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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question

Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18963
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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Our dog is 8 months old, we also have 2 other dogs which he

Customer Question

Our dog is 8 months old, we also have 2 other dogs which he plays and gets on well with. He is very hypo in his behaviour, causing alot of damage to the furnisher and soiling the home when left on his own although he is left with the other dogs, have you please got any advise on seperation anxiety, thanks, Andrea.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi Andrea,.
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
.
Are you sure that he is the dog that is soiling the house?
What is he doing to the furniture?
How long are you typically gone?
What breed is he?
How about the other dogs?
what sex and age are they?
Are any of the dogs fixed (neutered/spayed)?
How have you tried to house train him?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hiya Jane, thanks for replying, We have a male whippet that is 7 years old, (Fenn), a male dachsund that is 3 years old, (Frank), and then our 8 month old male puppy (Webley) another whippet. None are neutered. Webley is house trained when we are at home, there are never any mistakes, we have tried leaving him just with Frank, as he gets on very well with and plays alot with, leaving Fenn in another room when out, but because this hasn't been successful we now leave them all together. Webley doesn't always soil the house, so we think he is improving, then he will, just, to prove us wrong!, He chews bedding, and anything he can reach mostly decorative items. I work for myself so am fortunate that I am always popping home during the day, I am always home lunchtime and sometimes work from home, I can leave him some mornings and he is not too bad then other times I can be gone for just an hour and it is total devistation, I never know what I will come home to. Hope this is of some help, thanks Andrea.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
JaCustomer,
.
There are a few different things to take into consideration. One is that while most dogs are house trained by the time they are 6 months old, some dogs continue to have accidents beyond that. Often it can be triggered by unusual treats or parasites such as worms which make it hard to control the bowels. In addition, male dogs who are maturing often start marking around what they think is their territory. Normally the alpha dog will mark, but a maturing dog will often attempt to claim territory by marking and thus triggers older dogs to starts. I know you believe it is Webley doing it, but if it is mostly urination, then one of the other dogs might be responsible for that part of the issue. So if there is one place where it seems to happen more often, set up a recording device such as a digital camera or cell phone and try to capture which dog is responsible. It won't help to work with Webley if it is a different dog.
Regardless of which dog, cleaning any place they have eliminated with a good high quality ENZYMATIC pet odor eliminator. It has to be used anywhere there is previous elimination. It also needs to soak in as long as the elimination did. If you don't, some odor not detectable by humans remains and the dogs are drawn back to the spot when the odor starts fading to remark and keep their scent their.
Crate training even with an older dog is the most effective method of house training. You can read more on crating here:
http://www.inch.com/~dogs/cratetraining.html
Chewing things at this age is not abnormal as dogs get their molars in around 7 months or so with smaller dogs sometimes taking a bit longer. Teething tends to trigger chewing. After teething is finished, frequently the chewing is much reduced if not eliminated. Of course, you have to get passed that point. One way is to contain him to prevent the chewing until he is past teething which will be effective if it is related to teething. Another way is to use bitter apple or hot sauce on things he likes to chew but they sometimes will stain some items so you have to check for staining before use. This is good if they use table legs for chew toys.
Crating is often used for separation anxiety as well. Let me go over some tips for helping a dog with separation anxiety. First thing is to take your dog for a nice long walk before you leave, preferably 30 minutes or long. Make it a long, quick paced walk to tire your boy out.
Second is to use a low-key approach to leaving the house. Ignore your dog before you leave and after you come home for at least 5 minutes or more. Don't punish or shout at your dog when you come home and find he’s barked the whole time, destroyed something or eliminated. When you do, you increase his stress level rather than reduce it.
You can provide him with small stimulating toys or toys that you can fill with treats. Putting peanut butter or yogurt in a kong treat chew toy and freezing it before giving it to him when you leave. If his mouth is busy with that, he won't be chewing on other items.
Sometimes leaving a TV or radio on can help a dog with this problem as well. Also remember to not reward a dog's excitement to you with petting and affection or even eye contact. You want to show him nice calm praise when he is being calm.
The best way is to crate him. This prevents injury to the apartment and protects him as well. Another thing that might help is a DAP collar. These use a pheromone to calm a dog. See one here:
vetmedicine.about.com/od/behaviortraining/gr/DAP-Dog-Collar.htm
Practice putting him in the crate, leaving the house, opening the door immediately and rewarding him with a hot dog treat if he did not scratch, bite and carry one, chew inappropriately or eliminate. This teaches him that you leave but come back quickly. Once he seems to not do anything when you initially leave, lengthen the time he must be quiet for you to come back in. Change the time as well. Make it 2 minutes one time and 10 minutes another, so he never knows if you are gone for an hour or gone foe 2 minutes. It helps him stay calm for longer periods of time, just be sure you reward him when he is good.
Another thing that helps is to do things that might make the dog feel you are leaving and then don't such as putting on your coat or picking up your keys. Or leave without doing those things. This helps remove things that might trigger the dog to become anxious.
These should help his separation anxiety and boredom and help curb his unwanted behavior. It will not be an overnight cure and will take work on your and your family’s part to be consistent in your interaction with him. Here is a site that also offers idea to combat separation anxiety.
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/overcoming-separation-anxiety.aspx
Another option is medication, which is discussed on this site:
http://www.cpvh.com/2011/08/08/separation-anxiety/
I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
.

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