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I have two dogs that stay in a kennel when we are away for

work and at night. This...
I have two dogs that stay in a kennel when we are away for work and at night. This kennel was built chain link on a wooden framed platform and has antifatigue gym quality puzzle mats covering the bottom for comfort. Each dog also has their own bed. These two dogs both grew up together (8 years) and get along well. One dog, the smarter one, has started to destroy the kennel. I have had to replace the matting 3 times. The chain link will need to be redone since it has been pulled at. He is digging through the mats to the wood base. Tearing up every single toy he gets. He’s also crying all night. I’m worried he will manage a hole in the chain link and hurt himself or damage his feet and paws. His nose is raw now from where he pulls at the kennel. He will wear himself out for about two days and then be okay for a day because he is worn out. Short of sleeping in the kennel myself... I am out of ideas. Why is he being crazy? He used to like his kennel. He will go to his kennel and sleep with no problems as long as the kennel door stays open and the door from the garage to the house stays open.
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
10/21/2017
Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9,735
Experience: Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
Verified

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I have been in the dog field for 25 years. I am a Therapy Dog & AKC Evaluator/trainer/ as well as a service dog trainer, specializing in behavior. It will be my pleasure to help you today. It may take a few minutes for me to type a personal response or type questions regarding your situation. Your patience is very much appreciated. I am reviewing your question now.

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It sounds like the dog is beginning to suffer from separation anxiety and usually this is due to the owner leaving or being placed away from the owner. A lot of times you will see this with younger dogs, however in older dogs they too can backslide and mostly due to age and possibly dementia setting in.

I would take the steps necessary for separation anxiety. I would also keep notes on all odd behavior this dog is displaying as your Vet can prescribe meds to help if dementia is starting to set in.

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If the dog is not on any medications, you may want to try giving some over the counter melatonin for anxiety.

Melatonin found in drug stores by vitamins Use only if not on other meds. http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/prescription/melatonin-melatonex

You can also try some calming music

Through a dogs ear calming CD

http://www.amazon.com/Through-Dogs-Ear-Canine-Companion/dp/B003C1F1PI/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1393982686&sr=1-2&keywords=through+a+dogs+ear

calming music on youtube to try out

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OHEB41yRdU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=89&v=joe-ePqCqWc

A DAP Diffuser in the area may help as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Comfort-Zone-DAP-Plug-In/dp/B000J3HZWE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359418808&sr=8-1&keywords=dap+diffuser

More Separation Anxiety tips

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/overcoming-separation-anxiety.aspx

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
This is an extremely healthy dog with no medical problems at all. He likes to go out in the woods and chase squirrels for hours on end. When we are home, he does his own thing. He doesn’t seem ‘clingy’ other than wanting to sleep in our beds at night. I’m not sure what the signs of dementia in dogs are but I can’t even fathom that being the problem.

This link goes over some of the problems with canine cognitive dysfunction. https://dogdementia.com/symptoms/

If she is getting hurt due to activities in the pen then it may be worth talking to your Vet about a stronger prescribed medication.

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Here is another link about dementia as a cause for separation anxiety. https://www.petcarerx.com/article/dog-dementia-how-it-affects-aging-dogs/1476

Quote from article "

  • "Anxiety: Dogs with cognitive dysfunction syndrome tend to pace anxiously, especially at night, and may develop separation anxiety. They can also become irritable and mean with other animals or humans."
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Why do you think he is okay if the enclosure is opened and the doors are open even when we are gone? I’ve seen him on video go in the enclosure and stay there for hours while we are out with no strange or destructive behaviors.

Here is another article https://www.petcarerx.com/article/dog-dementia-how-it-affects-aging-dogs/1476

and a quote from the article:

  • Anxiety: Dogs with cognitive dysfunction syndrome tend to pace anxiously, especially at night, and may develop separation anxiety. They can also become irritable and mean with other animals or humans.
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His mind may be perfectly fine at times. If you think about a human with dementia starting, at times they know who you are and all is fine, but other times they have no idea who you are. Why are they alert and observant one time and not the next?

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Also there may be other signs you are missing because you are looking at this as a dog being destructive, not a dog in trouble health wise

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This is why I suggest that you start keeping a note book for other signs.

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Here is a list of things you can start watching for to creep in if they are not happening already.

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/common-dog-behavior-issues/behavior-problems-older-dogs

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
He’s been to the vet 3 times for lab tests, observation, check ups, and scans in the past 6 months. I started there because I knew that anything including diabetes or nutrient deficiency could cause animals to act out of the ordinary. The vet thought he just might be bored so we started slowly training him like you would a service dog to do tasks. He loves it. I guess I will take him back to see if he has dementia.

The Vet is going to need to ask you what you are seeing, that is how they determine CCD. So that is why I suggest you start taking notes

Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9,735
Experience: Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
Verified
Sally G. and 87 other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
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You can try investing in interactive dog toys for boredom, but I don't think that is the problem if he has been fine in his pen up until recently.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
He has puzzle toys and loves them. He works them very quickly and once he successfully works one, he does it the exact same way the next. I have one that has 6 stoppers that keep a rotating disc from moving. Once you pull all 6 stops out, it will rotate to reveal a treat basin. It takes him about 40 seconds to work it. Do you have any suggestions on toys to try?

I might try things that keep attention longer such as Kongs stuffed with frozen cream cheese, peanut butter, yogurt , etc . I would put a few out at a time to keep attention. does it seems that when these toys you have are done , that is when he acts out?

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What happens if he is not locked in the pen when you leave, will he destroy the house?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No, we put the toy in the enclosure so he could work it, left the enclosure open and the door from the garage to the house open and he was fine. We actually did this for about a month straight and he was fine. We had to start closing the doors again because the other dog would sometimes destroy things in the house. We would find random items from the house in the kennel. It was like the other dog was a hoarder.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
if in the process of breaking out of the cage he manages to get the door open, he’s fine.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
He will stay in the cage and sleep or play.

Then I might try him out of the cage and the other dog in the cage. See if he does better.

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If he does better then it may be the other dog causing him stress.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
My next step was doggie daycare but I ont want the other dog to develop separation anxiety. The other dog is much larger and stronger and could really do some damage to herself.

Well SA is not caused or helped with another dog, as you can see this dog is feeling stress and the other dog is there. It is how the dog feels about the owner suddenly being gone. So it should not make a difference to the other dog if the other dog is not suffering from SA.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I will try it. See what happens. The male dog that I’m having the problem with can’t have free reign of the house either so I’m going to have to work that out. We are having all the wood floors in the home refinished and I need to have them isolated from the fumes and sanding. Plus contractors will be in and out for about 3 weeks for other projects. Would you suggest crate training at this late in their lives? They are both 8 and have been together since they were about 8-10 weeks old.

You can crate train at any age. some dogs prefer the solace of a crate and view it as a den.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
How do you determine size? One dog is 60 lbs if all muscle and is compact. The other is 35-40 lbs leggy andbut to run. How much movement to you allow.

usually one gets a crate that the dog can stand up in and turn around in. I will often get one slightly bigger if they are already potty trained. The purpose of the size initially is to potty train them as well, too much room and they will just go in the crate. But if they are potty trained you can give them a bit more room.

You may also want to consider having a dog sitter stop by a few times a day to let the pups out or to check on them. You can find sitters at thumbtack or Rover/dogvacay. Many will have had background checks.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank yoy
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you

Sometimes second hand stores have them or yard sales as well ,but the best price I have found is on chewy.com

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Sally G.
Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9,735
9,735 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.

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