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Social Isolation / Working from Home - Dog Separation Issues

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  • 22-03-2020 10:24am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭


    Hi there,

    With our current global crisis, our 10month old dog (beagle) is about to have a big change in her daily routine as both me and my wife are working from home.

    As a bit of our background, our dog is very clingy. (I wouldn't say it is full blown separation anxiety as when we do have to leave her, she calms down within a few minutes after we leave and seems relatively OK when she's alone.) however, if you leave the open plan living where she spends most of her time (for example to go brush your teeth), she's scratching at the door (causing damage), whinging and barking a bit. We believe that it stems back to her being the runt of the litter and probably a level of rejection from her mother from the outset.

    Anyway, up to now our dog has been going to day care 3-4 times a week and is left at home 1-2 times a week in a utility room (for fear of her damaging the rest of the house in boredom). On these days she is walked 3 times a day (morning/ lunch and evening) all for about 1 hr each....so she is getting exercised. At weekends, she gets a minimum of 3 hours walks along with playing in the garden or house. The days at day care, she's playing with dogs all day so she doesn't need walks in the evening as she's wrecked and happy to sleep. We have also brought her to training and she is quite good so she is very train-able.

    The issue now for us and indeed before Co-VID 19 is that our dog is really taking over our lives with her clinginess and I fear our working from home could serve to magnify this issue. (I know this is trivial in the worlds context!!)

    We have a decent back garden and an insulated kennel that I made especially for her that I would love to get her use to so that or been happy in the back garden by herself for a while. I had originally hoped to have her sleep out there (as we had our dogs sleeping outside always growing up) but I accept that may not be realistic or kind. However, her demand for attention is causing an issue.

    For example, if she wakes at 6.30 / 7am on a weekend, it means we are up from 7am every morning. She's more than happy to continue to sleep to 9.30am /10am so long as I come down and lie on the couch so its not hunger, restlessness or even peeing which causes her to bang on the door at 6.30/7am on a weekend morning. I don't expect to be sleeping in to 10am at weekends but I would have hoped that I could go down and let her out to pee at 7am and leave her out sniffing and wandering for another 1hr / 1.5 hrs.

    I really want to get her to like being in the garden. The problem up to now is that when I leave her in the back garden she associates that with me leaving so I wonder, can I actually use my working from home as advantage to work with the dog to get use to the garden and by extension, the kennel and come to associate it with treats and nice things....rather than me leaving.

    Beyond this - now that we will be working from home, she will have no time where she is by herself so this concerns me. She will also pester us for constant attention while we are working so any advice on how to stimulate her without constant walks would be fantastic as I fear that 4-5 walks a day will only build an athlete in the long term.

    Sorry for the length of post - just alot of different strands of issues kind of coming together in 1.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,041 ✭✭✭✭tk123


    If you're home you can use it to your advantage but I'd go in small steps like a baby gate or crate training with something to keep her occupied - so some distance where she can still see you. Once she's happy and settled you can build from there. Daycare can be over stimulating for some dogs in that they're running themselves ragged rather than learning how to calm down and settle themselves. Diet can also make matters worse too depending on what you're feeding.


  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭observer2u


    Thanks - yes my intention is to leave her in the main living room with the back door open so she can wander outside. I might separate the office area with some form of gate so she can still see us.

    anyone with tips on occupying doors......does TV work?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,041 ✭✭✭✭tk123


    Sorry I’m no help to you - I just have a bed beside my desk for my dog to snooze on all day lol :p


  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭observer2u


    Just an update - Our pup has been much more relaxed than expected. I would defo say that the lack of doggy day care stimulation has calmed her. We get about 2 hours during the working day where she wants attention but that's not too bad. She is getting 2-3 hours of exercise a day.

    The separation of lack of is starting to become more of an issue as she's starting whinging at night where she never use to do this but nothing major yet........


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 301 ✭✭puppieperson1


    get her a companion 2 dogs way easier than one and they amuse each other its really easy try fostering for a rescue to see the difference you wont believe it ! You have to wait until aftyer this covid lock down but try it or even a cat just another creature and the neediness for you will dissipate.


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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,767 Mod ✭✭✭✭DBB


    get her a companion 2 dogs way easier than one and they amuse each other its really easy try fostering for a rescue to see the difference you wont believe it ! You have to wait until aftyer this covid lock down but try it or even a cat just another creature and the neediness for you will dissipate.

    That's a common misconception. It has been shown via good research in the UK that obtaining another dog only helps with about 25% of cases of separation related behaviour. So, getting another dog is statistically unlikely to help with the problem.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,041 ✭✭✭✭tk123


    DBB wrote: »
    That's a common misconception. It has been shown via good research in the UK that obtaining another dog only helps with about 25% of cases of separation related behaviour. So, getting another dog is statistically unlikely to help with the problem.

    +1 having another dog did nothing for Bailey's anxiety. Like he definitely loved her and misses having a companion :( but it didn't magically solve his problems - not that we were expecting it to.

    It's not unreasonable for our pets to be a bit out of sorts with the situation we're in at the moment - they'll be picking up on our own anxiety/worry/stress, their routines have changed etc etc


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