Seperation Anxiety on Walks - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Seperation Anxiety on Walks

I have a 7 month old male gsd who gets very upset if anyone leaves the group when we are out. It's worse if it's me or my boyfriend but he will still whine, bark, whimper when a friend leaves the pack or gets 10 feet ahead (or behind) him. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 05:05 PM
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Rocco does the same thing. I have no suggestions, sorry...

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 05:06 PM
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I think with time and the wisdom of age, he may settle down. They hate their pack separating, my 2 are 5yo and 3yo and if one of us ventures off, they will still be very alert to the fact and if possible go looking or just sit and wait. With the vocal part, imo it is nerves/anxiety at the pack member leaving the group, with trust and experience he will settle down - but they don't like it.

if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 05:13 PM
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We have the same issue with our 11 mo. old. Sometimes it's very hard to deal with her if one of us has to leave the pack when we are out. We haven't found a good working solution yet, either. So, I will be watching this thread to see what others have to offer.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 06:29 PM
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I will be watching too. I have a 12 month old that whines, cries really loud if either of us walks away. In fact we have to stay within the leash's reach so he can go check on everyone with his nose. It's cute but can become annoying when two of the boys want to go running ahead. I've tried letting them take him, but then he will look back and discover I'm not behind them and then cry to come back. My other two dogs, small breeds, couldn't care less.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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I'm glad it's not just Apollo
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 09:22 AM
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Im not sure this is true separation anxiety, just a natural response to wanting to keep the pack together. I believe this is also sort of a herding behavior, but don't quote me on that one. Does your dog exhibit any other anxiety when you leave him home alone?

I would just keep practicing. Have another pack member hold him, then walk a short distance away. Reward and engage him when he's calm. Then practice going a bit further/out of sight/for longer periods of time. He should get better.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I'm going to try that.

You're right, he whines a bit when we leave him by himself but I think he is actually worse when one person leaves.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 06:30 AM
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I just started trying something tonight with our 9 month old.

If someone leaves the group or comes back she pulls in their direction like a freight train, if I leave the group with her she carries on the same way or makes a whiney I'm worried for them type of bark.

So tonight when the family went for a walk, I walked ahead with her at heel at a nice pace and kept her attention forward when ever she tried to look back, at each corner we stopped and sat in a heel position while we watched them walk towards us.

1st corner as the family got closer I praised, and kept repeating stay and rubbed her between the ears and just before they got near us, I about turned and heeled away to the next corner. 2nd corner same deal, except she broke as my son ran up and she started pulling towards him, I corrected her and brought her back to a sitting heel, as the rest of the family got closer she broke again but I corrected her and when she was calm we moved on, 3rd corner we sat and waited and I let the family know to keep walking and not look at her, she tried to break but nothing to bad she wanted to watch them walk away while sitting in a heel and then we followed and she pulled like a train as normal, but I just corrected her and heeled and she settled down and then we picked up the pace and caught up, and sorry for a bit of gloating here but I'm very proud of her atm and how quickly she learnt to control herself, coz the 4th corner she actually sat and waited, didn't break, the mrs and I talked and she said hello to Belle and when I released her from the heel sit she went and said hello to the family, normally she would of been going crazy like she hadn't seen them in months.

I'm going to keep doing it each time more then one of us go on a walk, let her get more relaxed with me leading her away, waiting etc, and then let the wife or eldest lead her while they walk away from me, because after the last corner the wife took her and walked ahead as we got closer to home, Belle did go a bit stupid when they came walking back to us, but she said her pulling wasn't as full power as normal. I'm still chuffed at how quickly she did catch on and settle herself down though
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 05:20 AM
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I have the same issue with my 12 month old, I'm so glad it isn't just us, it's really hard to take him to the park with the kids as when the kids go off and play he is just besides himself, pulling, winging and tries anything to get to them people look at us as if he's crazy he just can't stand to when someone leaves his "pack" but he is totally fine being left at home, so can't work out is it really separation anxiety?
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