Posted : 1/21/2007 2:41:58 PM
Sammy also improved dramatically when we got a plastic crate rather than a wire one - he did the same thing, was sticking his nose out and cutting himself. We tried zip tying it closed and he would eat the zip ties then try to get out. He even pushed the tray out the bottom and flipped his crate - while in it - and got quite hurt trying to get out the bottom as the bars are further apart. The only thing that kept the bars together, but i don't
recommend, is the metal clips you put on pipes that are like metal zip ties - but, it was very sharp and we didn't trust it to keep him safe because of that.
And one thing to note, always keep the crate in a familiar room where you spend a lot of time. You said your son sleeps in the room with her - that's good, make sure not to move it to some place that's "out of the way" or something - Sammy also improved when we moved him from a "spare" room to a room DH and I are always in.
The book spiritdogs recommended is a terrific one, it's only a few bucks and it explains a lot. also there was a thread by sierra2002 in which someone listed a bunch of online resources, if you use the search feature here on the forum.
And, as houndlove mentioned, there are medications to help short-term. Sammy is just being weaned off them now after 6 months on clomipramine/clomicalm. it's not exactly cheap (it ran us about $20-30/month depending on dosage and supplier) but it could help her calm down while you work on training her to get over this. Many vets aren't very experienced in behavior modification, I've found, but usually are willing to prescribe medication. the medication only is useful if you take it upon yourself to work with her to overcome this. The book mentioned earlier - I'll be Home Soon by Patricia McConnell - explains a program you can follow and adapt to help you train your dog to overcome this.
It's beatable. might take weeks or months, but start slowly and stay slow - don't try to rush it. Many of us have experience with it, so don't be afraid to come back with more specific questions. And, as houndlove said, your dog might only have a milder form of it, so it's best to work on it before it gets to where you can't manage it.
Keep us updated on how it's going; good luck