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I'll be getting my doberman puppy in late August and have a question on how to prevent it from developing a separation anxiety problem.

I'll be taking a week off work for 'pupturnity' when I first get her but will have to return to work the week after. I work in an office which is dog-friendly and will crate train her so she can come to work with me.

Dobermans are obviously very high energy so I plan on getting a lot of early morning play/exercise/training in before heading to work and keeping her in the office with me - while taking her out often and having another play/exercise/training session during my lunch hour. Then, having more of these sessions after work.

My questions is...This dog will be with me pretty much 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - before work, during work, after work, etc... So, does anyone have any recommendations on how to prevent the dog from forming a separation anxiety problem?

Also, I've raised a lab and a vizsla from puppy stage. Both those dogs rarely whined while in their crate - as long as I was nearby and within view. Do you think this doberman puppy will be the same? Or, would you say that it will be more whiney if kept in the crate in my office at work?

Any advice or input you have is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

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joie de vivre
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Depends on the individual pup as to how upset they get about being left alone. I'd crate train with lots of positive reinforcement and work on leaving the pup for a bit each day, building up the time you're gone.

When Fiona was a pup I would drop her off with friends and family occasionally for an hour or 2 while I ran errands (grocery store or did laundry, etc.) and she went to daycare a couple afternoons each week for about 3 hours to get used to being independent and having fun without me being around. She's your typical clingy Dobe now as an adult but she's well behaved and just fine being left with others, too, and she's usually already dozing on my bed before I leave the house each day; she's just ridiculously happy to see me when I return. :)

As long as the pup is fairly confident and happy, they should be fine so long as you don't coddle any anxious behavior about leaving them or crating them. I think most pups experience uncertainty at being left alone at some point during maturation but most come through it okay when it's managed properly.
 

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Alpha SheepDog
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I second BRW1982's comments on crate training.
Imo, there are times when especially a dobe is a pup, you can't give them full surveillance lol.
Some ppl are ok with it and trust their young pup but they are still a pup with a peabrain at times. I also think having them use to a crate is a good thing with dobergoats.
 

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Owned by Dobes since 1975
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Great Thread Idea!

I too am home almost 24-7 and have never had to deal with seperation anxiety in any of my own dogs.

with my newly adopted boy I am having to deal with seperation anxiety for the first time. Time will tell how things go with him.


We always hear about seperation anxiety once it is an issue.

Best to try and make sure it never becomes an issue.

One thing I have never done is make a big issue out of me going or coming back to my dogs.

Good luck with your upcoming puppy!
 

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terriorist entertainer
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I've only ever had to deal with it in two of my rescued dogs. Zil's was fairly mild ...but Basil's is quite extreme...and I've had to crate him (first time I've ever used a crate). I believe he was almost never alone for most of his life...then his owners took off and abandoned him at their property for a week before he came to me. This poor little guy freaks out if I'm on the other side of a closed door from him! He still freaks out a little when i leave...but he's beginning to settle a little and is alway quiet and calm until I let him out of the crate...then i get a mad greeting...which I also typically ignore and just go about business as usual...trying to minimise the fuss at both ends. It's only been a few months...but I can see some slow progress.
I began with only leaving him for short periods of time...like 10-20 minutes, then gradually extended it in small increments of 15 mins to 1/2 hr. we've now got up to 4 hrs that he can reasonably tolerate...but the one time I was gone 5 hrs I could see signs of stress, so I'm keeping it at a plataeu of up to 4 hrs for now. Obviously, with a pup....the times need to be shorter, as they will need loo breaks, but as they mature, longer times should be possible every now and then. if they're used to you going out and comming back from a young age, and no fuss is made of it...most just accept it as part of the routine. Thinner nerved and anxious personality dogs might have a harder time of it, but even then, if they have an item of clothing smelling of you and a favorite toy or blankie....they can manage a day in the house alone. ...Zil would drag my clothes into a patch of sun and lie down on them and sniff them....he never damaged them, just liked them close, and he was fine.
I also crate Basil at times when I'm home, to break the association of crate = me going out.
 

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I'd also suggest leaving her home or taking her to a friend's house for a short play date without you on a regular basis. I think it's really good for pups to learn that it's okay for them to be left and you will come back. I even thinking an overnight stay with someone or being boarded overnight is really good for them. I did that stuff with Shanoa and she doesn't have separation anxiety at all.

One thing that I didn't do well, and I'm paying for it now, is letting her have some time outside without me right there with her. The first year we did not have a fence so she always went outside with me. Now, when I want her to go out and play (or even just go out to potty alone for five minutes) she is VERY unhappy about it. She's better than she used to be, but she HATES going outside by herself, even for a few minutes.
 
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