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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm desperately trying to figure out a way to help my parents deal with a problem with their 5 year old cocker spaniel. Jake has been with us since he was a puppy and was always a little more nervous than most dogs but it didn't become a real issue until about a year or so ago. When we would leave the house he has always howled a little but after a few minutes was fine. In the last couple years he has become increasingly more anxious in car rides and is now to the point where he pants the whole time and cannot be consoled. A couple of months ago he started having accidents in the house and even on beds. This was very out of the norm for him since he has now been potty trained for years now with less than a handful of accidents in the time. My parents took him in to the vet to see if it could have been a medical problem. They tested him for a urinary tract infection and although the test came up negative went through the treatment to be sure. This didn't seem to help at all. We always knew that he had some serparation anxiety and have tried to work on it in numerous ways. To help with the actual anxiety they have tried soothing collars and medication around travel times and neither have seemed to help at all. Last week he was up north with my parents and my dad left the room for a minute and Jake peed on the bed. The next day he peed on the floor right in front of my mom and when they were out on the boat he jumped out before they were close enough to the dock and fell in the water. This has been very difficult because none of these things were issues in the past.<br><br>
I'm trying to find any possible solutions since it has been a very stressful situation for both Jakey and my parents. I feel so bad for Jake because you can tell that he is just so stressed and anxious ALL the time. Has anyone ever dealt with anything like this??
 

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Hey! I'm about to run out so excuse my rushed response but I have a little cavalier king charles spaniel like this that just gets SO anxious all the time. And long story short it's best for him to remain as calm as possible and we found the only thing that helps is the CD of dog music called 'Throguh a Dog's Ears'.<br><br>
That's right - dog music. Sounds crazy but it works! And it's super soothing for humans too! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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My little Floyd was and is a very nervous dog. He's a rescue and he's been abandoned multiple times. He had terrible separation anxiety for the first 3 years we had him. We tried all sorts of things but what finally worked was this: we moved into a house that was quieter and more permanent than our previous living situations. And then we did lots and lots of training where we gave him a treat, then left the house for a few minutes, came back, repeat. He started associating us leaving with good things. Then we kept giving him a treat whenever we left. We did it for months and finally he settled down. He just got a lot more relaxed about it all, feeling more settled in this quieter house with plenty of treats.<br><br>
About the peeing - we crate trained Floyd and our other dog, Bella and now they're both pretty good about holding it while indoors. But we have a cat who is extremely picky about the litter box so we changed our home by adding baby gates and replacing carpet with tile so that all our animals are on tile when we're away from home. That way, if there's an accident it doesn't cause any permanent damage. For animals that pee on the bed, that's often an issue where the animal is trying to tell you something - they're nervous or mad or sick. See if you can figure it out and try to fix the situation.<br><br>
It sounds like you should limit car rides and boat rides for a while. They're probably too stimulating for a nervous dog. Try giving Jakes more walks and play time - in a structured, scheduled way - to release nervous energy. And if you plan on going for drives or boat rides, why not give Jake an extra walk before the ride to help relax him.
 

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My cocker spaniel mix was abandoned, found on the street, and transferred through several foster homes. The first two months we had her, every time we came home there was runny poop everywhere that they get from anxiety, she had knocked trash cans over and everything off our dining table, and she'd destroyed everything in the bathrooms and several shoes. She also would screech and whine. Do you have any other dogs? My Puggy has some separation anxiety so after a few months they've taken to each other and keep each other company when we're away.<br><br>
I got her an occupi toy, too. It has holes, which I stuff small foods, like cat kibble, in, and then you can put a dental stick in the middle hole, sticking out so she can chew it out, and around the rim there's an area to put peanut butter or something similar, so I'll put things like peanut butter or hummus or other creamy things that she'll like to keep her busy. She still destroys things, goes through trash, eats shoes if she gets the chance when she gets nervous, but she doesn't poop or screech anymore, luckily. I also get her some new giant stuffies with different textures and things to play and cuddle with.<br><br>
For car rides and things like that, have you tried sedatives? Maybe you could talk to your vet about those. I've read they're good for dogs with strong fears and nervousness with certain situations, like a dog that's afraid of rainstorms, so they might work for car rides, too, to relax and calm him down. Also, try making car rides seem really fun with strong smelling treats and favorite or new toys to distract him, with lots of praise. I know you said you do try to calm him down in the car and boat, so maybe pairing sedatives with treats and toys could be a good way to relax him enough for you to teach him that car and boat rides are good and fun, and he can associate good things like toys and treats with rides so you can later wean him off the sedatives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the tips. I think the most concerning issue is the fact that he will pee even if you're standing there looking at him. Since it doesn't seem medical its trying to figure out what it could be. I told them that it might be good to crate train him...even though it might be difficult at first because he's not used to it. We started crate training our dog a while back because he had seperation anxiety and was having accidents all over because of it...including on the couches! He LOVES his crate now. He goes into it when he's tired, scared, with a treat, and just loves it. That might be next to try to make him feel "safe" and give him a place that he can feel is his den. I wish there was something we could do to take the edge off of his constant anxiety. The only thing that I can think of is a daily medication which I'm not sure would even work since he hasn't really responded to them before and not to mention the cost involved. I'm going to try to keep looking into things. I'm going home tomorrow so I'm going to try to find a kong or something to bring to him. That's the other reason that it's hard is because I don't live at home anymore so I can't really monitor him. I do know though that my parents are truly trying their best and exploring all options.
 

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Sounds like it could be sumissive urination and standing right there looking at him can actually make it worse.<br><br>
I think I have a document on another computer about treating SA. I will check when I get it back and can send it to you. If it's not on there I can send you some tips anyway. I've had a couple dogs with it and it can be overcome with a little work. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well she said she was just sitting there with him next to her and he just did it right there. She wasn't specifically watching him or anything, she was just really shocked that he did it right near her in the same room rather than sneaking into a different rom
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update: I went home this weekend and learned a few things...<br><br>
-They have Jake on a daily medication now<br>
-They started just keeping him in the entry way rather than giving him full roam of the house when they're gone<br>
-My mom brought a video camera home and taped him while they were gone...only to find out that he howled, barked, and paced the WHOLE time.<br>
-They're going to start working with him with a crate and having one available to him to possibly help him feel safer.
 

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i'd recommend working on training him again from the start, basic obediance training etc. most people tend to 'baby' small dogs a little too much, when really they need more discipline so they can feel more confident. Try not to reinforce the whining or pacing by giving extra attention when he exhibits these behaviors. I would not let him on furniture such as beds either, again this is a dominance thing and he would have more comfort knowing someone else has things under control.<br><br>
for seperation anxiety you can try giving him a kong w/ treats when leaving the home to keep him occupied for those first minutes. or mix up your daily routine so that he doesn't clue in to all the patterns before you actually leave the home. If he knows you shower, eat breakfast, feed him, check your email, etc before you leave for work, then doing things in a different order or leaving the home through another exit can help disrupt that anxiety that builds before you even leave the home.<br><br>
anyway it's a very lengthy subject, <a href="http://www.veterinarypartner.com" target="_blank">www.veterinarypartner.com</a> usually has good articles.
 
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