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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, first time posting here.

I have a 3 month old Shih tzu who is currently having separation anxiety. We are currently doing as much as we can by doing what is prescribed by dog behaviorists and vets. Is there a certain age when separation anxiety goes away if you do everything in the book for training in regards to separation anxiety?
 

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Hello, first time posting here.

I have a 3 month old Shih tzu who is currently having separation anxiety. We are currently doing as much as we can by doing what is prescribed by dog behaviorists and vets. Is there a certain age when separation anxiety goes away if you do everything in the book for training in regards to separation anxiety?
This sort of crying is common with small puppies, I find. Is it true separation anxiety, isolation distress, or simply not liking being away from you? These three things are handled pretty differently.
I’d keep going by what your behaviorist says. As for the age thing, it may get better in time, because this is a small puppy, but don’t make any assumptions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This sort of crying is common with small puppies, I find. Is it true separation anxiety, isolation distress, or simply not liking being away from you? These three things are handled pretty differently.
I’d keep going by what your behaviorist says. As for the age thing, it may get better in time, because this is a small puppy, but don’t make any assumptions!
Ok, thanks and not making any assumptions. Is there an average age when those type of anxieties for a puppy goes away? Just need to know as a checkpoint for my training.
 

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There is no age where anxieties go away, it all has to do with the individual dog/puppy and how it responds to training. It's important not to rush these things and take it at the pup's pace though.

I'll explain very simply what we did for our pup.
I wanted to make leaving a normal thing. For my pup I started with just walking out the door and right back in. I did this at random times of the day. Sometimes grab my keys or put my shoes on and right back in. Gradually I moved up to standing outside in the front for 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes and so on. My goal is to have no negative reaction from my pup, I wanted to be back before he reacted to me leaving. If he is anxious, I have moved too quickly and went back a step.

Does he follow you around the house too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is no age where anxieties go away, it all has to do with the individual dog/puppy and how it responds to training. It's important not to rush these things and take it at the pup's pace though.

I'll explain very simply what we did for our pup.
I wanted to make leaving a normal thing. For my pup I started with just walking out the door and right back in. I did this at random times of the day. Sometimes grab my keys or put my shoes on and right back in. Gradually I moved up to standing outside in the front for 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes and so on. My goal is to have no negative reaction from my pup, I wanted to be back before he reacted to me leaving. If he is anxious, I have moved too quickly and went back a step.

Does he follow you around the house too?
Yes, Most of the time he does follow us around the house.
 

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Yes, Most of the time he does follow us around the house.
Just something to try....moving from room to room, (maybe you are picking up) but you just keep moving around doing boring human stuff. Puppy initially follows you but quickly gets bored and stops following. All of a sudden you are in separate rooms and puppy is resting by itself because it's tired from following you. It was a 'game' I was suggested and it seemed to help my pup not care so much what I am doing. He still follows me sometimes, but he stays resting too. If he follows me and sees I'm only going to the washroom, he'll just turn around and do his own thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just something to try....moving from room to room, (maybe you are picking up) but you just keep moving around doing boring human stuff. Puppy initially follows you but quickly gets bored and stops following. All of a sudden you are in separate rooms and puppy is resting by itself because it's tired from following you. It was a 'game' I was suggested and it seemed to help my pup not care so much what I am doing. He still follows me sometimes, but he stays resting too. If he follows me and sees I'm only going to the washroom, he'll just turn around and do his own thing.
Yes! What you described is starting to happen and what a relief! We recently noticed that he stays put and is getting less and less curious about us having to get up and move 10 feet away, and does appear somewhat bored about our comings and goings, which is tremendous progress.
 

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Great! Yeah it kind of comes naturally but making a game out of it helps to drive it in and get things moving along. Just keep an eye on what he does to entertain himself, make sure it's something positive like chewing on a bone or playing with his toys or just resting. I always look for offered good behavior, if my pup lies down to take a break, I always make a point to tell him 'good boy'.

I also started playing hide and seek with my pup, I wait until he's not looking and I sneak off and go hide in the shower behind the curtain, behind a door, anywhere he has to actually look for me and can't see me right away. I call him in a cute voice, "Ozzy, find me!". I think he must sniff me out because he's so good at it lol. He also gets really excited when he finds me. But my idea is it gets him used to being alone (or that feeling) and doing something on his own and it's really no big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great! Yeah it kind of comes naturally but making a game out of it helps to drive it in and get things moving along. Just keep an eye on what he does to entertain himself, make sure it's something positive like chewing on a bone or playing with his toys or just resting. I always look for offered good behavior, if my pup lies down to take a break, I always make a point to tell him 'good boy'.

I also started playing hide and seek with my pup, I wait until he's not looking and I sneak off and go hide in the shower behind the curtain, behind a door, anywhere he has to actually look for me and can't see me right away. I call him in a cute voice, "Ozzy, find me!". I think he must sniff me out because he's so good at it lol. He also gets really excited when he finds me. But my idea is it gets him used to being alone (or that feeling) and doing something on his own and it's really no big deal.
Great suggestion, I'll give that a try. Thanks!
 
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