Your puppy still seems upset every time you leave. He chews up your pocketbook and everything else he can get. And he just won't stop barking and your neighbors are getting really upset with you.
You may already suspect that he has a bad case of separation anxiety. And that's exactly what it is. But what can you do? You can't stay home all day and play with him, as much fun as that might be.
You may already do some of the basics. You may have crate trained him, and you're making sure he gets his exercise. But it just isn't enough.
Well, there's more you can do. Here are four more tips for how you can help your puppy to get over his anxiety about being left all alone.
1. Develop a going away routine. Establishing a pattern of activities - offering your dog a treat to get in his crate, petting him and saying “Goodbye" - will help your dog adapt to your comings and goings as a routine behavior. Eventually, your puppy will learn that your leaving isn't cause for alarm.
2. Don't make a big deal out of leaving. When you're establishing your going away routine, try to be calm and quiet. Don't make a big deal out of saying goodbye or give your puppy an overly enthusiastic petting before you leave. Doing so will only increase his anxiety and cause him to worry that you won't be coming home.
3. Run through your going away routine - even when you aren't leaving. To help control your puppy's separation anxiety, pretend like you're getting ready to leave - pick up your keys, put on your jacket or grab your bag - several times a day. Doing so will help your dog break the negative associations he's come to associate with your going away routine.
4. Consider doggie day care. In extreme cases, you may need to enlist the help of a puppy sitter or a doggie day care facility in breaking your dog of his separation anxiety. Your puppy will eventually learn that he can have fun without you, and that your leaving isn't as big a deal as he previously thought.
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