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Hello, this is my first post here.
My roommate has a 14 year old Rat Terrier/Chihuahua mix that whines for hours when my roommate has gone to work. When we first moved in she let the dog roam around freely in the house, but the dog would use the bathroom all over the house.

We have gotten a baby gate to keep on the door so the dog can see outside of her room. She also has access to food, water, toys, and a puppy pad. I will feel bad for the dog and take her into the back yard to use the bathroom and run around with her to get some energy out, but when I put her back in the room her whining seems to get even worse. I'm worried for the dog because she whines so hard you can hear it straining her vocal chords. It is also extremely distracting. You can hear it all through the house, and I even heard her when I went to check the mail earlier.

What can we do to help her be comfortable when left alone? On days when we are both at work I obviously can't be there to let her out, and on days when I am home it wakes me up and generally keeps me from focusing on anything that requires concentration, like reading a book for example.

My roommate takes her outside before and after leaving the house, and has tried leaving her alone in the room for increasing amounts of time when she is home. It has only been a week but the dog has shown no signs of improvement.
 

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*We have only lived in this house since the end of October, but I'm told the dog has always had this problem so I don't think it is solely a reaction to an environment change.
 

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Is she whining when you go to her to take her in the back yard?

If so, letting her out when she is whining reinforces that whining will get her out. She will whine endlessly for hours if she knows there is a chance that the whining will work. I would only let her out after a few minutes of calm/silence.

Now if it truly is separation anxiety, there are protocols to work on that. Take a stab at the stickies in this forum. It will take lots of time and dedication.
 
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