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Peekaboo for separation anxiety?

November 4th, 2005, 07:06 PM
Ok, so I saw it on a tv commercial, but I had to ask. They said playing peekaboo with a baby/toddler teaches it that you will always come back. So I'm thinking, why not with a doggy?

Anybody have an opinion about this? Any moms know if this is actually true with babies?

I've been trying it with Jemma and Boo by hiding behind a wall and drifting out, making eye contact and then disappearing again... Jemma goes nuts barking and then she tries to find me. Boo, who has had pretty severe separation anxiety, he ignores me but I can tell it bugs him. He ignores me for everything- his game is to try to prove to everybody that he doesn't need anybody, so I'm getting better at reading his ignores...

Any thoughts?

Maybe if we all did this a few times a day, our doggies would have less separation anxiety? That is, if it actually works...

jesse's mommy
November 4th, 2005, 07:11 PM
We did that with Jesse when we got her. The HS found her in a field with a leash on and that was it. So after we got her, she did suffer from separation anxiety. So we would hide behind doors and have her find us and we would also leave her in the house go outside and check back every 5-10 minutes or so just to let her know we were here and eventually made it longer and longer. We just did this and it seemed to work. She's absolutely wonderful now and has no problem staying by herself. She was pretty bad there for a while when we would leave her. She was rebelling and started getting into things she shouldn't have including wires that were plugged in. We could've had a fried puppy. I never thought about it in detail, but that's what we did and everything is fine now. I guess it was my motherly instincts!! :p

November 4th, 2005, 07:14 PM
Ya, I know about leaving and coming back in 5-10 minutes, but this idea is more like the other part you said- hiding behind doors, etc. A less "leavy" way of leaving, you know? I wonder if doing it often enough would be as effective as leaving for 5-10 minutes.

jesse's mommy
November 4th, 2005, 07:21 PM
I can't really say which one worked better because we did both. Whichever it was, it worked. Maybe it was both. The idea of switching them so she would know, whichever door we went through, we would always be back????

November 4th, 2005, 07:22 PM
That's a good idea. :)

November 4th, 2005, 07:32 PM
Okay, it definately works with toddlers, they love the excitement of you disapearing and re-apearing. It is very healthy for them, however, for doggy separation anxiety I think it would be more like playing peekaboo with the toddler and one time actually disappearing. I mean they get a sence of security because your gone, momentarily, and then your back. Eventually, they understand that its a game and they expect you to be back...only then your sounds to me more like it would increase anxiety. Rockys major seperation anxiety goes on 1. because he doesnt want me to leave, and 2. because sometimes he has been able to escape out of our door when I have tried to leavae for work. His stress will increase whenever he has recently mangeed to escape I now put up a baby gate so he knows there is no chance of escaping and he remains much more calm. He is more resigned to that fact that he is staying home.

November 5th, 2005, 01:19 AM
I get the idea this person is getting at, but like all things, it's in the execution.
hiding behind a wall and drifting out, making eye contact and then disappearing again... Jemma goes nuts barking and then she tries to find me
Wouldn't this sort of thing just teach her that if she barks and goes nuts, that you will magically appear? I think the trick is to make sure they are calm before you reappear. Just like crate training--let 'em out when they're barking, whining, or otherwise rejecting their crate, and they'll continue to reject their crate. But let them settle down and let them out when they're calm--et voila, you're half way to a crate-trained dog.

November 5th, 2005, 01:41 AM
Ya, sorry, she goes nuts when I reappear or when she finds me- like she just won the game... :crazy: