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New Apartment, New Separation Anxiety...


Guest Lenslen
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Guest Lenslen

I've had my greyhound for going on 3 years now. When I first adopted him, he was crated while I was gone. He was crated for a few months. He never seemed to love his crate, but I was always advised to keep him crated. Then I received complaints that he cried all day. After this, I transitioned him out of the crate, and he seemed to relax while home alone. I was able to leave at any time and he'd just sleep on his bed, or the couch. He was very comfortable.

 

About 6 months ago, I moved into a new apartment. I didn't even bother with the crate as he had been out of it for months at that point. When I first moved, he would cry when I left even though we were doing the exact same routine. I'd walk him, come back inside for about 10 minutes and ignore him while I did other stuff, then give a kong and leave. He settled in quickly and we got to the point where I could leave and he wouldn't cry. I believe it took about a week until he calmed down when alone. I could even leave at odd times like late at night, and he would be un-phased. I would come home and he would be sleeping in his bed. While in this apartment, I believe Ziggy was very independent. He knew my schedule and he was given a lot of alone time while I was at work and the gym. I think he enjoyed having the full apartment to himself. I would come home and he would be passed out in my bed and sleepily greet me, and then go back to sleep. Overall, he was just a quiet, lazy greyhound who was fine being alone.

 

Now, I moved into another new apartment this past weekend. Following the same exact routines, he cries all day long when he's alone. My boyfriends work schedule allows him to be home mid-day, so Ziggy has much more company than he used to. Which I thought would be great for him. However, he just seems more anxious when he's alone now.

 

Our morning routine is like this:

  • 5am I wake up and shower. For the first few days, Zig would wake up and follow me to the bathroom. Now, he has remained in his bed sleeping, so progress there!
  • 6am Feed Ziggy breakfast
  • 6-6:30 my boyfriend is still sleeping, I'm getting ready in the bathroom, Zig is by himself sleeping on the couch.
  • 6:30 I take Zig on a 2 mile walk/jog
  • 7:15 I leave. My boyfriend gets ready, Zig sleeps on the couch
  • Around 8 my bf leaves and Zig cries nonstop
  • I come home at 11 and do another 2 mile walk/jog
  • BF comes home around 12

Every time one of us comes home, we hear Ziggy yelping and crying. It seems as if he does it the whole time we're gone. My boyfriend said that he waited down the hall and heard Zig crying for 15 minutes nonstop. He then went inside and Zig immediately stopped crying and then got on the couch and fell asleep. It seems as if Ziggy just doesn't want to be alone. Even though when we're home, Zig does his own thing a lot of the time.

 

I've tried increasing his walks and tiring him out. He's up to 5, 30 minute walks a day. He is uninterested in his kongs. As soon as we leave you can hear him run to the door and just start crying even though he has a kong of peanut butter. I've left the tv on like he'd been used to. He has his same beds and toys and blankets. Nothing has changed except for the apartment.

 

Over the past few months (before the recent move), we have been trying to increase his independence while we're home. Before, I used to let him sleep in my bed with me. Now he knows to sleep in his bed right next to mine. He used to be my lap dog, but I was reading about increasing independence and not flooding him with attention while I'm home. Now, we reward him for laying by himself, or for staying put if we're up moving about.

 

Is it just a matter of time before he realizes that this is his new home and we will always come back? Or is there a bigger issue I'm not seeing? He isn't destructive or going to the bathroom or anything bad like that -- just non stop crying and barking. It's only been a few days, but I'm wondering what I should do to fix this problem soon.

 

I know there are tons of threads on this topic, and I feel like I've tried everything! Any advice on treating separation anxiety following a new move? He was such a quiet and relaxed dog before! And he seems happy and comfortable in the new place while we're home. Even roaching on his bed and passing out so easily and being his normal self. It's just total distress when we leave! Help please!

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We've moved almost every year with our hound, and each time has been different. In some cases, we've had to start back at step zero with alone training. It goes much quicker than the very first time, but we still had to do it. One place, we needed to put up the baby gate for him to settle down, and the next, he howled if we did put the gate up. Try starting back at the beginning with alone training, and see if adjusting your routine leaving has any effect. We give Marvin a small treat each time we leave, and we are usually out the door before he's done crunching.

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