Separation anxiety

(13 Posts)
nancybotwinbloom Thu 23-Jul-20 13:34:43

My next door neighbour has just told me that when I go out my dog cries like a baby until it sees or hears my car on the drive.

We have had him since February. So due to Covid he's not been left in his own very
Much. Not sure if this is why he has seperation anxiety.

I don't go out a lot and I work from home so it's only probably an hour a day and not every day.

However I can't expect my neighbours to have to put up with him crying and howling as they said this morning he sounds really sad and they feel sorry for him. They said they thought he'd be over it by now as he's 9 months now.

It's been going on for weeks. I've apologised and said I wished they'd have said sooner so I could have tried before now to resolve it.

Has anyone successfully helped a dog overcome seperation anxiety? What did you do? How long did it take?

I'm reading up online and I have bought some Kong toys for him (you put food in and it keeps them Occupied trying to get it out) but I wondered if anyone had any tried and tested methods?


OP’s posts: |
bunnygeek Thu 23-Jul-20 14:32:13

There's a guide here, separation anxiety in dogs post lockdown is probably going to be the most common problem.

Kongs and slowly building up the time he's left, from just leaving the room for a few minutes, is definitely a good way to go.

SunshineOverThere Thu 23-Jul-20 14:45:12

Kong and food toys are generally not recommended for separation anxiety. Because once the dog finishes the food, he'll start looking for the owner and get upset again.

Not sure how you want to learn how to deal with this @OP but Malena deMartini-Price wrote a book on how to train your dog to overcome separation anxiety. Its a very good book, but honestly it's also very hard work.

I can recommend Facebook groups if you rather than a community support type of thing too.

My dog has it, is medicated for it and still not able to be left alone. Don't want to scare you, many people train their dogs effectively to over come this but it will take some time.

BiteyShark Thu 23-Jul-20 14:58:40

We had a few problems but not 'separation anxiety' but simply anxiety when left. I think there is a difference because the first is extreme and hard to overcome.

We have always had a camera which streams live to my phone so I can see and hear my dog at all times.

Several things caused my dog to cry when left. The first was because he could hear everything and was listening out for noises. I tried the radio and put it on a talk channel and it made him worse. I think because it was lots of humans and strange humans about. I swopped it to a general music channel and that really helped.

The other was that he was getting spooked by shadows at the windows/doors to the outside. I ended up putting opaque film across them and now we just close the blinds so he can't see out.

Without the camera I would have never had known what was upsetting him.

nancybotwinbloom Thu 23-Jul-20 15:08:31

Thank you for these replies. On the website I looked it, it recommended these Kong toys but said only to give them to him when he is left alone and take them away when your back so he comes to associate something he enjoys with being on his own.

I feel terrible because when I leave he is wagging his tail and playing with his other toys and I have been giving him the living room and kitchen to play in. He also has the company of two cats one of whom he plays with.

He doesn't go in his crate until bedtime. There is no crying then it seems to be just when I leave the house.

I had no idea until today he was crying for me.

I'm going to look at the dogs trust one now.

OP’s posts: |
Thimble282 Thu 23-Jul-20 15:33:58

For the future it’s always a good idea to have a camera set up especially when they’re puppies, as you said you had no idea how he was when you were away so for your own peace of mind it’s nice to be able to check in on them.

A kong’s a great idea. Also worth trying an adaptil plug in, calming music or the radio (I put the kitchen extractor fan on for a bit of white noise). Change your routine as well. Pretend to be leaving-pick up your keys, even start the car then go straight back in.

Best of luck.

nancybotwinbloom Thu 23-Jul-20 16:06:57

I am going to move the Alexa show from the shelf to the floor so I can check in on him and talk to him through it.

Then see if I can see how long till he cries and if there is anything that sets him off.

It might not be seperation anxiety I just presumed it was as the crying was described like a baby crying.

OP’s posts: |


moosemama Thu 23-Jul-20 16:13:54

Malena de Martini-Price now has an online course to help people work through their dog’s separation anxiety. I believe their is a fb community of people working through it for support as well and you can book video appointments with her or her team. I have no idea how much it costs, but I was seriously considering it when nothing else seemed to be working for my boy.

Overcoming SA is a big job, which requires a lot of commitment, regardless of how you approach it, but if he’s just vocal and not destructive or soiling, you stand a much better chance of helping him over it.

nancybotwinbloom Fri 24-Jul-20 17:26:07

Just a quick update.

I went the dentist this morning.

Gone about 45 mins.

I turned the Alexa show on as I was leaving (on the floor in the kitchen) and within a minute he was howling. He does sound like a baby!

I called him through the Alexa and spoke to him and he stopped after a couple of mins so I stayed on the line and all was quiet.

Dropped in on the Alexa every five mins and he was quiet.

I don't think I have solved it by any means but it was useful to see what he does!

It was reassuring to hear him quieting down and then quiet each time
I dropped in.

OP’s posts: |
Cetra638 Fri 24-Jul-20 17:27:34

That’s fantastic!

nancybotwinbloom Fri 24-Jul-20 17:42:51

Here he is grin

OP’s posts: |
nancybotwinbloom Fri 24-Jul-20 17:43:42

Less blurry

OP’s posts: |
JasonAll Thu 03-Sep-20 22:31:08

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in