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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start by saying, Urbie is a wonderful puppy. I've had him since he was 8 weeks, he sleeps through the night in his pen, limited potty mistakes (Mostly my fault), loyal, obedient and loving. I would say at about 4 months, we had a problem. What's the issue? Separation anxiety. When he was younger, no problem. All of a sudden barking. I can stand in front of the closet and he begins to act crazy. We have been together this entire time, I hardly leave my house. I will be returning to the office, so things are changing. How do I solve this issue now? They say, don't make a scene when leaving. I am not making a scene; he is. I need to be able to go places, the mailbox, laundry etc. I need to do things alone without him. Right now, I feel like a prisoner and that is frustrating. I try SIT, NO, RELAX but he keeps on barking with hysteria. I have anxiety, so I really need to nip this in the bud. Please assist. Thank you.
 

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The good news is that you're not alone, have you checked out the other threads on separation anxiety by searching it in the forum search bar yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The good news is that you're not alone, have you checked out the other threads on separation anxiety by searching it in the forum search bar yet?
Let me go check now. I just want to make sure I have all the tools I need. If this is a training thing, I can certainly handle that. Thank you.
 

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It looks like you have found quite a few of the old threads on seperation anxiety. Patience, building up slowly, and empathy helped.

I would suggest starting by walking past the closet multiple times a day so it becomes commomplacre, working up to touching keys, doorknob, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It looks like you have found quite a few of the old threads on seperation anxiety. Patience, building up slowly, and empathy helped.

I would suggest starting by walking past the closet multiple times a day so it becomes commomplacre, working up to touching keys, doorknob, etc.
I just went to my front door, he was going to bark. Then I opened the door, then I closed it (He cannot see me there). I just stood behind the door. He was quiet. I need to keep doing these excercises, go take a shower, put clothes on and sit. Go to the closet, stand there. Repeat. I think I understand now. Repetition, repetition. Go downstairs, take out the trash. Come back. Pack up laundry, take downstairs. Repeat. He needs to see me coming and going. Right now, I am just here all the time. I can see how leaving would seem drastic to him. The more I do it, the less he will be fazed by it. Got it!
 

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Looking at it from Urbie’s perspective, he’s worried enough to start barking (a totally natural behaviour) and then his human shouts at him? I would stop doing that. It’s only going to deepen his anxiety. Now instead of worrying the closet means you’re leaving, he’s also going to be worried the closet means shouting. Try to remember the barking is just an expression of a feeling. You need to address the feeling.

You’re right that you need to practise. It’s a slow process, building a foundation. But the rest goes quickly. Once Urbie is fine with you going out of sight for one minute, you’re likely to find he’s fine with you going out of sight for 30, as long as he knows what to do with himself. But you need to get that foundation laid.

With Peggy I used chew time. First I’d “anchor” her (usually with a leash tied to something sturdy) then I’d give her something yummy to chew while I watched TV. She couldn’t get to me, but I was right there. Then I progressed to walking down the hall and right back again. A few times doing this and she wasn’t even tracking me with her eyes anymore, because she knew a) what to do (chew) and b) the human always comes back. Then I did chores that had me coming and going more erratically. I’d be gone for 30 seconds to get the laundry, then back to fold it, then gone to put it away, then back...

Ideally you’ll progress to Urbie falling asleep while you do this. Chewing is very effective in this regard. It’s an activity that often leads to snoozing.
 

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It's more like progressive overload and repetition.

So,
repetition 1: mom's gone for 30 seconds
Repetition 2: mom's gone for 1 minute
Repetition 3: mom's gone for 2 minutes
Repetition 4: mom's gone for 5 minutes
Repetition 5: mom's gone for 10 minutes

Meet him where he's at. It's not always going to be linear or exponential progression either.

It's the same idea for leaving him in the car.. or trying to hold a plank exercise - start at square one, then push it a little and progress as necessary.

A pet store was 30 yards from my apt, so everyday I went to the grocery store and left Basil at home when we were in your shoes. I would come back with a new treat for her and myself. So, Dad leaving became a good thing too. Maybe you can have a stash of edible ears in your garage if it's too rough to begin with.

Mom goes to the car for 2-5 minutes to search the forums, grabs a treat from the garage and returns and gives it back to puppy.

Do that for a day or two or 5 - meet him wherever he is at.

Then up the time to stretch him. Mom goes out to the car for 10-15 minutes. Searches the forums. Timers up. Grabs treat. Opens door, gives to puppy.

Rinse and repeat.

Eventually your puppy will just go to sleep and while they will be excited your home. You might also come back home to a puppy with a look like, "oh your back so soon?"
 

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It's more like progressive overload and repetition.

So,
repetition 1: mom's gone for 30 seconds
Repetition 2: mom's gone for 1 minute
Repetition 3: mom's gone for 2 minutes
Repetition 4: mom's gone for 5 minutes
Repetition 5: mom's gone for 10 minutes

Meet him where he's at. It's not always going to be linear or exponential progression either.

It's the same idea for leaving him in the car.. or trying to hold a plank exercise - start at square one, then push it a little and progress as necessary.

A pet store was 30 yards from my apt, so everyday I went to the grocery store and left Basil at home when we were in your shoes. I would come back with a new treat for her and myself. So, Dad leaving became a good thing too. Maybe you can have a stash of edible ears in your garage if it's too rough to begin with.

Mom goes to the car for 2-5 minutes to search the forums, grabs a treat from the garage and returns and gives it back to puppy.

Do that for a day or two or 5 - meet him wherever he is at.

Then up the time to stretch him. Mom goes out to the car for 10-15 minutes. Searches the forums. Timers up. Grabs treat. Opens door, gives to puppy.

Rinse and repeat.

Eventually your puppy will just go to sleep and while they will be excited your home. You might also come back home to a puppy with a look like, "oh your back so soon?"
Looking at it from Urbie’s perspective, he’s worried enough to start barking (a totally natural behaviour) and then his human shouts at him? I would stop doing that. It’s only going to deepen his anxiety. Now instead of worrying the closet means you’re leaving, he’s also going to be worried the closet means shouting. Try to remember the barking is just an expression of a feeling. You need to address the feeling.

You’re right that you need to practise. It’s a slow process, building a foundation. But the rest goes quickly. Once Urbie is fine with you going out of sight for one minute, you’re likely to find he’s fine with you going out of sight for 30, as long as he knows what to do with himself. But you need to get that foundation laid.

With Peggy I used chew time. First I’d “anchor” her (usually with a leash tied to something sturdy) then I’d give her something yummy to chew while I watched TV. She couldn’t get to me, but I was right there. Then I progressed to walking down the hall and right back again. A few times doing this and she wasn’t even tracking me with her eyes anymore, because she knew a) what to do (chew) and b) the human always comes back. Then I did chores that had me coming and going more erratically. I’d be gone for 30 seconds to get the laundry, then back to fold it, then gone to put it away, then back...

Ideally you’ll progress to Urbie falling asleep while you do this. Chewing is very effective in this regard. It’s an activity that often leads to snoozing.
Any tips on what to use for "chewing?" I have several Kongs and stuff them with treats/chicken/peanut butter but my dog goes through that before I can get out the door!

We have been training our pup and one thing that I have found to be a life saver, is giving the dog his or her "place" other than a kennel or where the dog sleeps. This "place" is where the dog should be spending a good majority of time (when you ask them to go there) the dog cannot just go because.
Think of it like a time out chair.

My dog is extremely attached to me and I noticed that he naps at my feet, then when I get up to grab something, he will wake up from a snoring nap just to follow me into the kitchen while a grab a water. He will plop down and begin to sleep in the kitchen, then by that time I am already walking back to my seat. My trainer says the dog needs to build up confidence and when he is sleeping at my feet, ask him to go to his "place."

Since we started this last week, I have noticed an improvement in his ability to be with me but not literally touching me as well, he is doing better being alone.

I often take him with me places and when I leave him in the car, he barks non-stop. Since he began having his "place" he is barking A LOT less in the car. However, he does stare out the window just waiting for me to return. Previously he was jumping from the front seat, back seat, trunk and barking non-stop. He seems a lot calmer and confident.
 

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Any tips on what to use for "chewing?" I have several Kongs and stuff them with treats/chicken/peanut butter but my dog goes through that before I can get out the door!

We have been training our pup and one thing that I have found to be a life saver, is giving the dog his or her "place" other than a kennel or where the dog sleeps. This "place" is where the dog should be spending a good majority of time (when you ask them to go there) the dog cannot just go because.
Think of it like a time out chair.

My dog is extremely attached to me and I noticed that he naps at my feet, then when I get up to grab something, he will wake up from a snoring nap just to follow me into the kitchen while a grab a water. He will plop down and begin to sleep in the kitchen, then by that time I am already walking back to my seat. My trainer says the dog needs to build up confidence and when he is sleeping at my feet, ask him to go to his "place."

Since we started this last week, I have noticed an improvement in his ability to be with me but not literally touching me as well, he is doing better being alone.

I often take him with me places and when I leave him in the car, he barks non-stop. Since he began having his "place" he is barking A LOT less in the car. However, he does stare out the window just waiting for me to return. Previously he was jumping from the front seat, back seat, trunk and barking non-stop. He seems a lot calmer and confident.
I'm pretty sure it's normal for them to be your shadow around the house.

For chewing, my belief is that a tired jaw won't want to chew anymore. For example, if you eat a baguette sandwich then your jaw will eventually get tired, then you're not going to want to chew or eat anything else.

So that's where bully sticks come into play. Only buy the 12" length. You can buy them in bulk to save some money, costco is a good place to start. If you hold the stick your furbaby will be able to grip and rip it off better and find it 100x more enjoyable. It's a bonding experience too. You can just hold it while you watch TV. So rather then saying what you shouldn't chew, redirect with a bully stick to communicate "you can chew this and Momma will hold it for you". I've committed to having an unlimited supply of bully sticks on hand so it's never an issue.

Also, tug games with rope are a good game to play and engage with your poodle. Again, tires the jaw out.

Those are my secrets.
 

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I had an adult dog who successfully overcame his SA. Here is what I did, very very briefly:
1. Bought and read Patricia McConnell’s pamphlet, ‘I’ll Be Home Soon.’
Link: Dogs with Separation Anxiety can be helped | Patricia McConnell | McConnell Publishing Inc.
2. Followed all the steps outlined in the pamphlet. She is a PhD animal behaviorist.
3.Used positive training methods forbasic obedience to improve his self-confidence.
4. frozen Kong smeared with peanut butter - frozen is key to make it last longer.
5. Added a small dose of Prozac, as prescribed by my vet, to drop his cortisone level

My dog’s SA was deep-seated. The whole process (from first steps to having no SA symptoms) took 3 years.There were times when it was miserable. He was 3 years old, though, and less ‘plastic’ than a puppy. I’m confident you can make great progress and we are always here to help problem-solve!
 

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I can’t imagine not having a poodle shadow. But I do believe they have to know how to self-soothe and what they’re supposed to be doing when you’re not there.

Think of it like a toddler. If you were playing a fun game together and then abruptly walked out the front door, you’d have a very confused, probably rather frightened toddler standing at the door. But quietly slip out of the room for a sec while they’re immersed in a cartoon with a cup full of Cheerios? They’re probably gonna be fine.
 

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Oh, and regarding this:

Any tips on what to use for "chewing?" I have several Kongs and stuff them with treats/chicken/peanut butter but my dog goes through that before I can get out the door!
Ian Dunbar is the master:

“The basic principle of Kong stuffing ensures that some food comes out quickly and easily to instantly reward your puppy for initially contacting his chewtoy; bits of food come out over a long period of time to periodically reward your puppy for continuing to chew; and some of the best bits never come out, so your puppy never loses interest. Squish a small piece of freeze-dried liver in the small hole in the tip of the Kong so your puppy will never be able to get it out. Smear a little honey around the inside of the Kong, fill it up with kibble, and then block the big hole with crossed dog biscuits. There are numerous creative variations on basic Kong stuffing. One of my favorite recipes comprises moistening your puppy's kibble, spooning it into the Kong, and then putting it in the freezer overnight—a Kongsicle! Your dog will love it.”

 

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Thank you for all the info here! We’re going through the same thing too. We never crate trained any of our dogs & somehow they just figured it out but, with 2 new puppies closer in age ( 2 years & 7 months) we’re trying to figure it out all over again. We lost both our dogs within a year & a half. 😢
I tried to leave them alone with my husband in his office but he came out when I left & kind of ruined leaving them alone. So, I guess we keep on trying…
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looking at it from Urbie’s perspective, he’s worried enough to start barking (a totally natural behaviour) and then his human shouts at him? I would stop doing that. It’s only going to deepen his anxiety. Now instead of worrying the closet means you’re leaving, he’s also going to be worried the closet means shouting. Try to remember the barking is just an expression of a feeling. You need to address the feeling.

You’re right that you need to practise. It’s a slow process, building a foundation. But the rest goes quickly. Once Urbie is fine with you going out of sight for one minute, you’re likely to find he’s fine with you going out of sight for 30, as long as he knows what to do with himself. But you need to get that foundation laid.

With Peggy I used chew time. First I’d “anchor” her (usually with a leash tied to something sturdy) then I’d give her something yummy to chew while I watched TV. She couldn’t get to me, but I was right there. Then I progressed to walking down the hall and right back again. A few times doing this and she wasn’t even tracking me with her eyes anymore, because she knew a) what to do (chew) and b) the human always comes back. Then I did chores that had me coming and going more erratically. I’d be gone for 30 seconds to get the laundry, then back to fold it, then gone to put it away, then back...

Ideally you’ll progress to Urbie falling asleep while you do this. Chewing is very effective in this regard. It’s an activity that often leads to snoozing.
Hi, I don't yell at him.
Looking at it from Urbie’s perspective, he’s worried enough to start barking (a totally natural behaviour) and then his human shouts at him? I would stop doing that. It’s only going to deepen his anxiety. Now instead of worrying the closet means you’re leaving, he’s also going to be worried the closet means shouting. Try to remember the barking is just an expression of a feeling. You need to address the feeling.

You’re right that you need to practise. It’s a slow process, building a foundation. But the rest goes quickly. Once Urbie is fine with you going out of sight for one minute, you’re likely to find he’s fine with you going out of sight for 30, as long as he knows what to do with himself. But you need to get that foundation laid.

With Peggy I used chew time. First I’d “anchor” her (usually with a leash tied to something sturdy) then I’d give her something yummy to chew while I watched TV. She couldn’t get to me, but I was right there. Then I progressed to walking down the hall and right back again. A few times doing this and she wasn’t even tracking me with her eyes anymore, because she knew a) what to do (chew) and b) the human always comes back. Then I did chores that had me coming and going more erratically. I’d be gone for 30 seconds to get the laundry, then back to fold it, then gone to put it away, then back...

Ideally you’ll progress to Urbie falling asleep while you do this. Chewing is very effective in this regard. It’s an activity that often leads to snoozing.
Hi I don't yell at this. The commands are NO, SIT, WAIT, QUIET etc. I don't yell at him to give him a command.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That’s good to hear. :) I interpreted the all caps as shouting.
I just noticed, I write commands in caps everywhere (Instagram etc.) I don't know why I do that. I'm really trust trying to show people his commands. Like "WAIT". I will have to rethink that. I don't want it to come across as yelling.
 
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