Our dog, Booger, used to have a terrible separation anxiety. Leaving for work was a nightmare — it included a lot of scratching, barking, crying, vomiting, and chewing on the doors.
Nowadays, everything is a breeze. 99% of the time, we can now leave peacefully for work.
How were we able to do it?
- We pretended to leave for short periods of time. This is to let him know that his humans *will* come back. We would leave for 1 minute, 3 mins, 5 mins, until we were able to leave him for almost 15 minutes without incident.
- Around 30 minutes before we need to leave for work, we lessen the excitement around the house. We keep a calm demeanor. We don’t even acknowledge or look at the dog. We also don’t give him treats or anything which will excite him.
- We stopped “tricking” him. Previously, we would wait until he’s preoccupied and them hurry out of the door when he wasn’t looking. We realized later on this actually worsens his separation anxiety.