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Discussion Starter #1
My 5 month old chi has serious separation anxiety. We have had him for a week. When we are home, he is great. He potties outside, he is fairly calm, and he has a good disposition. When we leave him--whether it is for 15 minutes or 3 hours, he poops where he is confined.

I had initially left him in an open area, gated. He pooped and puked. Then we tried his small crate where he sleeps (we practiced over the weekend leaving him). 3 of 4 times, he pooped.

I also started giving him rescue remedy, one drop per day bc he is only 3.5 pounds.

I don't know what else to do and I am so at a loss. I worry all morning at work and I am back to work Tuesday through Thursday. I do check on him at lunch time. There is always a mess when I arrive.

Should I just let him roam free???
 

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If you can find a way to safely confine him, I would opt for that over letting him roam. Unless you have reason to believe that his confinement is the cause of his anxiety, I believe it would be safer for him to not be able to get into trouble or get hurt in some sort of "safe haven" within your home when you are not there. Something you could try is a Comfort Zone plug in. Plug it in near his crate or safe area an hour or so before you are going to leave to the pheromone is in the air, and leave it plugged in while you are away. This is something that seemed to help our Jack calm down a bit.
 

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I would try the pheromone thing too. We had issues with our cat and I think the plug in really worked. I know some people have had success with thunder shirts too. Also, making sure he has tons of exercise before you leave will help calm him. I would work on getting him used to you getting ready to leave (getting keys, jacket, shoes, etc.) and only leave for 5 minutes and come back so he sees that you WILL come back and then increase the time you leave for (if possible).
 

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I would use a playpen instead of a crate. Put the crate inside the playpen, and then at least he could use a pad outside of his crate.

I also would follow the above advice, starting with leaving only for a minute or so, then if he handles that, leave for 5 minutes, then 10, then 15. You get the idea. The pheramone therapy also is very good. Thunder shirt is worth a try too. Good luck!
 

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Have you tried playing soft music for him. I would practice putting him in the pen and pretending to leave the house for a minute at a time and increase the time as he does better. He needs to learn that his mommy is coming back. I would also feed him an hour to two hours before you have to leave that way you could take him out to potty right before you leave and he won't make a mess while you're gone. Keep your spirits up. Don't show him you're worried about leaving him as he can pick up on this which upsets him. I always talk to my chi by saying I'm going to work now and I'll be back in a little while and give her a kiss. When I come home, I get hugs and kisses and let her out to potty.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just came back from checking on him during my lunch break. I bought the plug in last night. I left classical music on for him today. He was alone from 8:45 til 12:15. He did not poop. He did, however, pee as soon as he heard me come in--he was very excited. I took him out anyway and changed the blanket in the crate. I am going to keep trying his crate because I don't want him to have too many changes. We are his second household. The first only kept him for a week.

I am going to google this thundershirt now too.

I try to be calm when I leave him but I am so bad at covering it up because I am worried sick about him. I will keep trying and keep a routine as best I can. I can practice leaving in increments on the days I do not work. Thank you all very much for your suggestions.
 

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Update: the day I thought progress was being made happened to end badly. He pooped all over his crate about an hour later. All over. My husband called me at work and said no more. He put a gate at the stairs and let the pup roam. I got home an hour later and he was fine. All last week we let him free roam our downstairs. Left his crate out with door open. I checked on him every day at lunch time. No accidents and a much happier dog. Coincidentally he does sleep in his crate now when we are gone, but with the door open. No damage, no disasters, and he seems much happier. Still keeping the comfort zone plugged in but all is well! Thanks for all the suggestions!


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I would use a playpen instead of a crate. Put the crate inside the playpen, and then at least he could use a pad outside of his crate.

I also would follow the above advice, starting with leaving only for a minute or so, then if he handles that, leave for 5 minutes, then 10, then 15. You get the idea. The pheramone therapy also is very good. Thunder shirt is worth a try too. Good luck!
This is exactly what I did with my Molly when I got her at 9.5 weeks, I built the time up over 3 weeks and she cracked it in that time. Tiny increments starting at one minute, working up and now she can do 5-6 hours in her pen alone in the flat and is perfectly happy while I'm at work. I just make sure it is a place she loves and can't wait for me to open the door for her to jump in - I put her bed in there, her toilet, toys, water, Kongs stuffed with chicken and cheese and scatter chunks of it around for her to have a forage (I let her watch me do this and she literally scratches the floor and gate to be let in). I leave a radio on for her as well. I always come back and she's blinking at me from her bed having slept after a good play. Once they learn that "Mumma ALWAYS comes back" they settle down and enjoy the peace!
I must also say that I found it so hard in the beginning listening to her cries while we did her initial training but perseverance really is key (and also, never ever open the door or go in to her if she's crying - that is vital, else you're just rewarding her cries and she'll learn to do this). Just don't give up and you'll both be absolutely fine.

Good luck x
 

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We acquired a two year old female Chi mix, and my wife and I were home for three days before we had to go back to work, but throughout those three days, we went out without her, for an hour, then several hours at a time. Monday was her first time alone, and when we returned home after work, she whimpered a little and gave us a big grin, her front teeth exposed, which is adorable. This morning, I had the idea of placing the t-shirt I wore overnight and suggested to my wife to give me something she had worn recently and we placed it in her doggie bed. Hopefully this will help her. I read the other posts, and will research the Comfort Zone plug in.


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