Re: Severe Separation Anxiety
Thanks for all the tips so far. I ordered the book Laurita mentioned and did a bunch more research tonight.
Just to clarify, giving Axel up has NEVER been an option for my husband and I. We know that puppies can come with lots of energy and challenges but he is a part of our family and we could never pass him on like his previous owners. He is such a good dog in every other aspect. He is house trained, obedient, loving and eager to please us. This is a frustrating problem, but we will work it out somehow and we love him dearly.
As far as some of datacan's questions go:
Yes, we always walk him in the morning after he eats and usually again in the afternoon. We do a pretty good job of wearing him out with walks and fetch so he usually sleeps when we are in the house... unless he is left alone. I will try not feeding/letting him drink too much before kenneling him. We do always take him out first though.
We do leave him with toys and puzzles but he seems too distressed to play with them. The kongs end up untouched. I'm going to try the suggestion of varying the amount of time gone. I also read an article about changing your habits, schedules and coming and going more randomly as practice to ease the anxiety.
Thanks for everyone's willingness to accept my little Vizsla mix, I was afraid people would take issue with that. : )