I need some advice - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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RainE's Avatar
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Location: Greater Cincinnati (SE Indiana)
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I need some advice

My 7 month old female seems to have awful separation anxiety. I didn't notice this before until I quit my job and I was home more often to observe her more. It also helps that we got a roommate who is home when we're not either, which isn't real long anymore. Her brother doesn't have a problem, but she goes NUTS. She howls and barks and paces all around her crate. I also noticed she goes potty in the crate sometimes when she's super anxious. (We take them out before we leave to always make sure they are okay). We obviously can't leave her out when we leave because she tears up everything. With exercise and everything she still does this. However, right when we come home she straightens up like nothing ever happened. I've given her toys and safe chew things to keep her occupied as well, but she still is acting out. I can't have this when we move in closer quarters with people being that she is going to disturb them and I CAN'T leave her out to tear up our whole home instead.

Luna GSD 07/20/16
Wyatt GSD 07/20/16
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 08:08 PM
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Location: Pittsburgh PA
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I had a border collie with separation anxiety. We did not use crate training, so you have an extra tool there, but I can tell you that the way we solved her problem was to get her to slowly be comfortable with very short periods of time being left alone.

Here is how it worked for us: we left our dog in the house for the shortest amount of time that it took for her to settle down, and then came back inside. This could start with as little as 5 seconds as you walk out, close the door, and walk right back in, building up time to where the dog doesn't start destructive behavior or barking/whining. If they kick up a fuss, stay outside until you hear signs of them quieting down, then come back in WITHOUT A FUSS (key)... Repeat until the dog is comfortable for hours... way easier said than done but it worked well for us.

The idea is that they need to realize that you are eventually coming back, and they will be just fine on their own - BUT that if they kick up a huge fuss, that doesn't bring you back. If she is upset enough, you could start by just leaving the room where she is crated, and coming back in when she is calm.

Others may have better or different strategies but this is what worked for our neurotic border collie. Since your dog gives you a good indication of how upset she is (howling/barking) I would use this to your advantage: leave the room/house and re-renter immediately when you hear the barking stop. Ignore the barking, reward the quiet behavior, and make sure she knows she's not getting left alone forever. Good luck !
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 08:12 PM
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You can also try leaving the TV on. That has helped my daughter's dog tremendously.
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