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Discussion Starter #1
I have a webcam (both a blessing and a curse) which I use to watch my dog who is left alone in a small studio apartment when I am gone. Right now he only has access to the main living area. We put his dog bed for him right in the front hallway. He is almost 8 months old.

What should a dog be doing while you are gone? Ours mostly stares at the apartment front door. He also likes to lie on our doormat with his nose right up to the crack of the door. Occasionally he will wonder around the apartment and occasionally he will appear to sleep in his dog bed but he spends most of his time sniffing the crack of the door. If we are gone for a long time, he will eventually start to cry a bit. He doesnt play with his toys or chew his bully while we are gone. I'm thinking this is mild separation anxiety but maybe it is normal for a dog to do this. When he was younger and we crated him, he would sleep most of the time in his crate while gone. Now we have removed the crate because it just took up so much space.
 

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That's pretty normal. Not separation anxiety. Try freezing a kong stuffed with peanut butter, and giving him that when you leave. take him for a long brisk walk/run before leaving to tire him out. maybe leave a TV or radio on for him when you are gone.
 

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Perfect world scenario (and normal): as he ages, and as you continue to provide for all his doggie needs, he'll sleep more and expect less from the door.

My dog, when she was younger, would goof around with her toys 30 minutes before I would arrive. Getting whatever anxiety she had, out, in anticipation of my arrival. Now I usually wake her from her slumber when I arrive - she's 7.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Curbside: Are you saying he will eventually grow out of waiting by the door?

Our dog completely loves the bully sticks when we are home. He will chew it for hours. But when we leaves he wont touch it much. Same thing with kongs and other stuffed bones and such.

Hes causing no problems with his behavior while we are gone its just that I feel like hes getting anxious with all of the staring at the door and I feel bad for him and want him to relax a little. If hes sleeping then I know hes relaxing but we havent seen that much since we ditched the crate.
 

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I don't think you need to be concerned. I agree with Curbside.
And, it could be that he is getting a bit of "stimulation" from the crack of the door, like he can smell things that are outside, and hear a bit of what's going on outside. Like it's his only connection to outside, and it gives him something to "do". :)
 

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Wow, what a great idea. I need to invest in a webcam!

Jen
 

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My dog did something like that when he was a pup, but as suggested, he grew out of it. The frozen Kong will help. In my case, it was two walks a day, one or two 10-min. training sessions, and 30 min. energetic play. He sleeps most of the day now.
 

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Our dog Felix will usually sleep the entire time we're gone if we don't put out a bone for him to chew on. We would normally keep him confined to the kitchen while we would go out, but now he has access to the kitchen and living room since he's gotten older. We've been crating Ellie since we got her and she hasn't quite gotten used to the concept of being left alone. According to my neighbors, she screamed for two hours while we went out to eat and get groceries. When we get home and let her out, she'll continue to scream until she realizes we aren't leaving the house. She's gotten a bit better though. I noticed that some of her toys were wet and looked like they had been played with the last time we left.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OP here -- just wanted to give an update. We have been leaving him alone and he is getting more used to it. He spends less time staring at the door, is sleeping some of the time and is playing more while we are gone. When we come home, he seems less agitated/anxious than before. But he is also getting into some trouble. So that is the next challenge.
 

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what trouble is he getting into? Garbage cans? destroying your stuff.

When a dog has yummy treats (bully sticks, stuffed kongs and bones) that he loves when you are home but does not touch when you are gone... that means to me he's anxious. He's not totally relaxed. If I've come home to a dog with a totally full kong in her crate then I know that she's been too anxious to eat it while I was away. Now I use a voice recorder while I am out. Normally she will eat the kong and then howl for 5-10 minutes then she's quiet the rest of the time. Unless I've worn her out before leaving. Then she's totally quiet on the recording.
 

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We used to leave Hamish in the kitchen and he would just go to sleep in his bed. Sometimes he'd get up and have a wander round to stretch his legs, then back to bed / sleep. When we got in he would stay in his bed until he was ready to get up (no leaping up to greet us!) then he would have a stretch, give us a sniff and head for the back door to be let outside to pee.
We tried the leaving the radio on once as it used to work for my parents' poodle, but Hamish hated it and refused to settle.
 
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