1. So, I have been irritated, sickened, and somewhat shocked about this since I first heard about it. My brother and his girlfriend have these two of them has anxiety (possible separation anxiety or thunderstorm anxiety). They want to put the dog to sleep because of it. They said the dog goes crazy (not vicious crazy, but anxiety crazy) and they are afraid it will destroy the house.

    That sickens me...I think I am very disappointed in my brother and thought he would be better than that. I tried explaining that there's meds for anxiety; he said he tried that for the dog. It didn't work, according to him. I just think he will have regrets about it after and you can't undo death...
  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   vegas2009
    That's sad. I wish more people watch the Animal Planet channel. I just saw an episode on that the other day. But, the only difference is --> whenever the dog gets upset and anxious, she goes straight to the bathroom and closes the door (everytime her human parents argue). I think the dog gets into the tub too, and just lays there until one of her human parents get her. Nope, her humans didn't train her for that. They said that, ever since she was a pup -- she was always like that. Just proves that animals have feelings too
  4. by   Pets to People
    It is better to be supportive than will be more effective in helping the pet that way. Find out all the info you can, such as local assistance in the form of training programs, etc and share them, in a non-critical manner.

    Seperation anxiety can be a very difficult issue to deal with and many vets are not able to provide the amount of support the owners need in order to deal with this issue. That is why it would be best for the owners to work with their vet in addition to a pet trainer who has experience dealing with this type of issue. If they cannot afford that, there are books they can reference to assist them.

    The medications, just as with anti-anxiety, anti-depressive, etc medications in humans, are ment to be used as a adjunct along with training, they are not a cure-all and will NOT work alone.

    I have seen many owners struggle with seperation anxiety....some who have put in the minimal effort and others who have put in hours and hours and weeks of work to no avail. Each pet and owner has a unique situation and must be treated uniquely. I have had owners tell me of HUNDREDS of dollars worth of damage when they go out to the grocery store....and the pets not only damage the owners home they can cause severe damage to themselves. I have seen pets who have jumped through glass windows, literally ripped OUT their front toenails from digging at the door and dogs who have broken teeth trying to chew out of their kennels where owners placed them while they went on an errand, in the hopes that it would keep the pet from hurting themselves and destroying the home. A simple trip to pick up the kids from school can lead to hundreds of dollars of damage to the persons home and an expensive trip to the vet to fix whatever injuries the pet has caused to themselves.

    That being said, it may be possible to work with the pet, but the owners must be understanding that it can takes a lot of work done consistantly and every day as well as a lot of patience to make it work. Lets face it, not all owners develope a strong bond with every one of their pets and some are just not willing to put in the work it may take.
  5. by   wish_me_luck
    Turns out they crate the dog all day long--no wonder the dog goes bonkers. That info made me even angrier. My family (parents and I) tried everything as far as support for them--meds suggestion, trying to find a home, trying to convince them to let the dog sleep on the bed (his girlfriend sleeps on the bathroom floor with the dog....they said the dog sheds too much for the bed).

    The self destruction is the excuse they are using for putting the dog down...they are afraid the dog will hurt itself. The finding a home for the dog got an excuse of the girlfriend not knowing what she wants to do with the dog...I think it's a "if I can't have it, no one can have it" thing.
  6. by   leslie :-D
    petstopeople, thanks for your input.
    my initial reaction WAS to criticize, but your post had lots of valid considerations.

    still, putting a dog down for seemingly unsuitable reasons makes me cringe.
    esp noting there are other viable alternatives.

  7. by   Pets to People
    Have they given you any specifics as to what the pet does to itself and/or the home?

    Realistically, finding the dog another home most likely won't happen. They would need to be up front with the potential new owners and let them know the problems the pet has been having. Someone with experience with seperation anxiety may be willing to adopt them and put in the work, but just someone looking for a pet will not be willing to. A person can love animals but that doesn't mean they would be willing to adopt a pet and spend an unknown amount of money on it, risk potential damage to their home and belongings and have to spend hours upon hours of training for a problem that may not be able to be resolved.

    Putting the pet on the bed is not going to solve the issue. The pet needs to learn to be comfortable with being alone, it does not need to be coddled. I use the term "it", which I usually don't like to do, because I do not recall seeing if you mentioned if it was a he or she. I for one, as a pet owner, do not allow my dog to get on the couch and definately not on the bed. I have allergies, I don't like to have to clean up excessive hair if I don't have to and the dog is on the bottom of the totem pole and therefore does not get to sit where the "big dogs" aka the humans of the house, sit. A dog is no less loved if it is not dressed it ridiculous outfits, is not allowed to sleep on the owners face every night and kick their husbands out of bed or steal food from their children's plates. Lol that's my soapbox.

    I am not trying to sound as if it the situation is impossible, just showing both sides. It can be tiresome to have to deal with you work problems, home problems, family problems, child problems and not on top of all of that you have a dog that goes berserk because you leave the house. I hope they are able to work something out, but they need to seek the professional advice of a pet trainer, not the advice of family or friends or even their vet.
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    We had a dog like that. Someone dropped the dog off in our neighborhood along with another dog that we assumed was her brother. We live in a rural area so this happens a lot with dogs and cats.

    We took in the female - she was pregnant. Had 11 pups.

    She was very nervous and couldn't be left alone. She destroyed my daughter's headboard, some furniture, and the dashboard of our Bronco . .to name a few.

    We ended up giving her away to a family with a big yard and she stayed outside most of the time. Not sure what happened to her but she was a difficult dog.

    Our dogs are not allowed in our beds as well. Our chocolate lab had to be put down last year at age 15 due to respiratory problems. So we just have our mini-doxies. They do jump up on my son when he is sitting on the couch but for the most part are outside. They come in at night and sleep in the basement with the cat.

    We did put one dog down for biting some of the neighbors . . . . that was sad but necessary.
  9. by   wish_me_luck
    The dog is a girl, sorry. She destroyed 3 crates after being left in them all day--her brother (their other dog) just lays in his all day. I told my brother to put her outside...he said no, that she would probably eat the door or could possibly hurt herself. My dad thinks he found a potential home for her, that's when the girlfriend said she doesn't know what she wants to do with her.

    They just bought the house and are thinking of getting new furniture. I don't know what will happen...I just hope they don't regret putting her down. Will vets even put an animal down for anxiety?
  10. by   Kylee B
    Quote from leslie :-D
    still, putting a dog down for seemingly unsuitable reasons makes me cringe.
    esp noting there are other viable alternatives.

    I agree with you, leslie. Some people destroy life for any number of reasons... reasons that are good only in their own, selfish minds.
  11. by   nursej22
    Perhaps the dog can be surrendered to a rescue group. We adopted our Boston Terriers from a rescue. The original owner of our female was going to shoot her for killing his chickens.
  12. by   Fuzzy
    Pets to People brings up a lot of really true facts.

    I can understand your frustration and I can understand your brother's frustration. I work with dogs and their people for a living. I can tell you that seperation anxiety is hard to treat and hard to live with. Dogs with severe seperation anxiety cannot be cured. In fact most of those dogs end up being euthanized. Yes this is sad but that is reality. Many people see medication as cure all in cases like these but it doesn't work worth a crap without behavior modification. All that these medications do is to take the edge off so that the animal's mind remains calm enough to learn new behaviors. Mind altering drugs are not magic wands in either human or animal medicine. They just take the edge off so that new behaviors can be formed and learned.

    I've seen many anxious dogs that are bent on suicide. These dogs will jump through plate glass windows, chew down fences, wreck pumbing, and really harm themselves because they are left alone. We saw one dog that managed to jump off of the roof (have no idea how he got there as he was in the back yard) and broke both front legs. This dog had been in many homes due to seperation anxiety. He was euthanized because the owners could no longer afford the destruction and the medical costs. We saw this dog many times through out the three years that his owners had him. He was also being treated by a behaviorist and was currently being medicated. If dogs like these were human they would be under a 72 hour hold and heavily medicated. Most would be committed to a mental hospital.

    Sure the dog could have been rehomed. But I can tell you from experience that most dogs like these end up in many homes. With each successive home the dog becomes worse because anxious dogs do not deal well with change. I've seen many of these dogs turn into crazy aggressive junk yard dogs because they are religated to the backyard or outside with very little human contact. I've also seen them practically tortured by owners in hopes that beating them will get the behavior to stop. It doesn't. So yes in cases such as these euthanasia is a viable option. Euthanasia is certainly better then many of the alternatives that I've seen. Not everyone is cut out to take in a problem dog.

    Fuzzy speaking from the other side of the fence.
  13. by   wish_me_luck
    So, about a week ago, my mom tells me that my brother told her the dog was going to "puppy Heaven" that night. My brother and his girlfriend took the dog to the vet and the poor dog laid down and looked so sad. It was like she knew. They felt bad and decided to try another medication instead. Then, took the dog back home and supposedly, the dog was good. They are on vacation visiting her family this weekend, so they boarded the dogs. I have told my brother that he better not come back and put her to sleep...that's no different than sending the dog to the pound. We will see how it goes...
  14. by   Pets to People
    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but a change in meds is not going to help. Only actual effort will make a difference in this situation.