Anyone have experience with separation anxiety?

Anyone have experience with separation anxiety? Used to bring Foxy to work but can't at the new job and I hate to crate her up all day.


All The time!

If you can afford it try hiring someone to walk your dog during the day. Chew toys and Kong's are always helpful to reduce anxiety. I have also left music on so the dog doesn't feel alone. cesar millan has some great training videos on how to reduce the anxiety!

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Are you experiencing separation anxiety or fear that Foxy will have anxiety? If she is experiencing it, what is she doing? Do you see any patterns? I can probably give more details with the answers to these questions.

In general, reducing separation anxiety requires patience and planning on your part. Start with short trips away from her, such as a 20-minute visit to a neighbor's house. Reward her AS YOU LEAVE. Continue to extend the time away until she realizes that you will return.

DO NOT have a celebration when you come home. Ignore her for a while when you return. After you've settled in, say you've changed clothes after work and gone into the kitchen to make some tea for yourself. THEN pay attention to her. If homecoming is a big party, she will learn to anticipate that.

Instead, make leaving a wonderful event. Maybe she gets treats (a stuffed Kong to keep her busy for a while).

You might also try setting up a GoPro and looking at video of what she is doing when you are away. If she is anxious at the beginning, but later settles, then you know she eventually gets the idea and she will likely improve with time. If she is not anxious at the beginning, but gets more so as the time progresses, it may mean she is bored. Setting up a toy that gives out timed rewards could be helpful. If she is anxious the whole time, this indicates more of a true separation anxiety situation.

Crating an anxious dog (after the dog has learned that crating is a reward, not a punishment), making the crate extra comfy, giving Kongs for long-lasting chewing/play, trying herbals for relaxation, and soft music to help drown out any anxiety-producing sounds (traffic, mail delivery, etc) can be a huge help to resolve separation anxiety.

Once you've tried these things, if they aren't working, keep a detailed journal. Take the journal to your vet to show that the problem is real (not boredom). Have him/her check for any medical reasons for the anxiety, then consider medication.


I have had very good results with Rescue Remedy from Bach's essences ( you can find it at any natural/health food store) and composure treats. The treats are natural and safe for both dogs and cats. I got mine from a local vet, but they're available on line in liquid and chew form. Every dog that stays with me gets a composure with a couple of drops of rescue remedy on it. Thundershirts are also a good tool to have on hand when your guest dog is freaking out.


Practice crate training in short spells when your home - like on the weekend or at night - makes it easier!


When we first adopted our dog Magoo, he had severe separation anxiety. I used to hate crating him up when we were away because I thought it was cruel. We tried leaving the door open during short trips but he wouldn't use the crate and ended up chewing my shoes. We tried everything from calming pills to the thunder shirt. Nothing worked. We moved the crate to the front door so he could hear and see when someone returned home. We turned the crate into a cave/den. After we were getting more comfortable we tried to leave him out again. We closed off bedrooms and put away items we didn't want torn apart. It took time but he now loves his crate and it has become his safe space. Although we only have a bed where the crate used to be, if we pull out the crate for doggy guests Magoo is the first to crawl in for a nap. Crates don't have to be cruel. We eventually adopted a second dog and she provides companionship during the day while we are away (I realize this is not a possibility for everyone but it made a huge difference).