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Anxiety in newly adopted dog:(

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We adopted a two year old havanese about a month ago. She is incredibly attatched to my 7 year old son. I might as well be invisible. She is not potty trained so I need to keep her crated unless she has just been out or I know she will stay in the room with us. When we do crate her, it's in a wire crate in the same room where we are. I also cannot let her just "hang out" with the kids because she chews everything!


The problem is, if she cannot see my son she becomes very anxious. She whines, pants, paces etc. I sometimes just keep her on a leash with me and she acts the same way. If she stays in the crate and he is in the room, she will sleep soundly. She also barks her head off anytime we leave. She seems to be getting better. Today when we came home she was silent until we called out to her. I guess she was asleep!


How do I help her become less anxious, especially when my son is not in the room? Why is she so attatched to him? I also have a 5 year old daughter. She does not seem as attatched to her.

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Teach your son to train her.


Here's the thing about adopted pets, you have no idea what kind of environment they've come from. Many pets are taken because people don't want them, they give up their rights to the pets. In those situations pets often transition into their new life quickly, all though some will fear change because they wonder if they have to go away again.


We once had a dog who'd been bumped from place to place every time a new baby or other great thing happened in the dogs life. When we had our first child the dog wasn't herself, not until that moment when our baby pulled her tail & I told said baby off. After that they were inseparable.


Other dogs come from cruel situations where they dogs are forcefully taken or the owner faces great penalties. In these situations the dogs adjustment period can be greater & some people struggle to cope with it. Given time it DOES level out, but you must be patient.


When i worked in animal rescue one of the biggest reason we had failed adoptions was people didn't LISTEN when we explained that there might be a period of adjustment time with some of the pets they adopted.


I've never had anything but an "unwanted" pet. Our current family dog came from the local Dog's Home. When we adopted him he was well trained in some areas & a loose cannon in others, but if an adult voice was raised the dog cowered & slunk off into a corner. I was shocked that when adopted no one at the home gave us background information on this pooch.


After a year he stopped cowering when we were playing & just loud, but if I'm at one end of the house & call out a child's full name {or in anyway indicate said child is in trouble} the dog will still crawl out of the room & we've owned him for 4 years now.


In your situation the dog may just feel a great attachment to your younger child. Despite our dog being a family dog he does show a greater attachment to one child. It changes at times too. For now he clings to our eldest who seems to not enough going into dark places alone. Our eldest will whistle for the dog & they happily go off together. Eldest also fills pets treat ball of late so that lends a big hand to it as well. However, if I put a pair of shoes on my feet the dog will not allow me to be out of his sight because he's certain I'm taking him for a walk. ;)


Is your 7 year old showing the pup the most attention? Does your 7 year old do all the petting, sweet talking, feeding, etc? Does your son have any medical needs that the pup could feel drawn to him about? Some pets have that natural instinct.

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You might also need to give your pup things to do to keep her busy, especially when you need her away from your son. If she's with the children can she have her own toy to chew on? Rawhide, bone, etc?


There are many styles of dog toys where you can fil them with things & the pooch must play with them in order to get the contents out. Our dog has a hard plastic ball he must roll over & over in order to get the treat to work through a maze & fall out the small hole. There are other versions, like a weighted food ball where you put their daily kibble in & they work to get it out.


These would help distract your pup & keep her busy, especially during times when she must be crated, leashed, or otherwise contained when she would rather be with your sweet child.

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A Thundershirt has been a wonderful tool to help calm both of our anxious dogs at various points in their life. One we used only during bad spring thunderstorms, and the other one who was dog aggressive stemming from being attacked wore it for months every time he had together time with the new adopted girl dog.


I also think a good amount of heavy physical exercise and training as mental exercise are vital to calm them.

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I have a dog with anxiety and fear aggression, and he's benefited through the years from generic prozac. We saw a behavioral vet team 9 years ago and we've been working with him since that time. Hopefully it is just part of the initial adjustment, but if you get stuck, perhaps consider looking for a veterinary school with a behavior clinic, or talk to your vet about any vets in the area that are experienced with dogs with behavioral issues.


With anxiety, we were taught not to feed it. If the dog is worked up over an approaching storm, or whatever is bugging him, not to overly coddle, pet, etc. because that can be perceived as rewarding the anxiety.


We are fortunate that our dog adores frisbee, and through the years that has been an enormous help to him. He needs a "job" and really would have done well with a herding class (or a farm ;) ), flyball, etc. but he had fear issues with other dogs (which sometimes looked like him being terrified and shaking, sometimes more like fear aggression), which made those types of things hard. But in any case, the "work" of frisbee gave us a medium to work with him on lots of other things behaviorally.

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Ds 7 is definetly the one to sweet talk to her. She was returned to the breeder because the couple that had her "didn't have time for her" and crated her all day. That's why I think she panics when we leave and I totally understand. Today, I had her on the couch next to me, petting etc. and she was whining and panting to get upstairs. I would let her roam free but he gets so absorbed he forgets to watch her. She's destroyed over 200 dollars in shoes (completely our fault). She is such a sweet girl, I just hope o e day she settles in to our family and begins to relax! Oh, she has a bag full of rawhide that was spread out all over the house, she's got options!

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