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My golden is almost 5 years old. I raised him as a puppy, for the first 6 months, until I needed to move far away for a job. My parents took him in when I left. I didn't realize he was so attached to me, but I moved home last summer and I feel like he has problems with me abandoning him. I didn't really think he connected with me so strongly as a puppy, but he remembered all of our old routines (like me singing him good morning songs). Since I've moved home, he quickly bonded with me strongly, again, because I am the only one who takes him for regular walks, makes sure he eats healthy food, etc.

But most of all, I'm the only one in the family who doesn't yell. I've realized that he's affected by living in a very dysfunctional home. He's highly sensitive to people's emotions. When someone yells, he runs to hide behind me, wherever I am, and curls up in fear. The rest of the family has always tried to discipline him through yelling, and I never do- and he's most responsive to me. I can give him a command in the quietest voice and he obeys. He's my buddy, he never leaves my side. Insists on sleeping next to me or at least in my room, and being near me at all times.

I was home and not working for a few months, and this was good for my dog. I work from home and lately need to leave the house more often. I know all dogs get sad when their owner leaves them alone. But I honestly feel TERRIBLE about how sad and extremely depressed he gets when I leave. I've read that dogs don't have a sense of time, so one hour can feel like an eternity. He seems fine when I return home. I just feel so guilty about leaving him. Am I nuts? Will he ever get over it? What can I do to calm him down? I think he's afraid I'll leave him permanently again.
 

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The most important thing you can do for your dog is to not feel sorry for him. I know this can seem hard, and believe me my heart hurts when I see my dogs watching me from the window as I leave my house. If you are super sad when you leave though it will make him more nervous because he wont understand why you are upset. For the most part dogs live in the moment, while he may remember you leaving and it was traumatic for him you can make leaving better by giving him special toys and treats when you are gone.

My dogs love stuffed kong toys. I usually fill them with a mixture of dog food, peanut butter, and low sodium beef or chicken broth and then I freeze it. It's a great treat and it makes the time you leave more fun!
 

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Thanks. Any other suggestions?? He seriously freaks out when I leave the house. Even if other people are home. He only gets sad when I leave. Maybe he will get used to it eventually? Anyone know how long it takes for a dog to get used to this?
 
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