I just recently rescued a 5 week old puppy. We've had him for a week and he has developed severe anxiety whenever anyone leaves (even so much as to freak out when you are on the couch/bed and he is left alone on the floor).
He used to love his crate and now he hates it because he now knows it means he will be separated from everyone. I want him to grow up happy and independent! And I also need him to love his crate like he used to so I can housebreak him.
I try my best to ignore him, but he has begun this awful "scream" bark to get my attention. It's not only heartbreaking, but very obnoxious (for my household and I'm sure for my neighbors!). It needs to stop. What is the best way to approach derailing his severe anxiety over being left alone?
By Brewster from CA
Congratulations that you rescued puppy, but because they should never leave their mothers and litter mates until eight weeks they can develop lifetime problems. Try finding an older female "from your vet/animal shelter" to foster mum him. Nature will take its course and the older animal will be his security when left alone. Dogs are pack animals and need canine company. (11/22/2010)
Maybe get him a soft, cuddly stuffed dog and a soft 'blankie' for his crate and put it close to your couch, so he's close to you when he's in it, just until he gets bigger. A wind-up alarm clock also helps, because the ticking helps soothe, but now they also make those things for babies that make a heartbeat sound, so if you could get your hands on one of those it would be really good. And don't just put him in his crate when you are going to leave or go to bed, or he'll learn that you leave when he is in it.
Good luck, he's still such a little baby and probably very frightened, poor little thing! (11/22/2010)
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