Separation anxiety and other issues

Separation anxiety and other issues

Postby Leia » Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:08 am

Hello lovely Tamaskan people!

So I'm the owner of Loki, who has just turned one. I wanted to share with you some experiences I've had in raising him thus far, and maybe get some feedback from other owners who may have had similar issues.

First off, let me start by saying that Loki is a good, sweet natured boy. He has never been aggressive towards people and especially not children, which is exactly what I expected from the breed. However, we have had some issues with separation anxiety particularly. Mostly this is due to the fact that I work from home, and therefore he has always been used to having someone around most of the time. He was fine for short periods, but anything longer than an hour and he became extremely anxious and destructive. I had tried to crate train him (following all the advice given, plus relying on my own previous experience with other dogs who had no issues with their crates), but I knew early on he was going to be different because he never liked his crate. Even without closing the door, and having it as a den, feeding him in it, placing toys and comfy bedding inside, he never wanted to venture in of his own accord. So eventually, we had to give up on the idea of crating him, as I simply could not get him to go inside without putting him in myself, which would have been entirely counter productive. He would go in, get his bowl and try to bring his food outside, from the offset a crate was not going to work for him. With much patience we are now able to leave him with restricted access to the house for longer periods of time when absolutely necessary, but I do pop in and out much more these days, so that he knows each time I leave, I'm coming home, and he has nothing to worry about. For any long periods of time we are very lucky to have a dog daycare place nearby, where he goes to play and runs free in enclosed fields. This has also been great for his socialisation, not only with other dogs, but other animals (he's friends with a goose of all things) and people too.

To say he was over exhuberent would have been an understatement. Honestly, this dog has energy levels which made my german shepherd seem lazy. No amount of activity would slow him down, physically, mentally, you name it. I'm not one for labels but.....can dogs have ADHD? lol, this one seemed to.

At one year old I can see that his behaviour has been progressively improving. The key has been perseverance to be honest, and it is finally beginning to pay off. I can honestly say there were times I despaired (thank you for your kind support Lynn). I never wanted to give up on him but there were times that I had begun to think that it was my only option. I'm so glad I didn't give in to those feelings of negativity because we have definitely turned a corner. It hasn't been an overnight success, but the improvement in him has been palpable day by day. He still has issues with recall and stealing, but we are working on those things too. I have had some great support from an animal behaviourist whom I stumbled across by accident, after having had some very bad experiences and advice (which I did not follow) from people who called themselves experts.

Loki is turning into a beautiful (he's always been beautiful but is getting more wolfy all the time, his eyes have even changed to a gorgeous amber colour) boy, much calmer already and full of affection for his family. He is absolutely faultless with other dogs, big and small, and so, so clever! He has learnt a huge amount of tricks including fun stuff like 'wave' and 'on your mark', 'bow' etc. He loves to learn and I'm so happy to teach him. I can't help feeling a certain degree of smugness when we happily trot past a dog with issues, Loki is fabulous on the lead and seems to know which dogs to simply ignore.

I guess the moral of the story is, that if you experience any issues, don't give up. Don't be afraid to ask for advice. As Tamaskan owners I suppose we'd all like to see ourselves as seasoned dog owners, but with every dog it's a learning curve, no matter how much experience you have (I had plenty, I've never been without a dog my whole life). Experience has helped me to see the difference between people who can really help, and those that claim to be able to...usually for a huge fee! I could not have reached this point without their support.

We couldn't love him more. :)
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Re: Separation anxiety and other issues

Postby Blustag » Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:15 am

He Leia. Thankyou so much for putting this post here and hopefully will give encouragment to any other owners going through
a similar phase with their dog. :D
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Re: Separation anxiety and other issues

Postby sh1e09 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:28 pm

Hey Leia,

I've been keen on owning a Tamaskan for a while, i'm now in a position to do so and very recently discovered Blustag - hope to be on the waitlist soon.

So i'm interested to hear a bit more, particularly on some of the practicalities of the separation. For example was the behaviour only when you left the house or would it be also separation in the house (different rooms perhaps when you're cooking and he is elsewhere). I'd imagine you needed to allow him access to sleep in your room at night as well?

Luckily I work in a dog friendly office (several days a week we have 3 four-legged friends with us). The office space is large and open plan so to your point on socialisation it should be a good environment for a Tamaskan outside of our home. Interested to hear your thoughts on this too.

Glad to hear the positive progress as well!

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Re: Separation anxiety and other issues

Postby kitsune » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:23 am

There are a few ppl who take their tams to the office.
I'd also recommend training them to be happy in their own space as sometimes it's inevitable!
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