Keeps getting worse

I made a poor decision today and now I am hoping it doesn't cause any more setbacks then we've already had.  Vito has slowly been doing worse when being left home alone and now howling has become a regular part of it.  But he has been doing fantastic with being left in a crate at trials and class when other people are around.  Vito has even done well in a crate at my work when left for up to 30 minutes with no one around.

In a desperate attempt to have a less anxious Vito I crated him with several bones instead of leaving him loose when I was gone this morning for an hour.  To say Vito was anxious would be an understatement.  He didn't touch any of the bones, whined continuously for the entire 68minutes, trembled, and then started major panting.  It is heartbreaking to watch the video footage.

We hardly ever leave Vito alone anymore and it looks like that isn't going to be changing.

Crystal  – ( January 16, 2011 at 9:54 PM )  

I'm sorry to hear this. Vito is fortunate to have you. I hope you can help him, and that the set back is not too great.

achieve1dream  – ( January 16, 2011 at 10:29 PM )  

I've had those days where every decision I make seems to be the wrong one. However it's normally not as bad as we make it out to me. I'm sure he will be fine. He was probably just concerned because you changed his routine. I'm sure when he's loose again that he will be back to where he was. The howling is odd though. You said in a previous post that he didn't seem anxious when he howled . . . I really don't know. I haven't dealt with separation anxiety before. I hope you can figure it out.

Kristen  – ( January 16, 2011 at 10:45 PM )  

SA is the problem I really dislike the most. Now I automatically refer those cases to the nearest veterinary behaviorist. It's hard for the dogs, but often worse for the people.

BUT great progress with him when people are around. None of my dogs are good about that, even with training it's progressed -so- slowly!

Lovisa  – ( January 17, 2011 at 2:11 AM )  

I'm sorry to hear about your issues with mr toller.. Have you tried using DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone)? Might get the edge of his issues so his more prone to training. Wish u all the best!

Mango  – ( January 17, 2011 at 6:01 AM )  

That is a tough one. I know you will figure it out. He seemed to be doing better for a while. Wonder what set him off. Fingers crossed for all of you.

Mango Momma

Rudy - The dog with a blog  – ( January 17, 2011 at 9:06 AM )  

I'm sorry to hear about the issues - I hope you guys figure it all out!

Ninso  – ( January 17, 2011 at 9:37 AM )  

Poor Vito! SA is so tough--of all the issues I have to deal with, I'm glad that's not one of them. Although, I guess Lok has had some SA recently, but the Prozac has helped immensely!! Which is a good thing, because I simply do not have the flexibility in my schedule to do behavior mod with an SA dog. I don't know if you've tried drugs, but you might want to think about it if you haven't.

Kristine  – ( January 17, 2011 at 10:35 AM )  

Yikes, that really sucks. Did all this just start all of a sudden or has he had this problem for a while. It took us over a year to get to a place where we were remotely comfortable leaving Shiva alone and even then. It's a really tough thing to get through. I am so sorry you're having to face it. I wish you the best of luck, you and Vito.

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( January 17, 2011 at 6:29 PM )  

We would love to go to the behaviorist at the U but we just cant afford it. Money is very very tight for us right now and it just can't happen. But yes I have been considering drugs the past few months.

We have tried DAP and it didn't seem to make any difference unfortunately.

Kristine- it's not a new development, he was a wreck at 8wks of age. We did a ton of work then and then formally went through a behavioral program at 6months (on our own) that ended up taking 13+wks instead of the normal 6wks. But it's been getting worse again over the last few months.

Pepper  – ( January 17, 2011 at 7:21 PM )  

That really sucks Laura, it must totally break your heart. I can offer no help having never had to deal with SA before. Which sort of drugs would you use - similar drugs to ones people take for anxiety? Might be worth a shot - probably wouldn't be a cure-all but might go some way to making things more bearable for you both.

Dizzy  – ( January 18, 2011 at 8:58 PM )  

Ew, SA, my sympathies Laura, that one's no fun at all. One of my previous fosters had severe SA issues. They weren't such a big issue at my house where Zach and I were working different schedules, but it exploded when she went to her new home (destroyed a few crates, hurt herself in the process, the whole nine yards). Jo's new mom eventually started everything from the ground up again - only she used tethers instead of the crate. They're reintroducing the crate now (nine months later), and so far so good. I've heard of other dogs with similar stories. I don't know if that would be an option for Vito?

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