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Anxiety issue in Labrador - Advice ??

x Nee x

Gold Member
S: 20st10lb C: 20st5lb G: 8st0lb BMI: 50.5 Loss: 0st5lb(1.72%)
Hi all,

I have 2 labs, Bruno - 8 1/2 Chocolate Lab and Milly a 1 yr old yellow Lab (possibly crossed with Whippet)

Bruno was a naughty pup, well he still is as mischevious as ever but he eventually stopped being so bad as he got a little older :)

Milly, is the most loyal pup, excellently behaved, well trained, great walking on or off the lead and an absolute joy to own....as long as she can stay by your side!!

We are almost unable to ever leave her, sometimes even 10 mins is too much, initially she was left and we would come back and everything ripped apart, wee etc... even for 10 mins of being left, since having her the max we have left her is 3 hours!!

So decided to get a crate, she is happy going in and out of it, doesnt seem to stress her, and then we go out.... she will bark for the whole time were out, and recently she has started weeing in there and her nose has been grazed twice.

I think its clear she hates being left, but yesterday I was home...(have the week off) and I went to sleep for an hour, to then wake with a shoe totally ripped apart, without even telling her off she was laying there shaking :(

We have had her since July/Aug 09 we rehomed her from a guy who said he works on the road and cant take her with him, and was passing her to friends, then another friend etc when we got her, he didnt even meet us, nor knew our address he dropped her off at my friends pet shop!!! and these issues have been there from day one.

I dont intend to give up on her, and I cant really afford any additional training to help her.

I have worked with animals for a long time up untill April 09 so am confident I can do something.

Im just short of ideas and wondered if anyone else has had a similar problem and if so what you have done?

Thanks people, hope someone can help

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Lucky Cat

A work in progress
S: 19st3lb C: 12st7lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 25.8 Loss: 6st10lb(34.94%)
Milly is still a pup and I completely sympathise with you as when my two dogs were a similar age they were an absolute nightmare.

I have 2 lab/whippet/collie crosses who are almost 9. When they were pups, when I went out I would come back to carnage. They'd get whatever they could and rip it up, they'd knock the bin over and there'd be rubbish all over the floor, they'd get on the dining table and knock ornaments etc. off the windowsill. I once got back and could barely get in the door as they'd pulled the carpet up and it was all doubled up behind the door.

Anyway, someone suggested getting crates to me which I did and it solved the problem. They were happy to go in them and never messed in them. It obviously doesn't work for Milly though. One of my dogs had terrible separation anxiety when she was younger and still goes nuts when you get back in, but I know she just sleeps now when i go out. I think that's just come with time and routine.

The other thing I would suggest, although it'll take time, is to gradually increase the time she's left. For instance, leave her and go outside for maybe 2 mins and then come back in. Keep doing that and gradually increase the time, 3 mins, 4 mins etc. Don't say anything when you go out or come back and don't make a fuss of her either. Just completely ignore her. She won't associate you going out with getting a telling off or even a fuss and she should learn in time that when you go out you always come back.

x Nee x

Gold Member
S: 20st10lb C: 20st5lb G: 8st0lb BMI: 50.5 Loss: 0st5lb(1.72%)
Yeh Ideally that would show an improvement, but it really doesnt :(

Once we realised how bad she is when left we tried doing it gradually, then slowly upped it to around half an hour and our max was about 3 hours, but its going really bad. I think the crate isnt helping her, which is a real shame and to see her having a sore nose is quite upsetting as she seems to bounce like a lunatic in the crate whilst barking, the only good thing is nothing gets destroyed whilst she is in there.

Bruno, ate through my kitchen wall, pulled up carpet in the hallway, pulled out banister poles, and the doorwell mat (I chuckled at your post as it reminded me of him) I remember leaving him outside once in the garden and came back to see the garden totally wrecked and he was curled up in a large flower pot, I wish I had taken a picture :)

I know it probably just sounds the same with Milly, but I know its different, she is so clingy, where ever you go without a doubt she is there, even hanging out washing she follows by my side and taps my leg with her nose to say 'im here' :)

If me and the OH have a playful bicker (as we all do over silly things) she will shake uncontrolably, if she does something naughty again she will shake, when you drop something - like a remote or whatever by accident she cowers and shakes :( its quite sad really, bless her I dread to think what the last owner was like with her cos other than being left she is a real sweetie.

Lucky Cat

A work in progress
S: 19st3lb C: 12st7lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 25.8 Loss: 6st10lb(34.94%)
The crate thing is surprising actually as most dogs like them, it makes them feel secure. I wonder if perhaps her previous owner shut her in a cupboard or something? I remember a family friend when I was a child used to shut their dog in the coal shed for hours at a time. Small wonder as soon as the door was opened it bolted.

My 2 are very clingy too, one more so than the other. I call them my shadows as I can't even go to the loo without them coming to see where I am. If I go out to the garage, they follow me. If I go to put washing out, they follow me. When we're out walking, Pops, the particularly clingy one, will nudge my hand periodically with her wet nose just like Milly does to remind me that she's there.

Have you somewhere you can leave her where she'll do minimal damage when you're out? I used to move everything out of reach as they would jump up and nick things off the worktops given half a chance. I think that with time and patience she will get over it but it's hard going when you're in the midst of it.

When I look at my two laid here asleep, they look like butter wouldn't melt. For all that they were a nightmare when they were younger, they are such loving, loyal and faithful dogs. People often comment how well behaved they are, but I say that they weren't always like that. So much of it has come with age. They've chilled out as they've got older. Not that you'd think they'd chilled out when you see them charging about like lunatics when we're out in the fields. ;)

x Nee x

Gold Member
S: 20st10lb C: 20st5lb G: 8st0lb BMI: 50.5 Loss: 0st5lb(1.72%)
See I never was one for crating dogs but you hear so many positive things about them so I thought I may aswell try it but so far it hasnt been succesful.

Really other than the crate there isnt anywhere I can put her :(

Just hope we can get her more settled :)


Silver Member
S: 18st7lb C: 18st2lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 41 Loss: 0st5lb(1.93%)
Sounds like separation anxiety. Leaving her in a crate while your out is a good idea, since she won't be able to get to anything to chew. Is the crate her bed aswell? Also you could try giving her a kong or another toy stuffed with food so she has to work on getting the food out. could keep her distracted.

Have you tried a DAP diffuser? that could help to calm her down while you try to work on getting her used to being left. Ignore her when you go, maybe for a few minutes before and do the same when you come in. Try to go out for short periods and then gradually increase the time.

If I can think of anything, i'll let you know :)

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