Puppy anxiety - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Puppy anxiety

Hi guys, my suki is now 7mo and she has awful separation anxiety. Cant stand us being further away than nose distance. Do you have any tips on helping her settle down and not worry so much? We've tried doing the distance exercise but it sent her into a frenzy and wasnt fair on her, shes properly socialized and is fine if shes off leash but on leash is like shes a completely different dog. Thanks!!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 08:52 AM
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wasnt fair on her
This is what will exacerbate the issue. It doesn't matter if you think it's fair on her. She needs to learn how to have separate dog experiences from you. This is going to be stressful for her, but it is fairer to teach her to self-soothe. If she can't learn to manage her own stress, she'll never be able to be a separate entity from you.

There's going to be a lot of crying, wailing, protesting, and acting like she's dying horribly. All of it is drama. All of it. She's trying to make you come back and give her attention. Don't.

Work on ignoring her. When you come home, ignore her until she lays down and settles. Then praise and calmly greet her. When she comes over to demand attention, ignore her until she lays down and settles. Then praise her. When she's laying down calm, praise her and calmly pet her (if she permits it).

At the end of the day, she has to learn how to manage her own stress. She can't just use you and become dependent on you as her stress management system. That's not fair to her.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 07:42 PM
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the old saying goes, "what you pet you get". Your Suki is going through the beginning of her adolescence and it is normal for her to be odd. Some of her puppy innocence is fading away. As Kyrielle posted, expect her to be calm before she gets the treat or the petting or the game. When you leave the house you might try playing classical music (that is one thing Alexa is good for. It will keep on playing until you come back home). Some of us leave on the t.v.

In the house you can use crates and x-pens. Your pup can see you but you still have your personal space.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 07:54 PM
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Is she crate trained? If she is, I would start crating her and walking out of the room and then walking right back in. Take things in baby steps. Once she handles that, then wait a few seconds in the other room before returning. Like anything else, keep her under her threshold. Nothing is learned when a dog is in a frantic frame of mind. Give her a treat of high value in the crate just before you lock her in. Make sure it is long lasting. When you return, make a beeline for her treat and take it off of her. She will start hoping you stay away a little longer so she can enjoy the treat for a longer period of time. Do everything in baby steps.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 08:21 PM
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Best advice I got on here is that the best cure for separation anxiety is more separation.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 09:54 PM
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"and is fine if shes off leash but on leash is like shes a completely different dog." So she's only upset if she is leashed? I'm just not clear on this kind of separation anxiety.

"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together,keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever." A.A. Milne
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-19-2019, 12:22 AM
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"and is fine if shes off leash but on leash is like shes a completely different dog." So she's only upset if she is leashed? I'm just not clear on this kind of separation anxiety.
I understand this. Pack separation. Ziva is like this. Off leash she is fine. She will do long down stays, hang out, walk along and check in. Hubs and I can walk away in different directions and she is fine in that she knows she can move to either one of us once released. And she can watch us both.
Put a leash on her and have one walk away from the pack and she goes hysterically insane. The leash is a barrier that prevents herding the pack back together and SA sets in. We tried for months and months and months to no avail to fix the issue. And yes we had a trainer too. In 6.5 years we still haven't overcome this anxiety. We also use to have issues with one of us in the house and the other outside the house in the yard. That she got over mostly. It's her genetic weak nerve.
Oddly Ziva does not have SA when anyone leaves the house to go places. Or if we all leave. She simply goes to bed when we tell her we are leaving. Yes we tell her we are leaving and will be back.
Not saying it can't be fixed. Just saying I understand the issue and it does happen in dogs with weak nerve and anxiety.

Ziva 03.07.2013
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-19-2019, 12:33 AM
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I understand this. Pack separation. Ziva is like this. Off leash she is fine. She will do long down stays, hang out, walk along and check in. Hubs and I can walk away in different directions and she is fine in that she knows she can move to either one of us once released. And she can watch us both.
Put a leash on her and have one walk away from the pack and she goes hysterically insane. The leash is a barrier that prevents herding the pack back together and SA sets in. We tried for months and months and months to no avail to fix the issue. And yes we had a trainer too. In 6.5 years we still haven't overcome this anxiety. We also use to have issues with one of us in the house and the other outside the house in the yard. That she got over mostly. It's her genetic weak nerve.
Oddly Ziva does not have SA when anyone leaves the house to go places. Or if we all leave. She simply goes to bed when we tell her we are leaving. Yes we tell her we are leaving and will be back.
Not saying it can't be fixed. Just saying I understand the issue and it does happen in dogs with weak nerve and anxiety.

Thanks, I wasn't understanding that one person was walking away. Tess frets if we separate when hiking. She hates to choose who she should go with, she'll bounce back and forth between us.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-19-2019, 12:58 AM
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Thanks, I wasn't understanding that one person was walking away. Tess frets if we separate when hiking. She hates to choose who she should go with, she'll bounce back and forth between us.
^Ziva is like this too. But if a leash is involved and one person gets too far ahead/behind she just can't take it. It's terrible on trips having to get gas and try to get a bathroom break if there is more than one person with her. The hysteria makes a huge embarrassing scene.
But hey if I'm out with her in the car I can make a quick trip into a store and leave her in the car (temperature permitting) and she is just fine. She hops in the drivers seat, waits and watches for my return all calm as could be.

Ziva 03.07.2013
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