Thanks everyone for your kind words. Well, the honeymoon is over... We found out why he may have been put out on the street and ended up at animal control. He has severe separation anxiety. We borrowed an old, beat up, butt-ugly airline carrier from a friend (i.e. very strong, compared to today's models) until a huge new wire crate I ordered came in. He destroyed his new crate in two days... I've ordered another airline style carrier, but I'm worried that the lighter weight wire in the door won't hold him. He was fine in his wire crate when we were home - even slept in it, ate in it, etc. willingly and happily - with the door open.
We're visiting our handicapped son this weekend (he lives in a group home about four hours from our house), staying in our VERY small camper. I've put him outside on a strong cable tie-out for a few minutes, thinking he'd like the fresh air (and to give us a little break from him taking up almost all of the floor space), but no...he stood on his hind legs trying to get back in. And he can see us through the window. I've made him get off the camper several times, so now he's staring at us through the window. Sigh...
I'd love to be able to leave him loose at home and in the camper when we have to go out, but I'm terrified of the destruction he'd cause when he panics. I'm praying his new crate works, or I guess I'll have to get my friend's old crate back (which btw, does not fit in the camper).
Doug has separation anxiety too. He began sleeping in the crate in our bedroom after we adopted him, so I thought all was well. Leaving him the first time in the crate, I came home to a boy who had busted out of the crate and gone counter surfing. He didn't really destroy anything. After that, we used tie downs on the crate and a lock, the kind on the end of a leash, to tie the crate door to the crate. No crate mats as he chews those to shreds. Doug has figured out how to use his tongue to open the latches. Doug would drool big puddles if we left him for even a short period of time. We now have Doug on Prozac and things are much better. He can be crated for 2-3 hours and there is little drool. Still no crate mats.
Doug was likely surrendered because he has both separation anxiety and dog aggression. We have taken him to a behaviorist and worked in a class with other dogs, similar problems. He did well at Roverchase, but is still dog aggressive. We avoid other dogs. He is great with people, kids and cats.
It takes time to learn about the new rescue. We have been through some tough times with Doug, but are trying to manage it as best we can. He is a very loving soul, and is such a playful goofball. It's hard not to laugh at him when he smiles with the under bite. We will keep him.
Pam, I feel your pain. Before Jackson actually ruined his crate, he was sliding the latch open too, so I bought a bunch of snaps (like on a dog leash) and snapped the door to the frame all the way around the door on the three sides that open-three snaps on each side. It was, I thought, like Fort Knox! He still greeted us at the door upon our return. He'd pushed so hard on the bottom of the door, he broke a metal joint where the door met the frame, and he managed to squeeze through an impossibly small space. I honestly don't know how he did it.
Some good news today, though. When we went out to pick up our son and take him to lunch, we crated the little dogs in a popup crate on our camper bed - neither one of them remembers they're house trained when we leave them loose and alone. We got brave and left Jackson loose in our camper, since we really didn't have a choice, and prayed the whole time we were gone. When we got back, all was well! Jackson was actually calm and had obviously been laying on his bed while we were gone. We went in and out several times today for up to two hours at a time, and he's been good each time. Can you say relief?!? Now to try and be brave when we get home...
Rocky did the same thing in crate. We quickly got rid it for fear of him hurting himself. We also didn't think it was fair to him to feel like he was being jailed. He's been fine ever since. Some dogs just really dislike bring crated.
I also wanted to mentioned we thought Rocky had separation anxiety when we first got him. He was 7 months olds then. He would get up on whatever he could to peer in the windows if he was outside by himself ect. It all calmed down and now he's the most amazing boy. Looking back, it all makes sense. In a new home, new people, new rules ect. Give him time to settle in and get acquainted to his new home. I'm by no means an expert, but that was just our experience.
We adopted Mick at about 6 months - he hated crates - would tear them up and cry so hard and loud it was like a scream. I never wanted to leave the house. We gave him a chance to just have the freedom of the house with our older girl at the time. He was perfectly behaved while we were gone and has been since. Needless to say the crate was quickly packed away. He still prefers to go with us but when that is not option he does very well home alone with access to entire house. Good luck and hope you find what works best for Jackson.
SA is really common with newly adopted/ shelter dogs. It’s not surprising that some dogs adopted from shelters have had poor experiences with separation. Unable to control their environment while being shifted around from place to place and finally into a shelter, they are often confused and frustrated. It’s amazing that some dogs are resilient enough to endure what most of them have endured. Once they are placed in a home setting, with people that love them, it’s easy for them to become excessively attached. Since the cause of such dependency is usually abrupt change rather than gradual growth toward independence, setting up your dog’s routine so that he is left alone for short, tolerable periods at the beginning is the best approach. Using an indoor tie-down (when you are at home) and alternating it with a pen or crate, you can go from room to room in your house, or from inside to out. Also I suggest you make the environment & daily routine as predictable as possible. Control over his or her environment is a key factor in making a dog confident. They like to understand what comes next so keeping a regular eating, exercise, play & elimination schedule is extremely helpful.
Here are some things that often have a positive effect on dogs with SA. Thundershirt | The Best Dog Anxiety Treatment (this seems silly but I know of several
dogs who have had an absolute turn around of behaivor just from this