Posted by: Tanya Steynberg | 2009-06-19

Introducing a new dog

Please help fast. My brother is leaving the country and asked us to take his dog in. His dog is like a child. Very dependent on him, eats only when he is around and literally cries when he leaves him at home. He goes everywhere with my brother on holidays etc.

They are currently staying with us and the dog is kind of depressed.

How can we ease the situation. We don' t want the dog to die of hunger for not eating when my brother left, or from a broken heart.

What do you suggest.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear Tanya

A DAP diffuser.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Steph | 2009-06-23


Yes I' ve also used the DAP diffuser, as well as a supplement called zylkene. apparently it has the same ingredients as mothers milk so helps calm the dog...but you need to see the vet for this. good luck ! The diffuser worked really well.

Reply to Steph
Posted by: Steph | 2009-06-20

It sounds like you' re taking on a lot of work, so i guess the first question is: Are you able to handle this responsibility.

My sister has a smooth daxie who is REALLY highly strung and she moved to london, so we "  inherited"  her. it' s taken a lot of patience and work but she' s fine now. we definately decided to not make a fuss of her and just treat her like one of the other dogs and it really helps. i do believe its all about the way you respond to the dog. we had to kennel her within a few days of getting her, and the lady who looked after her said she was as sweet at a lamb and never cried once. having said that, this woman is a breeder and is very confident with dogs.

so just try to be confident, not overbearing, and don' t reward the dog' s crying ! perhaps a visit to the vets for some anti-anxiety meds will get you through the worst of it...

good luck !

Reply to Steph
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-06-20

It looks to me like you are creating this problem with the dog because if your brother is still there then why are you going round saying the dog is depressed? Every time the dog is being quiet, and you go ag shame poor dog and cuddle him, you are REWARDING him for acting like that. Lots of dogs " literally cry"  when their owners go out - that is a bad behaviour which owners often encourage and sometimes it is subconscious because they LIKE the fact that their dog loves them so much that they cant be without them. It is a BAD THING to " make"  the dog so dependent on you that it cant be on its own and this does NOT make a dog happy, on the contrary.

Let this dog be and settle down a bit without hovering all over him like a helicopter parent. Let him get used to your place without being under a microscope all the time. Let him find a little place for himself where he feels comfy, and if that little place is not on your lap, then that is ok because it is his choice. If he lies somewhere quietly do not go oh no, he is being depressed, just leave him alone to live his life a bit the way he wants, not the way you think he should want. When he eats, make sure he is private and you dont watch him swallow every bit, and make chewing movements with your own jaws in sympathy, and do not tempt him with delicious snacks all the time to make him eat because then you are just training him to not eat his normal food.

He is a DOG not a human and dogs minds work differently from humans so stop acting like he is a child because he isnt. He will probably miss your b rother when he leaves but that is also normal and you must not give him all this extra fuss and bother to compensate. It doesnt help, all it does is make YOU feel better because you care so much.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Chill | 2009-06-19

Try to fuss as little as possible - if all eyes are on the dog all the time, it' s only going to increase his stress. In need, you may want to get a tranquilliser from the vet.

I would agree that some behaviour modification is called for - yours and your brother' s, not the dog' s! - do a bit of reading up, chat to your vet, and in need consult a behaviourist.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-06-19

Unfortunately your brother, even with the best intentions, has created a dog with separation anxiety.
Try an animal communicator - google animal spirit or Anna Breytenbach and see if the dog wants to carry on without him.

I use it all the time and if you are as desperate as you say you are you will give it a try.

Good luck

Reply to Anonymous

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