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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am convinced that the issues we are having are related to a fear of being alone and that it is entirely my fault. Romeo is scared to be away from me regardless if he is with someone else. Keep in mind that he is able to go everywhere with me, so god forbid I have to go to the grocery store and he can't come, he will whine and whine and whine and actually start shaking.

My trainer recommended me to:
A) Stop taking him absolutely everywhere
B) Spend time everyday to simply walk in and out to reassure him that I will in fact be back for him

We have been doing this for about 3 weeks now, several times a day but I am not seeing any change. The worst part of this whole ordeal is that when I do come back for him, the poor boy in doing every trick in the book for me.

This anxiety has nothing to do with being in a kennel (he now loves his house), or even being in a different room. If he knows I am around, he is okay.

Also, I have provided lots of chews, and "activity" type toys to keep him occupied and it still doesn't help. Also, he gets lots of exercise and mental stimulation already. I thought that that would help knock him out but it doesn't even put a dent in it.

I just left a message to a behaviorist to see if they can help. But, should I change dog trainers? Or work with what the behaviorist says and keep the trainer? Have I just not put in enough time with what we are already doing?

Any thoughts?


BTW I have read seemingly every post that others have written. Our issue seems to be the opposite in that I am not leaving him at home all day. I don't believe our situation is the same. I could be wrong (?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh yes. The real deal. I forget who had posted the list (it was on a post I read with another dog with SA).

Thank you for the link! Just ordered it. I read the first couple pages that you can view and it looks very helpful!
 

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Who are you working with if you don't mind sharing as far as training, etc.

That sounds to me like the right path to take but I might also be able to refer you to trainers depending on your area.

Is your breeder local? Can they watch him for a little bit when you get to that point?
 
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Heck, if I could bring Elka absolutely everywhere with me, I totally would. I can see how it would make it super stressful in the rare instances where dogs are not allowed.

What do you mean by shaking? His whole body? Just his head?

Unfortunately, I don't really have any other advice than what Meadowcat has already said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Who are you working with if you don't mind sharing as far as training, etc.

That sounds to me like the right path to take but I might also be able to refer you to trainers depending on your area.

Is your breeder local? Can they watch him for a little bit when you get to that point?
We are in basic obedience training with Dogs N Focus located up in Dobbins. I am more than open to a new trainer. Not that we have had a bad experience but I would really like to take Romeo further than what I believe this company can offer. eg: advanced levels of obedience, possibly agility since Romeo already climbs around on the equipment :p

I am just north of Sacramento but would travel. Do you recommend anyone?

My breeder is local-ish... Still a 7 hour round trip, but may be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Heck, if I could bring Elka absolutely everywhere with me, I totally would. I can see how it would make it super stressful in the rare instances where dogs are not allowed.

What do you mean by shaking? His whole body? Just his head?

Unfortunately, I don't really have any other advice than what Meadowcat has already said.
His whole body! It's terrible. I would compare it to shivering when it's cold. LOL Is that even normal?
 

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On the occasions when you do leave him, is he crated or loose? Some dogs do better crated. If left loose, they engage in behaviors which basically wind themselves up further (e.g., pacing leading to whining leading to faster pacing leading to desperation, etc.)... for some dogs, crating prevents this from playing out, and they just settle down and wait.

When you come home and he goes through his greeting dealie, how do you interact with him?

Not poking you with a stick, but you've referred to this as an ordeal, said it's terrible, referred to your dog as a poor boy and defined him as scared to be alone. Dogs read people like books, and Dobermans are even better at this than most dogs. I am wondering if your emotional involvement with what's going on is having an effect on what's going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
On the occasions when you do leave him, is he crated or loose? Some dogs do better crated. If left loose, they engage in behaviors which basically wind themselves up further (e.g., pacing leading to whining leading to faster pacing leading to desperation, etc.)... for some dogs, crating prevents this from playing out, and they just settle down and wait.

When you come home and he goes through his greeting dealie, how do you interact with him?

Not poking you with a stick, but you've referred to this as an ordeal, said it's terrible, referred to your dog as a poor boy and defined him as scared to be alone. Dogs read people like books, and Dobermans are even better at this than most dogs. I am wondering if your emotional involvement with what's going on is having an effect on what's going on.

No poking here! I'm here for answers!

When I leave, 9 times out of 10 he has my fiance to entertain him. The other times he is left in his crate. Being almost 6 m/o, I can't trust him to be out yet.

When he is in his crate, I come in to the room he is in and get situated. This probably lasts 10 minutes or so, and then let him out. As soon as he sees me all whining stops.

When he is not, I ignore him for about 10 minutes as well. No coddling here. Once he relaxes, he gets attention. This might sound bad, but his efforts to engage with me are pretty hilarious and I have to watch myself from paying attention to him.

Is that good? Bad?
 

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Sounds to me like you're already doing about what I would suggest.

You say that when you leave, he will whine and whine. Do you know whether this goes on for all the time he is alone, or does he whine for a little bit and give it up? If you haven't, you might leave a tape recorder going, and see...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sounds to me like you're already doing about what I would suggest.

You say that when you leave, he will whine and whine. Do you know whether this goes on for all the time he is alone, or does he whine for a little bit and give it up? If you haven't, you might leave a tape recorder going, and see...
Not sure if he whines every time, but I have sat outside for about a half an hour and listened and the whining progressed to a bark/whine thing (?). It sounded like I was inside torturing him.

I will keep a tape recorder going tomorrow and see what happens.
 

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................
My trainer recommended me to:
A) Stop taking him absolutely everywhere
B) Spend time everyday to simply walk in and out to reassure him that I will in fact be back for him...............

^^^^ of all, a) & b) advise from your trainer, it would not be an option on my dobe that had similar SA.
- she went everywhere with me / and still does
- walking in and out to insure you will be back, IMO is somewhat pointless / this breed is to smart and can figure out when your leaving the house for real or not / I do promise her, that Dad will be back soon

My girl hated her crate, and in it would:
- whine for hours
- suck her flank
- or try to excape, by prying on the bottom of the door

What helped our pup (big time), was allowing her to stay on the leather couch, as she did not wreck stuff...with CNN voices on TV.
- the crate removed from the picture worked, for us
Plus advanced OB (off-leash) training helped.
The open up house freedoms, managed our Amy's SA whining / but she still cannot be crated, even at Vets.
 

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With Kyrah I had the same issue as Beaumont67. She would get herself all worked up; whining, howling, panting & drooling when crated. She was content to lay on the couch and wait for me. I kept the crate training in progress that she could stay in it if I was home and if we went to a trial. She is doing very well with it that way. :)

I did the open and close the door; walk out stay out for a few come back in...leave for 15 mins come back, etc...when she was young. I wouldnt say that SA is b/c a dog was never left alone and taken everywhere. Kyrah was never left alone until she was 6 months old. The one time she exhibited it was when I didnt let her see me leaving and/or tell her I'll be back. She was very upset and exhibited SA behaviors. (my daughter called me and my trip to the store was a u-turn. Come home for a few and leave again) Now I always let her see me leave and tell her I'll be back.

I think the exercise given is a good one. Also agree its not going to be a quick fix.
 
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