Coco's Seperation Anxiety

Each day when I leave for work or to go anywhere Coco gets this sad look in her eyes and won't go in her space. She only goes if I carry her and she then hugs around my neck and tries to climb back up my body!! She is 50 pounds and this is getting crazy!! She was better for a while and now it is worse again. She has fun playing with her kongs in there and I can hear her playing as soon as she goes in. I play music for her too. She also gets like this when we go to PetSmart even though I have never left her there!! What to do?

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  • THANK YOU FOR THIS POST CHERYL: I must kennel Dublin before I leave.  he ONLY goes in the Kennel when we leave,however, its out ALL of the time so he can go in and out whenever he chose to do so. We leave, which is not often between me and DH, one of us is normally home, so Dublin does not go in very much.  He does the samething, he barkes and whines and whimpers, I would even go as far as to say he howls. When you kennel your dogs, how are you supposed to make them feel comfortable with it?  He goes right in, I dont have to carry him (I am so sorry Cheryl) I am not sure if once we are gone if he settles.  Laurie, when your trainer told you to do the samething keys, etc...would you suggest putting him in the kennel and walking out and then coming right back, so he really does not know when I am leaving?  Sometimes only a few then the real deal when we go to Church and such?
  • Do you only have Coco go in there when you leave?  If so, try having here go in there while your home for short periods of time.  This way Coco will not associate this area with you leaving.  If you wait until the last minute to have Coco go in there, try doing it 10-15 minutes before leaving and stop talking to her after that.  If you only turn the music on when you leave try doing the same thing, turn it on earlier and play it when your home too.  Another thing you can try is to feed her there.  You want Coco to associates this area with good things and not just with you leaving.   

  • We had a dog with severe separation anxiety and one of the things the trainer had us do was de-sensitize her to when we were leaving. She had me pick up my keys and do all the normal things I did when I would leave and then walk to the door, but not leave. Or walk outside and come right back in...I was supposed to do this a lot until Honey didn't know when I was actually leaving. Also, don't say anything when you leave or return....just walk out when it is time to go and when you come back no big deal. My trainer was also very clear about not saying things like "It's Ok" etc. It is hard and I truly sympathize with you. Also, maybe set up a camera so you can see if she is really all that upset after you leave. Good luck!
  • My only advice is to be very "matter of fact" before you leave.  If you're feeling badly about leaving her, she'll sense that.  I don't say "goodbye" or give any attention before I leave...I just walk out the door.
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