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Separation Anxiety Answered

My wife and I just got a dog that we found wandering the neighborhood. He's a Japanese Chin and very sweet, already housebroken, very well-behaved except he's obsessed with my wife. Typically she works from home and I'm at the warehouse but on certain mornings, she has to be up and out the door hours before I even wake up. In those cases, the dog goes nuts - howling and whining and I can't sleep through it. Does anyone have any suggestions of how I could break the little fellow from this habit that is slowly zombifying me? 

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Downunder35m

3 years ago

There was a goo show on TV a few years back dealing with pet related problems.
It came down to a lot of time and training.
Basically leaving the dog for short periods of time so it can learn nothing will happento it while alone.
Punishment does not work here as it only makes things worse.
Especially little dogs are known to be in the need of constant companions, either humans or another dog another animal.
Unless you want to try with a second dog you will need a lot of patience with your little bugger.

In some cases it is already enough to stress them if you are in a different room that is locked.
Work, sleep, kids or whatever the cause is.
Here it can help to provide a pet bed in this room so the little guy can join in and does not feel alone.
Extend tje waiting time to join and also try to lock the dog in a room alone for short periods of time.
If all fails seek advise and help from one of the animal whisperer guys out there.

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PlasticPanamaDownunder35m

Reply 3 years ago

Thanks for the advice! I'm pulling myself out of some debt right now, otherwise I'd probably seek professional help. He's fine if I leave the house, he's just too bonded to my wife. I am just hoping he gets used to this routine in time.

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antagonizerPlasticPanama

Reply 3 years ago

My dog had the same issue with a roommate. Every time this person even got up from the couch, my dog would start wailing and crying. Generally, dogs will seek approval, especially by people they feel aren't paying enough attention to them. They can be pretty sensitive. My guess is you are the touchy feely one and your wife doesn't have nearly as much physical contact with the dog. The answer is cuddle therapy. Your wife has to literally make the dog sick of her. Overdo it.

As for departures, redirect that anxiety. It may cost you a few sleepless mornings, but you need to get up with your wife. Clip on the dog's leash and guide him around the house. Set up a dog bed beside yours and guide him to it. Keep the leash on. Encourage him to stay, and when he does reward him. They have short memories, so set a deadline for the treat. 1 minute, 5 minutes, ten minutes etc. Pretty soon, he'll associate waiting in his bed with reward and it'll become a habit, instead of crying. Never use it as a punishment spot. It needs to be a 'safe' place for him. Remember, every 'bad boy' for negative behavior needs a reward pat on the head with a 'good boy' for when he corrects it during training. It's never enough to tell a dog they did something bad, you need to show them what the good is.

Hope that helps.

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PlasticPanamaantagonizer

Reply 3 years ago

Thanks for the advice! Actually, my wife is attached to the dog as much as possible. We just found him and she's obsessed with him for the moment while I'm still business as usual, though I do like the little guy. The only preference he shows to me is sleeping on me but I think it's because I don't toss and turn as much as my wife. I'll try some redirection - maybe it will be nice to watch the sunrise. I'm saying that to myself through tears LOL