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Lisa
Lisa, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16172
Experience:  CVT with a special interest in behavior modification through structure, boundaries and limitations with positive reinforcement.
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Hello, my family recently rescued a dog that was found in an

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Hello, my family recently rescued a dog that was found in an abandoned house. The neighbor had been giving it food and water because she was hoping someone would come back for it, but sadly, no one did. She is a sweet dog, but seems to suffer from severe distress whenever she cannot be directly with us. For example, we have 2 other dogs and she get along fine with them, but when we let them out back in the morning to go to the bathroom she runs to the bathroom and then starts barking her head off to come back in. When we leave the house all the dogs go in the laundry room which has a baby gate up (preventing them from running around the house) and it has a dog door that leads to outside so they may go out if they choose. As soon as she is placed in the laundry room she starts barking and crying. The only time she does not bark and cry is when she able to be sitting next to (or on) a person. I am wondering if she maybe has some type of separation anxiety from the trauma of being abandoned? How best can we handle this? If we are not home she is always with our other 2 dogs, so she is never alone.
Hi there. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm happy to help you with Charlotte's issues today. Just like an in-person consult, I have a few questions to help me determine the best way to tackle her problem.

How long have you had her now?

Is she spayed?

Are any of the dogs crate trained?

Does she act like this when you're in another room as well, or only when you're out of the house completely?

Has she been to obedience classes at all?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We only have had her 1 day. So last night was her first night sleeping at hour house. We put in her a crate in our bedroom and she started to really cry so I put a blanket over her crate and she went right to sleep and slept fine and was quiet the rest of the night. Both of our other dogs are crate trained, and house trained.


She does not appear to be spayed (dont see or feel a scar - but we could be wrong)


She cries and barks even if we are just in the other room.


 

Thanks so much for the additional information April. I really appreciate it.

The important thing...maybe the MOST important thing to remember is that even though I'm sure you already love her...you are a stranger and she is in a strange place, so taking it easy with her for a few weeks, until she adjusts to you and her forever home. I'm sure you want her to feel comfortable and to know that she's safe...but these little rescue dogs can get overwhelmed by simple day-to-day things that you do with your other dogs pretty fast. Imagine if you were dropped in the middle of Russia...you don't know anyone, you don't know the customs, and you don't speak the language...you'd be a little overwhelmed, no matter how nice everyone was. This is what your new dog is dealing with.

 

I actually have a bit of experience in this situation. I am currently owned by a Maltipoo named Vinnie who spent the first four years of his life in a very small kennel in the backyard of someone who was breeding him to make money. He wasn't house trained, he didn't know how to be a pet and was horribly, terribly skittish around humans. My first night home with him, he bit me. For the first 6 months I had him, he was anxious and made 'poop art' (he defecated when he was left alone) in his art every day.

 

With my little guy, the first thing I did was get him a DAP collar to help with his anxiety over the new life he had. These are collars that are impregnated with a man-made version of the dog appeasing pheromone, which is a pheromone that nursing bitches give off to their pups to help them feel calm and secure. It's something that humans can't smell, but it has an amazing effect on dogs with anxiety and other issues. Although you can find them at your vet's office..you can also find them online at places like Amazon.com and Ebay for much cheaper. Just make sure they're DAP brand, as they seem to work better than some other versions.

 

I would also get her a regular, hard sided kennel for in the house. I'm sure you're a little concerned about her feeling like a crate could be like punishment..but to her, a kennel is safe...In the wild, dogs live in dens, so put the kennel somewhere without high traffic, cover it with a blanket and put some soft pillow or blanket inside, it is where she's going to want to retreat there to feel safe. My little dog was HORRIBLE until I got him a kennel...I put it in an out-of-the-way spot and when he was feeling nervous or scared, he would go there, knowing that he wouldn't be bothered there.

 

I'd also get her involved in a basic obedience class. Not because you want her to learn to sit and stay (although that's super nice too), but because these kinds of classes will build the bond between you and your new dog and will help her build self confidence. Almost all breeds of dogs love to have a job, and get a great feeling of satisfaction doing one...what you're going to learn in these classes you can take home with you. Telling her to sit might be a fun thing for you, but for her, it's a job. That will help her come out of her shell a bit.

 

Finally...make sure you keep everything on her terms for now. If she's timid, allow her to be. Ask new people to avoid looking at her, talking to her, or trying to pet her. For a frightened dog, having someone invade her personal space will be a super intimidating thing. Ask new people to just sit and ignore her. If she comes near them, they can toss her a bit of a tasty treat (My dog loves the freeze dried beef liver you can pick up at any pet store), but not to talk to her or try to pet her. Eventually, she'll associate new people with something good (the treats!!) and will be more likely to want to socialize with them.

 

I hope this helps...and if you have any other questions about your girl, please don't hesitate to ask.



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