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Severe Separation Anxiety Turned Destructive
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!