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-   -   TERRIBLE anxiety!!! Really appreciate help/ideas. (https://www.walleyecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=572393)

DaBirdman 08-17-2016 07:31 PM

TERRIBLE anxiety!!! Really appreciate help/ideas.
So I'll try & keep this as short as I can, but 6 weeks ago we took a Lab/Golden who at the time was 7 months old and was literally 1 hour from going to the humane society. The dog is now 8.5 months old. She was completely neglected in every single aspect (before us taking her) except that she was tossed some food once a day. Otherwise locked up in a kennel in a basement or chained up outside her entire life.

We're making great progress with her. Potty trained, sit, stay, even some basic retrieving where I can at times get her to sit & drop her toy in my hand. So she's got the instincts & smarts. HOWEVER, she cannot one bit get over the anxiety of being in the kennel. Barks nonstop, growls & is even bending the metal bars on the kennel. Tried leaving her out of the kennel once & she did multiple bathroom jobs on the floor and completely tore up a couch cushion.

When we put her in the kennel, we give her all her favorite chew toys & even tried a fresh bone shank. Tried putting my wife's shirt in there. Tried music on a boom box. Tried a calming collar. Tried covering the kennel with a blanket. Always have her sleeping blanket in there when we put her in. And we're almost at our wits end.

Anybody have ideas or suggestions? We cannot afford some type of "dog therapy" and quite frankly I will never pay for that. My wife has read up on this thing called a "thundershirt " which we might buy. But with school coming up and our kids being gone when that happens, she will have to be in the kennel until somebody comes home, or until she can prove that she won't go bathroom on the floor or tear the house up. Oh, and a dog sitter is not in the cards either.

So we're looking for help! She's a good dog. Smart dog. Good listener & loves people. She's been so fantastic for our son who is autistic! Just need to figure the kennel & being alone part out & we got ourselves a great dog!



BTW....we only put her in the kennel when we all have to leave the house. She won't go in it otherwise.

alumalunker 08-19-2016 06:30 PM

We tried a thunderjacket for my parents dog who had bad anxiety. I think it helped a little with him. I'd say it's worth a try for your dog.

DaBirdman 08-21-2016 06:59 PM

Yeah we're gonna get one & give it a try. If we can get beyond the anxiety I think she could be a pretty darn good dog. Had her to the lake for her first time today. Here's our 4th throw...


Juls 08-22-2016 02:19 AM

The problem is, that you only use the crate when you have to leave the house. The pup won't get over the crate being a "punishment", or get used to it, if you do it that way.

Try putting her in the crate for short periods of time while you are at home and she can see you. Start with 10-15 minutes, and then increase the time gradually.

Do put the crate in a room where everyone spends the most time, so she can see you.

Turn it into a place for her to go eventually on her own, because she will think of it as a comfortable place (den).

If you only do it when you leave, you will never get her over her anxiety of using it.

Just my 02cents

DaBirdman 08-22-2016 02:58 PM

Thanks for the input Juls! We'll do a little re-arranging in our family room and give that a go. The other place she had terrible anxiety over was the basement. Before coming to us, she was left in a kennel in a basement, or left chained outside all day & night. We have just accomplished getting over the anxiety of the basement! She will freely come down there with us now.

Last step is the kennel. I think a part of it too is the dog just trusting us. That could take time. Got my fingers crossed though!

1999Lund 08-22-2016 10:33 PM

I agree with Juls and have some background in dog physiology. You need to make the kennel a safe place for the pup. Food is always a comfort area for dogs. Leave the kennel open and make her go in to eat, put it in an area she is comfortable in. When she is comfortable with going in and out work expanding the time. I would start with 1-2 minutes a couple times a day for 2-3 days and increase time slowly. It could be a long process but if it becomes a safe place for her, she will go there to rest on her own.

MassillonBuckeye 08-23-2016 12:25 PM

Juls nailed it.

24/7 in crate except for potty. Maybe get another crate so she can be around everyone. But yeah, she has to realize the crate is where shes supposed to be and she doesn't have a choice in the matter. I had a pretty stubborn pup and it wasn't until I did this that she calmed down and stopped destroying her crates. Should only take a week or two.


A great source for all things dog training and actually have quite a bit for free in the way of online dog training videos.


Sounds like your situation exactly! Hope it helps.

Good luck!

DaBirdman 08-24-2016 11:13 AM

So far so good! Eating in the kennel. Willing to go in & out on her own. Just spent 20 minutes lying in it with no fussing, whining or whimpering. Still not a comfort place yet, but we're slowly making progress. :)

1999Lund 08-26-2016 09:03 PM


DaBirdman 08-30-2016 08:53 PM

Our dog went into her kennel on her own a little while ago and is now sleeping in it! Really making progress thanks to the help from you folks! BIG thank you!


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