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Dutchess_III's avatar

Why does my dog, Cato, start shivering,almost violently, when he realizes that we're going to leave him in the house, or the camper, when we go to eat?

Asked by Dutchess_III (44400points) 1 month ago

It’s really sad. But all I can do is pet him and reassure him we’ll back. Poor kid.
But what does the shivering mean?

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19 Answers

janbb's avatar

Sounds like anxiety.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Does he have a chew toy he likes, you give it to him at the door as you leave.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I shiver like that when I drive past the urologist’s office and surgical center. ;-)

gorillapaws's avatar

I agree with @janbb that this sounds like anxiety. I know one exercise you can do to help with this is repeatedly going in-and-out of the house, over-and-over again to desensitize the dog to coming/going. I don’t know if this is still recommend though.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Separation anxiety how to help the dog. Caesar Milan video

Zaku's avatar

Many people (including dogs) get nervous about being left alone. Especially if they don’t know what the plan is? Do you try to communicate to Cato that it’s ok and you’ll be back soon?

Another possibility could be that something scary has happened when you’ve been gone in the past.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We always tell him we’ll be back. Of course he has no idea what we’re saying.

Zaku's avatar

Maybe if you didn’t think he had no way of understanding what you’re saying, he’d understand and trust that things were ok more. Books by experts on animal communications tend to suggest speaking to your animals as if they were capable of understanding (not necessarily the words, but what you are communicating by your affect and emotions and body language and other non-verbal signs you may not be aware you do).

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Nomore_lockout's avatar

Ditto @janbb sounds like separation anxiety.

smudges's avatar

Sounds like anxiety to me, too. I’d suggest trying a Thundershirt. I hear very good things about them, and psychologically, they make sense. Dentists are using weighted blankets for patients who have anxiety, and speaking from experience, they do help.

Pandora's avatar

If he has high anxiety its best to talk to a vet. My daughter’s dog had to have anxiety meds but the vet had her try a ton of other stuff. Weighted vest, and play some soothing tunes while gone. Another thing was to put him in a room on the side of the house where he wouldn’t hear or see cars or people.
Crate training can work really well for dogs as well. The smaller the space the more secure he will feel. Train him to go into the crate and give him treats for going in, and then when he comes out give him another treat so he associates the crate with treats. Leave soothing music playing so it drowns out other noises. Not really loud and leave a light on in the room but not really bright. Make sure to leave him with water and feed before going out
Calmly tell him you will be back. It’s not that he will understand but he will understand you are not anxious about leaving him nor are you upset. Pet him and give him a snack and tell him or her they are a good boy or girl.
When you come home let him out to go do his business again but do not encourage jumping.
The more hyped up he is when you get home the more likely he is hyped up about you leaving.
Practice short separations, gradually making them longer.
A chew toy is good for easing anxiety as well.
Then if all if this fails after trying it for at least 2 months then check with a vet.

My daughter’s dog finally had to go with the meds and he is like night and day now. He’s not overly drugged. He still has the same energy, he just isn’t a wreck anymore. But it wasn’t just the leaving. He acted like a dog strung out on uppers all day. Even his sleep seemed to be full of nightmares. Now he sleeps well at night and doesn’t go psycho at random things. He would hear a random noise outside and bark a ton and then shake and be overly stimulated when people would visit.

longgone's avatar

Yeah, that’s probably separation anxiety. If you set up a camera, you’ll know to what extent he feels stressed out the entire time you’re gone. There’s a slight chance it’s just the departure that’s getting him overly stimulated, in which case you’d see him sleeping on the video recording. More likely, he hates being alone. It really makes a lot of sense because dogs are so social. They need to learn the skill of alone time gradually and through lots of positive experiences.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I made the mistake of bringing him a piece of ham from the resturaunt we usually go to, so our leaving would be a positive thing. It backfired big time!
I quit doing it.

Zaku's avatar

In what way did it backfire?

Dutchess_III's avatar

He’d go apeshit when we came home. He’s a very strong and powerful dog and there is something in his genes that makes him jump and twist maniacally. I was afraid he was going to knock me down.
So in one way it worked. In another it didn’t.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Learn to knee him in the chest when he jumps on you. One of my neighbors had his 90 pound mixed breed running in the neighborhood, I was on my way to the car. Dog jumped up caught him in the middle of his chest, dog didn’t know what happened. Owner just looked at me like I was Bruce Lee.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. That’s violent.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It is not violent it is response to jumping.

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