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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I have just adopted the sweetest, goofiest, and loveliest little pup. I got her at 2 months old, so I've had her for a bit over a month. She trains well, and is sleeping through the night.

The one issue I'm having is that she howls, screams, and cries when she's left alone. I work from home, so I'm with her a lot. We take lots of training breaks and walks/exercise breaks during the day. But when I leave the house, she has a full on meltdown. I'm crate training her, and she loves to sleep in it through the night, and sometimes she spends time in the crate during the day, door closed, no problem. She doesn't try to escape or anything. The problem is only me leaving the house. I have tried to desensitize her to the rituals of leaving the house (putting on my shoes and hanging out, carrying my keys around), or leave for 5 or 10 min at a time. It doesn't matter, it's a full on meltdown. When I come back in the house, she continues screaming, howling, crying, and then also pees! She won't pee in her crate otherwise. She just gets so excited she can't hold it. Even if I've been gone for 10 min and she emptied her bladder before I crated her. At least a few drops will come out.

She has also regurgitated food twice while in the crate. I think the crying gets so bad that she eventually regurgitates food. Other than that, she isn't salivating or licking her paws. She's not wet when I come home.

The longest I've left her alone has been 3 hours, but normally its for 1-2 hours every few days (I'm a homebody, and I take her with me to a cafe or someone's house to spend time)

She is a streetdog, and from what I've heard they tend to be very intelligent and self sufficient. We are also located in Sri Lanka, where a pet sitter or doggy daycare is not available.

Please help!!
 

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Wear an old shirt, get sweaty, make the shirt really stink like you then, give it to your dog in the crate when you leave her. see if that helps her clam down and, think. She needs to lear that you always come back but, she can't learn when she's freaking out the whole time so, try the smelly shirt to get her to calm down enough to learn.
 

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Can she see you leave? Have you tried draping the crate?

Also, leaving for 5-10 minutes at a time is not desensitization (gradual exposure in a small enough amount that the dog is not over threshold). It's flooding ('deal with it'). YOU might think 5 minutes is short. Your puppy does not. And the dog always determines the pace of desensitization. You probably should be at a step like... opening and closing the door - without leaving - repeatedly, for a few days. I can't say because I'm not in front of the puppy. But try breaking the process down into smaller steps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both so much!

I have tried the tshirt, and it really helped! She is still unhappy, and whines, but the screaming and howling completely stopped! It's unbelievable!

I will try to also break the process into smaller parts to try to desensitize her to my leaving. Thanks again!
 

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Now, you're making progress, she is unhappy over being crated but, she isn't freaking out about it. Just a matter of time before she learns that only being quiet gets her out of there and, that you will always come back for her eventually. Now she can have a favored toy she only gets while in the crate and, a special treat she only gets for getting in the crate when you put her in there. Find that special reward and, in no time, you won't have to tell her twice to get in the crate when you get that treat for her- might have to move out of the way to keep her form running over you in her rush to get in the crate :)
 
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