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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any insights on separation anxiety? Our V is 10 months old and great to be with. For the first few sessions of puppy class he was at the top of his training class. However, my husband has been home with him for the past three weeks (24-7) and doing all types of activities with the dog. Plus side, the dog and husband have gotten a lot of exercise. The down side is that Snickers has become very dependent on my husband. This past training class was a disaster. Snickers was unable to train because he was looking for his "dad". He is now down at the bottom of the training class. The trainer who is also his breeder was very surprised to see such a down turn in his behavior. Has anyone had this same experience as well? What has worked for you? Thanks for the insights :'(
 

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We had a similar problem, when we got our guy I drove him from Illinois to CT... a short 20 hours later we were home. As a result of the drive he was stuck to me like glue. So much so that when I'd leave the apartment, even to take out the garbage, he'd sit by the door and cry.

To be honest I'm not sure there's a great solution, you just sort of have to wean him off of your husband, as weird as that sounds. Maybe take him for some walks by yourself. Have your husband leave the house just for the sake of getting away from him.

I went to a trainer for a session or two who said the reason that your dog is so attached to you is just as much your fault as it is his. It came across a bit ridiculous, but the more I've thought about it the more I think it's true.
 

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Thanks T-bone for your story. My husband didn't really want to admit fully that they were both enjoying each others company a bit too much. His reasoning was..."Isn't that why you have a dog? To enjoy and have fun with..." True, but too much time was spent together. I am now taking Snickers for more walks rain or shine. I hope that we can break this condition asap to make obedience school and showing more bearable.
 

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Oh...definitely work with him when you get a chance so he learns to listen to you as well as your husband. I've been spending absurd amounts of time with our V since my work has slowed and I'm now home most of the day. However, before this, my husband took him out for romps every other morning. Now, he thinks that since I'm at home all day that I'll just take care of it (grrrrr). But my point is now Loki seems more bonded with me. My husband has commented on this and is a tad jealous...even though I suggest to my husband HE take him for a walk and HE work with reinforcing his training with him. It's gotten to the point that I can tell Loki doesn't listen as well to him and ignores him most of the time. But I can only nag my husband so much!

Well, I certainly didn't mean to ramble on like that! So sorry.

Does your V actually exhibit separation anxiety behavior? Such as whining and howling when your husband leaves, destruction of items while left alone, especially doors and window sills? Or is it more your V is latched on to and listens better to your husband? I wonder if having you exclusively doing the training for awhile would help. And you be in charge of walking Snickers in the morning (oops, I see you're already doing that!). Does your breeder have any recommendations?

And, I like this info about sep. anxiety: http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/sep-anxiety.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Vlicked for your information. When we're home Snickers is free to roam the house. When we go out he is penned up in the foyer. I think that when we're away, he's howling and barking...gotta apologize to the neighbors. I have been his obedience trainer for all of the classes and he was doing great until my husband stayed home for that long stretch. The only time my husband walks him is in the morning. Other than that I feed, walk, train, and give him treats. Cold turkey for both dog and husband.
Trainer suggested that before training him, I should "starve" him so that he will work for food. This week, I'll be taking him to class on my own to see if he is less distracted.
You really don't wish this on any dog or owner. Too much of a good thing turned bad... :-[
 
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