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My dog is suffering from serious separation anxiety (12 replies and 2 comments)

8 months ago
Rotem 8 months ago

Hi all,

I hope this will get me the answer I'm looking for and will help my dog.

I have a Belgian shepherd female dog 1 year, 4 months old. Since the day we got her (when she was 2 months old), she has suffered from serious separation anxiety.

We got her a crate that a few months later she broke and opened with her teeth right along with our home door. We are not able to put her in the crate anymore since she is hurting herself and starts shivering every time we get her inside.

Today we tied her up with an iron chain, but still the shivering and destruction everything near here doesn't stop.

We are doing daily training with her, and she is very well trained. The separation anxiety is the only problem.

I would like to know if anyone here has had the same situation with their dog, and how did they resolve it?

The only thing left for us to do is to give her pills for the final solution.


Melissa Smith
8 months ago
Melissa Smith 8 months ago

Hi Rotem

I'm sorry to hear about your pup - it sounds like the separation anxiety is pretty tough on all of you. I see a lot of this as a pet sitter.

This article may give some solutions:

Essentially, what you're looking to do is teach her that even when you leave, you're going to be back. Different dogs have different levels of success learning this lesson and/or overcoming a traumatic past that triggers the anxiety. Some simply aren't able to lose it entirely, others settle down over time.

Medication is definitely an option. I know it sounds a little weird, but at the end of the day you're looking for her comfort as well as you and your family's. You can control how much she receives as well - choose to give her medication only during times you'll be out of the house for hours at a time, but not when you'll be gone for a short time.

4 months ago

Get a second dog! My dogs never suffer from separation anxiety as I always have two dogs: one large and one small. Thy keep each other company.

Melissa Smith
4 months ago

The more the merrier! Hey as long as people can afford to take care of their animals properly, I'm all about multiple pup households LOL

8 months ago
Elena 8 months ago

Hi Rotem, I agree with Melissa ;), she gave you some good suggestions, above all the last, when she wrote about medication.

However, it seems that this is a real problem so it needs effort and time to resolve; be patient and I'm sure your pup will become quiet when you are not at home.

When my son was born, my dog did some teasings because she was a bit jealous; we helped her approach our son so she knew him, and day by day she became quiet again.

I hope you resolve your problem soon!


Onita Sharrer
7 months ago
Onita Sharrer 7 months ago

Don't you have kids at home? Allow your dog to play with kids and it would help your dog to improve psychological structure.

Melissa Smith
7 months ago
Melissa Smith 7 months ago

Onita, I'd hesitate to recommend play with kids without knowing their ages and how they behave around animals. If they're older kids who know how to appropriately play with animals, then definitely! Kids and play would be a great way to get the dog some exercise. They can go on leashed hikes, play ball in the backyard, etc. But younger kids who may be knocked over by an over exuberant dog or who don't know how to handle themselves around dogs (i.e. shoving, hitting, pulling fur) should not be playing with a hyper dog until they learn their "dog manners." 🙂

6 months ago
NancyWills 6 months ago

Don't make a big deal out of arrivals and departures — ignore your dog for the first few minutes then calmly pet them.

6 months ago
Whatsername 6 months ago

I've read a lot about separation anxiety recently, my sister's pitbull who I watch everyday has horrible anxiety and I'm trying to keep my mom's house from being destroyed. He gets very excited when anyone leaves the house, even just out front in the garden, when his leash or car keys are picked up or when we tell my niece to "get your shoes on" and he starts jumping and freaking out. So I'm going to start trying to desensitize him to those triggers, leash (pick up put down, walk around with it until he starts to find it no big deal), same with the keys, try going outside for just a few seconds to begin with and coming back in. He is on medication, prozac and he's still crazy about the separation. Relaxing music I know I suggest alot but it has worked for me my oldest girl did have a crate when she was younger because she would get destructive and as she got older it started to stress her out being in it so i tried the music or leaving the tv on, radio but the music was always a constant calm tone and it helped her. The other thing I always keep around are calming chews but they don't last all day. 

6 months ago
Twarren 6 months ago

I had a dachshund who had severe separation anxiety, and I was given a few things to do for him by my vet. One that really worked for him was the ball you could freeze with the doggy peanut butter inside it. He loved it, and I would have it ready for him before I went out the door every morning, and it really took away the separation anxiety for a while. Not to say it cured him completely. I got him from a foster when he was two, and he had been abused by a breeder, but it really helped him. I also got another puppy after about a year, and that really helped him. Having a companion for him really changed him. I miss him a lot. He passed away very old, happy, and loved.

Melissa Smith
6 months ago
Melissa Smith 6 months ago
1 like by Dave Baker

Whatshername, desensitizing him to triggers is an excellent idea - it does take time, so be patient but it will end up being very helpful. Twarren, the frozen Kongs are a lifesaver for a lot of pet parents. They're distracting for dogs who get separation anxiety or just get bored and need something to do (other than rip up the carpet!)

Some dogs more than others will be sensitive to their pet parents leaving. Eventually you reach the point where they are as "okay" with it as they are ever going to be and pet parents may have to flex to try and meet their needs. I have some dogs that I visit because they get extremely anxious when their pet parents leave; but I have other dogs that I visit that are pretty chill.

My boy Rex
6 months ago
My boy Rex 6 months ago

They sell “Thunder Shirts” for dogs who have anxiety.  Maybe it will help.

Melissa Smith
5 months ago
Melissa Smith 5 months ago

Great idea - thunder shirts do help a lot of dogs. In lieu of, sometimes people use t shirts or old blankets!

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