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Is this separation anxiety??


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My dad recently built a better kennel in our barn for Rocko and Sasha to stay in at night and after being fairly sure that there was no way Sasha could escape this kennel, she's still been getting out. Turns out she's been tearing away the metal fence to squeeze out. She's done a real number on her teeth, I was about sick when I saw how bad her teeth were yesterday.

 

She's always been an escape artist and has dug, chewed, and climbed her way out. (Apparently her father was the exact same way). The dogs are only in the kennel at night or when my parents are gone for an extended period, she willingly goes in the kennel when we say so, and she doesn't seem to have a problem with us leaving her.

 

New kennel:

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A (sort of) patched hole that she tore up:

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The newest hole:

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...and the damage she's done to her teeth (over the years, but it seems to have rapidly gotten worse)... you can see the marks from the galvanized metal on the edges of her teeth:

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She also has a large grape size pocket of puss on one of her elbows.

 

I just don't know what to make of this... I can't decide of this is truly separation anxiety or she just hates being locked up that much. She might be better off if we just let her stay outside, but we lost our last dog on the road and don't want it to happen again- I'm fairly certain that she would just stay up around the house and away from the road (which is fairly busy, a lot of semis and dumb kids), I just feel that's a risk I really don't want to take. I'm also scared that if she continues to do this, one of these days she's going to get hung up and SERIOUSLY get hurt or worse.

 

Would bitter spray work for the metal? My folks questioned running an electric wire around it, but all the metal in there would probably conduct it a lot more, that and I don't think it would stop her. Is she just too determined to get out? What would you do?

 

They just turned 8 and she's been doing this her whole life...

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Have you tried a heavy duty plastic covered cable (like for sled dogs) and tie her in the kennel with it? One where she can move but not long enough to escape? That and I prefer the Priefert kennels, they are not chain link, they are welded wire panels.

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whatever you do don't buy those black welded wire kennels from Lowes. I bought two about two years ago and both are almost completely rusted out at the bottoms. And they are set up under a complete cover so they don't ever get rained on. This is just from hosing them down and dog's peeing on them.

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Have you tried a heavy duty plastic covered cable (like for sled dogs) and tie her in the kennel with it? One where she can move but not long enough to escape? That and I prefer the Priefert kennels, they are not chain link, they are welded wire panels.

 

Yeah, or just tie her up outside. What I would suggest though if she goes that route is to get the super heavy duty one made for dogs up to like 200lbs. Mick will snap/bite through the lighter weight ones.

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It could be separation anxiety or she could just be bored. Are you able to put anything in it to help keep her busy? Some kind of bones, treat balls, kongs, etc... something to keep her occupied.

 

You may want to see about using video to see how she is acting to help figure out what the real problem is...

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Hi there ~

 

I wouldn't recommend leaving a dog loose next to a highway, EVER. All it takes is a split-second of mischance. I abhor tying a dog just as much. Tying-out only teaches a dog more neurotic behaviors.

 

What I do wonder is if she's not simply bored! The kennel looks very clean and tidy, but also very spartan. For one suggestion, can she have a softer bed? The puss pocket on her elbow could be because of the hard floor and only a rug to lay on. Secondly, I'll second the question, what about sturdy toys like Kongs, balls, rope toys and such? Will she play with or chew on toys if they are left with her? If she's not showing anxiety at being kenneled or when you walk away, it may simply be acute boredom.

 

Good luck with this.

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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Hi there ~

 

I wouldn't recommend leaving a dog loose next to a highway, EVER. All it takes is a split-second of mischance. I abhor tying a dog just as much. Tying-out only teaches a dog more neurotic behaviors.

 

What I do wonder is if she's not simply bored! The kennel looks very clean and tidy, but also very spartan. For one suggestion, can she have a softer bed? The puss pocket on her elbow could be because of the hard floor and only a rug to lay on. Secondly, I'll second the question, what about sturdy toys like Kongs, balls, rope toys and such? Will she play with or chew on toys if they are left with her? If she's not showing anxiety at being kenneled or when you walk away, it may simply be acute boredom.

 

Good luck with this.

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

 

 

I'll try getting a big KONG, maybe stuff some peanut butter in it or something... neither Rocko or Sasha have ever shown any interest in toys, so I don't know if that would work... but it's worth a shot! Is it too late to teach an old dog to enjoy toys?? They just love attention more than anything else...

 

The kennel is really new... I suggested that they probably need something a little softer/cushier than a piece of carpet, we'll see what we can do about that. They don't spend much time in there, which is probably why my folks left it so sparse.

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Freeze the kong with its contents. Peanut butter can be a bit rich for some dogs, you can also soak kibble in chicken or beef broth, or make a soup of canned food to soak it in and make it more enticing. Stuff the kong with the soaked kibble, then freeze.

 

You might want to make two or three kongs, enough so that each dog has one.

 

For the pen, maybe make a more den like area within the pen. She may feel a bit overwhelmed with all that space, but no 'den' to rest in. If you can get a video, as Kim suggested, you'll be able to find out if it's real SA or extreme boredom. Interactive toys, a good exercise session before your parents leave, leaving a radio on, you can try all these. If it is SA, you'll want some professional help.

 

The pus pocket on her elbow may need antibiotics. Shoshone gets these, and often chooses to lay on a hard surface even when soft ones are available, silly beast.

 

Please don't leave her out. It's a tragedy in the making.

 

Ruth

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If your dog really is bored and if your dog is not terribly toy-motivated, you may need to make the food more easily-accessible. For example, my dog, who's a rescue, is extremely food-motivated, and we've worked very hard to transfer some of that value over to toys. Initially, we had to stuff the Kong with food that was easy for him to reach. Otherwise, he'd shut down again. I'm now using more complicated food toys and food that's a bit more challenging for him to get at.

 

Certainly look at the webcam so that you can see what he's doing and if he looks bored. If you do decide to use food toys, you may need, as we did, to make things easier for the dog to get the treats. If so, it might be an idea to see if you can get a pet-sitter to swing by during the lunch hour to restock the toys until your dog learns to have more fun with them.

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