How do I nip separation anxiety in the bud?

(10 Posts)
Circletime27 Wed 01-Apr-20 10:24:11

Our puppy is 7 months old. He’s been really good at being left for up to 3 hours 3 times a week. Never made any fuss. We’ve always left him with a kong and he’s just eaten that then slept.

Since the lock down I’ve been following the same routine and DS and I have been coming upstairs to do homeschooling while pup is left in the kitchen.

He’s been scratching at the kitchen door, whining and barking. After 10 mins he settles and I’ve been going down to him after 2-3 hours and then he’s with us for the rest of the day.

We are quiet when we’re upstairs but I’m guessing his hearing is so good he knows we’ve not actually gone out.

Is there anything here I’m doing wrong or could do differently. I really don’t want him to develop separation anxiety especially when he’s been so good at being left up until now.

OP’s posts: |
Circletime27 Wed 01-Apr-20 10:25:20

I should add that the 3 hours we leave him 3 times a week were built up very gradually from when we first got him at 10 weeks old. He never made a fuss but we really took our time with it.

OP’s posts: |
heatseeker14 Wed 01-Apr-20 11:00:01

I think what you’re doing is a good idea, OP.
Our puppy started to show signs of separation anxiety before the lockdown. I worked really hard to help him overcome it. I’m worried that he will revert back and become anxious again. I have started to enforce a break every other day. I either sit on my front lawn or in my car (on the drive) to give him a break while dh takes the kids for a walk. I take a cuppa out with me and read stuff on my phone. Have only managed around 45 mins. I plan to build up the time when things get back to normal. Hopefully it will work.

Circletime27 Wed 01-Apr-20 11:04:42

Thanks for the reply. He’s still scratching at the door, I’ve been down to him, didn’t engage but just to check he didn’t need the toilet. He’s been walked and played with, he should be able to just settle down now but he’s not.

Ugh this lockdown sucks!! I don’t want the neighbours complaining!

OP’s posts: |
iVampire Wed 01-Apr-20 11:21:25

I’m worried about this too

DPuppy (nearly 6mths) is very sociable and wants to be in the same room as humans all the time, though she sleeps alone at night.

Before lockdown (and in my case shield isolation) she was OK to be left home alone for about 1.5-2hrs a time. But only if I actually went out - never settled alone when she knew someone was in.

So as I’m home every day, and will be for minimum 12 weeks, I’m really not sure what to do for the best.

I might just have to leave her to cry it out (and go and have a bath or something) at a time of day when one wouldn’t expect silence from the neighbours. But does CIO work for dogs?

heatseeker14 Wed 01-Apr-20 11:29:04

It’s really tricky to maintain healthy habits at the moment. At least you’re trying. I have to enforce a break outside because there is no way we could continue to work upstairs. He would start barking the minute he heard a floorboard creak. DH needs to make work calls throughout the day so it wouldn’t work for us.
There will be a lot of people who have rushed out to buy a puppy and won’t have even thought about this kind of issue. We have all just got to try our best to make things work.

TokyoSushi Wed 01-Apr-20 11:41:13

Our beautiful boy is 9 months, so a little older, he's just not allowed upstairs, he never has been. Mainly because he's quite boisterous/excitable and has just charged round like a mad thing the few times he has been allowed up here!

My office is upstairs so we follow the same routine of him being downstairs only, but we check on him often, every half an hour or so, either me or one of the DC will go and play with him for a while (6 & 8) I've also invested in a few more chews etc and I take him out at lunchtime, DH in the evening.

He's a very well-loved dog, but keeping things fairly similar to how they would normally be had definitely helped.


Circletime27 Wed 01-Apr-20 12:08:01

It’s so difficult isn’t it! It had been going really well, I don’t know what’s got into this morning.

I’ve come down into the kitchen now. I’m doing some very boring coming and going and he’s not reacting, just mooching about.

I’ll take him for a good long walk after lunch and try again this afternoon.

OP’s posts: |
truthisarevolutionaryact Wed 01-Apr-20 21:23:37

I'm also facing the same challenge. Just over 6 months. He didn't like being left and was a bit clingy but learnt to settle, didn't make a fuss after the first few times and could be left for over 2 hours.
Now - home 24/7, he's started following me round all day. Tomorrow I'm braving the supermarket for the first time in weeks so will leave him again. And once it gets warmer will have the back door open and base myself downstairs so that I'm in earshot. Hopefully he's not completely lost his independence...

Mmsnet101 Wed 01-Apr-20 21:35:50

It's tough, we've a 15yr old dog who's reverted back to separation anxiety since lock down. She's OK on her own when we're in another part of the house because we switched to a baby gate rather than a door closed.

The other day we locked her in herself while we done some gardening (lawn feed etc so had to keep her in) and she was so anxious so now trying to do small stints in the garden to build it up, but we're in Scotland and have a 8mo baby so limited as to how long we can be out this time of year!

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