I have a two year old female dog that we picked up at the local shelter when she was only weeks old. She looks to be a mix of Border Collie & Retriever.

Recently my wife had to start going to work which leaves our dog alone 3 days a week for up to 8 hours. Up until a few months ago my wife or myself was always with the dog at all times.
Sometimes when our dog is left alone she has tried to scratch her way through the front door. Terribly damaging the drywall around the door. She damages nothing else in the house other than the area right around the front door.
I have been told by our Vet and some friends that this is Separation Anxiety..but after doing some reading on the net I have my doubts.

She does not do this everytime we leave. The only time she does this is when she has also pooped on our carpet.
We can leave for two to three hours at a time with no problem and I have read that normally with separation anxiety that the dog begins to act up shortly after the owners departure.
So I am curious if perhaps it is not separation anxiety but perhaps she knows she needs to relieve herself and is suppose to do it outside so she is just trying everything she can to get outside.
Should I train her that it is ok the relieve herself on newspaper in the kitchen when we are not home or would this confuse her?

Any help or advice anyone can offer me is appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark
And how many gallons will a few newspapers soak up? Come on... paper training is FAR from your solution. Perhaps canine litter box training... but you need, for the present, to go out with her on leash to the yard and make certain she's wrung herself out before you leave her at home... not just gone out to play.
As she's already done damage, on more than one occasion, she'll do it again. Next time, she may chew on an electrical cord. Crating is your safest solution. She will get used to it quickly and will sleep most of the time that you are gone.
Jo Wolf
Martinez, Georgia
Shes sounds like a wonderful, intelligent dog. I'll bet she would enjoy having her own covered crate with a nice warm pad and a chew toy. Ours loves hers- she's sleeping in it now with the door wide open. When i leave tomorrow, after she's gone out to potty, she will be in her crate with the door closed, and will be just fine.
Have you thought about hiring a dog walker for these long days? My first thought was - she really needs to go, and doesn't want to go in the house. Are there any teenagers in the area who would be willing to come over and either let her out or walk her mid-day for a couple of bucks? If you don't trust teenagers, you could contact a dogwalking service, but they tend to be more expensive.
-Shannon
why not fit a pet flap and give her access to the garden too?
I forgot to mention I wrote my first posting yesterday after returning from the vet. I tried the crating idea...unfortunately she used her snout to bend the metal bars.
I took her to the vet to make sure she hadn't damaged herself to much. Today her snout is all bruised and swollen up, she has torn the pads on her paws a bit and has chipped and is now missing a couple teeth..so unfortunately the crating idea doesn't seem to work.
I did like the idea about the canine potty box...I may try that I just hope it doesn't confuse her with going outside.
Thanks for the advice and am still open to any other ideas or suggestions. Mark
Crates must be introduced to the dog. IMHO, you need a professional trainer. Don't give up on the crate idea- putting the dog in a crate and leaving her alone for the first time isn';t the proper way to introduce a crate to her.
I forgot to mention I wrote my first posting yesterday after returning from the vet. I tried the crating idea...unfortunately ... doesn't confuse her with going outside. Thanks for the advice and am still open to any other ideas or suggestions.[/nq]Do be careful about the potty box. I could swear that one of the dogs that I have was trained similarly. He is very well housetrained, but if there is anything plastic (rubbermaid wastebaskets or storage bins, for example), he thinks it is perfectly okay to go in them, even if someone is right there and he could ask to be let out. So he will bug you to go out if nothing like that is in the room with him, but he will go like it is not at all a problem if something like that is in the room with him.

If you train a dog that something is okay to pee or poop in, then make sure you mark it in some very clear way so that the dog learns what it is that is okay. When I have puppies that chew, I like to soak their chewies in bouillon to make it even easier for them to differentiate between what they are allowed to chew on and what they aren't. I mean, how is a dog supposed to know the difference between her ball and the kids' balls? How is the dog supposed to know the difference between her plastic potty box and the rubbermaid container in the closet with the kids' summer clothes in it? Even worse, what if it is a "he" without very good aim?! So think it through before you do any training as it is easier to train it right than to break connections you have inadvertently reinforced time and again and teach something different.

I would rather have a doggy door than a potty box, myself, but then I have been trying to get a dog to go outside instead of in the trash can even when he has access to a doggy door. You might have a different view, just make sure you do your viewing before you do your training/reinforcing is my advice.

Paula
"The last thing you want to do when you have put your spleen back in your body is to scrabble around for the sewing kit" Zixia