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Meisha has been with me for 6 weeks now and she is a delight but for one problem. She howls and barks when left alone. Her previous owner was retired and never went anywhere without her so at 2 she hasn't been left very often. I live in a garage conversion attached to a single family home, and the landlord is very restrictive about what she can do. She cannot eliminate anywhere on his property, so we take care of that with walks and trips to the dog park. And she can't be left home alone for any amount of time if she howls, so I have no way to gradually train her to stay alone. Now that the weather is cooling off I can at least keep her in the car if I go to the store (though she barks and howls the whole time). Otherwise I have been ordering my groceries to be delivered!

Other than trying to move, which isn't possible for the foreseeable future, any suggestions?
 

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It's hard to have a dog with separation anxiety when you are living in a space with shared walls. I've been there. Because you are in this living situation, I would highly suggest finding a trainer immediately and having them work with you and your dog in your home. I also don't know if this is a possibility, but you might want to check out other living situations for you and your dog that aren't so restrictive.
 

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I have no way to gradually train her to stay alone.
How long does it take before she starts crying out? Does she have free rein of the space, or does she have a crate she likes?

Either way, if you haven't already, you can try very short bursts, like literally 30 seconds or a minute of stepping out of the room, or out the door. Come back in before she starts fussing, so she can see that you are coming back.

How does she feel about Kong toys filled with tasty treats? something to be a distraction, maybe. Soft music or the tv on?

Just throwing out some additional ideas I've read here to go along with the other suggestions.
 

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I don't have room for a crate, but when she lived with my friend she had a crate and howled inside of it. It starts about 2 or 3 minutes after I go outside. I will work on the short bursts.

I don't have a TV (by choice - weird, I know). Maybe I could get Alexa to play something for her. :)

Thanks for the suggestions.
 

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About a year or so ago, a member posted about finding "Canine Lullabies" online. These are specifically created for human babies and dogs by using a heartbeat rhythm to the lullaby music to calm. The creator, Terry Woodford, saw the post and joined PF to give some additional input.

Not touting, but the website gives purchase options, and if you have Amazon music or Spotify you should be able to access them.

If that's not an option, try finding any that use a heartbeat rhythm. Can't hurt to try :).
 
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I still recommend the book, but have a ton of empathy. Annie suddenly developed awful seperation anxiety in my apartment, and I was worried about my neighbours/accommodations. Plus I used to live in a 400 sq ft coachhouse apartment. Yeah, Annies 48" crate would not have fit.

When I contacted trainers, the trainer's all couldn't meet for 2-3 weeks, and I was desperate. Book arrived in a couple days. I tried the food in crate thing or feeding before leaving, and Annie was appalled. She got to the point where she refused to eat, as eating was a sign I was going.

The first thing I had to do was set her up so she had a week (maybe longer established in your case, so maybe longer than this) where she NEVER felt alone. I worked, so I took her to doggy daycare daily. She also was ok with being in the car so she came with me for groceries (I ordered pickup) and any other evening chores.

She was way calmer about things/less stressed (cortisol can take days to dissipate) and willing to trust me more. The key is to never let them get stressed. So, I started desensitizing her. Not in her crate, but running loose in the house. I would pick up my keys. Put them down again. Later, casually, pick up my purse . Put it down. Then walk one step down the stairs, back. She would get nervous and I came back, and over many repetitions, those things lost their edge. 2 steps, 3 steps, etc. Eventually I was downstairs, opening the door. Immediately came back. Open door, shut it while inside, pause. Immediately come back. Etc. Just tiny, tiny steps, if the dog cries or is excited when you get back, you have pushed too far. I did most of that over a weekend, progressing to going out, sitting on the steps for 10s, a min, 2 min. Turning on the car, coming back. The slower I took the steps, the faster she progressed. Also, as the initial fear cues broke, she progressed much faster as well. By Tuesday the next week, I left her for about 3 hours.

I also eventually added a cue. "Goodbye, be good" which told her I was leaving, she wasn't coming, and she needed to stay there . We have other cues if she is coming "Yes, Annie comes TOO!"

Hope that helps, separation anxiety is really stressful for both dog and human, especially when living in rental accommodations.
 

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friends dog at around age 10 suddenly got anxiety when they went to work, after move to new apartment.

they got a dog camera that allows the owner to see and hear dog, and to speak to The dog Through computer or iPhone.
 
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