06-18-2017, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Jun 2017
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Getting a dog used to apartment living/separation anxiety
My dog is 6 years old and has lived in a house his entire life. I have had him since he was a puppy. While I lived with family when I got him, I was the one who raised him. Last year, I had to relocate rather quickly for a new job and I ended up in an apartment that did not allow dogs. My parents kept my dog at their house, because he was used to being at their house during the day when I was at work, and I visited every weekend for a year. Fast forward a year later, and I am now living in a new place that is very dog friendly. I waited almost 2 months to bring him to the new place to make sure this would be a good fit for him. I brought him up over the weekend and presented him with a familiar setup (same dog pen, bed, food, dishes, etc.). He actually did okay and relaxed when I was in the apartment with him and he could see me- he followed me all over. He was willing to eat and even went to the bathroom in the presence of a lot of distractions. However, he struggled when he could not see me. I practiced having him go in his dog pen with the door closed several times both days, and he howled and cried. He would not calm down when he was in his pen with the door closed even when I was in the same room with him. I was not sure how he would react to being left alone in his pen, so my parents were on call to meet half way and bring him back to their house. I ended up sending him home because I knew there was no way I would be able to go to work the next day.
In all likelihood, my parents will be moving into an apartment or senior living facility in the next few years, so there will be no option but for my dog to live in an environment other than a house. Any suggestions as to how to make this transition successful for him?
Just to provide some more information- when he is at my parents house, he is fine being alone being in his pen with the door closed, and very willingly follows the command "go in" when he knows people are leaving. He even anticipates when people are leaving and goes into the pen without the prompt.