Advice please, about our temporary dog.

(19 Posts)
curlew Wed 04-Sep-13 10:40:03

Thank you- I'll start doing all this today.

Just in case anyone would like to visualise the proble,........

mistlethrush Wed 04-Sep-13 10:31:08

Curlew. SA - once things are 'back to normal' in term time, start off by mixing up the signals that you're going out - pick up your keys and your handbag, go to the door then sit down for 5 mins in the front room. Go out of the door, come back in 30 secs on. And repeat, leaving longer periods before coming back in.

Does she like chews or toys - a kong packed with natural yoghurt and dog kibble then frozen will keep a dog that likes chewing occupied for quite a long time - or a treat ball etc.

Try also putting her in a different room away from you but not going out - just getting her used to being on her own some of the time again, and it being OK.

Aaah Curlew no advice other than to build her up with short periods. BUT...I remember thinking when you posted about taking her in that you were doing a brave thing. They are just such little personalities and worm their way into your hearts.

curlew Tue 03-Sep-13 19:46:15

Absolutely. And I don't really think her life's fuller with us (well, only a bit, secretly). She has a lovely life with her real family. Once everyone's back at school, and it's just her and me at home I'll see how she is then. Maybe I'll try and go back to something approaching her home routine- everything will be much quieter and less rambunctious, so it should be possible. She does have a crate, but she doesn't go in it at home. I'll start leaving her for short periods and build it up- neighbour will tell us how she reacts. And keep my fingers crossed they don't want her back.

Booboostoo Tue 03-Sep-13 19:33:56

She sounds lovely, but separation anxiety is a sign of stress. Dogs can't rationalise enough to say "My life is so much fuller now I wish these new owners never left me alone as we have so much fun together and I will miss it when I go back". All she knows is that life has changed which is stressful and while I am sure she's fine most of the time when added pressure is present (being alone) the stress becomes more evident (howling).

curlew Tue 03-Sep-13 19:24:16

It is tricky. Her children at home are very little- and she is having a lovely time with my 12 year old- they have spent the summer having proper old fashioned Swallows and Amazons adventures together. There's just something about a boy and a dog...............

TooMuchRain Tue 03-Sep-13 18:31:04

grin

my parents have been known to keep my dog for over a month because 'it wasn't convenient to bring her back' - they only return her when they get desperate for a lie in!

It must be really tricky though, especially if the children are happy

curlew Tue 03-Sep-13 17:12:49

No.

Not a little bit.............

TooMuchRain Tue 03-Sep-13 17:09:47

I just think that she has lots of fun out with us and doesn't want to be left behind.

Are you wishing a little bit that you could keep her?

ButThereAgain Tue 03-Sep-13 16:39:43

I think you are maybe being a little pessimistic. When she slots back into her home life, with all its familiar cues, she will probably remember and re-adjust to the old routine, perhaps not immediately but within a reasonable time. She has certain expectations centred around your household which she doesn't have at home (plus perhaps a small level of anxiety associated with the big change in her life).

curlew Tue 03-Sep-13 16:33:54

Thing is, I don't think she's stressed- she's not behaving stressed or nervous- she's a happy, confident little dog. I just think that she has lots of fun out with us and doesn't want to be left behind.

Booboostoo Tue 03-Sep-13 16:28:22

I don't think you would have solved this by leaving her at the beginning. In all probability this is a problem caused by the move and changes in her life and she would have been more stressed at the beginning than now. Also while she may feel insecure when she returns home it's not necessarily a learnt behaviour and she may well chill out as she settles back home (although the house move there won't have helped).

Try a DAP collar/diffuser, it helps a lot of stressy dogs. Is she crate trained? If yes, even if she hasn't used her crate for a while it might help her to revert to it. Try to leave her for very short intervals, with loads of interesting chews, the radio on helps some dogs and reward her for being quiet and settled.

ender Tue 03-Sep-13 13:55:54

You should be able to get it sorted before she goes back, lots of info on the net, google "dog separation anxiety".

curlew Tue 03-Sep-13 13:47:40

I wish we had left her alone for a while every day from when we first got her, so she didn't forget that's what happens. But she arrived at the beginning of the holidays and it was so much fun having her with us.......and I thought she'd be home by now. Bother. We've broken her, haven't we? They are going to kill us.

happygolucky0 Tue 03-Sep-13 12:34:01

I have taken advice to crate my little pup. I don't at the moment when I leave her. But she now sleeps in there during the day and night. This seems to help a great deal with leaving her for a couple if hours during the day.

TooMuchRain Tue 03-Sep-13 12:29:42

Also, as she has been moved once she is probably a bit more nervous than usual. When my dog stays with my parents she gets quite anxious when she sees they are getting ready to go out, in a way that she never does here.

ender Tue 03-Sep-13 12:17:24

Her owners won't thank you for sending her back with separation anxiety smile. Dogs need to know they'll be OK when left, and that someone will always come back. The dog has got used to being around people all the time so you could start by making sure she's left alone every day, just for a short time. Then gradually leave her longer, give her something to keep her occupied such as a stuffed kong or chew toy.

MrsWolowitz Tue 03-Sep-13 09:15:52

sad She sounds like she would have a much nicer life living with you.

curlew Tue 03-Sep-13 08:21:38

We are looking after a border terrier while her family sort out some very complicated life stuff(new baby, house move, new jobs, slipped disc- all the usual!) She's been with us all summer, and it looks as if she'll be with us for another couple of months. smile

The problem is that we have a very different life style to her home family. They live in a town and she is alone at home during a (short) working day with a dog flap to the garden. She gets regular proper walks and loads of love and attention in the evenings and at weekends- goes to agility and things.

We have a very country life, she just slots in with us walking places, goes out with the horses- comes everywhere with us. My children are older than her home children, and do lots of things she can join in with. And I am beginning to realise that was a mistake. We left her yesterday afternoon, and our neighbours said she howled.sad Have we ruined her? What can we do?

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