Separation Anxiety - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Separation Anxiety

My GSD Winnie is now 1 year, 5 months old. She's overall fairly well behaved and temperamentally sound. She's not easily startled and when she is, has a very quick recovery. She is usually quiet, doesn't ever bark unless I'm with her in my bedroom and a housemate or someone approaches the door, not even when she sees other dogs either on walks or walking by the house. I crate trained her pretty quickly after I got her at the end of August last year and potty trained her shortly after as well. I used to keep her in her crate at night, but since she is very good when I'm home and is potty trained I don't do that anymore. She is fine with her crate and often will go lie down in it when I am in my room with her or at night of her own accord or to play with toys or chew on a bone. She is never destructive or loud when I am home. She is generally very good, quiet, mellow, and calm when I am home except during explicit play time or occasionally going playing with the kitten.

Almost the moment that I leave her though, crated or not, she begins to howl and bark. For a while I tried letting her stay out of her crate, but she sometimes destroys things at random when I have done so, so I have been leaving her in the crate again when I have to leave her alone for longer periods of time. I always leave her with some toys and a bully stick and a raw, frozen marrow bone and will play some music on my laptop next to her. For a short while if you leave her with the bone and marrow stick, she will be content, but after a bit she realizes I'm gone and freaks out. She tears chunks out of her bed and destroys whatever she can somehow reach if she can reach anything. She howls, barks, cries, and claws at the crate and won't quiet down even after being in there for hours with no response.

I have been purposely and meticulously careful to not reward the behavior, never go in the room while she is doing the bad behaviors (wait til she's still and quiet for a few minutes), try to be calm and apathetic when I do go into the room and she is excited, make her sit or lie down and wait while I open her crate door before telling her it's okay to come out.
I thought this would be something she would grow out of, but I feel like all my efforts have done nothing and I'm not really sure where I'm going wrong. I always exercise her before and crating and have someone come walk her/give her water midday.

When I am home, she is like a little shadow and follows me around the house. If I get up even to move across the room or go to the bathroom, she will get up and come with me. When I've gone hiking and had her off leash she will run around but always stay within a good distance and run back to me. She is very attached to my boyfriend as well, but will not follow/shadow him around unless I'm not home. She does really like my housemate and the friends I have over regularly, and is perfectly fine with strangers as well.

If anyone has additional advice or suggestions, I would be very grateful.

Last edited by Jaesthetic; 07-17-2017 at 11:27 AM.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 11:41 AM
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Crate train. Leave her with other ppl. Board her with someone who'll work with her.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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As I said in my post, she is crate trained and has been almost since I got her nearly a year ago. Unfortunately, I can not board her or leave her with friends on a daily basis, I only do that when I have to travel and will be gone for days or weeks. I am a student working part time and I do whatever I can to take the best care of her (good quality food, lots of toys/chews, lots of exercise, infinite love, etc) and spend all of my money either on her or to put away in an emergency fund for her, but that is very unrealistic for me to spend the fortune it would cost to board her daily.
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