How to handle separation anxiety
We've had our pup for two months now, he's 6mo as of last week, and I think he's developed separation anxiety. My husband and I seem to be a loss of how to deal with this.
If we disappear for more then 10 minutes he'll start whining and barking while searching frantically for us. If he can't find us it usually results in tearing something up. It's at the point now when I take my shower I leave the door propped open so when he starts all I need to do is say something and he'll calm down. He usually sits at the door for two or three minutes then runs off to find a toy of his to play with.
This is just while we're home and out of sight.
If we leave we crate him. We keep his crate in the bedroom and he really does love it. He'll sleep in it at night, we don't close the door it's of his own will, if we're in the bedroom folding laundry he'll go into it when we ask without a fight, even after walks he's started a routine to take a twenty minute power nap in there when we get back.
But if he knows we're leaving it's a fight to get him in there, usually taking fifteen minutes to bribe him or my husband will drag him in (which is an endless argument between us on how we should go about it.)
Once in the crate it's whining and barking, when we come home there's a mess of spit and small amounts of pee right at the door. But he's never actually gone to the bathroom in his crate. He's figured out how to undo the locks, and worse off has injured himself during his breakouts. The vet said they were just small cuts that would heal within a week or so. We're now putting actual key locks on the crate to insure he stays in.
We even tried getting a sitter, someone he already knows but she told us fifteen minutes after we're gone its the whining and barking. Said he lays at the door waiting and whining after twenty minutes of running around. Won't go out, eat, drink, or play with her once he'd figured out we're gone.
We work opposite shifts so there's almost always someone home, if he's crated it'd never been more then two hours so we can go out to dinner or shopping. I've tried taking him with me if it's a quick run to the store and he'd great in a car. He climbs into the front passenger seat and just sits there waiting, quietly. No pee or spit, no whining or barking, just waits. I don't understand the difference between the car and crate.
Any advice is welcome, i'm just scared he might really hurt himself the next time we need to crate him and leave.