Great Dane Separation Anxiety

Posted by jotapegebe
Nov 7, 2011
I have a 1 year old Dane who I adopted when he was 9 months. He was
living with a 5 children under 6 years old family. At the beginning he
was alright but as he grew (without training) the children became
scared of him. Finally he became a garden dog and about 2 times a week
he had a walk to the park.

When I adopted him, he came to live in an apartment. He is very happy
here. He gets two long walks/play in the park in the morning and
night. As soon as he gets inside home, he is perfectly behaved. The
problem is when I go to work.

The first day I went to the office, he chewed a couch and "went" all
over the apartment. I came to a flooded living room with 3 solid
surprises. I did nothing but clean with strong product. After that, he
has never done anything else to the apartment, he just barks and barks
and barks almost non stop until I'm back. Obviously the neighbors were
not happy at all, specially two of them who have a home office.

I did all sorts of things, like leaving the TV, leaving the radio,
leaving my recorded voice, leaving all sorts of toys, food stuffed
kongs, etc. When I came back everything was the way I left it, as if
he just stayed barking at the door the whole time.

A temporary solution was that the concierge took him to the parking
when he was most anxious, it worked because if he knew the concierge
was on the building he would be calmer. But even if he had been silent
for 2 hours, as soon as he realized the concierge left the building
(and he has very good ear) he would start barking non stop. Also, some
neighbors were not happy that the concierge was taking care of my dog,
even after he had finished all his duties.

I finally decided to take him to Day Care, where he is very happy and
loves the people and dogs there. But it's expensive luxury in México,
where Dog Day Care is a new business barely known.

TODAY, I have the opportunity to rent my apartment and move to a
bigger place. A 1st floor apartment, which is bigger and has a patio.
The patio is about the size of two cars and has a door to the street
where people walk by. It is a better place, better located and stuff,
but the only reason I'm doing this is to have a better place for Baco.
Actually the overprice on the rent is going to be what I'm currently
paying for Day Care. I know moving it's not going to be a magic
solution to the Separation Anxiety, but do you think it's going to be
a good improvement?? What other tips can you give me??

All your help would be greatly appreciated, specially if it can be
ASAP as I need to decide maybe today.

Thanks a lot,

Juan Pablo

P.S. He is very friendly with people and other dogs, except with
certain male dominant dogs. I'm planning on neutering soon. We had to
wait because he was recovering from a parasites infection.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Nov 11, 2011
Hey Juan,

What a headache! Sounds like a struggle. Just to clarify, how long have you had Baco now?

The move could either help or make the situation worse. A new house, where you can establish new routines, may help Baco settle into life with you. Especially if he can go outside on the porch.

However, a new house, a move quickly after you've taken on an already seperation anxious dog, may make Baco's nervousness worse. A shift to a new environment may upset him more, and his signs may not improve. If he gets worse - he could go back to chewing things up and having accidents in the house.

The truth is, you can only try it and see what happens, if moving is something you really want to do. With time, Baco's issues should settle down - I know you've tried everything to help him through it, but as he settles into routines more, the barking should subside. Have you looked into anti anxiety medications from your vet, or a DAP pheromone plug-in? Both medicinally based options have worked well for some owners who can't find anything else to do. You might talk to your vet

Decide if the move is overall worth it for you - I wouldn't advice using it as a solution for Baco's anxiety. If you think its the best thing OVERALL, then go for it! As I said, I think Baco will eventually settle down either way. Just be prepared for the CHANCE of his getting upset. I'm not saying any of this to be a pain or intimidate you, I just want you to see both sides of the potential outcome. Hopefully, if you move, Baco will enjoy it! A new environment with his new owner

Other members may have more specific experience with this sort of situation, its hard to advise on, but I hope I helped at least a little