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Thread: Seperation Anxiety - Reassurance Needed!

  1. #1

    Unhappy Seperation Anxiety - Reassurance Needed!

    Hi all,

    I'm aware that there is already a sticky thread related to Seperation Anxiety and puppies however I just wanted a little bit of advice and reassurance from a personal point of view.

    We have an 8 week old Yorkie-Poodle called Barney - he was given to us by my partner's friend for free as he was desperate to get rid of him due to moving. We've had him for 3 days and have been using some of the tips we found in the sticky thread in order to attempt to get him used to being left alone for short periods (we've had little success but we understand that it takes time).

    Today is the first day we've left him alone (it'll be a 6 hour period in total) and I'm experiencing a little seperation anxiety myself! I've left him free roam of the flat (it's very tiny so it's not too overwhelming for him) particularly due to the fact that he scratches at the doors something terrible when we shut them. I've also left him plenty of water and some of our old clothes that we've been wearing so he has our scent to calm him down.

    Fortunately we also have a lovely neighbour who has offered to check in on him every hour or so in order to ensure that he is ok and more to let us know how much whining he does (which has been extremely loud and frequent over the last few days). We are conscious of the fact that we hear him whining when we leave and again when we return probably because he hears the door downstairs go - I'm hoping that this does not mean that he is whining for the full period in which we have been out.

    We are just looking for a little advice and possible reassurance that he is going to be ok - I feel a little calmer knowing someone will be checking on him. Maybe some indication of how long this is likely to go on. We are aware that leaving such a young puppy for a lengthy period of 6 hours is not ideal however due to the situation we do not have much choice.

    Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks,

    A very worried and guilty feeling owner

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    36,529
    Don't feel guilty. You have given him a home, and are doing your best too help him through this. It will take time, but he is a very young puppy, so however long it takes, it will be worth it for the rest of his very long life! If it all goes well today, the neighbor can report in, and then after a few days like this, lessen her visits gradually. Does he have a crate or bed that is is "safety" spot?
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    6,739
    Don't feel guilty He has a great home and will come around eventually. Of the four dogs I've raised, only one has had bad separation anxiety, the rest came around quickly. What I found helped was not making a big deal about coming and going out of the house. I had to consciously remind myself to not pay attention to my dog for 10 minutes after I came home. The reason for this is, if I said my good byes and hellos, the dog "knew" it was a big deal I was coming and going. It's hard, but after the excitement of you coming home has worn off, you can go have fun and give him attention. I'd also mention this to your neighbor who checks up on him. Every hour may be excessive and may be enforcing bad behavior despite your intentions. A crate or xpen would provide safe assurance while you are away. I would limit it to once a day if you absolutely had to.. but again, your neighbor should not make a big deal. Also while my dogs are pups, I confine them to a crate (or xpen will work too). This is not only for their safety (who knows what they can get into while I'm gone for the day), but also to provide a safe space for the dog to feel at home. From the moment my dogs come home for the first time, I try to make the crate a fun place that they can feel safe to retreat to and relax. I give all meals, toys and treats in their crates in the beginning. The one with separation anxiety is coming around. She used to bust out of her crate daily. She chewed through plastic crates, bent and bit off wires from wire crates, and warped wire crates so badly that I had to zap strap all around the crate and use leash clips as extra enforcement on the doors. But now she runs straight to her crate for meals, or if I have something yummy in my hands that she wants, she runs in and waits for it there. You can feel free to provide puppy safe toys to keep him busy. Our go to are kongs. My dogs can empty them out quickly now but if I plan ahead, I freeze meat or peanut butter so it keeps them busy a little longer.

    Hope that helps!

    Kai [Sheltie], Kaedyn [Sheltie], Keeva [Malinois], Kwik [Malinois]

  4. #4

    poor guy!

    Maybe you could get another dog or maybe get a dog sitter! we have 2 dogs and 4 cats so we don't have much trouble with separation anxiety.....

  5. #5
    I completely understand what you're going through. I have a 10 month old Siberian Husky who has major separation anxiety. He starts to whine as soon as I walk out the door. We got a cat which helped a little for a while, now he doesn't really care. Back to whining instantly. Last week I went to take a shower and left him in my bedroom, he whimpered the whole time and I came back with a torn up mattress. We have been working with him now. Unfortunately when he's left alone for too long he destroys things so we got a crate plenty big enough for him. Every day we have been putting him in the crate for a little bit and increasing the time. I have seen an improvement already. At first he cried as soon as he was locked in the crate, now it actually take him a while to begin whining! Of course he is all over us as soon as he is let out but I really think it is helping! (:

  6. #6
    Spend some time with him and then leave once again... return and once again reward him with affection.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Indiana, USA
    Posts
    2
    I used to have an Australian named Barney. Remember, the pup is still young. If you can, try spending periods of time away from him in increasing lengths of time. I think the crating is a good idea to start training for with a young pup. Dogs are pack animals and they feel the pack has deserted them when left alone, so be patient.

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