Help! My dog has severe separation anxiety!

AmandaAmanda Posts: 2Member
Sorry in advance, this will probably be a longish post.

A little background:

Kylo is a one-year-old Pit bull-Dachshund mix. My husband and I adopted Kylo from the humane society on October 6, 2017. He was 9 months old at the time. The only information we were given about his background was that his previous owner had kept him locked in a crate for 18+ hours a day. That should have been my first red flag but since I was 4 the last time I had a dog... anyway.

The first couple weeks were mostly without incident. But since about the beginning of November, Kylo displays extreme anxiety whenever either my husband or I leave, and I'm not talking just about leaving the house. Leaving the ROOM, going to the bathroom, the kitchen, to put laundry in the dryer. If my husband goes to bed before I do, the dog freaks out because we aren't both in the same room with him. Howling, crying, shaking, barking, whining, pacing. And if we HAVE to leave him home in his crate... he is so far beyond stressed out. I'm at the end of my rope. I love him but ... I also hate him. I wish I'd never adopted him, and I want to give him back. BUT my husband is in love with the dog and doesn't see ANY of this behavior as a reason to relinquish him. My husband doesn't actually SEE most of this behavior because he works 40 hours a week and I'm home with the kids (4 cats and the dog, no human kids.)

I need help. I need some advice from people who've dealt with this. And yes, I've searched the whole of the internet. I need more than what's out there. I've tried everything I've read about except for drugs - vet appointment is next month.

I'm a cat person who got a dog with severe problems and I don't love this dog enough to spend 24/7 understanding his problems. (And before anyone asks, I suffer from anxiety myself so I actually understand what he's going through, I just don't have the emotional energy to deal with it the way he DESERVES. I want to, I really do. I just need help.)

Thanks for reading


  • Sandy_Kramer_etcSandy_Kramer_etc BangorPosts: 107,521Member ✭✭✭✭✭

    First of all don't give up on him. He has trust issues enough without being let down by another human. Second there anti-anxiety drugs that a vet can prescribed that will help calm him. If you can't get the drugs low dose benedryl can be given to help calm him down. If you don't want to give him drugs there are lots of other things to try. A calming collar with lavendar oil can help. there is an all natural product called Rescue Remedy that has been known to help some dogs. There is a Item called a Thunder Shirt that they can wear that might help, but could be too warm once winter comes.
    Working with him. leave him for one minute then return. Then leave him for 2 minutes then return. keep increasing the amount of time. He will eventually understand that you will return and he won't stress as much.
    Try not to crate him. He probably associates the crate with bad things. Putting him in a crate is only gonna make him more stressed. Instead a small room like a bathroom or a room he can't destroy anything would be better. Leave a radio or tv and light on so that it feels like someone is around.
    Also Talk to your Vet. They may have more suggestions, or there may be a physical issue that needs to be addressed as well.

    No Longer Lost BOL

    Sandy aka Thumper
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    We celebrate my birthday and Gotcha Day on Jan 3 though we do not know when I was born

  • roberthasekroberthasek Posts: 22Member
    Well, the way I see it, there are two possible ways.
    1) He is getting on your nerves. You need to get out of the house more. He is growing more attached, you are growing angrier at him for it. Break the cycle.
    2) Talk to your vet. Treat it like a real medical issue. This level of anxiety is not healthy.

    For both scenarios - how much activity does your dog get? Because tired dog = happy dog.
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