I'm a new user and am hoping you can all give me some advice on helping my puppy with some issues we are having.
Tigger is an Red Heeler and Labrador Mix. His mom is a stray that showed up at work a year ago. She took the neighbor's Labrador as a boyfriend and had her pups in a loading site. We moved her to a storage unit that had ac because we didn't want any of them hurt and of course she and the pups won all of us over, even our loaders and foreman. Everyone ended up adopting a pup and mom still lives here on site because she's terrified of cars (maybe someone dumped her?). Anyway, we all took our pups home at 6 weeks because they were already escaping the gated area we tried to create for them and there are trucks and machines around that could cause serious injury to a curious pup.
Tigger has seen a vet and has gotten the best rating a former street dog could get (only has a skin irritation, no worms!). He's doing great in his potty training and gets along with his 2 adoptive cat-sisters (the oldest grooms him and the youngest plays with him).
I consider myself a pet-veteran, had cats and dogs all my life. My husband in a newbie but we both try to research as much as possible to give them the best care. (No kids yet so they are our babies).
The problem is: Tigger whines and cries whenever I am out of sight, even if my husband is with him and offering affection/reassurance. When I leave for work he screams and howls like he's being murdered. Anyone who hears him without looking at him would probably think we were hurting him
He only does this type of crying with me leaving. He couldn't care less when my husband leaves lol. We make sure to divide out pet duties so every pet gets the same amount of mom-dad time, and we make sure Tigger has gone out, eaten, played, gone out again and has water and toys for the day before we leave. He has the mud room to himself, with a baby gate blocking the door and a cat tower inside so his "sisters" can visit and hangout with him. He loves it when we're home, his bed and things are in there and when we tell him to "take a break" or "go to your room" he goes with no issue at all.
He seems otherwise to be on the right track for behavior.
*And yes, I probably made the problem worse the first few times it happened because I immediately went to reassure him, it just sounded so horrible, I hate hearing him cry like that.*
Am I emotionally scarring my puppy by leaving him when it's obvious he doesn't like it? Does he have separation anxiety? How do I tell?