My 6 month old German Shepherd/Beagle cross suffers from terrible separation anxiety. Once we leave him, he whines then barks uncontrollably before destroying stuff. He is left alone in our kitchen/dinning area only for 3 hours, twice a day. He is a rescue dog, therefore I understand why he gets like this, but have no idea how to help him get over this. Can anyone please advise me?
By Stuart from Aberdeen, Scotland
Here is a great link to get you started. The main thing you will need to do is to go slowly. Your dog needs to know you will always come back. Start by letting him know you are leaving. Sneaking out the door will just create more anxiety. I use "be back" whenever I go out for ANY amount of time. It doesn't matter if I am stepping out to get mail or leaving for the day, I always let them know.
You can train by mimicking actually leaving for the day by grabbing the keys, your coat, coffee, etc. like you are heading out for the day and step outside for only a few minutes. Use this numerous times during the day increasing the amount of time you stay on the other side of the door. Leaving a special goody just for the longer periods of time will help. We use the white sterilized bones stuffed with a soft smelly treat like Solid Gold's Turkey Jerky. The bone cannot be destroyed for some time and the smell keeps your dog interested in it. I know this sound like a long process but it will net you a more confident and calm dog when you are gone. :) (01/12/2010)
Sorry I forgot the link: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/separation_anxiety.html (01/12/2010)
He needs a buddy. Believe me, 2 is always easier than 1. Lots of exercise helps as well. (01/13/2010)
He needs a friend. (01/13/2010)
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