23rd September 2013, 08:06 PM
Crate or more room for separation anxiety?
My cavalier is almost 1.5 years old. He has always had a bit of separation anxiety when I leave, but he has gotten used to my new apartment and being in his kennel. I work 8 hours a day, but am able to go home for an hour lunch to take him outside to go to the bathroom and play a quick game of tug! I feel that he is obedient enough that he could be out of his crate, but contained to my kitchen.
I just began allowing him to roam kitchen area a few days ago, using a normal baby gate, but still left his crate with his bed accessible to him with the door open (in case he felt more secure going in there to sleep.) However, he seems to be crying more when I leave him out of the crate than in the crate? I have only done this for few days so far, so perhaps he just needs to get used to it? Wanted to see if anybody had any feedback on whether it may just be better off to continue crating him or give him some time to get used to having a little bit more room to wander?
I have heard advice on separation anxiety both ways - give them more room or keep them in their crate. He is not destructive, just want to do whatever makes him feel the safest
Thanks for your help!
7th October 2013, 03:28 PM
I would suggest getting a kong or something to get him excited when you leave. I did this from the very beginning and both my girls are only too happy to see me go since it means they get food or a treat. I stopped crating when I go to work, Lady gets the kitchen and Gracie gets full run of the apartment since she doesn't get into trouble. I give Lady her food in the kong wobbler so it takes her a while to eat all of her food and she seems to find it fun. That way they are occupied when you leave. You could also try freezing some sweet potato in a regular kong since that will keep the dog busy for a longer period. It is a good idea to let him have the kitchen but have the crate there if he wants to go to bed. Try the kong method for a while and see how that goes . Also don't make it a big ritual when you are leaving, since that could start giving him anxiety before you even leave. Just give him the kong and slip out without making a big fuss.
Lady (1.5 year old tricolour) & Gracie (4 year old blenheim)
"Happiness is a warm puppy" - Charles M. Schulz
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7th October 2013, 07:27 PM
I'd def give him the run of the kitchen -- and just ignore the whining as it will likely settle very quickly. Agree a kong is a nice idea -- why not feed hi his kibble inside a kong? (pack it in with mashed banana for example and freeze to make it last even longer...).
There's a few tips in this blog post too.
Personally I think it is a very low quality of life for any dog to spend the majority of its waking hours inside a crate and thus fully support your plan to give him more room.
In memory: Lucy
Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com
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