How are you? I hope things are well. You
mentioned that you're pretty familiar with the breed and to let
you know if any issues arise. Weezie is doing great except for
one little thing - I think she's got some major separation
anxiety going on and I'm just not sure what to do about it. I'm
hoping you can offer some advice.
I spend a little time with them in the morning, I
leave for work around 9, come home around 11 to play a bit, give
treats, let them out, then come home again around 3ish and again
around 5:30. Last night I had dinner plans so when I came home
around 5:30, we played a bit and then I left around 6:30 and it
was the first time she's been away from me for more than 2 hours
(I came home around 9). When I got home, she had turned over a
lamp, eaten the shade off, had gotten into my office and
shredded my wastebasket, many of my files, my mail, chewed the
computer power chord, ate my two coffee table books, knocked
everything off the coffee table, yanked all the towels off the
shelves in the bathroom, took a brand new roll of toilet paper
and pulled the entire roll off and had it all over the house (I
couldn't help but laugh at that one), got into the recycle box
in the kitchen and emptied it of all the boxes, the list goes on
and on. I thought I'd been burglarized. I came home after the
fact - so since she wasn't caught in the act - I couldn't scold
her. I just let her out and cleaned up the mess and put
everything out of reach. She's been getting into things here
and there (taking books off shelves and chewing them), but this
was the first totally destructive thing she'd done. So this
morning, I spent some time with them, we played outside a bit,
they ate, then I gave her a nylabone/ball toy and left around
9:00. I came back to check on her at 10:30 and she had hopped
the chair I had placed in the doorway of my home office (there's
no 'door) and gotten into the bathroom- she had basically done
it all over again. Thankfully, I had removed everything
important (but once again - she got into the towels, toilet
paper, shredded another wastebasket, etc) but I could see she
had tried to chew on the computer chord again, which is so
dangerous. I've blocked off that space with a huge club chair,
and all power cords have been hidden by other object so they're
out of her reach. However, I'm worried about this.
What tips can you offer me that might alleviate this
issue? She's got plenty of toys. Should I put in a doggie
door? Does she need more exercise? Can you give me any
suggestions of things to try? Or is this something you think
will pass? She's a delight to be around, but each day she's a
little more rambunctious, willful, vocal, and destructive.
Merle on the other hand is becoming better behaved by the day
(which is great). Weezie doesn't seem to be doing any of this
out of spite or rebellion, I don't think. We've been practicing
walking on a leash and she's doing great. And when I get on to
her about something, most of the time she'll listen.
Any words of advice you can offer
would help. Other than her destructive behavior, she's perfect.
:) haha Erin
You are so sweet to get back
to me. I'm wondering if it's just that she was used to so many dogs
and now with just one other dog (who mostly sleeps and looks out the
window when I'm gone), she's just super bored? I definitely want to
get this figured out but just thinking about giving her back kills
me. I'll only consider that after I've exhausted all efforts and
options. I love her and she's a GREAT dog with a wonderful
disposition. I'm going to work with her and do all I can to make
this work out. I just hate that she's so bored and is acting out.
When you try and scold her, she thinks you're playing with her and
just barks back and swats with her arms. :)
I thought about crate training, but that's
something I've always been very opposed to. My roommate crated
her pup and my friend who fosters has crate trained a few of the
foster pups and has gone from a strong skeptic to a strong
believer. However, I feel like a dog of her size and age - who
has never been crated - I'm worried it would just be
traumatizing for her. I know it's supposed to be their safety
place, but just keeping her cooped up for a couple hours at a
time - ugh. Do you think I should consider it? I can try and
confine her to the kitchen (there aren't any doors though -
maybe I could try a large baby gate). That might be a good
starting point and we'll go from there.
Anyway, if you think of any other
suggestions, I'm all ears. I do think having her there with all
those dogs probably helped... I doubt she was very high up on
the pecking order and just followed the lead of the other pups,
but at my house, she seems to be vying for the alpha dog
position. Once I win out and establish myself as the alpha,
things should ease up. Maybe just a little time is all it'll
take. Hope so! I can't even imagine giving her back. I feel
like I would be failing her, and myself as well!
Thanks again! Erin
Thank you SO much for this email. Weezie has been doing a little better.
I've barricaded my office so she can't get there anymore and
I've taken all the stuff off the coffee tables and have put all
books and magazines out of reach. That has definitely helped.
She's also listening to me a little more. I haven't had to use
the time out place - until last night. My parents came for a
visit with their dog, and from the get-go, she did NOT like
their dog. It was so odd because as soon as she saw him, she
decided she hated him and was VERY vocal about it. She barked
the entire night - and my parents and their dog were in their
room with the door shut. No matter what I did, she just kept
barking over and over. At around 2 or 3am I put her outside but
had to bring her back in b/c the barking wouldn't stop and it
wasn't fair to the neighbors.
I just don't know what's gotten into her or why she's
acted this way towards their dog - because he didn't do
anything. He was timid and slightly submissive. She was
extremely agitated and anxious and kept trying to start a fight
or nip at him. I stayed up with her all night - just trying to
pet her and love on her and calm her down. But nothing worked.
When I say she barked all night long, I literally mean the
entire night and morning. I hate it b/c she was such a sweet
girl when we were in Memphis and everyone loved her, and then my
mom and dad come to town with their pup - all excited because we
were expecting them to all play and have fun, and now my mom and
dad are leaving because Weezie just won't have it. Do you have
any advice on socializing her or handling the incessant barking
and anxiety towards other dogs?
Thanks again for all your wisdom and advice.