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SashasMum
08:34:46 Tue
Sep 13 2005

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Seperation Anxiety

It would appear that, at the ripe old age of 2, Sasha has suddendly decided to start suffering from seperation anxiety!

Yesterday morning, the older two set off for their school and 10 mins later Rob took Natalie. I was upstairs in bed, but I don't think that even registered with Sasha!! Normally, when everyone leaves in the morning like that, she just takes to her bed and waits for us all to come back, but yesterday, she went nuts!

I was lying in bed and all I could hear was her crying, whining and panting and just rushing from room to room. She isn't locked in, she has the run of the hallway, kitchen, dining room and utility room and is only shut "out" of the living room (this has always been the case). After about 5 mins I realised she wasn't going to settle, so got up and went to the top of the stairs. Once she knew I was there, she adopted her usual waiting place on the top step and settled down.

This morning when I left to take Tilly to school, I left her with a treat ball full of choc drops, but still, when I came home she had nicked a tea towel and was panting like she had just had a four mile run!!!

We haven't changed our routine, or left her anymore than she has been left in the past, so I don't understand why she should suddenly feel so insecure? The only thing I can think of is that I went away for that week, but everyone else was still here, in fact there was no school or work so she had total company - as well as her best mate Alfie staying with her.

The other day when I came home and she had removed a tea towel (I never tell her off about it), she weed a little bit when she came to greet me! I was horrified as that is a sign of submission or fear - and there is no way on earth she should ever feel like that!!

Any advice folks? Please tell me that this is normal and that she is just going through a "phase"!! I hate seeing her so unhappy!:sad:



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Polo123
13:39:23 Tue
Sep 13 2005

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Re: Seperation Anxiety

Post summer holiday blues possibly - Polo was bad last year when we all went back as he'd been so used to having everyone at home. He hasn't been as bad this year (touch wood). It sounds like you're doing all the right things, reassuring her etc, you don't think she picked up on something when you were all upset the other week re your ex? They are all such softies aren't they :smile:



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jacquie
17:52:10 Tue
Sep 13 2005

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Re: Seperation Anxiety

Kare, your doing all the right things. It could be a couple of things. 1/ that she's missing the company of the kids all day.
2/ she's picked up on your feelings.
3/she has an infection.
or a wee bit of all these things.



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SashasMum
17:48:04 Thu
Sep 15 2005

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Re: Seperation Anxiety

Linda, if Polo went through this - how bad did he get and how long did it last for?

It seems to be the mornings that she is worse? I have been leaving the radio on for her and leaving a treat, but she wont touch it until I come back in! Everytime I come home she is completely out of breath! It's quite worrying really, I am only out of the house for 30 mins or so!

Another strange thing I have noticed - if I give her a treat, and anyone else comes in before me - she wont eat it until I am home?

We left her for a while this afternoon and when we got back she was asleep in her bed - go figure!



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Polo123
13:33:16 Fri
Sep 16 2005

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Re: Seperation Anxiety

Karen, I can't remember how long it went on for but I do remember going through a lot of cushions! Polo used to unzip the covers then shred the insides, we even tried some that were sewn instead of having zips - he managed to unpick the seams, not quite sure how, but he did :smash6: even now we tend to put cushions in a cupboard if he's being left.

I nearly always found that it was days I hadn't had time to take him for a walk before leaving him that he was bad, having a good run round seemed to help.

He was never panting like Sasha though, maybe she thinks she needs to protect you and gets a bit panicky when you're not there and she can't look after you. This was something I read with that amichien training, you have to ensure they know that you are the pack leader not them as it can put too much pressure on a dog having to be pack leader and lead to them being very stressy. The books by Jan Fennell on this subject are supposed to be really good.



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SashasMum
16:29:30 Fri
Sep 16 2005

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Re: Seperation Anxiety

Have heard about the pack thing Linda, the trainer we had for Sasha when we first got her sorted it out. I don't think she thinks like that though - she doesn't even bark when the door bell goes and waits until people get in the house before she says hello. Also, when we are out, she doesn't pay much attention to other dogs, and we were lead to believe that this was because she figured it wasn't her place to protect us!

I was listening out for her when Rob took the kids to school this morning and as soon as the door shut, she went off on one! She charged around whining and within 2 secs of the door closing, she had the tea towel out of the kitchen! As soon as she heard me upstairs, less than 3 mins from the door closing, she came and sat at the top of the stairs and was really panting, yet there was no way she had been over exerting herself?? Rob said that as he was leaving, he looked through the porch door and said that she was already starting to tremble in anticipation.

It's just so weird that she should suddenly start doing this? Especially when she is behaving really normally elsewhere? She has even stopped trying to sneak out the front door as soon as it is opened?

Am getting a little worried about her - darent leave her for more than half an hour in the mornings??!



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Polo123
18:08:15 Fri
Sep 16 2005

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Re: Seperation Anxiety

I really don't know what to suggest next Karen, I can understand you being worried, especially with Sasha getting herself so worked up. Hopefully it will be a passing phase - what about leaving her with an article of your clothing with your smell on when you have to leave her (maybe that's why she goes for the teatowel :wink:smile:
Keep us posted, just let's hope she soon feels much happier, I presume she doesn't seem to have anything physically wrong? Maybe it's a bit of a catch 22 situation, I wonder if she's now picking up that you're worried about her, which in turn makes her worried, etc, etc I sometimes think they give us more worries than our kids do :smile:



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SashasMum
09:31:41 Mon
Sep 19 2005

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Re: Seperation Anxiety

I have just phoned my pet insurer's vet helpline and got some advice regarding Sasha. Last night she woke me up three times when she suddenly decided to start whining and pacing and this morning, by the time the children had left for school, she started trembling etc and even knicked the tea towel while I was still in the house!!

Anyway, had a long chat with a very helpful young lady and I have some plans to put into place .................. leaving by a different door, putting keys in different places etc, so she doesn't know exactly what is happening and when I am leaving. Giving her an item of clothing (she has already had a pillow but I will find something else!) and finally, totally ignoring her when I come in and waiting until she is calm before I say hello to her.

All these things I knew, but I was worried that if I left through a different door she would get even more wound up because she wouldn't know what was happening, and I thought I should make more of a fuss coming home because she had been so upset.

Will put all these in to place asap and see what happens! It is just so weird that she should suddenly act like she has been beaten and abandoned when neither has happened since I have had her!!



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11:08:45 Mon
Sep 19 2005

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Re: Seperation Anxiety

Hi Karen

Sounds to me like the kids going back to school has knocked her for six - I dread to think what our 2 are going to be like, I had to take a mnths garden leave when I handed my notice in and Lynne is still on Maternity levae until 4th Oct so they are in for a shock as they are now used to us being around most of the day, thankfully we have our next door neighbour to look after our 2 most days so hopefully they will not be too bad!!!!

Can't suggest or recommend anything above and beyond what you ar already doing but am sure with your patience and understanding normality will soon be restored.

Good luck, Paul - honest it's me!

  
SashasMum
11:45:01 Mon
Sep 19 2005

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Paul?? Paul who? We dont know any Pauls here?

Oh wait a minute, it's all coming back to me now!!

Wales, kitten heels and feather boas right?!!

Have started on the "programme", felt like I was sneaking out of the house when I left through the garage!! Totally ignored the manic panic attack when I got home and then gave her a good brush down half an hour later. We bought her a new duvet for her bed recently, but I am going to put her old one back on until she is settled again.

Funniest thing ......... me with an old t shirt stuffed up my top this morning trying to get it smelling of me before I went out!!! Thank god I have net curtains!!



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Jakes_mum
12:41:21 Tue
Sep 20 2005

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Re: Seperation Anxiety

Heskey periodically goes through phases of not wanting to be left. (he shredded the stuffing out of his window chair last time!) We had an awful two weeks not long ago which he seemed to recover from but now we dont know which day of which week he will choose to have a blitz! A kong stuffed with sausages (can you believe i cook sausages specially for him!!) works as a rule as well as leaving the radio on. Fingers crossed it will be totally out of his system soon, although hes just got back from his hols so who knows!

I think its trial and error and is probably just a hiccup and im sure she'll soon be back to her happy self again.

Liz

  
Polo123
13:35:32 Tue
Sep 20 2005

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Re: Seperation Anxiety

I do find that not going straight to Polo when I come in works pretty well, I tend to hang keys up, put coat away, bag away etc before I even make eye contact with him, which, if I remember correctly, was the amichien advice. Now he tends to wait till I've properly got in and then he'll come tootling over to see me, and actually stands on the floor to be stroked and fussed - oh and he usually has to bring me a toy or something, doesn't part with it mind you! It is difficult to ignore them, especially in Sasha's case where she's obviously upset, but it is worth persevering with. keep us posted Karen with how you both get on :smile:



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jilldemo
02:58:13 Wed
Sep 21 2005

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Totally agree Linda. Long time I can not, but I have watched his "skin dad" do this and monitored the results. It works.

  
SashasMum
06:46:16 Tue
Sep 27 2005

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Getting a lot better at night time. She has stopped pacing the floor and crying when we go to bed, and hasnt woken me up in the night for over a week now!

Thought I was getting somewhere yesterday!! She didnt make too much fuss when the older two left and when I left with Tilly, she didnt get worked up. She was still a bit over excited when I got home, but then she spent the whole morning calmly in her bed rather than attached to my ankles!

Trouble is, the door bell rang at about 12pm and I had to rush out the door (for 5 mins max!) and when I came back she got all clingy again and was unsettled for rest of day!!

Am still trying to get hold of the trainer I had when I got her, but not getting a call back! Nevermind, will just keep plodding on. Just hate knowing that she is upset and fretting!



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SashasMum
15:51:05 Fri
Sep 30 2005

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Well I think I have found the cause for Sasha's sudden change to a quivering anxious wreck!!

I am looking after my Dad's dog Alfie for the weekend (he was the one that was here for a week last time when I was south for my grandfather' funeral)

I have never in my life had the misfortune to be around such a pathetic, highly strung, nervous excuse for a lab. Actually it makes me quite concerned as to what happens to him at home.

He hasn't eaten since he got here, he follows me everywhere panting (that's my stalker Jacquie!!), and sits in front of me whining and putting his paw on me all the time. When I took him for a walk with Sasha today, he spent the whole time walking beside me checking my every move - drove me mad!!!

Funnily enough, since he has been here, Sasha has stopped following me as much - she doesnt get a look in.

Its going to be a long haul to get Sasha back to normal after Alfie has left, but I can assure you all that he will NEVER stay with me again - he is turning my fun loving, playful nutty boxer into a highly strung, whinging, designer dog!!



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jacquie
15:08:46 Sat
Oct 1 2005

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Sounds like he has alot of problems Karen, you may be right. Sasha could just be copying him.
When my Sasha was alive, every time the door went she barked! Blue had never done that, he only barked at night when the door went. It has taken a few months but he now has stopped barking each time a person comes to the door. (thank god) with three teenage boys the door never stops!



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Katiesnowflake
22:44:46 Sat
Oct 1 2005

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Karen
The "putting the paw" on you is a typical Lab trait. Some will gently take your hand in their mouth and either lead or walk with you. Sometimes new owners think their Lab is actually trying to bite them if the dog is a little rough but its just a Lab thing. Its not often you see a highly strung Lab - maybe he just does not like being away from home. The "panting" sounds like stress. Is he overweight ?
Helen

  
SashasMum
11:14:34 Sun
Oct 2 2005

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I grew up with a lab Helen, she was such a wonderful dog, nothing like this nuisance!!

He finally ate something yesterday, after we walked them both for two hours! He rolled in some foul smelling rotting toadstool just to cap my day off!!

He's not overweight Helen, he just follows me around and if I sit down he puts his head on my knee and pants. Sasha will only come to me for cuddles and fuss etc, when I call her to me, she doesnt "demand" it sort of thing? Alfie is a one man dog, (my dad is a widower) but I still think that he is far too over sensitive!! When I let him in the garden for a wee, he walks on my lawn as if it is mined!!!!

Sasha is actually being a lot better while he is here - I think she senses that Alfie is getting into trouble for it, so she is being the "good girl". Perhaps she will see that he isnt getting away with it this time and not bother. Mind you, she did refuse her lunch yesterday and has started hovering me, if I stand still long enough, she sits on my feet!

Can you imagine what its like to have a panting lab and uncertain boxer following you the whole time! They whine outside the toilet door!

Roll on Monday morning!! Alfie goes home and Sasha will start an intensive retraining routine and we will get her back to some kind of normality, so she is happy and settled again.



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jacquie
17:11:15 Tue
Oct 4 2005

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Oh good luck Karen. Hope it works!



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SashasMum
18:33:33 Thu
Oct 6 2005

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She hasn't been as bad this week as she was before. She still whines when Rob takes the kids to school, but I have shaken the bottle at the top of the stairs and she has gone straight into her bed and stopped pacing and panting. Once she learns that her world isn't going to fall apart during the school run, she will be fine.

We have four days in Skye and then a week at home with kids etc so hopefully that will break her routine, so when term begins, she will have forgotten all her worries (fingers and everything else crossed)

She has stopped following me and panting when I am in the house and she is eating her meals when they are put down, so that is a major improvement.!



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jacquie
17:35:41 Tue
Oct 11 2005

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Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!! At least your makeing progress



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SashasMum
21:36:07 Thu
Oct 13 2005

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Dont even go there Jacquie - she nearly got drop kicked over the Skye Bridge.

Laminate floors were the first big problem - she immediately got panicking etc. She had to sleep in our room on the first night, and she faffed the whole night, keeping us both awake! She didnt eat for the whole of the second day and the second night was sheer hell. We had to put her in the porch in the end because she was panting so hard that she kept the whole house awake!!

Third day she slept all day and seemed better and on the last night she slept in with us and was quieter. She has been fine today but I think we are in for probs tonight now that she has slept with us twice!

I am going to get a behaviourlist in to see her and give us some help because she really shouldnt be getting this stressed out over new situations. Last year in Mull she slept in the car and didnt bat an eyelid, this year she couldnt sleep in a hallway on the otherside of a door to us.

Its heartbreaking to see her so stressed, especially when there is no need for it. And I have to admit, its extremely frustrating when, at 3am, she is panting hard enough to have a heart attack and wont even think about stepping into her bed. Hands up I'm afraid - I ended up picking her up and practically dropping her in her bed and shouting at her ...... I was at my wits end and I feel so guilty now, I probably made her worse.

Back at home now, normal routine will resume and I am going to get her some help - I want my old Sasha back!



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SashasMum
13:34:43 Tue
Oct 18 2005

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Just to let you know that I have finally managed to get hold of the dog trainer that I dealt with when I first got Sasha, and she is coming out to see us on Monday.

She agrees that it is most strange that Sasha suddenly changed like this and hopefully she will be able to give us more hints and tips on where we can go from here to get our old nutty boxer back!



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jacquie
15:51:21 Tue
Oct 18 2005

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Oh Karen
I have just caught up with this thread. Poor you and Poor Sasha.
I wonder what happend to amke such an impression on her?
Do you think it was you going away for a few days?
What has the behaviourist come up with?
Please let us know what's going on.



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jacquie
15:51:23 Tue
Oct 18 2005

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Oh Karen
I have just caught up with this thread. Poor you and Poor Sasha.
I wonder what happend to amke such an impression on her?
Do you think it was you going away for a few days?
What has the behaviourist come up with?
Please let us know what's going on.



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jacquie
15:51:25 Tue
Oct 18 2005

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Oh Karen
I have just caught up with this thread. Poor you and Poor Sasha.
I wonder what happend to amke such an impression on her?
Do you think it was you going away for a few days?
What has the behaviourist come up with?
Please let us know what's going on.



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jacquie
15:51:27 Tue
Oct 18 2005

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Oh Karen
I have just caught up with this thread. Poor you and Poor Sasha.
I wonder what happend to amke such an impression on her?
Do you think it was you going away for a few days?
What has the behaviourist come up with?
Please let us know what's going on.



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SashasMum
17:15:54 Tue
Oct 18 2005

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Thats one hell of a stutter Jacquie!!!!

I will let you know what she says on Monday - at the moment she is at as much of a loss as me. Some days she can behave perfectly normal, others she acts like her world is falling apart!!

Yesterday she didnt eat all day and today she ate every meal at mealtime without fussing - go figure!

Its getting very upsetting to see her so unhappy when I know that it is nothing I have done. It's almost as if someone stole her, shut her in a cupboard, beat her and yelled at her for two days, then handed her back an emotional wreck! Trouble is, we know that didnt happen so we dont know what caused it.



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jacquie
18:38:51 Tue
Oct 18 2005

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I have a super sensetive button it seems. God what a stutter!! Sorry Karen wrong again I thought it was yesterday the girl/guy was coming to see her.



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SashasMum
20:17:12 Tue
Oct 18 2005

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I wish it had been Jacquie - really want to get this sorted, although I do know it wont be a quick fix once Donna has been round.

Your button must be male - you know how touchy they get when you press them about something!!:wink:



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