My Doxie is freaking out


New Member
I have a 13 year old neutered male dachshund whose alpha pack mate died last month. She was older, larger mutt that was always more dominant than him, so I was prepared for him to have to sort out the change after she died. I had no idea that he was going to lose his mind.
At first I thought the whining and crying were mourning, but it has persisted for weeks. For 7 years he slept in the den at night and was locked in there during the day with a doggie door to get out to the yard without any problems. Now he starts whimpering the moment he is locked in there and works himself up into a howling, panting mess. We aren't sleeping through the night because of it and the neighbors are starting to complain about him to the HOA.
Tried a Thundershirt; nothing.
Tried calming chews; nothing.
Tried an ultrasonic barkbox; nothing.
Tried crating him; only works when he is tired.
The vet checked him out and said he was healthy so we put him on Clonazepam, 1mg 3x daily close to two weeks ago. He sleeps heavier but he still gets turned up.
I had a trainer come to the house to read his body language and see his environment. She said that he is fixated on me now at almost OCD level. She taught me how to not reward that behavior but had no luck shutting down the freakout when I leave the room.
She suggested a bark collar to stop the noise while he adjusts but either it doesn't activate with high pitched whining or he is just ignoring it.
I want to be clear that I'm not coddling him or rewarding the behavior. I don't want the crying to stop because I feel bad for him, I need it to stop because its putting everyone on edge.

I'm running out of options here and my wife is losing her patience. These dogs were from a previous marriage and she's only put up with them because they were well behaved. She's starting to lean really hard me to fix this or get rid of him, even though I don't think she really understand what that means.
It sounds risky, but I wonder if a second dog would help? Maybe you could "borrow" one from the local shelter over the weekend to see if this helps.


New Member
It sounds risky, but I wonder if a second dog would help? Maybe you could "borrow" one from the local shelter over the weekend to see if this helps.
When I posted this question to another forum I received some suggestions about click training that would engage his mind a little more, build trust with me, and work towards getting him used to his crate and being in the den again.
This, mixed with clonazepam, has brought him to a point where is his sleeping through the night on the weekdays. He still whimpers a lot but I think his vocalizations sound similar for both being anxious and being excited.
The bark collar and bark box are completely useless so I stopped using them.
I'm thinking about backing his clonazepam down and if he has trouble with that going to a long term medication like Zoloft.

Getting another dog isn't in the cards for many reasons. My wife doesn't want any more pets, and my continuing to have the ones I have after we moved in together was contingent on no more animals. I took him to a dog park and he showed littler interest in the other animals there. I have thought about "play dates" with some of the neighbor dogs or friends dogs. We will see how he does for now.