather than a smaller safe area.
  7. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Jan 5, 2013
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    As it’s only been a week I’d say it’s far too early for him to have settled and feel fully at home yet. He also won’t understand that you’re popping out for a short period but will be back.

    It took about 2-3 weeks to get my rescue over his initial anxiety at being left. I started literally with seconds and built up the time. Practising several times a day, every day. He would be fine Monday to Friday then as someone was always around him at the weekend he seemed to forget he was fine on the Monday ;)

    If I left the room I didn’t stop him from following me and kept talking to him whilst I was gone so he knew I was still around.

    I used the tv/radio too so he wasn’t left in a completely quiet house which makes them feel comforted but also masks outside noises that can upset them.

    He had a few peeing incidents too in the early days but again, that stopped quite quickly. Some of it was marking but he came from kennels so it was just toilet training being reinforced. An ah ah if caught in the act and outside-no fuss, clean up with hot biological solution, we’ll rinsed and dried. No rugs down as that can attract them. Block favoured areas.

    Lots of toilet breaks to keep him empty - he held gallons! ;)

    I restricted his access when I went out but he wasn’t crate trained and didn’t like being shut in a room so he had kitchen, hall (both had Lino floors), stairs and landing (no access to see out of windows), bed, kong, toys etc. and he settled well. Now has full run of house.

    It’s reasonable to pop your dog in a pen if you leave him to save mess. Maybe the same size as his bed as dogs don’t like to soil their bed (though obviously only if you know he won’t need to pee/poop but just want to mark). I’d only use a crate if he’s crate trained.

    Where does he sleep at night and does he settle?
    Torin., Picklelily and lullabydream like this.
  8. Newbie23

    Newbie23 PetForums Newbie

    Dec 13, 2019
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    Hi there, sorry to jump in on this thread. I am having some issues with my 7 month old puppy too. She is toilet trained and generally a good girl. We didn't crate.train her and she sleeps on her own bed in our bedroom. She isn't a Velcro dog, we can just leave her in the lounge while we cook etc and she's fine. She was fine to stay alone for an hour or two up until yesterday. My husband has gone to Madrid on the weekend and during that time she has become destructive when left alone, she destroyed a puppy pad and chewed my slipper. I know that this might be normal behaviour and am I right in thinking that because my husband has gone away she feels like I might not return when I leave the house too? She's young so was never happy at being alone but made good progress over some weeks i.e. at first she would bark and howl but then she went quiet and waited for us to return. As I've said this weekend she has become destructive. Really appreciate your advice.
  9. MortythePug

    MortythePug PetForums Newbie

    Aug 2, 2019
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    I don’t know if anyone will ever read this but I thought I’d update anyway. Morty is my whole world and while he still has separation anxiety I can’t ever imagine how I ever lived without him. He does Poo sometimes when I leave but never pees inside. We have a training schedule for it but honestly, he is the most precious thing in the world.
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