How to promote independence in our dog?
We recently adopted a 4-year old weim, so we are not sure of her past history. We have a home-based business, so we are home alot but if we are even out of sight, going out to the garage, mail or even just the bathroom she starts crying, barking etc. What is the best way to promote her independence so she can be on her own.
on Jan 19th 2012
in Behavior & Training
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I have a 7yr weim I adopted at age 2. He is also very attached to me. I also have a home business and am at home a lot too. If i leave to run an errand without him, he gives me dirty look then gets into something even if im gone 5min. He doesnt bark but he does whimper if i go outside without him. However, crying, barking seems worse than my weim. Give him/her something to chew on or play with while you are gone. Weim's require lots of attention and when they dont get it or are left alone, they dont like it. I think they grow out if it with age though. Hang in there. :)
I recommend trying a Thundershirt. My beagle had severe separation anxiety... whimpering and whining if I stepped outside for a second or went downstairs to the laundry. He had to be crated anytime I left the house or he destroyed stuff. After I discovered the Thundershirt, he wore it 24/7 for four months. After that he is cured of his separation anxiety and no longer destroys things or whimpers or whines if I'm gone for a few seconds.
I have heard that ThunderShirts are supposed to help with separation anxiety. My pug is like this sometimes, other times she is fine. Can you give her a treat like a peanut butter or yogurt filled kong to distract her? Put it in the freezer for a few hours first. It makes it harder for them to get the stuff out. I had 4 of them in the freezer for rotation when I was painting and had to lock my pug puppy in the kitchen. She could see me, but couldn't get to me. It helped. She loved the peanut butter kongs so much that I can not make a peanut butter sandwich with out her going nuts and it has been a year since she had them so much!
Daisy Mae answered on 1/19/12. Helpful? / 0
Start slow. She's worried you won't come back, so practice going out of the room and coming back in. Repeat this a lot. Don't fuss when you leave, just walk out, walk in. Get a puzzle toy that gives her something to occupy her brain while she's alone. A Kong treat dispenser is a good start, or a more complex toy can be ordered online. Anything that gives her positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior is ideal. As she gets more secure in her environment, she'll relax too. If you have to leave her, crate her or confine her to a small area where she doesn't get to practice bad behavior, and leave her the puzzle toy. Good luck!
I agree about starting slow. Leave the room and return without making a big deal of it. Don't even acknowledge the dog. A kong or a dog treat puzzle will help so she is distracted from the upsetting sight of you leaving. I started with 5 seconds out of sight, then 10 and so on. I have a retired racing greyhound, and I knew that she was used to being around constant people and 200+ other dogs at the track. She had never been alone.
I also started off with her in the crate. Even when I was home I would toss treats in there and let her go in and out on her own while the door was open. It became a good place rather than a prison for her.
Once she was okay in the crate for a couple of hours, I baby gated her into one dog proof room and started off again with leaving her alone for a few seconds at first and slowly went longer.
It was a slow process and we had setbacks along the way, but it was worth it.
She can now stay alone all day if needed.
Thunder shirts help too (I've heard)
Coffee answered on 1/19/12. Helpful? / 0
Like one person said going in and out for short periods of time through out the day is a great way to help your dog understand that you are coming back. I want to add that it's important not to make an issue of coming and going. Don't say goodbye or hello. Don't talk at all and no eye contact. Also try training the dog to "go to place".That works well if they feel they have to be next to you every minute. It can be a bed, a rug or blanket. When he goes give a treat and make him stay for a short time and increase gradually and more treats. Another is training the "quiet" or "no bark". Check books or youtube for that.I found training is the key to most problems. It helps you to communicate so your dog understands what you are asking him to do or NOT to do. Good luck.
Ammo answered on 1/19/12. Helpful? / 0
I too have a home-based business and have a 1 yr old Weimaraner. We got Lucy as a 3 month old puppy. We also have another dog... a 3 yr old White Sheppard/English Setter mix.
Lucy also has separation anxiety. For us, she would destroy the house if left un-crated, or would eat her dog bed, if crated. Not to mention, the barking and whining were also out of control.
I find that she does better when she is tired. So we give her a LOT of exercise before we leave her. You can also give her a bone to chew on before you leave. Or practice leaving her alone. For example, leave the room for a few seconds, if she doesn't whine or bark, return and give her a treat. Then increase the time up to a few minutes, and so on.
Depending on your dog, just giving her an activity may work. But I would work on the practice leaves a few times so she knows what you expect of her.