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Good evening,

Any advice would be gratefully received. We have a miniature dachshund at the moment who suffers from separation anxiety when left alone—displaying distress by constant and barking/howling. This is really down to the fact that I work from home so he has a lot of human company the majority of the time and it is unusual for him to be left alone.

He doesn't mind in the slightest if he is left in a room alone, he will happily go and sit in the garden or another part of the house while we are here, and he sleeps in his crate alone at night in our kitchen. You could leave him with a stranger he has never met and it would be fine—he just hates being completely alone.

He is also happy to be left alone with any of our friends dogs and also his brother who doesn't live with us but who we see once every couple of months.

When I say "happy" to be left it is more that he tolerates it and doesn't get as distressed! I have filmed them on my computer to see the behaviour. Usually his companion dog will have a snooze, while our dog sits by and rests without actually allowing himself to doze off!

He has a dog walker once a week as I thought that may make him a little more bold (I think it has to an extent) and also gets plenty of exercise.

I am wondering if a second dog could be of benefit to him on a permanent basis? I wouldn't want his anxiety to rub off on another animal but I feel perhaps it would work well. He relishes playing with other dogs so an older dog I think could find him frustrating—a puppy though may be too impressionable? I know he would most definitely welcome the company day to day even if it didn't help with the anxiety!

Any thoughts most welcome.
 

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If another dog calms him then it could work, but it's generally not recommended to leave dogs loose together alone and there's a chance he could develop SA from the new dog or the new dog could develop it.

Ultimately, if you're going to get another dog, make sure it's because YOU want one. That's double the work, the finances, the time.
 

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Yes, we definitely want another dog, not just to potentially help the existing one!

The more the merrier.

Interesting to hear you say it is not advisable to leave two dogs loose alone together. I have never heard this before.

I should probably mention that our dachshund is nearly three also, this is a considered decision we have been debating for the past year or so.

Having just moved into a larger house, now seems to be the time to potentially take the plunge!

In terms of treating our dogs separation anxiety we have tried the plug in calming thing (forget the name!), stuffed kongs, putting him in his crate (disaster he was completely frantic and far worse than if left free), making no fuss when leaving/returning, long walks prior to leaving etc. He is a little better with age and I can sometimes sneak out without the freak out (!) but leaving him with a friends dog is the only answer for longer periods other than of course getting a dog sitter. Which we do a fair bit!
 

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Leaving them alone together could be dangerous. Even the best of friends can have arguments and if they were to get into it with one another, you might come home to a real... mess.

You could try, when/if you get a new dog, gating them in separate rooms. Or maybe even putting crate near one another so they can safely have the company.
 

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Have you tried bringing in another dog into your home temporarily (a few days) to see if that worked? I couldnt tell from your post if you took him to the other dogs' houses or brought them into yours. If you do decide to get another dog, I would highly suggest crate training the new addition, but I don't think I would recommend leaving one in the crate with your dachshund running loose. That could be a disaster if your dachshund started tormenting or picking on the new one, who is confined. Definitely don't want to cause dog aggression issues with either. I have also never heard of not letting two or more dogs loose in your house while gone. We've had multiple dogs my entire life, and have never kept them crated while gone, and no issues yet, even with a grouchy old Westie! :) However, I would not recommend doing that until the two have been together for a few months with no issues, and then only for short periods of time at first to make sure that they are keeping out of trouble. :)

I know how difficult SA can be, I am dealing with it in a rescue dog that I adopted almost a year ago who is just in the last few months calm when I am gone. Good Luck!
 

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Adding a second dog has helped very much with Summer's separation anxiety but I knew beforehand it probably would. She had lived in a house with 6-10 other dogs most the time (breeder's) and then moved in with me and the separation anxiety showed for the first time as an only dog. It was awful trying to go anywhere- she'd scream and panic and try to escape and poop everywhere. Crate or loose didn't matter. DAP diffusers did not help. Prozac turned her into a zombie.

I got Mia and the SA went away immediately.... I do leave my two together alone. It's a calculated risk because, yes, they could fight while I am gone. But my options are essentially to leave them together or to let Summer work herself into a panic attack and possibly injure herself or at the least stress out. Or I risk it. My two get along fabulously and Summer is one of the most passive dogs on the planet. My two can eat next to each other, don't resource guard, and in general just never have trouble. I've never seen papillons that don't get along with other papillons- we routinely have had multiple packs of dogs with intact males in the same house without a problem. To me the risk is worth not having to drug Summer up and to not have her panic from being alone every time I go to work. It is important to remember they COULD fight but imo... weigh the risks and benefits for your specific situation.

It does NOT always work like that though so be careful and I wouldn't count on it to work. Sometimes it does.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We have brought the dogs to our home to stay with him—typically his brother will stay a weekend and then he also goes to stay with his brother. It works both ways—he is just much happier being left in his home or someone else's if there is a pooch pal there! His brother is a similar character and likes to have some company, although our dog is more playful and his brother I think gets a bit sick of constantly being followed around!

I definitely will crate train if we get dog number two, but yes I don't think the dachshund would like it if his pal was in a crate and he was free! We have stayed with friends before who had their dog in her crate overnight (we hadn't brought our crate for some unknown reason—I think it was a spur of the moment stay) and he spent ages whining outside her crate really upset that she was shut away! That wasn't going to make for a peaceful nights sleep for anyone so in the end we opened the crate and they slept in it together.

He is not aggressive, doesn't ever guard his food or worry about sharing his toys and doesn't get jealous. He stayed with his little pack at the breeders (mum, granny and sister) until he was about four months old and he was bottom of the pile I think, so submissive behaviour has come from this perhaps? Not sure if this is a good, bad or indifferent trait?!

It is encouraging to hear some success stories with second dogs—one of his best friends is a papillon funnily enough! They are so intelligent that I can see my dachshund not ever quite understanding what the papillon is up to, but just tagging along for the ride ;)

Thank you so much for all the advice—I hadn't really considered that the dogs may be risky to leave alone loose so would definitely not leave them like you say, until they had been together for some months. The baby gate sounds like an excellent idea too should any problems be anticipated.

We are thinking of a whippet as the second dog by the way.
 

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It sounds like you are making a great, informed choice! I know that Maya's SA has almost completely gone away since I have had her (about 1 yr) and she does better when my Golden Mack is there with her. I leave her in her crate during the day when I'm at work, but Mack is allowed to roam the house (he doesn't even acknowledge her when she's in her crate) and she seems just calmer when he is around. She also excels with a strict routine and exhibits more SA traits when my schedule is altered for an extended period of time (a few days or so) such as when I switched shifts and my lunch was altered by 1 hr and my schedule was shifted by 1/2 hr every day. It will get better, good luck! :)
 
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