We have a male Jack russell terrier 9 months and a female Jrt mix 13months. We can’t leave them on their own as they cry and howl constantly, even for 5 minutes. They go EVERYWHERE with us. Any tips on relieving the anxiety that they have? Much appreciated.
Thanks so much to everyone that responded. There are some excellent ideas that i will try.
The following is my standard reply. I know that many askers have used my methods because I have had private emails to confirm this. I know that you have two dogs who suffer from this dreadful problem, however the same proceedure can be used.
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, or if you anticipate this don’t give him free access to every room in your house when you leave him. . If you allow him free access you are doubling his burden. As well as having separation anxiety he will think that he has to guard every room in your house.
If he is restricted to one room he will not see you leave. You could also con him into thinking that you are always at home by carrying out the following procedure.
Try to do this when you are at home all day, or in the evening when you are there. After your dog has had a long walk, put him in a room with his comfortable bed, this should be a room where you will leave him if you need to go out and where your dog will sleep at night.
Walk out of the room and close the door. Open the door immediately and go back into his room, close the door behind you and try to ignore him. Pretend or actually do something which excludes your dog, for example if he is in the bathroom you could do a bit a cleaning for a couple of minutes. Then walk out of the room, go back again immediately and continue with the pretence. Keep doing this to ensure that your dog won’t feel isolated and eventually leave a small gap before you go into his room again. Over a period of days increase the gap before going back into his room. When you know that your dog is asleep stop going into the room, however you MUST try to go onto the room before he wakes up and starts to cry. If you carry out this procedure for a couple of days, your dog will always think that you are at the other side of the door. I do this when I get a new puppy and this PREVENTS separation anxiety.
Don’t neglect his long walks and playtime in the garden whilst you are re-training him, he needs his fun
When you are leaving your dog on his own please don’t make a dramatic exit, or this will give the game away. Simply put him into his room and walk out. When you come home don’t give him a big hello, just walk into his room and let him out for a pee. You can then play with him and give him cuddles.
Please don’t get a dog if it has to be left alone all day. Try to get a friend or a professional to take him out for pees and poos, if you need to leave him for any length of time…
by: dorothy s
on: 24th April 09