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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18962
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My dog seems to have a real problem with separation anxiety,

Customer Question

Hi! My dog seems to have a real problem with separation anxiety, when my husband and I go to bed at night she sits outside of the bedroom door whining and when I go to use the restroom she just shakes and pants. She isn't showing any other signs of pain and this only happens when we are in a separate room. I don't know how to help her.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

How does she act if you leave the house? Does she display the same behavior?

It sounds like you have tried crating her. Was that crating done in the bedroom or in an other area of the house?

Did she whine then as well?

If so how long did she whine for?

If you put her in the crate in the room, does she do the same thing?

Has any kind of medication been used?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She doesn't seem to act this way when we leave, I'm guessing because she still has the cat to keep her company. We have crated her both in the bedroom and in the living room. In the living room she'll cry for hours, in the bedroom she's less whiney but the cat messes with the crate and we are trying to transition both of them out of the room before my baby is born.We haven't used any medication.I worry more about the shaking and panting than the whining.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

JaCustomer,

The shaking and panting are just symptoms that she is scared, under stress or in pain. If she is experiencing separation anxiety, then she should be displaying the same behavior when you leave her for any reason. So if she only displays this behavior when she is separated from the cat, Keep the cat and her in the other room. There is also no reason why the cat can not be crated as well right next to the dog if that help with her anxiety

There are some things that help with separation anxiety such as DAP collars. They use a pheromone similar to the one a mother uses to calm he nursing pups and is quite effective in cases like this. It can also be used with medications as well. Medications can be helpful as well. Read about these here:

vetmedicine.about.com/od/behaviortraining/gr/DAP-Dog-Collar.htm
http://www.fidosavvy.com/dog-separation-anxiety-medication.html

You might try desensitization training as well. Practice putting him in the crate, going in the bedroom, opening the door immediately and rewarding him with a hot dog treat if he did not react. This teaches him that you leave but come back quickly. Once he seems to not do anything when you initially leave, lengthen the time he must be quet for you to come back in. Change the time as well. Make it 2 minutes one time and 10 mintues another, so he never knows if you are gone for an hour or gone for 2 minutes. It helps him stay calm for longer periods of time, just be sure you reward him when he is good.

Now dogs can also tremble as the result of seizures which can happen with low blood sugar levels. So if you think this might be a contributing factor, you might try a drop of pancake syrup or karo syrup on her tongue or a small meal right before bed. That should help if low blood sugar levels are contributing to the issue. Anxiety can also cause some excel bile issues which might cause trembling and panting as well. The small meal should help with that as well.

Try some of these suggestions and let me know how it turns out. Remember that dogs will exhibit behavior that gets them what they want. They are opportunistic so do your best to ignore the bad behavior. Ear plugs can work wonders.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

The rating button seems to have come unchecked. Let me try again.

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