Separation Anxiety - Helping Your Puppy Cope

Your Puppy and His Crate

Don’t lock your puppy in his crate for long periods of time when you first introduce him to it. It’s better to introduce the crate when you are going to be home for a few days. Follow these tips for a positive crate experience:

  • Put the puppy into the crate and close the door for two to three minutes while you remain in the room.
  • Open the crate and let the puppy out.
  • Crate training is an effective way to alleviate anxiety
  • If he was well behaved, give him a nutritional treat, such as a piece of cheese or apple. If he whined, cried or barked while he was contained, give him nothing.
  • Gradually increase the amount of time that you leave the puppy in his crate while you are in the room. Reward him when his behavior is calm.
  • Begin putting your puppy into the crate and leaving the room for short periods of time, starting with a minute or two.
  • Come back into the room, and then leave again for a couple of minutes.
  • Gradually increase the time that you spend out of the room.
  • If your puppy remains calm, always reward him, speak gently, pat him and give him a treat. If he cries, barks, howls or whines, he gets nothing.
  • Do not let your puppy out of the crate until he calms down.
  • Never go directly to the crate when you get home from work or from being out.
  • If your puppy remains calm, release him, pat him, praise him and give him a treat.
  • At this point your puppy will need to go outside to the bathroom. He will not eliminate or defecate in his crate, as that is his den.
  • If possible, have someone visit your puppy during the day and take him out for a bathroom break and a walk. Ask them to spend a bit of time playing with him to burn off pent-up energy.
  • Teach the person who will be doing this to place your puppy back in the crate and leave immediately, without fuss. If they fuss, it will make your puppy’s anxiety level escalate.
  • Stay on schedule when possible. This allows your puppy to know when to expect your arrival.
  • Take your puppy out for a morning walk before leaving for work.
  • Put an indestructible toy or two in puppy’s crate. Fill a Kong with peanut butter. This will help your puppy pass the time while you’re gone.
  • Leave the house without fuss. Give puppy a pat and leave immediately after using a phrase such as, “See you later.” If you use the same phrase every time, your puppy will soon learn its meaning.
  • Be sure your house is puppy proof in case he escapes his crate. Yes, this is possible.
  • Be persistent. Don’t give up. If your puppy escapes his crate, find a way to secure it. You may have to buy a lock, a clamp or even tie his crate shut.
Excessive barking, whining and howling are signs of an anxious puppy

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Taylov
This is a great post. My little Chihuahua Teddy is having separation anxiety issues my wife and I are trying to work through. I read another great post on dog separation anxiety yesterday on my.arfie.com - take a look http://my.arfie.com/profiles/blogs/the-first-10-minutes-coping I think working with a dog to train him through the process is key., Leave the house for a bit to test him, try a webcam to keep an eye from the neighbors house. Somethings got to work - until then I'm gonna keep on trying :)
KonstantinMiller
Hi! I like your srticle and I would like very much to read some more information on this issue. Will you post some more?
Rebecca
For some dogs with severe separation anxiety issues, putting them in crates can make their anxiety worse. Some dogs with full-blown separation anxiety also are crate-phobic - often they associate the crate with their fear of being left alone. I highly recommend Patrica McConnell's book "I'll Be Home Soon" on how to prevent and treat separation anxiety. I've been dealing with this problem with my own dog for over 2 years now, it's been a hard, long and tough journey.
Adam Irwin
My dog Lil Hotdog has this same problem, I miss him so much
Caboose
This article is Garbage. Stop posting lies. Go die.
brianna
hi. i just lost my dog this past summer. i dont feel safe anymore because he was a germen shepard.
hin.david@yahoo.com
HI Are you offering mobile pet grooming? How much you charge extra for traveling David
5555lupe@ live.com
Can anybody help me. I have a 9 year old that barks and barks, if I leave the living room ,go to the rest room sammy follows me to take a shower he is there waiting for me to came out of the shower, I live in a studio that lets me have my dog. ( I use to live in a house but lost it) I had an other dog which died also not sure what is wrong. Please help me.right now look for an other place to live but need to take care of this problem first. thank you
Jon
This article really helped me understand what was going on. Thanks!
 
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