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My 1st post here! Didn't know this wonderful place existed. My 1 1/2 year old Larry has the worst case of seperation anxiety I've ever sen in any dog. He's normally the sweetest dog in the world but when I begin to leave the house he literally attacks me. He's ripped my clothes and drawn blood many times as I try to leave. Suggestions please! Thanks in advance.:confused:
 

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to be clear, i am by no means considering giving up my larry. i don't know what i would do without him.
 

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Unfortunately severe cases of seperation anxiety do not respond well simply to behavior modification techniques because in order for them to work the dog needs to be cognatively functioning on a high level which simply does not happen in a high stress high anxiety situation. So anti-anxiety medication in addition to behavior modification is required.

It requires professional help give that medication is usually require My first choice is a practioner that is both a vet and trained in animal behavior i.e. Veterinary animal behaviorist, the can be found by clicking here

another option is a certified behavaiorist that will work with a vet your or otherwise to acomplish the same with the vet prescribing medication and the behaviorist working on the behavior mod
Participating CAABs

Directory of Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists

IAABC Consultant Locator

reference material

DOG WHO LOVED TOO MUCH

Seperation Anxiety
The hard part for the owner is that, for the duration of this treatment, the dog cannot experience absences in day to day life that are longer than the point he has reached in treatment exercises. This means essentially that, early on in treatment, the dog cannot be left alone. Owners typically employ dog-sitters, vacation time, doggie day-care and bringing the dog to work to manage this during treatment.
 

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Wow, thanks for the advice Mikey! Is it possible I did something to cause this? When I first brought him home I would gradually leave for an increased amount of time before I returned to work, starting by just standing outside the door for a minute. I thought I did all the necessary homework before bringing my puppy home. I do live alone and have no other pets.
 

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Is it possible I did something to cause this?
Yes it is possible bur keep in mind the dogs personality, genetic, and prior environment all play a role. There is no way to tell if you did things any differently that thinks would turn out differently. No sense in beating yourself up over it, because 1 it does not make a difference now and 2 there is no way of knowing. speculation is simply not helpful. Something to consider what is important in preventing sep anxiety is not simply gradually increase duration of alone time, but making leaving and also as important arriving no big deal. Big emotional departure and greetings tend to be more problemmatic then the length of time the dog is left alone,.


Some dogs do much better if the have a companion with them. not always does it need to be another dog, However before embarking on that route it is possible adding another just doubles the problem. If you can see how the dog react to being left with a friends dog etc to see if it helps . This is a management system i.e. never leaving the dog alone rather than a cure. Provide another critter, opposed to a changing the underling behavior, is often a faster and simpler solution. Keep in mind I am not advocating that approach, it does not cure the sep anxiety it solves the problem associated with it because the dog is never alone. It is not without risk. If not tested for effectiveness before hand it is probably just as likely that larry's anxieties rub of on the new critter and now you have twice the problem.
 

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When Lightning was a pup, he would destroy my house when left alone. He was on medication for awhile, but it didn't help. So when he was about 18 months old, I got him a buddy, Stomps, and that solved the problem. I was very resistant to getting a second dog, but I never regretted a moment of my time with two. You might think about that option. (You'll notice on this board that very few people have just one basset.)
 

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Here are a few articles worth reading...

Separation Anxiety
Serene Homecoming

I would also suggest "The Power of Positive Dog Training" by Pat Miller. It's an incredible book and is a great resource for any dog owner. Chapter 21 talks specifically about separation anxiety. You can get it used from Amazon for $5.

Another dog may alleviate the problem, but adding a 2nd dog could cause bigger issues. Adding a 2nd dog has to be done carefully because dog #1 has to like dog #2.

I recommend reading the aforementioned material and seeing if that helps. If not, I would seek professional advice from an animal behaviorist...I wouldn't immediately resort to meds.

Let us know how it goes!
 
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