Separation anxiety

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charlie voyle
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Separation anxiety

Postby charlie voyle » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:20 pm

Hi

Charlie is a 7 month old spoodle who I have just adopted last week. He is loving his new home and my three kids are loving having him. Charlie is really well behaved, toilet trained, sleeps well at night etc but I would love some advice on living him in the house alone. So far he has been coming everywhere with us and I can leave him in the car for short periods while I run into a shop etc but obviously I need him to feel comfortable in the house without me. What's the best way to stop his anxiety. He panics if I walk out the house to the letterbox and whines and barks!!!

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sl_simpson
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Re: Separation anxiety

Postby sl_simpson » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:56 pm

Welcome

Was he advertised on trademe? Cream colour with gold/tan ears?

While he is still young it might be good to restrict his movements to an area like a bathroom or garage where he can have access to a designated toilet area. When you go out. Acccidents can still happen especially in a new environment.  
If you have a crate or bed for him, locate this within the restricted area also for him to retreat to, along with some toys and maybe a radio playing.  

Here is a website with some useful info worth reading and has some tips. ;)

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/separationanxiety.htm

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Jax
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Re: Separation anxiety

Postby Jax » Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:52 pm

Hi

The other thing to remember is that the more your puppy gets the desired response from you e.g. he barks - you run back, then the more he will do it.  You have to harden your heart and return in your own time.  By all means stay in sight, but try to wait until he pauses in the barking or whining long enough for you to return so that you are rewarding the calm submission rather than the excited anxious bit.  Its quite hard to do at first because the timing is important, and when you return don't fuss over him whilst he is still anxious, just calmly come back and ignore his fuss until he calms down.  He is old enough at 7 months to have started to develop a bit of self control, but if you give in now then he will always make you feel bad for leaving him.

The first time you leave him in the house try to walk him until he is tired, then settle him in a confined area as SL suggested and leave him for an hour if poss.  Then come back and don't make a fuss until he is calm at your return.  If he is leaping up and barking then just ignore him until he calms down.  Once he's calm then you can make a fuss of him and he will understand that all the anxiety is not wanted by you.

Stay strong and you will be fine  ;D
TTFN

Jax

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Teddy
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Re: Separation anxiety

Postby Teddy » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:27 am

Sounds like he thinks he has to look after you. You might need to look at the way you communicate with Charlie while you are at home, are you encouraging him to act like he needs to look after you without you relising it?. For example does he rush the door when people arrive to the house, does he jump up and lie on you, does he tell you when its dinner time, do you feed him your own food sometimes??

There are tonnes of mistakes we do which allow dogs to gain dominace over us and we tend to think of them as us looking after them as we would care for say a young kid. Dogs usually see this as not a caring behaviour but rather a lack of dominace... if you are incharge of the pack why are you giving them dominace over you? If thats the case then they assume they are incharge of teh pack and therefore will be stressed out if you leave the pack. Most of the time there behaviour isn't always a result of simply you leaving them and they get worried its most likely a cause of how you respond to them around the home. First thing you should do is treat them as a dog and never think of them as a poor helpless cuddly pet. This is probably the hardess part as we buy a dog usually as a social pet to fill a gap of unconditional love they give us. I think people resist treating them as a dog because they get some sort of emtional bond to them - a human bond. The problem with this is that you get a confussed highly strung dog filled with the stress of having to look after everyone. Usually the stress is seen by us as attention seeking behaviour which we encourage, for example coming up to you and staring at you while you lie on a couch or jumping up for a "cuddle".... we tend to reward this behaviour with a stroke or scratch.... also they may make whinny sounds while you do this or raise there energy and seem to get excited. The excitment is probably not excitement rather more stress....

It's actually not a hard thing to stop and is totally controlled by you. There is nothing at all wrong with the dog and in most cases won't even need any training. The only training needed here is the dog owner. simple things like not making a deal about your dog when they get excited or hyping your dog up, not responding to stress - will train your dog out of it. Make sure you are not rewarding your dog for dominace or stress. Rewarding can simply be looking at your dog. Ignoring your dog does wonders.... and rewarding a quiet calm dog is good - but nothing over teh top, hyping up a dog doesn't help the cause  ;)

So in short - dont reward stress (which can look like excitment), don't reward domanice (can look like love, cuddly dog) and maybe ignore your dog a bit more, less walking into a room and calling your dog as they run and jump at you - hope this helps and makes sense  :)


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