I was wondering if anyone could help me out as I'm feeling a little lost on what to do for our 6 month old puppy to help him with his separation anxiety.
When he was younger he always seemed to do fine with us leaving - rarely did he whine or bark, it was almost as if he didn't even notice we had left him! However, more recently he's been getting increasingly more anxious with our departures and seems to get even more upset when just one of us leaves (although this may be misconstrued as we actually get to view the result of the other person leaving). I think he started getting worse after we got him neutered (which was a little under a month ago) - I'm wondering if the fact he was crated in the vet for the day without us maybe set him off (that was the longest he'd ever been left without us)? We've been trying to make departures/arrivals as boring as possible just like we had from the start and that is the only suggestion aside from drugs that I can find online. I decided I'd try asking here to see if anyone had any other ideas/anything that worked for them!
He doesn't seem to be destructive at all when we do leave although he's left in the kitchen (his puppy safe area) so there isn't really anything for him to destroy/get into there and he's generally not a destructive pup the rest of the time either. He's also does have accidents or anything when we do leave him (or hasn't for a long time/since he's got to grips with potty training). Our guess is that he barks/whines for 5 minutes or so then settles down and sleeps (we've tried waiting outside the door to see how long he goes for and whenever we return he always seems to have just woken up). As neither my husband or I work currently we're with him most of the day - which has been the case since we got him.
My husband just left around 10 minutes ago and this is the most upset I've ever seen the poor guy. He was getting pretty anxious when he saw shoes being put on and has been pacing around whimpering since he left (with a few barks at the door here and there as well as some jumping up). I've been trying to ignore him when he does this until he calms down and then I'll usually play some fetch (his favorite game) with him and then continue with our day.
I hate seeing him so upset and I'm worried if it gets worse he may end up hurting himself - all the anxiety can't be good for him either. We also live in an apartment currently so I don't want everyone around us getting upset with him if he's barking a ton (thankfully we've only ever had leave during the day so it's not much of an issue since he seems to settle down).
Thank you so much for any advice!
We haven't tried leaving the TV or radio on so we will start doing that and see if it helps. I've started giving him his Kong filled with part of whatever meal he's due next and a little bit of peanut butter on top and this seems to be enough to keep him occupied while we leave (we had been trying bully sticks before but he would still just sit and watch us leave as he whined and barked to get out) so I'll keep doing that each time we go.
Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! Hopefully it'll just take some time to help him through it!
That sounds great! I don't mind giving him treats every time if it helped! The idea of him getting excited rather than anxious when we're getting ready to leave sounds amazing - that's definitely going to be a good end goal for us. We'll just keep sticking with it!
I was looking at the DAP collars a few days ago, if I don't see any improvement with the treats or if he just seems to be getting more anxious I may try looking into one but hopefully we can overcome this with treats! Thank you so much! :)
We've been sticking with the treats and so far it seems to be working! He's been distracted enough to not get upset once we leave and we haven't heard any whining or barking once we're gone! Yippee! Thank you so much!