Join Date: Jul 2010
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'Practice' leaving for short periods, during the day, give her a lightly stuffed Kong to work on while you stay close by to start with, then start leaving the room for 5 minutes, (I often tell my dogs when I leave 'I'll be back.' when I am leaving.) then gradually increase the time you are gone, from the room. Leave Stevie in the room with her as if you are going out. Once she does well for about half an hour, start over again and leave the house, vary the length of time you are gone and build up to increasing durations. As you increase the time you are 'gone' stuff the Kong a little firmer, so it lasts a little longer. When you are going to be out for a while, give her a half frozen Kong, to lick at and chew on.
Puppies/dogs instinctively, being social animals, do not like being alone, but we can help them learn that being alone is okay and that we will be back, by giving them something rewarding to do while we are out. If they are being crated or confined to an ex-pen then we also need to ensure they see the crate/pen as a good place to be (for short periods - to build the positive association) while we are at home as well as when we are gone. We can toss treats in the crate, feed them in there, even put them in there with a new toy or chew bone.
It is a process of learning for them, can take some repetition and time but the investment is worth it long run.
It is not the destination but the journey that matters. Thank you Charlie, for the journey, it was truly amazing!