Separation anxiety driving me mad!(4 Posts)
So a week ago we got a lovely 6 month old Labrador puppy, an all round great dog—she's very obedient and happy. The only problem is she has terrible separation anxiety and it's driving me mad; especially considering I'm currently on maternity leave and looking after her on my own during the day. We've tried to get her into a habit of being in the kitchen when we pop out — we put her bed and toys in and give her a kong but she just barks and whines and howls until we get back — she looks completely out of breath when we return and I feel terrible I can't do the simplest things to without her needing to be in the room — go to the toilet, brush my teeth, Hoover up, anything! It's exhausting, I just want her to feel relaxed being on her own instead of being constantly on edge and needing to be glued to us. She even panics when we close the baby gate that separates the lounge and the kitchen, even though she can see us. I'm due to have my baby in three weeks and I'm terrified that she won't get out of this habit before I'm due — it will be even harder to deal with considering I'll have a newborn too. I love her to bits and I just want to help her — does anybody have any similar experiences or any helpful tips on how I can help her
From what I have read (actual research papers and case studies) 'seperation anxiety' is hard to treat. The good news is that those research papers and case studies also highlighted that a lot of behaviour labelled as SA is not actually SA and can be corrected.
Personally I would phone up a few canine behaviourists and see how they can help you by coming in and observing your dogs behaviour especially as you have a baby on the way.
I have just got to ask - why did you get a puppy shortly before having a baby? It will be like looking after two babies and very hard work for you. I Dont envy you, I must say.
Have a look at dog behaviour support and advice on FB. A group of qualified experts give advice.
No you won't sort it in three weeks. The advice I had was don't leave pup to cry. That doesn't help them calm down and learn to be alone. Have you crate trained? That helped ours have a safe space. BUT that doesn't mean shutting the dog in a crate and leaving it. Look at the files in the group.
I started by ignoring her when I was in the room. Not all the time but getting her used to some separation. Next I would walk out the room then pretty much straight back in. Ignore her. No big deal. Just wander in and out. We built from there. BUT it has taken weeks.
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