Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Severe Separation Anxiety Turned Destructive

by Alyssa
(Pennsylvania)


How To Stop Separation Anxiety
Hello everyone, I am desperately seeking out some advice about what to do. I have a (almost) 6 month old male Mini Aussie who is the definition of a velcro dog. I am home all day because I am an online college student, but previously have had no issues with leaving him home when I need to go out.

He has a nervous, anxious personality to start, which I have worked extremely hard on to increase his confidence, build trust in me, and our bond. When he first came home I worked very slowly to increase the amount of time he was left home alone. He is crate trained, however I will mention that when he is left home alone he's left in the empty dining room (tile floor) in his playpen stretched across to give him some space. I always leave him with water, a treat ball full of kibble and treats, a bully stick, frozen peanut butter kong, and other durable toys.

Last week we were on vacation, and he managed to escape his playpen, chew up some expensive bags and clothes, and another day chewed up carpet (thankfully it's being ripped up and replaced anyway). I was really hoping that he was acting that way because of being in a foreign environment, but I was wrong.

Today I played fetch for 30 minutes before I left him for about an hour and a half, and came home to find that he had destroyed the rug under his food and water bowl.

I recognize that this is a result of separation anxiety, but am in need of any help I can get with working on this issue. He goes for walks 2x a day, plays fetch outside 2-3 times a day, and we play tug o war with him inside throughout the day along with indoor fetch, obedience training, etc.

Thanks in advance!

Comments for Severe Separation Anxiety Turned Destructive

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Hello
by: Anonymous

Just curious, if he's crate trained why not leave him in the crate where he can't chew things up with a stuffed frozen kong? He sounds like he's bored and he's still so young. Maybe ask a vet about the anxiety.

My dog got over it
by: Anonymous

I have a 2 year old full size Aussie that also had extreme separation anxiety when I was not home. My family was home, but I am his person. He chewed up remotes, cell phone and my husband's RX glasses! We crated him with a chew toy at night and when we were not home. It took about 6 months in the crate and then moved to short times away locked in the kitchen, now he can sleep on the floor next to the couch and doesn't even attempt any destruction. Don't enable your pup, lock him in his crate. He will get through it too!

crate - yes
by: Anonymous

back in the crate. I have an 8 yr old who is terrified of thunder, almost any noise. It is getting worse so now she is back in her crate when ever we leave the house. She is destructive when we leave & I am also afraid she will injure herself. there is a natural gel I give her from Petzlife called @eaze you might try. My vet gave the thumbs up on it.

Too much freedom
by: Anonymous

I would say your pup is being overstimulated by all the treats you leave with him. One kong stuffed with a kibble and peanut butter mix and frozen should keep him happy in the crate. It is much better to leave him in his crate, where he will feel safe and "off duty" than give him more freedom that he can't handle.

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care