My boxer refuses to be left alone- need advice
by Cindy Lyons
I have a 10 month old boxer. Her name is Scarlett. We have had Scarlett for about 2 months. When we leave the house, we would place her in a kennel. She has started to "head butt" the cage and actually causing bleeding on the top of her head. She has done it to the extent that I am not sure her hair is going to grow back.
So, I then placed the dog, along with my Shitzu, in an unfinished bathroom/laundry room. Scarlett is clawing at the door, shreds ANYTHING and EVERYTHING she can get her hands on. She somehow managed to pull our sump-pump from behind the washer and destroy it. She has pulled PVC pipping off the air condition unit which is in the unfinished bathroom/laundry room.
I am at a total loss. I love the dog but my husband is asking that I get rid of the dog since we can not seem to kennel here while I am at work. I leave the house around 7 am and return by 2:30 pm. So, she is in the kennel or bathroom for about 7 hours. I can not think of anything else I can do without her harming herself or messing up my house.
No matter how much I try to make sure there is NOTHING Scarlett can chew on, she finds something. I even place dog bones in the room with her.
Please help! Thanks.
Your pup is suffering from separation anxiety, and from the sound of it she's got more than just a mild case.
This sort of behavior is actually more common than a lot of people realize, but the bigger the dog the more damage can be done and the more obvious the problem. Dogs with this anxiety issue get frantic when left alone and have been known to chew through walls (sheet rock, wood, everything!) and tear down doors complete with the frames.
Of course, it's totally understandable that you and your husband are upset and frustrated. Who can afford to have to replace pumps, air conditioning pipes, door frames and so on? It's a real issue.
However, the good news is that there are many ways to help your pup overcome her feelings of panic when you leave. These range from very simple tips, to more advanced techniques such as behavioral modification. It's not as difficult as it may sound though, and with patience and consistency you should be able to get her over this given some time.
There is also the possibility of asking a professional dog trainer/behaviorist to give you some advice and help you to work with your pup. A local dog obedience school, or your veterinarians clinic should be able to recommend someone who could help you.
In addition to the above, there are many natural products on the market that can help alleviate your dog's anxiety, reduce her panic and make it easier for her to overcome this problem.
To get an idea of what you're dealing with, how to cope, and what measures to take, I would recommend that you read these pages on my website
There's a ton of information, tips and advice on these pages, plus lots of useful tools, techniques and products. I'm sure you'll find several things that you can get started with right away.
Best of luck with your dog, I hope this works out well for you.