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Ok At Home - Anxious Anywhere Else?


Guest karilynn
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Guest karilynn

I've had my sweet little boy for a little over 6 months and he's never had clinical separation anxiety, per se, but he does have a little anxiety about being separated. Here's the thing - at home, he's totally fine. He gets a little distraught when I leave, but he never whines, drools, has accidents, or anything like that. He does move into the room where the front door is and waits for me on his bed there, but he's not terribly upset. When we go anywhere, though, say my parent's house and I leave him there with them while I run errands or go out with friends, he's quite upset. He cries and paces and goes from window to window trying to find me. And he has people with him, so it isn't like he's alone, he just doesn't like to be away from me. He likes my parent's a lot and they are nice to him, spoil him, etc. My mom even bought him this ridiculously expensive bed from Orvis for her house when he comes over, so he's getting the royal treatment, but he's still very upset that I am gone. I'm calm about my coming and goings, never make a big fuss when I leave. I'm not sad or upset when I leave and I'm never overly emotional when I return.

 

Now obviously I love my dog and we have a special bond, but how can I get him to be comfortable when I am not around and we aren't at home? He is a total velcro dog, even comes in the bathroom with me and sleeps on the bathroom rug when I take a shower. If I'm in my living room, he's on his dog bed next to the sofa. If I'm in my bedroom, he's on his dog bed in the bedroom, etc. I love that he loves me, as I love him immensely, but I'd love for him to also be okay when I'm not around. We are working on confidence and socialization. We are doing obedience training and I take him to the dog park 3-4 times a week (which he loves and he has zero prey drive, so I'm not worried about that) but even at the dog park, he has to be within 10 feet of me unless he's doing zoomies or playing with the other dogs.

 

What are some ways I can get him to be a little more independent? I've been working very hard on not babying him and practicing tough love, but it's just the two of us (and the cat) and I'm kind of a homebody, so he gets a lot of attention. Any suggestions?

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Guest kkaiser104

I think the big thing you have to remember (as hard as it is) is to not make a big deal over you leaving and coming back. Make sure your parents don't make a big deal out of it either (for instance, ask them to not say things like "she'll be home soon" or "it's okay buddy"). Just act like it's nothing special.

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I had my last dog for 14 years, and he never stopped that exact pattern. I didn't let it worry me.

 

My current dog--5 years. He's fine Monday-Friday being left, but if I go out on a Saturday or Sunday without him, he cries.

 

A little missing me isn't going to hurt him. He's not destructive, he's not overly noisy, I don't seek to make every single situation "comfortable" for him.

 

Dogs thrive on routine. Any change to George's routine throws him. Am I going to never vary my routine? No.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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I have no experience with SA, and I feel very fortunate. Annie Bella sorta whines when she sees me get the car from the (detached) garage (in the summer I can hear her through open windows), and she'll sorta whine if I leave her with someone, but she stops within 30 seconds after I'm out of sight.

 

I do know, though, that our Greys can continue to change and grow for months and months after adoption, so perhaps as time goes on, and you practice leaving him with your parents, he'll become more calm with your absence. I adopted Annie B 15 months ago and she still is changing and gives me a positive surprise every one in a while, though the major changes occurred in the first 12 months.

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Guest karilynn

My current dog--5 years. He's fine Monday-Friday being left, but if I go out on a Saturday or Sunday without him, he cries.

 

 

That's actually really nice to hear, because my boy does that, too. Monday through Friday, all is well. Let's say I go get groceries on a Saturday, he is more anxious. Funny how they learn a routine, eh?

 

Thanks for the advice. I'll just let it be.

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