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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, I recently adopted a Dachshund/Chihuahua mix. With my previous dog I had a lot of trouble with separation anxiety. Does anyone have any tips on how to prevent this? For starters I put the crate in my bedroom to calm her at night. She didn't cry or whine all night because I was right there, and I took her out every 3 to 4 hours.

During the day though when shes not out of her crate and I'm busy elsewhere will her being in a separate room be okay?

(I forgot to mention I have trouble encouraging her to 'go' outside. I've never had this problem.)

Thanks in advance.
 

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Yep, got some advice for you :D I actually recently wrote an article about it for my website, I'll C&P so you can read it;)

"Prevention

There is one cause of separation anxiety that is not always suspected: excessive coddling. In the case of rescues, one would think we are doing the pooch a favor by always protecting and letting them know that everything is alright. What about puppies? Who can resist the temptation to fuss of them constantly and carry them as much as possible? However, in both scenarios, the coddling can do more harm than good.

Excessive coddling doesn’t allow the dog to go out and explore and learn to be by themselves , they become dependent on the person that is pampering them; slowly they start believe that they are only safe when they are near their owner. Carrying a pup or small dog too much may have a similar effect, not to mention that begging behaviors may arise. This being said, the key in preventing raising a dog that develops separation anxiety is to have moderation with the amount of coddling and carrying of the dog. Of course this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t show your dog affection, certainly not. Teaching a pooch (especially recently acquired ones) that they can trust you and caring for them are both vital in the development of a bond and that bond is important to train successfully.

At times, a lack of socialization can later develop into separation anxiety. To insure that our dogs have confidence in themselves it is important to expose them to a myriad of situations and allow them to meet and play with other dogs. Every now and then at home, it might be beneficial to allow our dogs to have some alone time, even if it’s very short periods. Socialization becomes more difficult if the dog actually develops separation anxiety, thus it is always best to prevent rather than have to fix it later.

Two other tools that can be used as methods to prevent separation anxiety is manner in which you arrive and your departure. A dog that is overly dependent on their owner doesn’t want them to leave and will try anything to make you come back. This is solved by making your departure unexpected and your arrival uneventful. To make is so that your pooch doesn’t really know when you are leaving you have to start to go through “Fake Leaves”. This meaning that you do everything that you normally would while you are about to leave, but then simply go back to what you were doing. For example, you get and put your jacket on and take the keys but then go back to watching TV. Little by little you may want to go as far as going out the door and waiting a few seconds before coming in. Next is making your arrival not as exciting in order to lessen the eagerness with which the dog waits for your return and ultimately mitigating certain behaviors of the an anxious dog. When you walk in the door don’t make such a fuss about your dog, acknowledge your pooch and do something else for a few minutes. Any jumping or barking should be completely ignored. After the couple minutes you may do as you wish, the point was to allow the dog to forget about your arrival.

While these methods may seem hard to abide by, especially since we all love to pamper our pets, we must remember that this is all to help raise a good dog that doesn’t suffer when left alone. One shouldn’t ever be selfish and purposefully raise a dog that is excessively dependant on his/her owner; every dog should have a certain degree of independence that allows them to function like normal dogs when left unattended."
 
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