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-   -   Dog suffers from anxiety when left alone. Answered by Samantha (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=50)

petdr May 1st, 2001 10:19 AM

[b]Question:

I recently adopted a 3 yrs peke/Boston terrier. He is well trained BUT, does not like to be left alone and follows me everywhere for assurance. I can understand that we have to "Bond", but I have to go to work.

Two problems...he will not let me in my shower stall??? Yesterday, I somehow got lucky and closed the bathroom door...had my shower and he was outside crying and wanting to get in. This morning, he got in before me and would not leave...I could not get him out. I finally gave up and when he came downstairs, I took him outside before leaving for my part time job in the mornings.

Next problem, he does not like being left alone. I got a cage and after we came back from our little walk, he put him in the cage...stayed in the kitchen pretending I was doing anything (he was crying and barking to get out) and then got my keys for my car and left. I stayed outside the house and listened to him barking and then left to go to work. I was gone for about 3 hrs, and when I came home could not hear anything . When I went inside, he had somehow got out of the cage, but I had left his lease on and it had caught on the door. He had pulled the cage over to the other end of the kitchen where the cage stuck so he could not get any further. He was happy to see me, and I praised him and took him outside. He then went immediately upstairs, and is sitting in the shower stall and clawing on the flower of the stall????

HELP...he is a smart little dog but I need advice.
I am going to take him for training for obedience!!

Thanks Ann

Answer:[/b]

Hi there Ann,

I do believe that all dogs should be taken for obedience training. These people are experts in their fields and can truly help with common problems. It will be the best animal investment (next to your pet) that you will make. BUT CONTACT YOUR VET FOR ADVICE ON YOUR PROBLEM AS WELL AS A SUGGESTIONS FOR A GOOD (NON AGGRESSIVE TRAINER). "Lite" food rewards along with "good dog" praise are one of the best ways to train dogs....BUT YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT ESPECIALLY AT THE BEGINNING. And....you must be willing to put in effort.

The fact that your dog does not let you in the shower stall, seems to me like separation anxiety...the same thing as going to work. Here is what the C.K.C. says about separation anxiety.

Most breeds suffer from this (separation anxiety), some breeds more than others. Dogs and wolves are very social animals who thrive on attention of their pack members. When they are isolated, they become very worried. Destroying things is a way to ease that anxiety. Chewing especially can be very calming to a dog. To save your home, it may be best to crate or confine your dog. In many cases this is the safer route for your dog. Give the dog a couple of its favorite toys that have been rubbed in your hands, as your scent will help him relax. As well, start training your dog by doing practice leaves from home. LEAVE FOR TEN MINUTES AND RETURN WITH A NORMAL ROUTINE. DO THE SAME FOR PROGRESSIVELY LONGER LENGTHS OF TIME AND DO SO FOR QUITE SOME TIME, JUST TO LET YOUR DOG TO KNOW THAT THE END OF THE WORLD DOESN'T COME TO AN END WITH YOUR CLOSING THE DOOR BEHIND YOU. DO THIS OFTEN AND THEN GIVE A LITE FOOD REWARD ALONG WITH A " GOOD DOG" PRAISE...Eventually phase out the food reward.

Exercise will help to relieve their stress too. If they make a mess in their cage, Do not scold your dog for making a mess, as it will only confuse him -- they cannot associate past crimes with the present. Apply this to your situation regularly...and I bet your dog calms down....and lets you shower and go to work...... They just need to be assured that you are coming back!!

Eventually your dog should calm down and will voluntarily go to his cage from time to time simply to relax.

Samantha
Dog owner and breeder for over 20 years


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