Separation Anxiety Advice

Hi, all. This is probably going to be along post, but I'm really desperate for some helpful advice. I've posted before, asking for advice about leaving our Lola home alone, but it's since become obvious to be that she has a serious case of separation anxiety.

When we leave Lola home alone, closed in a large room, for almost any amount of time, she poops on the carpet. We used to crate her, but she peed and whined so loudly that it bothered out neighbors. She's not destructive, except for a couple times when she clawed at the door or window.

Per the advice of many, we make our coming and going low key, leave her with treats and toys and try to leave for small amounts of time throughout the day. So far, we don't see any improvment. What may be hurting the process is that invariably, we wind up having to leave her alone for 2-3 hours once or twice a week. In other words, we havn't been able to "ease" her into being left alone.

Since we adopted her (the last 4 months), my husband has been able to stay home while I'm at work. This week he starts a full time job and I don't know what to do. I work next door to our home, but coming home ever 2-3 hours wouldn't solve this problem. I would still be cleaning up poo. My parents love her and can doggysit her often, but not everyday. Afterall, we adopted her, not them!

We're not rich, but we're willing to do whatever will work. The question remains… what will work? Does she need medication? A playmate? Private training? Therapy? Day care?

Has anyone had experience with this? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? What's the best method?

There is a light at the end, but with some dogs it can be farther away. I had a boxer a few yrs ago that had it really bad, and after lots of crate training and patients she was able to stay in her crate. She would make such horrible noises she sounded like a fog horn. And she'd pee in her crate or poop in and then step all in.

IMO, I don't thing Lola needs medication.

It can be quite frustrating, but biggest thing is lots of patients to train her that you will be back and it is okay to hang out by herself.

Also, since she is not destructive but is pooping when you leave, make sure she gets a good walk or play session where you know she has gone potty. I'd take out the treats, that gives something to put in that must come out. You can give simple treats or things that need worked on like a kong stuffed with soemthing tastey and frozen so it'll take work for her to eat it all.

Here are some links with articles on seperation anxiety.
http://www.wagntrain.com/SeparationAnx.htm
http://www.usask.ca/wcvm/herdmed/applied-ethology/behaviourproblems/anxiety.html
http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/our_pets_for_life_program/dog_behavior_tip_sheets/separation_anxiety.html

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