Update: Progress With Grace’s Mild Separation Anxiety

I’ve mentioned a couple of times I was concerned Grace might be developing some separation anxiety but never wrote an entire post about it, so this is sort of an update. She was showing mild signs of separation anxiety, but was definitely not full-blown SA. Still, I wanted to nip it in the bud because SA can be tough on everyone involved—difficult for the human to deal with and extremely distressing for the dog. Lucky for me and for Grace, just a couple of small changes have made all the difference.

I thought key rings would reinforce the crate
I thought key rings would reinforce the crate; she pulled the ring apart.

You might recall that I eventually had to zip-tie her entire crate. She was becoming quite a Houdini. Also, she was drooling a lot while crated, and then she stopped happily going into her crate even though I always gave her a treat toy stuffed with something yummy and never used the crate as punishment. Twice I had to physically push her into the crate to get to work on time. I was not okay with doing that and had to figure something out.

Things like this happened
Things like this happened.

Two things:

  1. I purchased a bigger [colossal] crate and got a super deal on Craigslist. You have to be quick to get a dog crate from the CL, but after a few attempts, I eventually snagged one.
  2. I moved her crate from the bedroom into the living room. Now when I come home she can immediately see me. I’m not sure if that’s what her issue was—could be she just likes the front of the condo better than the back. She’s a little goofy so who knows?
The new crate is huge compared to the old one!
The new crate is huge compared to the old one!

It’s been a few months since I made the changes and she once again gladly, tail-waggingly runs into her crate when I get the treat toy, there is no drool, and I haven’t had to zip-tie the new crate at all yet. Knock on wood.

I still can’t leave her out of the crate even to get the mail without her drooling, barking, and scratching at the door.

My pretty black door is not so pretty any more.
My pretty black door is not so pretty any more.
Colossal crate has lots of space for bedding and for chew toys.
Colossal crate has lots of space for bedding and for chew toys.

I’ll keep at it and maybe in a year or two or three she can free-range while I’m at work. I’d love that, but for now she seems quite content in her big-girl crate. I just hope she lets me know when it’s safe to repaint the door.

Cheers!
Kelly