Hi, I was wondering if I could get some advice on separation anxiety?
Dallas is almost 6 months now. He sleeps in his crate overnight and will be crated during the day every now and then for various reasons. I used to put him in for 3 hours in the afternoon when he needed to calm down, but he's learned to calm down on his own so I stopped doing that probably a month ago.
However, even when I was putting him in the crate in the afternoon, he had separation anxiety problems. I'm usually home because I work from home, but every Sunday we go to church and can be gone for up to 4 hours. Although he doesn't chew on furniture anymore, I'm hesitant to leave him out of his crate just yet. I take him for walks before we go, play a bit of fetch with him before we go, turn on Dog TV (plays calming music and has video for dogs), turn on the radio, give him a frozen stuffed Kong, and he still cries and cries and cries. I've tried leaving clothing with him that smells like me, but it hasn't helped in the slightest.
It gets so bad that sometimes I come home to him having pooped in his crate and he never does that, only when he is really upset.
Do you have any tips for things I can do? I'm going to start gradually working up to leaving him alone. Every day this week I'm going to go out for 5 minutes and then slowly build up. I'm wondering if there is anything else I can do, though?