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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!
My Monty is a real star in lots of areas, however one thing he struggles with, is being left alone.
When I leave the room for a short time for when I go to the bathroom, I say: wait and he will sit and wait all fine, no problem, though he never continues sleeping.
I live on my own and when I shower or have to go food shopping, I give him a chew and he is completely fine for a bit, but after about 5- 10 minutes, he starts crying/barking (I have a doggie cam) and is no longer interested in the chew once he realises I am gone. Now, I am aware to teach him short times first, but it seems we make 0 progress and since I live alone, showering and going food shopping will need to be done and he will be alone. I already rush, but was wondering for more tipps and tricks. Right now his anxiety is there, but a mild case and I do not want it to get worse.
I leave the radio on (he ignores that)
 

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The key is practice, so put shoes and coat on, go out of door and come back and repeat several times, the key is not to think about building time and more to think about building a dog who is not too bothered to see you going out of the door. I did multiple visits to the bin to throw rubbish away every day and eventually Molly got bored with worrying about it and could carry on with whatever she was doing whilst I did it. I then inched up time very gradually. I also make sure I have a firm routine for leaving so dogs are walked first, then I sit in a different place to put shoes on to the one when I am taking them, they then wait in their beds and have a biscuit as I leave. I also leave and re-enter by the same door and also leave radio on to give some background noise.
 

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I have the exact same problem as you - also live alone with a bit of a ‘Velcro’ pup 😄 I spoke to our puppy trainer about this and she suggested starting back at basics - just by changing rooms and only reward with attention or treat when he is quiet (seems to be helping a little). Not making a big deal of returning by giving attention straight away too.

I had to leave him the other day to go food shopping and left him in his crate with the TV on - I’ve recently changed his crate to a bigger one which may have helped, but I took the blankets off which were covering the top and made sure he could see the window (suggestion from a friend) - he still had a bit of a winge every so often, but was 100% better than he had been when left previously.

Not sure if any of this helps at all but thought I would share!x
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is helpful! Thank you! When he is eating or has a chew, he is fine for a bit. After either food is done or about 10 minutes is when he realises I am gone and cries
 

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That is helpful! Thank you! When he is eating or has a chew, he is fine for a bit. After either food is done or about 10 minutes is when he realises I am gone and cries
Have you tried a Kong or Lickimat? I found the Lickimat worked semi well as it lasted a bit longer - for some reason mine wasn’t interested in the Kong and just wouldn’t touch it until I got back x
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did an hour long session yesterday of just leaving and entering the room and will continue doing so! I also divided the room, so I am in the same room but away from him. He cries for a little and then settles down, which is great! I am hoping if I just continue, it will get easier for him in the next few months.
thank you all for help and let me know, if I am doing something wrong!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have to say…the separation training is the most frustrating part of training to me. Monty is amazing at everything, but I spend another hour just doing things, walking in and out of the room (not leaving for even a second) and Monty cried the whole way through. He laid done and relaxed only once, which I rewarded heavily. But then started again soon after…😞 I feel so bad for him
 

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If he is crying sounds like you need to scale back a bit. Just do short sessions too.

It is exhausting, when I first got Molly she did not cope being left at all and had to come everywhere with me
 

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Hi all!
My Monty is a real star in lots of areas, however one thing he struggles with, is being left alone.
When I leave the room for a short time for when I go to the bathroom, I say: wait and he will sit and wait all fine, no problem, though he never continues sleeping.
I live on my own and when I shower or have to go food shopping, I give him a chew and he is completely fine for a bit, but after about 5- 10 minutes, he starts crying/barking (I have a doggie cam) and is no longer interested in the chew once he realises I am gone. Now, I am aware to teach him short times first, but it seems we make 0 progress and since I live alone, showering and going food shopping will need to be done and he will be alone. I already rush, but was wondering for more tipps and tricks. Right now his anxiety is there, but a mild case and I do not want it to get worse.
I leave the radio on (he ignores that)
Hi all!
My Monty is a real star in lots of areas, however one thing he struggles with, is being left alone.
When I leave the room for a short time for when I go to the bathroom, I say: wait and he will sit and wait all fine, no problem, though he never continues sleeping.
I live on my own and when I shower or have to go food shopping, I give him a chew and he is completely fine for a bit, but after about 5- 10 minutes, he starts crying/barking (I have a doggie cam) and is no longer interested in the chew once he realises I am gone. Now, I am aware to teach him short times first, but it seems we make 0 progress and since I live alone, showering and going food shopping will need to be done and he will be alone. I already rush, but was wondering for more tipps and tricks. Right now his anxiety is there, but a mild case and I do not want it to get worse.
I leave the radio on (he ignores that)
As carer of a one year cockapoo that wouldn’t even let me shower while in the bathroom with me, I can totally relate. I suggest you get pet insurance, wait for a couple of weeks then go to your vet and get a referral for a behaviourist. Do not DIY. According to my vet, cockapoos are one of the breed that have been most impacted by COVID, lockdowns and unusual social behaviours of the last two years. I give you this advice as someone who, to this day, is still doing daily training for separation anxiety and we got to 12 minutes of no signs of distress after 6 months of work, with a pup who is on fluoxetine and pexion at the same time. Separation anxiety and isolation distress are no joke. I also live on my own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you all for advice. The good thing is: I don’t think he has real separation anxiety yet. Yes, he cries when I am gone for 10 minutes, sometimes 15 minutes. But I have a feeling it is improving. I had an important meeting and had to go to the office. He stayed with my friend and she said he was completely fine! Now, I know he wasn’t alone, but I take it as a victory.
also he now can stay put when I leave the room to go to the bathroom. Also when I put him in his play pen and work on the other side of the room (when he lays down he can’t see me), he goes to sleep without any crying. I think we are heading in the right direction very slowly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quick update. I went food shopping (took me 10 minutes) and when I got back Monty was still in his crate (I leave the door open, it has a crate cover) chewing his chicken chew. He did not even really notice I was gone, so no greeting, nothing and no crying (well, he definitely can hear I left, so I know he noticed somewhat, which is great). I am very proud of him!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just to give inside into our journey: Monty often notices when I go out to go food shopping. I set up a Furbo in my hallway and he will walk to the front door and waits until I come back (just like he does when I leave the room). No more crying or barking, so I know we are on he right path. Now, he just needs to get to a place, where he does not even wait for me, so I will just continue.
 
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