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Categories: Separation Anxiety

Q. My dog has some separation issues. Can you recommend some training video that could help?
I have two German Shepherds.

The older one is 11 years. He looks like the scary and dangerous one. He is a sable and mostly black. His temperament from day one till now is excellent. He is great with other dogs people and children. He know when to bark (door bell) and when not to.

The young one is 14 months old. She follows the big guy like a shadow. There are several problems. One is with other dogs. Just some of them. She will want to be aggressive. The second problem is that she is very territorial and in the yard she will bark at next to nothing. Yet in the house she will not bark when needed, (door bell time).

The third is, she is terrified of my mother when she visits us and will hide or cling to me. My mother was the one that held her when we brought her home.

The last one is she is a massive chewer. She has removed a vinyl floor, destroyed most of my plants, attacked the couch, etc. She has a pile of chew toys. Balls, raw hide bones etc.

She has separation issues when I go to work.

If you can recommend some training videos, I would appreciate it.

Yours truly,
Tony

A. From the description of your young dog, I would say she is insecure and anxious. She needs clear and consistent rules and leadership and training to build her confidence. The aggression you are seeing will escalate as she gets older unless you define the rules for her. She’s operating out of fear and nervousness. In the house, if the older dog is barking when the bell rings, she’s likely leaving the “job” to him. I’m sure she takes comfort in the fact that he’s secure and comfortable. You need to offer her the same type of reliable leadership that she gets from the other dog. She should be following you around, as opposed to the other dog.

Start with our groundwork program and Pack Structure for the Family Pet.

Dealing with Dominant & Aggressive Dogs

Crate train this dog so she can be safely contained without destroying your property or hurting herself.

we also have a Q&A section on separation anxiety that may help you.

I would not allow ANY dog to be loose in my house unless they had proven they are trustworthy. By allowing her to be loose and destroy things you are actually feeding her anxiety and destructiveness. This won’t get better unless you step in and change the way you live with her.

I would also read this article about dogs who will try to escape from crates. If you haven’t crate trained her in the past, it’s likely she may try to escape at first.

Make sure she’s getting appropriate physical and mental exercise too. I would read our article on training dogs with Markers.

For future questions, you might benefit from learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q&As, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum. Our website has over 16,000 pages and it’s very likely you’ll find the information you are looking for. I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes
  
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