Originally Posted by Linescreamer
The other option is to slowly work a bark collar into the situation. Barking in the crate is totally unacceptable. Let us know how it goes.
I doubt you would, but please do not ever go this route. As you know better than any of us, your dogs anxiety comes from being neglected. Shocking him into being quiet is not the answer to your situation.
I think it is more important for you guys to be ok leaving him alone. I'm sure it breaks your heart every time because you know how he will react, but you must force yourself to feel good about leaving him on his own. He will feed off your guilt.
A very basic start would be: put him in his crate and leave the room, then return a few seconds or minutes later. Just work on him getting use to you always coming back. No talk or eye contact, just walk in and out. If he is ok with that scenario, go out the front door and come back in. Then just work on building time as he progresses.
I truly wish I had better advice for you, as I'm very impressed with your loyalty to Axel.
I hope it all works out in time. Just think about what an amazing relationship you guys will have once you pull him out of this rut!
Have you thought about looking into a professional trainer to work with?
You will hear 100 different ways to fix this from amateurs like us, but there are some very impressive trainers out there who have a much better understanding of what it is the dog needs to break through an issue like this.