My Golden is a 5 years old male and he was with me since he was a puppy.
He comes with me to work everyday and we spend a lot of time together.
When I need to go somewhere (run errands or have fun) I leave him in a dog run. I leave with him toys, water and some treats. He is not hesitant to go to the dog run, he actually leads the way. He eats the treats immediately, but it looks like he never touches the water or the toys. I think all he does is run from one and of the run to the other and stresses out http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/...03FZ2rMcsA.gif. He also howls, my neighbors told me, and once I myself pretended that I left, but actually I was sitting in the car on the street and listened what happens. First 20 minutes or so was quiet, then he howled for a minute or so, then it was quiet again for a while and then he howled again.
I also tried to leave him in the backyard, not sure if he howled, but when I came home I observed him from the inside and again all he did was run from one end of the backyard to the other end and stress out. When I come home from work I leave him in the front yard sometimes, he seems to be ok there. Sometimes he asks to go out in the backyard and I let him go and he is ok while I am at home, but when I leave he stresses out. He is also ok left alone in my room while I take a shower or alone downstairs while I do things upstairs.
I think he has mild to moderate separation anxiety and I just don't know how to deal with it. It is affecting my life too much and it stresses me out. Knowing that while I am gone he is himself stressing out and tormenting the neighbors with the howling puts quite a pressure on me. When I am out I always hurry home because of him.
I read tons of books about separation anxiety, but the process is so lengthy and in addition when I have to leave now I don't have anybody I could leave him with. How do I deal with it? I hope someone has an answer. Did someone go through a similar case of separation anxiety? How did you solve it?
Would it be possible to get him a friend? I have always had at least two just for this reason. I, too, have done the pretend-to-leave tests, and they settle in and sleep. I care for my sister who requires a treatment at a hospital in another city once a month, so they are left alone for about 6 hours that day. I do crate one, but the other is loose, in our mud room/breezeway. When we get home, they are both calm and yawning, as though we woke them up.
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