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Didn't see any threads about this thus far (though there are 100+ pages of threads there may be something), I just recently adopted my first dog, I've grown up with dogs, but this is MY first dog... any way.

I adopted him on Friday, got him home to find out he's already potty trained and really well behaved, until my boyfriend and I left him home for the first time (with my mother as puppy sitter) he looked around for us for the entire length of time we were gone crying as if he had been abandoned.

He looks like he's about a year old, and was a stray picked up by our local animal shelter. Judging by the potty training we're guessing he was left on the street after some training.

We have two other dogs in the house so he's never completely alone.

Does anyone have any idea or suggestions for breaking this behavior? Should we give it more time?

Thanks!
 

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Crate training. Simple as that. Work up to leaving him alone in the room, then the house, in increasing lengths of time - start with just 15 minutes. It should get him used to being left on his own very quickly.
 

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One important thing to know about separation anxiety is that it is a learned behavior, and it can be un-learned, as well. But it will take some patience on your part.
ManyRoses mentioned crate training, which is an excellent training method, but sometimes it can add to the anxiety, and give your dog a solid fear and aggression towards his crate. Use the crate carefully and make sure to introduce it very slowly, and to start with small amounts of time, like 2 minutes, and work your way up. Leave yummy treats inside the crate during the day when your home, so he starts getting in the habit of looking inside of it for treats in his free time. Make it a very 'safe, positive' place for him.

Next up, understanding how the anxiety forms and works is very important. Your dog notices subtle signs that you're leaving, such as grabbing the keys, or putting on a work uniform. This is when the anxiety starts, and sometimes your dog will show this by starting to whine, or sitting by the door, or running to a corner and looking 'guilty'. Sometimes they don't show it at all. This is where the training needs to begin. 5-10 minutes before you go to leave, put him in his crate with treats and a toy to chew on. Go about your business after this. Watch TV, check Facebook, whatever you do before you leave. Ignore him entirely. Even if he's whining or barking, ignore him. This part is very important. Giving in to whining and barking only feeds the anxiety, and teaches him that those behaviors get him what he wants. After a few minutes, leave.

While you're gone, the anxiety is going to continue to grow and bubble. When you get home, you need to ignore him again, for however long it takes him to calm down. If he's barking, whining or shaking his crate in excitement, ignore him. Again, go about your business. Wait until he calms down to let him out of the crate, and give him a very emotionless, gentle hello. You are rewarding him for calming down, NOT for being anxious. You're avoiding something called an 'anxiety burst', which occurs when we greet our dog at the peak of their separation anxiety, and makes the anxiety more severe.

If you do this simple method, you should start seeing results quickly. :3
 

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Separation anxiety is a really tough behavioral problem to solve. First and foremost, you need to make sure your pup is TIRED before you leave. Don't make a big deal about leaving...in some cases that might mean don't even say "bye" to your dog. Never coddle them or tell them "it's okay" (and tell your pet-sitters the same thing!) If you tell them it's okay, you're just rewarding the anxious behavior and confirming that, yes, they should be worried and they are acting exactly as they should. Then, practice by only leaving for short times and gradually make those times longer, but don't always make it longer. Leave for 30 seconds, then 2 minutes, then 1 minute then 5 minutes, etc. Ping-pong the time. Only come back inside when your dog stops barking or whining. Otherwise, they start to think that the barking/whining is what makes you come back.
 

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In addition to the above ... "separation anxiety" is a stronger phobia and collection of panic behaviors than you described. You've just adopted the dog and he's unsure about what's going on. With a consistent schedule, you can teach him what to expect, and he'll gain some confidence and calm down in about 3 days. Meanwhile, the suggestions above will help him to learn what to expect.
 

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I'd give it at least a month. New dogs, especially ones that came from an unstable environment are often clingy at first. True SA usually is a frantic, peeing, pooping barking, destructive dog. He just sounds like a dog in a strange place.
Consistency in routine helps with regards to feeding, exercise (definitely walk him briskly twice a day for at least a half hr each time, preferably with your other dogs. It'll help the dogs bond, and get rid of excess energy which will lessen anxiety/stress. Leave for short periods of time, even if it is to just go out in your front yard, or run down the street to get gas/milk. Don't make a big deal about leaving. Don't leave the dogs together if there is food or treats around. Strange dogs can guard food, and start fights.
Congrats on the new family member and welcome to the forum. There's a lot of great info here. Be sure to read the "stickies at the top of each forum as there is REALLY good information that you'll find helpful.
 
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