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Old 03-20-2012, 01:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Separation Anxiety

My husband and I got our 11 week old pup four days ago. He's crate trained and knows that "load up" means to go into his crate, and he loves it! He loves to nap and play with his toys in there.

At night time, he whimpers a little and falls fast asleep without a real issue. We make sure he's a tuckered out little boy.

BUT...as soon as he sees one of us leave through the front door, it's howling, whining and barking. Today, he was so anxious that he had both paws on the crate door, pushing against it, digging at it, and it looked like he was about to bust out.

I'm going to try a little exercise I saw on TV, where he watches me go out and come back a few minutes at a time with a treat so that he knows I'm not leaving him for good. But do y'all have any other thoughts or tricks for breaking his separation anxiety?
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My girl Amy is 11.5 years old, NOT close to a 3 months of age pup / and crate training so far, seems very well done w/Duke.
She still hates it when I leave...because we are joined at the hip...and she knows when I am about to leave, before I even pick up the truck keys.

While writing this, she was ouside and laying in the driveway sun...in front of my 4x4 truck.
Amy has been alone for maybe 2 minutes, she is NOW barking...at the side door, to come in.

I think your plan of action w/Duke is solid...but they are called the "VELCO" dog breed, for a reason...He-He...they just want our LOVE 24/7.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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One important point is do not make a big deal out of leaving. Don't go "Oh, I'm sooo sorry, but I have to go now, so please, please, be good and don't worry." A simple "Bye" is better, andalso, DON'T make big deal out of coming back. No "Oh, I'm sooo sorry I had to leave, it's okay, I'm back now" stuff. Just wait a bit until puppy is quiet, say "Hi", and let him out of the crate.

The bigger a deal you make about leaving and coming back, the more anxious he will become, because you are teaching him that you leaving is a bad and scary thing. I have a dog with seperation anxiety, and you can work with them to make them more comfortable with you leaving. They don't have to like it, but they do need to learn to accept it.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I usually say a quick "Wait for me" or "Be a good boy" as I'm walking out the door. My sister got into the habit of giving her dog a treat right before she walks out the door so now her dog actually LIKES it when she leaves.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I went through hell and back with Diesel trying to leave him and now I finally can. He hated when I left also a lot cause he hated his crate BUT he finally knows its not so bad. Diesel gets a treat when he goes in. I put the gate up say be a good boy and that's it. No fussing over it not making a big deal about it and now he doesn't make a peep when I leave. Leave a shirt or something with your scent on it for him. I leave the blanket that I always curl up with with Diesel and he lays on that. Its a comfort thing so he knows I'll be back. But do not give up or give into the crying and don't make a big deal about it. If he senses that you're frustrated or anxious he'll become anxious. It takes time. It took Diesel two months for me to be able to leave him but don't give up. It is so worth it in the end when they finally get it and you know you can leave them without all the crying and barking. Good luck!

Also forgot to add I leave the TV or radio on for Diesel so he can hear voices. If its too quiet he goes nuts if he's by himself.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the advise. Sounds like my entering and leaving the house exercise this afternoon with him will become a daily one until he understands I'll always come back. I'll let y'all know how it goes.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Instant Noodle View Post
Thanks everyone for the advise. Sounds like my entering and leaving the house exercise this afternoon with him will become a daily one until he understands I'll always come back. I'll let y'all know how it goes.
I always kiss my girl (big one), and say clearly..."Dad will be back, soon"....(short & sweet, she gets the idea...no other emotions, staying calm).
- I could never, just walk out (or break my trust with her, skipping out), without a word or don't want to excite her either...since she is staying behind
- I can tell she is disappointed, but Amy also knows...its only temporary alone time & I keep my verbal promise, to her
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Practice, practice, practice. I work, my dogs are left at home. I say, "be good see ya later." That is it. I think your plan of leaving and coming back in is a good one but be careful not to make it seem as if you are rewarding the freak out. Eli was always really relaxed when I left but I didn't leave him in a crate I left him in a 6x4 pen and it had his crate inside there with blankets and I always left a new bone for him to chew. I used raw knuckle bones when he was small. I also stuffed a kong. Dogs will get used to a routine and then you can mix it up. Eli would prefer to come with me, so would all the dogs but they deal. I also didn't leave my pups for any longer than 4 hours at a time until they were older. Even when Eli was 9 months and I was tranferred I hired someone to come over at lunch and take him to the park to play. He loved that girl, she was great with him and sometimes she went hiking with us on weekends too. I digress, I mean to say, try to get on a leaving schedule and he will learn to deal. He will be fine, don't worry, if you are matter of fact about it he will learn to be also.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Duke is a real smart but stubborn fellow. My "NO's" don't work anymore, so I just correct him through actions. Took over 30x's back to back of him hopping on the sofa and me putting him back on the ground for him to understand that he's not allowed on the couch.

Now that his ears are taped again (which has me exhausted), time to start training him to not get upset when I walk out.
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