I have a 14 week old Doberman (Klaus) that has an extreme case of serparation anxiety. We got him a week ago, and yesterday was the first time that he had been truly alone. We have another dog and cat, but the dog was taken to get groomed. I have never seen a dog go absolutely mad the way he did. He was yelping, whining, and howling for as long as he was alone.
We tried our best to not reward the behavior by appearing until he was quiet, but the problem is I live in a neighborhood that is crowded with houses. We don't have much of a backyard, and I can see at least 5 houses from my back door. Sound echos and carries like the wind blows.
After doing a litte reading on the issue, we decided to take Klaus for a long walk before we crated him so we could pick the other dog up from PETCO. By the time he returned home he was exhausted! I thought that it was perfect for us to crate him and leave the house. When we put him in the crate and walked away, that dog found every scrap of energy he could to pick up where he left off and make sure we knew he wasn't okay with what was happening. He yelped, whined, howled, and dug at the gate of the crate.
That day, we had a major relapse in the progress we made over the week with house training him. He peed all over the place all day. It was miserable! I figured he had been stressed out from his episodes earlier in the day, but I know I really need help while he is still young.
I know this is long-winded, but I wanted to give everyone a clear picture of what took place. Does anyone have any suggestions?
He is fine with it. We have never had a problem until he was alone. It is an oversized crate, and we usually put him in it with the other dog. She is a 12 lbs chihuahua/terrier. They have plenty of moving room, and sometimes just go in it and relax just because they want to.
It is a battle and someone will win. I would make sure that while you are home you make postiive trips to the crate - feed him in the crate - and make it positive place to be. Get some really good treats and do not force him in toss in the treat and have him follow it in. Then praise him and let him come out an do it again.
Then set up short naps in the crate - 2o minutes and let hie back out. Give him a really good chew bone (I like to get the raw bones at the butchers. It will keep him so occupied he probably won't notice you leave. Just shut the door and leave. Work on it every day and build his confidence in being comfortable with being alone. That is why crate training should start immediately. Once they learn they did not have to be crated in the beginning it makes it a little harder.
Do not give up - it is in his best interest and it keeps him safe.