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Kennel Anxiety

2564 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  blueteal
It's been a long time since I've posted anything on here. Our Dylan is now almost 2 years old and we made it through his puppy stages. However, this week we have a new problem and we're not sure how to handle it.

Dylan has been kennel trained since day one. Every day while we're at work he is in his kennel and he has always seemed to like it. He gets plenty of exercise, we walk him 1 mile in the morning and 1.5-2 miles at night.

Last weekend on Saturday, we had to go to a family gathering and we were going to be gone for about 10 hours. We had a friend, who has a dog that Dylan plays with all the time, come over and let him out in the afternoon. She brought her dog and they ran around outside and through the house for 2 hours. So, it wasn't like he was in the kennel anymore than a normal day.

When we got home, he was panting in his kennel and drooling. We let him out and he ran and drank a whole bowl of water. We thought it was strange but we thought that maybe he didn't drink enough after he played with the other dog. Then on Sunday, we left for an hour to run to the store and when we came home, he was panting really hard again and drooling all over his kennel. Then today, when we came home from work, he was doing the same thing....drooling and panting, he drank another whole bowl of water (then threw it back up), and we found that he had chewed on the metal grates/bars of the kennel and he managed to break 4-5 of them apart from each other.

I say we need to call the vet because this is a personality change. He has never been like this before. My husband says we need to wait a few days and see what happens. Dylan also goes to Doggie Daycare one day a week, so we could ask the trainers there what to do but he doesn't go there for a few more days. What do you guys think?? Is this anxiety? Could he develop anxiety after almost 2 years?
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I say we need to call the vet because this is a personality change.
I would call the vet to rule out anything medical. That way you have peace
of mind and can try to figure what else it could be.

Please let us know what happens
I agree with Sue, call the vet. It sure sounds like he has developed a separation anxiety. Since he is housebroke and he is 2 years old, maybe you could try leaving him out of the crate for a short period of time and see how he does. Make sure the crate door is left open so he can go in if he wants to. Let us know how it goes.
i also say call the VET to be on the safe side.

Let us know what happens...i don't have an answer for you on separation anxiety.
i would also see if your friend's dog is sick at all? or did anything happen when they played together? to rule other possibilites out
it is possible for a dog to develop separation anxiety at any time. sometimes it happens after a vacation or holiday when the owners spend more time at home with the dog than they normally do, and then go back to work. or, some kind of loud scary event that happens while the dog is in the crate like a thunderstorm or something else outside can be the trigger, or even an attempted break-in. had you ever had someone else come over and let Dylan out in the middle of the day? could something have happened to scare him when they were trying to get him back into the crate?

we were concerned that kumo was starting to develop separation anxiety when he was about 6 months old, so we started reading up on it and found a really great little book that is very informative called "I'll Be Home Soon! How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety" by Patricia B. McConnell. we took some steps recommended by the book, like desensitizing kumo to our putting on shoes, picking up keys, etc. (things related to leaving that can trigger the anxiety), and putting him in the crate for random periods during the day when we were home to teach him how to relax while in the crate. it seemed to work, because his anxiety level decreased and we have no problems now. we still randomly leave a tape recorder running while we're out just to make sure nothing strange is going on, and everything has been going very well.

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Well, the verdict is that physically, Dylan is fine. There isn't anything wrong with him. We were very concerned because he was just laying around at night when we got home. All he wanted to do was sleep, he wouldn't even play with his kong (which is very strange for him). But I guess if you spent all day tearing apart metal, you would be tired too.

We still haven't figured out what may be causing him to tear his kennel apart and now yesterday, the carpet under his kennel. My husband reminded me that Sunday - today we didn't take our morning walk. We've had extreme cold temperature of -10 degrees with windchills of -25 degrees every morning. But that doesn't explain why he was acting like that on Saturday when we got home.

I spoke with a dog trainer today and she told us to crate him at night, so that when he is chewing we can catch and stop him. She said that he is just going to keep doing the same thing until we work with him not to. But she didn't have a good solution of what to do during the day. Besides bringing him to daycare everyday.

So, in other words....Dylan's health is fine. He is either bored, too much energy, or has developed separation anxiety. We just need to figure out which one.
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Is Dylan destructive when he is out of the crate? Could you give him a larger area to be in during the day instead of using the crate? A gated off kitchen or laundry room? If you could leave him out of the crate, you could get one of those Kong dispensers that intermittently eject a total of four kongs throughout the day. You can put it on a four hour or eight hour cycle. I have one and it works great. I fill the kongs with various things and then load it before I leave for a long period of time. I have alot of tile in my home, so when I leave, Doc is free in part of the hallway which has access to the laundry room, which has a pet door to the yard. He has not used a crate since he was 4 1/2 months old.
So, in other words....Dylan's health is fine. He is either bored, too much energy, or has developed separation anxiety. We just need to figure out which one.
Wonderful to hear that all is well now just to figure our what it could be.
Where does he normally sleep at night? We used to crate Denver at night but then he started howling and just was miserable. I took him out of the crate at night because when we go to work, in the morning he is in his crate for 4 hours so I felt it was not fair to have him there all night and then again in the morning. He now sleeps in our bed and has no problem going into the crate when we go to work. Maybe this can work for you in reverse. If not speak to Gene as he is going through this with Jonah( separation anxiety) :)
Dylan isn't destructive when he's out of his kennel. He never has been before this week. But he often roams the house to look for trouble. Example: socks he can steal, towels he can steal, tissue in the trash can. He isn't ALWAYS like that, just when he's bored or if he wants attention and we're ignoring him. Therefore, we don't trust him to be out of his kennel during the day.

However, we do have a large laundry room area that we could keep him in. Then he would have free roam of the laundry room and kitchen. I think we might try that. That was a good idea. Especially since we no longer have a kennel for him. The kong idea is a great one! He loves his kong but he gets the treat out in a relatively short amount of time. One that dispenses more would probably make sense.

At night, he sleeps on the floor next to our bed. He doesn't go downstairs without us. We have never had a problem with him at night. He's been doing that since he was probably 6 months old. I would feel bad by making him sleep downstairs with out us but we just might have to do that for a little bit.

And I thought we were growing out of this puppy stage! :)
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I would keep him on the same nighttime routine and try the laundry room during the day. Keeping him a crate at night and then again during the day seems like too much. Plus he behaves well at night, so I doubt you would be able to break any habits then. Just make sure all the cabinets are secure in the laundry room and he can't get to anything that could hurt him. A neighbor kept the childrens craft projects on a board in the laundry room and the dog ate one and needed surgery. The surgeon said it looked like netting (from the craft project) and a dryer sheet caused the blockage. Good Luck.
Jonah seems much more stable with his freedom. Just make sure as Linda says about cabinets, etc. Also any thing counter surfable! I'm still "dog proofing" things I realized after the fact were in reach. :oops: Now everyday when I pull in the driveway, I see a smiling doodle face in the fromnt window and am met at the door by a much less psychodoodle! :D Good luck in whatever you choose to do. There will be trail and me! :wink:
Could this have been triggered by Dylan watching his playmate leave with his owner the day you were away and he - having to be caged when they left. He could be hurt (feelings hurt) - I notice my Charlie being very "sensitive" to certain situations that come up and can "pout" as we are calling it for days.
Thanks everyone for the help and suggestions with Dylan. We've left him in our laundry room area for 3 days now and besides him being confused, he has done great. Whenever we get ready to leave the house, he runs to the area and stands where his kennel used to be! :lol: He doesn't quite understand the change but I know he'll catch on soon.

We've come to the conclusion that we probably won't understand why he did what he did but he isn't chewing on anything else. So, we're hoping we're good for now. I honestly think he could have been pouting about his playmate leaving. He does tend to pout for days when he doesn't get his own way. I also have noticed his increasing activity when I leave in the morning (I leave before my husband). It started out as a excited running around as I put on my coat and then late last week, he started jumping on me as I was trying to walk out the door. Actually, this morning, Dylan actually sat in front of the door so I couldn't open in when I was trying to leave. He's a little too smart sometimes!

So, I guess this is going to be an interesting battle for a while.
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That's great news Lisa! I'm glad Dylan is happier with a little more freedom. :D
Good for you guys, makes for a better life when the Doodle is happy. :wink: :wink: :wink:
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