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Attachment/separation anxiety? How to prevent?

Last week we adopted a 6 month old rescue pup. He looks to be a pit mix. He was found hungry on the streets by a good samaritan a few weeks before we got him. He's doing very well with us, appears to be house trained, sleeps on a bed in the family room. We have two difficulties. 1) he does not want to use his crate and we need him to be crate trained (we are working on a gradual program to create positive crate associations for him). 2) He already seems to be VERY attached to me (mom in a family of four). when I leave he whines & tries to follow me. I left him home yesterday with my husband. We had him leashed & he chewed through the leash. Are there things we can do or avoid to help with this?

Best Answer

  • Cindi LeonardCindi Leonard Plantation, Fla.Posts: 1,670Member
    Accepted Answer
    Take him to a puppy training class where he can learn how to socialize with other dogs and learn commands. Have your SPOUSE take him. They can bond and he can forget that he is afraid. There are also calming sprays, chews, pheromone diffusers etc. if you want to go that route, but I am not a crate fan, especially for dogs that should be well behaved (and aren't) without them. There are plenty of pro-crating people to help you and a load of information on the net about that. Treat train for positive associations and have your kids work with him in 10 minute sessions. That's probably the extent of his attention span at this age anyway. Spray bitter apple on anything that you do not want chewed. :))) You can do it... slow and steady wins the race ^_^


  • Jenna MacWhirterJenna MacWhirter CalgaryPosts: 23Member
    I think the crate will go a long ways to helping this. Once he has a secure den that is safe and familiar that will go a long way to helping him feel secure in general. Then start giving him time alone gradually. Crate him, leave the room and close the door (we keep Coda's crate in the Master Bedrm: it smells like the "Alphas"--that's you!--in there, so it will help to do thi). Let him whine a little, and try to come back in when he's quiet for a minute. Reward him A LITTLE (calmly) if he's quiet, use your "no" sound ("tsst!" or "nah!" or whatever) if he's whining, but don't make a huge deal of it. During the exercise, hold in your mind the idea that "this is no big deal, I always come back" and do your best to let your body language show that. Gradually lengthen the amount of time you leave him alone in there. Never say "ohhh sweetie! it's okay! there there!" or anything like that when he's displaying undesired behavior: He can't understand your words, so he thinks you're approving!
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