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Help! Seperation anxiety!

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Okay so my 2 and a half year old, Duke, has always suffered from separation anxiety, easily managed because there is almost always someone home and he isn't destructive he just sits and waits and doesn't move until someone is home.


However, my husband has gone overseas (2 weeks ago) and Duke has just flipped a switch to destructive mode, if he isn't tearing something apart (bye bye couch) he is crying. Or he is tearing things apart while crying. Usually pretty good with commands (except on walks, damn cars!) however now he just won't listen and it seems to be getting worse not any better.


He simply isn't adjusting.


He is eating which is surprising! He and I usually fight at dinner time unless both me and hubby are with him but he is eating fine.


I can't leave him outside unattended because he has decided he doesn't like the cat anymore either.


He gets walked every night at least 30mins-1hr.



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Sounds like you both are having a rough time. Border Collies can be very sensitive and very use to routine, so things like your husband being gone can upset them. Sorry you are having to go through this.


Here is a suggestion that has worked well for a few folks I have worked with on separation anxiety. the trick is to help your dog feel safe when you leave and keep you furniture safe as well :)


Do you have a crate for him? I am not sure if that is even allowed in Austrialia, but a crate can be both you and your dogs best friend. If you have an appropriately sized crate - wire or plastic, not cloth, I like to train crate games. I will dig up a link for crate games and PM you with it.


Crate games helps to build value for the crate for your dog and helps with all sorts of things. But you can take crate games to a new level and start to get your dog comfortable with separationtrain after you have gone through the first 3 levels of crate games, put your dog in the crate and leave the house for a couple minutes, come back in and reward massively with great treats - such as bits of chicken or steak. Then let your dog out and play with him. Now put him back in the crate and leave the house again, this time for a few minutes longer, come back in treat him and release and play.


Do this over a weekend when you don't have to be gone and repeat several times, varying the length of time you are out of the house. this will start to teach him that the crate is a fun safe place to be when no one is home, and teaches him that when you come home, good things happen. make sure that the first time you are gone for more than a few minutes, that you really make it a party with him when you come back.


The crate will also help so that he is not destroying your furniture. You can also try leaving on the TV or radio when you leave the house. The soft voices can help relax them. You may also want to try a DAP collar, which releases hormones and relaxes the dogs. I am sure others will have more suggestions, but crate games helps a lot.

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You might look into:


1. Through a Dog's Ear CD's (I think they do downloads through the computer, too)

2. An L-Theanine supplement like Composure


Crating . . . it can go either way. Some dogs with Separation Anxiety do better in a crate. Some do not.


I would also consider talking to a vet who has experience treating the condition. I can't say whether or not this is the case for your dogs, but for some medication (clomipramine) can be very helpful to lower the threshold and make it possible for behavior modification to work.


There was a thread about it on here recently . . .

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