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Ask Lisa Your Own Question
Lisa, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16545
Experience:  CVT with a special interest in behavior modification through structure, boundaries and limitations with positive reinforcement.
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Dog goes crazy when left alone. How can you stop this?

Customer Question

Dog goes crazy when left alone. How can you stop this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
Hi there. My name is Lisa and I'm happy to help you with your question today. Just like an in person consult, I have a few questions of my own to ensure I give you the best possible advice for you and your dog...What breed of dog is this?How long have you had him?What kind of behavior is the dog doing?Has the dog always done this?How old is the dog?Is the dog crate trained?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Pit Bull . We got him from the pound about 9 months ago. Dog is very friendly. Always wants to be touching you. Gets afraid when it storms outside (paces back and forth) when we leave he claws at the door and tore the blinds down in the living room. We put him in a cage when we left, he bit at the cage and he broke his canine teeth off on the one side of his mouth. He is a very good dog but doesn't like to be left alone.
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information. I really appreciate it.It does sound to me like your dog has some pretty severe separation anxiety going on.Some dogs develop destructive behaviors such as breaking through windows, destroying crates, chewing holes in walls and destroying sofas in their frantic efforts to cope with feelings of abandonment. Some other dogs may go on hunger strikes or even begin using the bathroom in the house to cope with their feeling of being alone Dogs with serious separation anxiety issues may need medication as well as behavior modification help from a professional dog behaviorist. Look for a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (ACVB) or certified applied animal behaviorist. Ask for references from your vet. You need solid guidance from someone properly trained to assist you and your dog. You might also want to consider using a product made specifically for dogs with anxiety. A couple of these things would be: Melantonin is an over-the-counter drug that can be used to treat some anxiety issues in dogs. The dose you would give would be up to 3 mg given orally whenever necessary up to every 8 hours. More information can be found here: , which includes risks, warning signs to watch out for and other bits of useful information. Try a DAP collar. 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 can also find them online at places like and Ebay for much cheaper. Just make sure they're DAP brand, as they seem to work better than some other versions. When I'm working with an anxiety dog, I generally start with the collar, and then add in the melatonin if I don't see a change within a week or so. Keep in mind that if these supplements don't really help, you may need to discuss prescription medication with your vet. If your dog gets along with other dogs, it might not be a bad idea to get him a companion. If the anxiety stems from being alone in the house, and he only acts like this when left alone, then getting him a friend to hang out with during the day could be the trick. Of course, I know that not everyone is in the market for a second dog, so consulting the behaviorist may be the only option to getting this under control before he destroys your house or hurts himself. I hope this helps.
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jeff,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?