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Problems when I leave the room - separation anxiety?

2 replies to this topic

#1 lizalex


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Posted 19 April 2017 - 06:32 AM


Driven to work crying with frustration this morning, got to work and starting searching for help and found your forum.

We got a rescue dog 5 weeks ago - Fred is a 7 year old miniature poodle.

When he went to rescue he was unchipped and had not been neutered (both now done)  he was found as a stray so we don't have his background. 

He wears an Adaptil collar

We are first time dog owners - my husband is disabled and at home full time, I work in an office 3 days a week.


He has some basic training which we are working on and is improving all the time.  The big problem seems to be a sort of separation anxiety.


Two main problems

1) In the morning, I take him for a walk, feed him and then go and have a shower and get ready.  The second the shower is turned on , he starts barking and growling - and this continues until I am downstairs again.  I can't work out how to train him to do this, as I am not downstairs with him! 

He sleeps downstairs (on the sofa) on his own, he cries for up to a minute when we go up to bed, but then is quiet (95% of the time) until we get up in the morning.

At the moment we have a stair gate stopping him going upstairs - we are happy to have him upstairs in future, but thought we were best getting him happy to be left alone first.  If the stair gate is removed, I guess the shower problem might go away, but it could make leaving house a bigger problem as he would be with us so much more. 


2) If I go out the front door, just to take the rubbish out or put something in the car, he goes crazy and jumps from one sofa to another non stop, crying whilst he does it.  He goes so fast he hurts himself.  We have tried finding his trigger distance, and he seems ok with me going into the porch, and playing with the door handle - but the second I take the next step and go into the porch he goes crazy.


This mornings episode trying to get ready has resulted in me getting in a state from worrying about the neighbours being woken by his barking, I got dressed in a hurry and just noticed myself in a mirror which wasn't good ! and I got to work late - hence all the tears in the car.

Any suggestions to help me, and Fred solve these problems would be really gratefully received ?


Thank you


Edited by lizalex, 19 April 2017 - 07:18 AM.

#2 JoanneF


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Posted 19 April 2017 - 07:45 AM

Is it just you he gets upset at being apart from or your husband too? I am going to have limited internet access so I'll assume it is just you and reply on that basis. Also I'm on my phone so please forgive the brevity.

It sounds like he has become very attached in a short period, perhaps you remind him of someone. So two things, work on weaning him off you and simultaneously building his bond with your husband. Your husband should always have yummy treats or his favourite toy, should feed him etc. Meantime you should work on disappearing for short periods - just a minute or two at a time, and at times when the dog is not actually engaged with you. If you do it while he is eating, or playing with your husband, or just lying dozing, your absence will be less drastic. If he associates you going with you puting on outdoor clothes, put them on and stay in to break the association. Build up gradually.

Buy chocolates for your neighbours and tell them you are working on the barking! Get a Kong for your dog, these are great things for occupying them. And have a word with the rescue, they might have behaviourists who can help.

Let us know how you get on!

Edited by JoanneF, 19 April 2017 - 07:49 AM.

#3 arealhuman


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Posted 20 April 2017 - 12:28 PM

This is similar to my situation.  Regarding the sleeping - we started our rescue dog in the kitchen, seperated from the rest of the house by a stair gate.  Initially he was OK but after a couple of weeks, he started getting stressed when we went to bed and tried jumping over the gate.  He didn't succeed but he could've injured himself and with this in mind we moved his bed to our landing outside our bedroom and now when we go to bed, he walks upstairs and just gets into his bed and goes to sleep.  that said, he does sometimes need encouragement to leave the sofa!


Good luck with it all, as I new dog owner myself with a rescue dog that has his own little foibles, I know how trying it can all be.  As joanneF says, let us know how you get on.

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