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Dealing With a Pet's Separation Anxiety

Apparently I have a knack for making dogs so attached that they end up with separation anxiety when I leave home.

It was such a long day at work, and I could not wait to get home and see my babies Grayson and Kaiah. I open the door and the wonderful greeting of wagging tails immediately disappeared when I saw the big pile of dirt behind them.

Upon closer inspection, I used to have a potted plant with about five pounds of dirt in it. The dirt now laid all over the floor, and the pot was completely disassembled. My long work day just became a long work night.

Now, my first thought was to yell at , my 75-pound wolf mix. But let's be honest here, I wasn't there when it happened, and Kaiah could have joined in all this fun. 

If this was just a single episode, I would move on. However, it is just one of many. I know, right now you may be asking, "many?" Well, I am sure I am not the only one dealing with these issues, so let me give you some background.

When I first had Kaiah, my black lab mix, she became so attached to me that she ended up with seperation anxiety, but she only chose certain things to tear up — expensive things, but just an item or two, such as a shoe. She even nibble my bra right in half! (She would do it so delicately, you wouldn't know it was torn until you picked it up and one half stayed where it lay.)

Eventually, she settled down; and now I have Grayson. At first, things were not so bad, but apparently I have a knack for making dogs so attached that they end up with seperation anxiety when I leave. 

One day when I came home, I knew it was not going to be good as soon as I walked by the window. The aluminum blinds were bent and torn up. 

Everyone asks how I know Grayson is tearing these things up, and all I can say is, I cannot know for sure that it is him. I only know that Kaiah never tore up the things that are now being destroyed (three pair of scissors, books, photo albums, a scrub brush that he got from the sink, a loaf of bread, shoes, and a case of beer he pulled out of the closet). The only clue I have is that the teeth marks in all the items are huge! (Kaiah's teeth are half the size of Grayson's.) 

Grayson has been with me for nine months, and I am finally at the end of my rope and ready to jump.

I say that, but let me be clear, I will never give my baby up for his bad behavior. This is a lifetime commentment, and I need to learn how to communicate with him.

To do that, I decided I need help. I contacted a Tampa Bay area dog trainer at Learn with Jenza. Grayson and Kaiah start next week and I cannot wait! 

After all:

  • Pot for plant = $15
  • Dirt = $5
  • Scrub brush = $3
  • Scissors x3 = $18
  • Blinds = $40
  • Shoes = $40
  • Love for Grayson = PRICELESS!

Of course, I will be giving you updates of their progress!

John Dolac March 12, 2012 at 11:19 PM
I feel your pain!
Michelle Conchita Alanzo March 14, 2012 at 02:45 PM
You might want to think about crating or gating your dogs when your not home. I know its not the most palatable idea but looking at some of the things that have been destroyed in your home it seems like a safety issue for their own protection. Coming home to a house full of dirt or torn up shoes stinks, but coming home and having to make a trip to the e-vet is much worse. If you don't want to go with a crate if you have an area like a hallway, preferably somewhere with a tile floor where you can clear it of all objects within reach and place a few safe positive play object like kong brand toys (rubber toys you can hide a treat inside that they work to get out) to keep him busy at least you know he won't be possibly ingesting or chewing on anything sharp or hazardous while they are out of your sight.

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