Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi Suzanne, firstly thanks so much for the feedback on your little one, appreciated. It really did sound like a physical concern and I am thrilled that you went back to the vet and got it sorted out and a pleasure to assist.
With regards to going away more often, this can be very difficult. It may be an idea to consider a house sitter for when you are away instead of kennels, but there again, if the dogs are happy there and well looked after, go with what works. Personally I would look at getting a good reliable house sitter that you know you can trust to look after the dogs and house. You can find somebody via googling them, but do make sure that you check out refs etc very, very carefully and even have them over and see their interaction with the dogs. I do know somebody in the mid-rand area if that helps, and have the name of somebody in kzn.
With regards to the one that doesnt like being left alone at home, there are things you can do, but it takes a lot of practice and consistancy to achieve and must be done at a pace the dog is comfortable with, never rushed.
What you can do is get hold of a large Ox Femur from your butcher. Give it to the dog that stresses for a few minutes during the day and as the dog really gets stuck into the bone, take it away. Do this about 4/5 times in one day. This serves to make the bone the most important thing in the dogs life and it cant wait to get hold of it again. The following day, take the bone and the dog and either put the dog with the bone in a seperate room (best where you leave the dog when you go out) or outside. Leave the dog to chew on the bone for a few minutes, then take it away again. Keep on practising this daily, very slowly and gradually building up the time period the dog is alone with the bone. It is important to take the bone away while the dog is still chewing to build up the anticipation of getting it next time. If, inadvertantly you leave the dog too long and it starts barking/whining to get back to you, dont react while dog is making a noise. the second the dog is quiet, let it in, otherwise you are just teaching the dog a new behaviour to get attention. What you are doing here is simply changing the dogs perception of being alone to a pleasurable one, rather than a stressfull one.
You do have to do this slowly so the dog can cope and when you change the exercise to a new location (always a good idea) start from the beginning again. When dog is coping happily for about an hour, then start to take the other dog out for a walk, but again go back to beginning and just a few minutes - again, slowly build up the period. Also start to walk the dogs seperately, always leaving the dog at home with the chewy bone. This will help to build their confidence of being along.
Thanks for the info on the Lorien, I will definately mention to vets I work with. We normally use Clomicalm and good to know there is another alternative.
Good luck! thanks Scotty
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.