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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just rescued a 2 yr old female doberman from a shelter. She's not skittish or anything, but i think she has pretty awful separation anxiety. She fights with me when i crate her. She eliminates in her crate everyday. Today i found she had somehow opened her crate and proceeded to demolish our trash can, leave very loose stools on our carpet and chew paper towel rolls, eat all her treats, and our dish sponge (weird, right?). When she IS in her crate, she continues to whine and cry and when she's out (and we're home) she just lays around. She is so stubborn. I don't know what to do to get her to behave correctly without being able to punish her WHEN the misbehavior happens. I am always gone when it occurs. If anyone has advice on what to do to train her out of this, please let me know.

-Whitney
 

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I just rescued a 2 yr old female doberman from a shelter. She's not skittish or anything, but i think she has pretty awful separation anxiety. She fights with me when i crate her. She eliminates in her crate everyday. Today i found she had somehow opened her crate and proceeded to demolish our trash can, leave very loose stools on our carpet and chew paper towel rolls, eat all her treats, and our dish sponge (weird, right?). When she IS in her crate, she continues to whine and cry and when she's out (and we're home) she just lays around. She is so stubborn. I don't know what to do to get her to behave correctly without being able to punish her WHEN the misbehavior happens. I am always gone when it occurs. If anyone has advice on what to do to train her out of this, please let me know.

-Whitney
Of course she has seperation anxiety...she just came out of a shelter. Do you know anything at all about her history? How long are you away from her?

You must give a rescue time to adapt. My girl was 3 and never did get over destruction in the crate, peeing in the crate...she doesn't need to be crated at that age however, and is good in a room when I am away.

Do not punish her as she may have no idea at this point what is expected, a rescue can take months to settle in.

If you feel you have made a mistake, please return her promptly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm only gone for 3 hours at the most during the day. I go to work, come back for an hour at lunch and play with her/walk her. Leave again. Come back two hours later. Then I'm with her the rest of the night. She certainly makes quick work of the time she has. If you think it would be ok to leave her in the living room and scatter toys and pee pads on the floor, i'm down to do that too. I'm just nervous about what might get destroyed.

All my past dobermans have been raised from puppies, so this is a new experience. I don't want to make her any more anxious. She seems quite happy and energetic when i AM home.
 

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oooh, also. I should have made clear i never ever punish her unless i catch her redhanded. Then i scold with "no" and "bad girl" to mark the behavior as incorrect.

I don't believe its fair to scold for something she did not do at the moment. She doesn't even know all our doggy rules yet.
 

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My rescue boy initially freaked in a crate also.

I actually 'dogproofed" a big 10x12 bathroom for him with a tall baby gate. I put his bed,a chewie, a toy, and started putting him in there with treats for 1/2 hr or so when I was home at first to get him used to it. Everything he could destroy or eat was hidden (toothpaste, or anyhting on the bathroom counter, the garbage cab, etc.) He did tear a towel rack off one wall to sleep on one of my bath towels....the one thing I had not removed were towels!

I don't know if I'd trust her in your living area as she may eat your couch with her anxiety! Eating a sponge could cause a blockage also....so put her somewhere she can't eat everything in sight.

Either dog proof a room like I was able to, or start putting her in the crate for short periods of time WHEN YOU ARE HOME and sit in the same room it doing your work, watch TV, whatever. Let her out when she's NOT whining and praise like crazy. It takes time, but my boy went from being berserk at the thought of a crate...to being crate trained and actually a perfect house dog now. (It took about a year for him to happily go in a crate and rest, not stress.)
 

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Congrats for rescuing! One thing you might want to give her while she is in the crate is a filled KONG. You can fill them with canned dog food, cheese or peanut butter mixed with her kibble and freeze them. Give her one when you put her in the crate and it will help her to associate the crate with something good.
 

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My first dobe Jake had separation anxiety. He had been rescued because he had been severely neglected and was regularly left alone in a basement without food for weeks at a time so it was no wonder he had separation anxiety.

Like you, we tried crating him but he would thrash around screaming and we were afraid he'd hurt himself. We tried putting him in a doggy proofed bathroom but he would destroy everything (doors, baseboards, floor, etc.) We decided that we would keep him even if he never got over his separation anxiety. We took him with us whenever we could and had family watch him whenever possible but there were times when we would have to leave him in the bathroom and hope he didn't damage anything too badly. The fear he felt when we had to leave him alone was sheer panic and I would get furious about his previous owners and I'd think how terrible it must have been for Jake feeling so scared, alone and starving living in disgusting conditions on a cold, concrete floor. A whole day is a long time for a dog to wait... I can't imagine how he felt having to wait 2 or 3 weeks for someone to come home. :(

It took about 3 years of working with him and making him feel safe and secure with us before we were finally able to work him up to staying calm in a crate for just an hour or two but never any longer.

I think Jake's case was pretty severe and I'm sure your girl will settle in much more quickly. You've already been given lots of great advice. The only other things I can think to add is that tiring her out before you leave her alone might help some and you can try to secure the crate better so she can't get out. You could also try some Bach's Rescue Remedy to help calm her. Good luck and please keep us updated!
 
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We found closing the solid bathroom door was too much for Rex.....we had a tall baby gate, or even 2 baby gates for a doorway he could see out of. He did not stress as much that way. He WAS nervous enough that he never ate any treat when left alone and then would gulp it down when he was back with us.
 
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If you must cage her, you need to drain her energy prior to leaving her. You resued her, she wants to bond , when your home you say she is relaxed and calm, when you leave her she has to much energy, then she's caged. Run her out, work OB , toss a ball do what she enjoys, get her energy levels down. Do not put multible toys with her, only one and becareful it's not something that she could destroy then injested. I would work toward eliminating the cage, Ellenm suggestion of setting up a room that would be dog proofed is what I do, no closed doors gate it make it so she can see, and proof it , no escapes, slowly enlarging the area in time so to develope a trust with your new friend.This takes more time with older dogs and then alttle longer if they been jailed, make the effort. Your to be congradulated for her rescue, but now leadership begins. a Hero of Dobermann Train her up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, Fox was outside her crate today and I left her for about an hour and a half to run errands. Of course no conclusions can be made from one day, but i was surprised to find no soiled pee pads, an intact trash can lid, no chewed messes, and her sniffing at the door as i entered smiling and running in circles. I was impressed. Pleasantly. Maybe she was just rebelling against the crate. I did take her to the park to run and play today for a half hour, so maybe that helped as well.

As i am very young (22), i appreciate input from more experienced dog owners. Thanks guys for the help!

-Whitney
 

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If you must cage her, you need to drain her energy prior to leaving her. You resued her, she wants to bond , when your home you say she is relaxed and calm, when you leave her she has to much energy, then she's caged. Run her out, work OB , toss a ball do what she enjoys, get her energy levels down. Do not put multible toys with her, only one and becareful it's not something that she could destroy then injested. I would work toward eliminating the cage, Ellenm suggestion of setting up a room that would be dog proofed is what I do, no closed doors gate it make it so she can see, and proof it , no escapes, slowly enlarging the area in time so to develope a trust with your new friend.This takes more time with older dogs and then alttle longer if they been jailed, make the effort. Your to be congradulated for her rescue, but now leadership begins. a Hero of Dobermann Train her up.
I agree with this advice. I would also leave something for her to entertain herself with... a stuffed kong, safe chew toy, etc. to make it rewarding for her when you leave
 
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