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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a problem with my GWP. He has anxiety when we are not in the house. Since he was a pup he was always with his previous owner/breeder. His wife is house ridden due to health problems and they could no longer deal with a 9 month old pup so I helped them out and got a great dog from them. If you have read my previous posts it sounds like an on going drama. Mostly because I have never had a GWP before and the whole hunting dog training thing is new to me also. His training is going great. Read a few books, talked with some friends and I have an awsome very intelligent pup that picks up the training easily. The only thing that is driving me and the rest of the family crazy is the separation problem! We can put him in a kennel when we are not home, but anything over an hour he goes nuts and has escaped (litterally tore the door off of the first kennel). We upgraded to a larger more secure kennel, but that has not lasted either. Talked to the dog trainer at Petsmart. He suggested to try phermones (spelling) that are dispersed from a plug in thing that looks like a Glade plug in. That is "supposed" to calm him. Today, with the phermone thing next to the kennel he went beserk and destroyed the kennel. Lukily Petsmart will take it back for a full refund. I think that part of the problem is the kennel. When we are at home, he would go in it and chill.....as long as we are at home. Door open or closed did not matter as long as someone was in the house. Of course we tried all of the above things with a radio or tv...tuned to a talk program or calm soothing music. I am now trying the 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 1 hour ...etc. type of conditioning to get him used to being alone in the house with my 9 year old rat terrier Ernie. Ernie is mellow and migrates from room to room snoozing and lying in the sun. Something that my GWP does when we are in the house. He also gets exercised everyday...3 mile fast paced walk, sometimes twice a day. Hunting on the weekends for a lot longer "walkabout" as well as the daily walks. I do not think that punishing him is the answer for a natural wanting to be around "the pack".

My question is more like wanting your opinions.

Thanks!
 

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Does he like being outside? Do you have a fenced yard or dog run where he can spend time in? I know my pup would go beserk if he had to stay in the kennel all day.

But the big variable is that you don't know what the dog has been through before you got him. I think you're doing the right thing it taking it slow, being positive, etc. Associate good things with the kennel time. Give him a chew toy or kong, etc.
 

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You can get a medication called "reconcile" from your vet that is specifically designed for dogs with separation anxiety. Use it in combination with behavior modification techniques. Once his behavior starts to improve, you can wean him off the medication.
 

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flint said:
You can get a medication called "reconcile" from your vet that is specifically designed for dogs with separation anxiety. Use it in combination with behavior modification techniques. Once his behavior starts to improve, you can wean him off the medication.
doggy valume???
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good news! I removed the kennel from the house and asked the wife to do the same thing that we always have done with the pheromones, soothing music and remove the food. We also brought his dog bed into the family room where we all hang out and socialize. Shazam! He chilled out, no damage or messes.....just a happy camper for 5 hours! We'll try to extend the time further out to see how he does, a little at a time over te next few days. Our other dog can be left alone for 8-10 hours with absolutly no issues. I think that Blue could be there in a few weeks with some patience.

Obviously the kennel stressed him out. I can't blame him. As long as someone was home he was content with the kennel, with or without the door closed. "Kennel + Separation = Drama"....at least with Blue. The girl at Petsmart couldn't believe the damage that was done to the kennel. Either way they gave me my money back. :D

Still have an appointment with the vet next week. I still want to go over a few more things just to cover all of the bases....to include the "Doggy Valium" if necassary.
 

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How uterly American, Medicate the problem... :?

After owning three of these dogs over the last 20 years I've come to know one thing for sure. GWPs HATE being alone. Especially in a tight space. My buddy left his in the bathroom for the day once. He riped the heating duct out of the floor, chewed a hole through the subfloor, then the drywall celing, and droped into the basment to escape. :shock: So, it's no wonder to me your's got out of a cheesy Petsmart kennel. They are experts at "escape and evade"

With training and work on keeping him honest while your away he should be perfectly fine raoming the house with your Rat Terrrier. GWP's have a very unique personality, they are NOT like most other dogs. They are almost human some times. And throw that "Dogs can't reason" crap right out the window with a GWP. Not only can they reason, they are problem solvers too. Mine did my taxes last year. :mrgreen:

Be patient, he'll be ok just don't medicate him and stick him in the closet. Unless you want a basket case for a dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have no intentions of locking him up and TWEAK him with drugs....in fact the absolute last option is to use the "Doggy Valium". I will not medicate the problem! That would be like putting a band-aid on an artery wound. From the conversation that I had with the vet over the phone, he stated that the "doggy valium" is to calm his nerves and get him used to being without people. Kind of like taking the "anxiety" out of the "separation anxiety". Then a slow weaning off of the meds. I am definitely looking at the long term side of things. Hell, who wants to pay for "happy meds" for the long term.....they are not cheap! Either way, I have an appointment next week. I really do not want the meds, but still want to go over the other options. From what I can see I am on the right track. I initially did an internet search about the problem and there was many different approaches. The only consistent thing was to talk to your "trusted" vet. "Trusted" because some are too quick to hand out the drugs. Mine clearly stated that he wanted to try every option before I went that route. And I agree! Who would want to go out hunting with a drugged up dog? :roll:

So far from what I have seen, the kennel with being locked in it and no one around was the problem. Before the kennel, we tried to let him loose in the house and he got into a few things and also did a few destructive things. That is when we tried to kennel train him. He loved the kennel as long as someone was around. The first kennel (a cheaper one), he was able to escape by ripping the front door completely off. The second kennel was a high end metal one that supposed to be the best one that they had. He did not escape, but......He destroyed it! So much that the plastic bottom was shredded and the metal bottom was bent out of shape, the front door was completely broke and would not close. :shock: Even after the kennels were torn up, he would go in and lay down as long as someone was in the house. Right now he looks for the pheromone plug in where we normally plug it into the wall socket. I think that it might have something to do with the positive results also.

I have to say that he is very socialized and wants to be around people. The way he was going, the wife was losing her mind and patience with me and the dog. I do not give up easy. In fact, for me it is almost a challenge! The wife on the other hand looks at things differently. She seemed to have forgotten how hard the training was with our rat terrier 9 years ago. Selective memory if you ask me. :wink:
 
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