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really?!?! the couch?!?

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  • really?!?! the couch?!?

    So, I've been leaving Mick and Keebler with access to the entire apartment off and on for the last week and a half. One day I was gone extra long and a pillow had been unstuffed, but that was the worst of it (besides a deck of Uno cards in the middle of the floor the first day...still in the package, just relocated). So today I did our normal routine (Keebler had a 2hr walk yesterday, which is longer than most days, but it was decent out and it was just the 2 of us), I gave him his anxiety meds, we went out (and I even let him get some zoomies out), came in and calmed down, ate while I was getting ready for work, and I left him on my bed as usual. I come home to stuffing covering my entire living room floor...seriously he had pulled both couch cushions off the couch and had ripped open the underside of one and punctured a hole in the other. Another pillow also lost it's life in the battle. I have to say I'm angry, mostly at myself, but I just don't understand. He freaks in the crate and hurts himself, then he destroys my place...I can't work from home, argh. It's times like these when I wonder if I'm better off finding him a new home with a stay-at-home parent. I've talked to behaviorists, trainers, etc...no one has any answers other than everything I am already doing. Hopefully the weather will warm up and we can start walking in the mornings, but I'm soooo frustrated and sooo lost.

    Here's what we've tried, if anyone else has any suggestions, I'm open to them.

    Thundershirt - seems to make things worse
    Rescue Remedy - I don't see a difference
    Plug-ins, collars, OTC herbal pills - no difference
    Currently he's on Clomipramine 75mg in the morning about 30min-1hr before I leave along with an occassional dose of Melatonin. The Clomipramine used to zombiefy him, but now it doesn't seem to touch him. The vet said it was ok to not give it to him on the weekends since I'm not gone for extended periods of time...if I'm going to be gone for more than 4hrs I will go ahead and dose him. Originally he was supposed to be on it twice a day, but it's expensive and I would rather not have him drugged all the time, especially since I'm home most evenings.

    Has anyone used prozac for SA??? The vet I took the boys to last time wants to try it since it's cheaper and the Clomipramine hasn't worked so far. I know people who use it on little dogs, but no one that's used it on a Dane.


    The point is, I don't want to make him suffer or have him be unbalanced for the rest of his life.

    UGH...thanks for the vent. I just feel so lost with this and wish I could get in his head and make him understand that I WILL be home, and there is no need for him to get upset.
    sigpic
    "Mom, he's touching me"
    Emily - Mom of Mick (12yo collie/aussie), Rosie (9yo fawn dane) and Keebler (4yo black dane)

  • #2
    I am so sorry-I can feel both your love and your frustration. Is doggy day care an option for you? I don't know....I'm just throwing out something that is not on your list......
    sigpic
    1 husband * 1 teenager * 2 great danes * 2 boxers * 1 cats * 2 African cichlids * 34 land hermit crabs
    RIP Tyler RIP Smokey
    http://thegratedanegane.wordpress.com/

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    • #3
      Nitro has awful seperation anxiety too so I can feel your pain. Obviously I don't know all of Keebler's destructive capabilities but here is what has worked for Nitro and I.

      First off, yes, I could kennel her but I don't feel it's fair to kennel her and leave Nitro loose... although if she is a tit that's exactly what happens.

      I bought a baby gate and sectioned off the hallway with it and closed all the doors in the hallway. With the baby gate in place it gives the dogs access to only the hallway and their doggie room (doggie room consists of an open crate and 5 or 6 cheap queen sized comforters thrown on the floor. I covered the carpet with cheap $8 4ftx3ft door mats. In the corner is a cloth box that holds all of their bones/antlers/toys. If Nitro is given nothing to get into ... she doesn't get into any trouble. She can be loose for all the time in the world and she won't chew anything. If I leave the office door open from the hallway I know I could kiss printer cables, internet cables, bags, papers, desk corners.. .you name it... goodbye.

      So by limiting the area she is in and also limiting what she can destroy we've had great success. Her and Moose's area is doggie proofed so I've had no issues The worst I've found when I've got home is blankets and one of the mat pieces re-arranged. Oh... and the cloth box was flattened but with the way the two of them play... and with what they weigh... it was just a casualty of war lol.

      Now with Nitro's toe I've been kenneling her while gone and leaving Moose loose but considering she's supposed to be resting... I know that won't happen if I leave them both loose and unattended.

      Good luck! Seperation Anxiety is the worst:S
      sigpic
      Nitro- Female Mastiff x Dane - July 3, 2010 - July 27, 2013 (RIP Sweet Girl)
      Moose - Male Great Dane - June 3, 2011
      Rush - Male Great Dane - April 8th, 2015 (MBPIS MBPIG Can. GCH Group Placing Paquestone's Intense Rush)

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      • #4
        Thanks...after a long walk, I'm freezing, my joints are killing me, and I had a good hard cry while talking to my mom and my cousin about my options, I feel a little better.

        Doggie daycare is available, but the cost is outrageous to use daily...if my family were at all supportive it might be an option, but given that it's me and only me, the only way I could pull it off is to work a second job, which then leaves me out of the house more. I just got a promotion a month ago, but my lovely family has put me in a financial bind the last month...so I'm hoping my finances will even out this month and I can look at taking him to daycare once a week.

        I've been trying to figure out how to come up with an area in my apt that I can doggie proof, and the best I can come up with is the bathroom, but it's on the small side. The hallway is too wide to baby gate, unless I can figure out a way to rig something creative up (which I will start thinking about immediately). I'm moving at the end of July when my lease is up, unless I can find the perfect place and get out of my lease sooner, and the priorities are an extra room to doggie-proof and a yard...and the room is #1.

        I'm going to call my vet shortly and discuss medication options for now. My hope is that we can get everything under control and slowly wean him off the meds...the reality I've had to come to is that I have no idea what happened to him his first 2yrs of life, and I have no idea what his breeding background is (but I can only imagine from the piece of work I got him from). I just hate to see him like this and feeling like I'm failing him somehow sucks.

        Things will get better, and then they will suck again...it's just nice to know I have a place I can come where people understand.

        Good thing I learned how to sew, I've got some things to repair now. Never a dull moment, that's for sure.
        sigpic
        "Mom, he's touching me"
        Emily - Mom of Mick (12yo collie/aussie), Rosie (9yo fawn dane) and Keebler (4yo black dane)

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        • #5
          Gee, I'm sorry to hear that you are facing this problem. I don't have any great suggestions other than what has already been said. I too would try sectioning off an area and see how that goes.

          I don't like to use medication on my dogs but have you talked to your vet about using Valium? It is cheap and usually a small dosage takes the edge off. We have to use this with one of ours only during sever thunderstorms & when there are fireworks. But, it does work.
          sigpic
          Roxy & Ace

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          • #6
            If only you were close to me. I have a mudroom that would be perfect. None of our dogs are in there during the day and Keebler wouldn't be able to see the other dogs and I come home during my lunch break to do potty breaks. I wish I could physically help but all I can offer is a cyber-shoulder.
            sigpic
            Hamish: Great Dane born July 25 2011
            Sophie: English Mastiff born May 30 2009
            Visit my blog at http://gonetothebigdogs.wordpress.com/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mistified247 View Post
              Gee, I'm sorry to hear that you are facing this problem. I don't have any great suggestions other than what has already been said. I too would try sectioning off an area and see how that goes.

              I don't like to use medication on my dogs but have you talked to your vet about using Valium? It is cheap and usually a small dosage takes the edge off. We have to use this with one of ours only during sever thunderstorms & when there are fireworks. But, it does work.
              Haven't tried Valium yet, I'll see what she suggests tonight. I hate the thought of medicating him as well, but I don't like thinking about him freaking out all day either...I just want him to be able to relax and just veg out. I'm starting to think I need to be medicated as well.
              sigpic
              "Mom, he's touching me"
              Emily - Mom of Mick (12yo collie/aussie), Rosie (9yo fawn dane) and Keebler (4yo black dane)

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              • #8
                I got mine off of Petsmart.com . There's some that actually span a REALLY big distance! I've had Dane X's, Danes, Shepherds, you name it behind it and no one has tried to knock it down and they've been very respectful. Mine is iron and black so it fits the house aesthetically (i sounded that out... not gonna lie ). I took the door off of the dogs room too... it's going to need to be repainted before I sell next year because Nitro scratched it as a pup when she tried to get out. The worst that she has done in her doggie proof section is nibble on the decorative wood frame around the door but i spray it once a week with bitter apple and that solves it. On the kennel I have a water dish... they're like the gerbil water bottles but big doggie sized so they have access to water but they won't knock a bowl over when playing sort of thing.

                Good luck! I know it's so frustrating. I used to sit on the phone when she was 6-7 months and at her worst with seperation anxiety and teenage BS and I would cry and contemplate getting rid of her but really I knew that I never would. I agree it's hard not knowing their breeding and what they went through as pups when we didn't have them. Just know you're giving him a great life now.... and deep down I don't think they're being destructive to be jerks... they sincereily can't help themselve because they're so emotionally and mentally stressed out with their anxiety. You know Keebler would do anything to make you happy... it's just something he can't control:S

                Hang in there! E-hugs!
                sigpic
                Nitro- Female Mastiff x Dane - July 3, 2010 - July 27, 2013 (RIP Sweet Girl)
                Moose - Male Great Dane - June 3, 2011
                Rush - Male Great Dane - April 8th, 2015 (MBPIS MBPIG Can. GCH Group Placing Paquestone's Intense Rush)

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                • #9
                  It's usually not one of the first drugs that the vets will come up with to use. But, if I were you I would bring it up and ask if that may possibly work for your situation. I have found that I never need the full dosage prescribed. Normally 1/4 to 1/2 of the dosage works great. Although I understand that my situation is a little different as my dog does not become destructive but instead paces, pants & drools and then will cower down in the closet or laundry room during storms.
                  sigpic
                  Roxy & Ace

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                  • #10
                    Thanks, really...thanks.

                    Just got off the phone with the vet, we've come up with a plan...as soon as I can afford it I'm going to go to a behaviorist again and see if they can come up with anything. I'm also going to commit to walking every morning that it's not below freezing...I wish my joints weren't as bad as they are, but it will have to do. Hopefully we can get it under control then start backing off the meds.

                    I'm glad I'm not the only one that has wondered if I should find him a new home. I know that his life is 100 times better with me, and I would give anything to be able to work from home or have a job where he could go with me, but it's just not reality right now.

                    But don't think I haven't been stalking Google's job openings, .

                    They gotta need an amazing administrative assistant or something like that at some point Or I just need to find that wealthy man that falls madly in love with me and will buy my kennel for me...seriously...I'd make him even more money then Oh how I crack myself up sometimes.
                    sigpic
                    "Mom, he's touching me"
                    Emily - Mom of Mick (12yo collie/aussie), Rosie (9yo fawn dane) and Keebler (4yo black dane)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by oubball14 View Post
                      Thanks, really...thanks.

                      Just got off the phone with the vet, we've come up with a plan...as soon as I can afford it I'm going to go to a behaviorist again and see if they can come up with anything. I'm also going to commit to walking every morning that it's not below freezing...I wish my joints weren't as bad as they are, but it will have to do. Hopefully we can get it under control then start backing off the meds.

                      I'm glad I'm not the only one that has wondered if I should find him a new home. I know that his life is 100 times better with me, and I would give anything to be able to work from home or have a job where he could go with me, but it's just not reality right now.

                      But don't think I haven't been stalking Google's job openings, .

                      They gotta need an amazing administrative assistant or something like that at some point Or I just need to find that wealthy man that falls madly in love with me and will buy my kennel for me...seriously...I'd make him even more money then Oh how I crack myself up sometimes.
                      Or you can just win the lottery thats my plan.
                      Good luck, we still can't trust our 8 1/2 year old not to destroy the house while we're gone so I feel your pain.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Neast View Post
                        Or you can just win the lottery thats my plan.
                        Good luck, we still can't trust our 8 1/2 year old not to destroy the house while we're gone so I feel your pain.
                        In order to win the lottery, I must start playing it...maybe that should be my goal for this month, lol. Oh, it's a good thing I love him SO much.
                        sigpic
                        "Mom, he's touching me"
                        Emily - Mom of Mick (12yo collie/aussie), Rosie (9yo fawn dane) and Keebler (4yo black dane)

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                        • #13
                          At Nitro's worst I used to lay on the floor and try to discuss why the hell she did the things that she did. She would just lay with me and kiss away my tears.

                          Good for you for sticking with him. Issues or not we kind of love the idiots hey? lol
                          sigpic
                          Nitro- Female Mastiff x Dane - July 3, 2010 - July 27, 2013 (RIP Sweet Girl)
                          Moose - Male Great Dane - June 3, 2011
                          Rush - Male Great Dane - April 8th, 2015 (MBPIS MBPIG Can. GCH Group Placing Paquestone's Intense Rush)

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                          • #14
                            Yeah...I've started having a conversation with him before I leave too...I lie in the bed with him, tell him that I love him and that his job while I'm gone is to take the best nap ever so that when I get home he can be all ready to play and go for a long walk...I tell him to work hard, and ask that if he feels the need to unstuff something, that he do it to his toys...I promise I will buy him more to unstuff when needed. It usually works, apparently the talk didn't go over as well this morning.

                            It's been worse, I remember calling the vet and a friend who is a trainer in tears one night because he had destroyed a crate so much that we had to take it apart and use pliers, etc to get him out as well as the stress diahrea everywhere ...and he had drug an old couch cushion turned dog bed into his crate from 4 feet away. Still no idea how he did it. Oh, and the one time he pooped UNDER my bed...oh yes, the visual I have is of him reverse army crawling under the bed...pooping, solid poop...then army crawling back out. Took me awhile to figure out where the smell was coming from because even then, there's no way he should have been able to fit under there.

                            And yes, I do love him...I must be a glutton for punishment lol.
                            sigpic
                            "Mom, he's touching me"
                            Emily - Mom of Mick (12yo collie/aussie), Rosie (9yo fawn dane) and Keebler (4yo black dane)

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                            • #15
                              We've been able to leave Mister home for 4+ hours at a time - free to roam if he chooses. We leave the radio on, and even when he has to wait for us in the car while we're grocery shopping - we still have the same radio station on. It did take some time to develop for him to hang solo -
                              He mainly lays around on his sofa by the toyo stove and chews his bone or toys. We've really lucked out in that the only thing Mister destroyed was the mattress in his kennel when we kenneled him and had to go out for about 2 hours. We came home to him sitting in the midst of foam bedding with an expression on his face of "who did this to my bed?!"

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