Separation anxiety in the crate? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-31-2013, 12:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Separation anxiety in the crate?

Our 11 week old GSD puppy loves her crate. She willingly goes in, and will sleep soundly and quietly through the night. She knows her crate means a soft fluffy bed, special treats, and quiet time. It is located in our bedroom.

The problem arises when she's in her crate and we are not in sight. If we are both in bed and sleeping she is quiet as a mouse. If we are off doing other things, like brushing our teeth, or doing things downstairs she cries and screams like a banshee. Even though she is still able to hear us in other parts of the house, if she can't see us she panics and loses it.

If she is throwing a fit, we try to not reenter the room until she has a quiet moment. I do feel the anxiety is associated with being alone in the crate. We do bring her to work with us, and during her nap time she stays alone in my husband's office with the door closed and she is always very quiet and well behaved (there are windows so we can monitor her behavior) so I know she is capable of spending time alone without panicking.

Not sure what to do about this problem. We were sure that ignoring her crying and only returning to the room once she has stopped crying would work, but the tantrums only seem to be getting worse and worse. Help!
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have heard that if they are a puppy they may think you are abandoning them when you leave the room. If the crying carries on maybe you could walk in and calm them down and let them know everything's all right.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This may be a just a stage they go thru.
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scout172 View Post
I have heard that if they are a puppy they may think you are abandoning them when you leave the room. If the crying carries on maybe you could walk in and calm them down and let them know everything's all right.
From my experience, this is a bad idea. It's reinforcing the idea that if the puppy cries long enough, somebody will come to its rescue. Exactly what the puppy wants.

I went through this with my non-GSD female. She would scream as if she were being murdered every time I left for class. I lived in an apartment at the time, and I was terrified that I would get evicted.

I ended up making frozen kongs for her (stuffed with cheese, peanut butter, kibble, yogurt, etc), putting them in her crate with her, then slipping out the door. I also gave them to her when I wasn't leaving; I just set them in her crate with the door open while I walked around the house. Leaving a radio on also helped (I do that for my puppy when I'm working upstairs and he's in his crate downstairs).
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