At the time of this writing, I have a 20-month-old German shepherd, Peter. Peter is a very adorable pet that has become an integral part of my family. Every member in the house absolutely loves him. Since he’s come into our lives, we have actually gotten a valuable family member who loves without judgment, has no inhibitions and expects nothing in return. Yes, all he wants is love ... and just love!
We actually inherited him from an ex-neighbor whose dog had given birth two years ago. We brought him home as an adorable 2-month-old puppy who was ever-so energetic and entertaining at his best.
However, when he was 8-months old I landed a job at an ad agency and was often working more than nine hours a day. With my husband and kids both out of the house for work and school respectively, Peter was usually at home alone. We were sometimes able to get a neighbor to check in on him from time to time.
Gradually, he started resenting being left alone at home and would whine incessantly the minute he saw me getting ready for work. He even resisted my neighbor when she used to give him his regular meals as he would often leave it untouched.
Since we generally let him roam the house, he began to destroy everything in sight. Even after dog-proofing the house, he still managed to find something to get into.
We built a kennel for him that was wired to keep him inside when we were out, but with time he even bent the wires, and whined all the time when he was in it.
Matters became worse when he broke one of his teeth, and broke the metal welding on the kennel to the point that he could escape with it being closed. Since he literally destroyed the kennel, we threw it out and let him roam the house again. Once again, he began to destroy the house.
After doing some research, I realized that he was suffering from a condition called "separation anxiety". We put him on medication for the separation anxiety and it appeared to have helped for a while. I tried to get a dog trainer, but he told me to retry the crating which did not help much. I later realized that crating should have been performed long before his ailment.
I gradually took him for 30 to 45 minute daily walks before I left him, filled up two Kongs with peanut butter, and gave him a bone that would keep him full and entertained. Gradually, I tried crate-training again and gave him his food in the crate, and he started voluntarily going into the crate with his bowl of food with a satisfied, but half-hearted smile.
We left the crate open for him and whenever he wanted to go into the crate when we left the house he could, but he could also roam about if he chose to do so. I did not want to crate him for the rest of his life while we were at work though, and I also didn’t want him to stay on medication forever either.
I started reading more about separation anxiety and discovered many methods to help Peter. Much to my amazement, there were are a lot of other people with dogs suffering from the same disorder, but there was very little information available on the subject.
Dog owners have the misconception that they have a 'bad dog' when in actuality, their pet may be suffering from separation anxiety - which can be cured!
I decided to help my fellow dog lovers, by finding out everything I could on the subject and making it available in one place. This book represents the culmination of my efforts to achieve this goal.
I hope this manual will be of help to you and your pet, and that it will provide the best information available on dog separation anxiety.
Tags: dog broke weld on kennel , 5 separation