Q & A — Separation Anxiety
My daughter has a Chihuahua, Apollo. He’s been with her since he was a couple of months old. Our neighbor’s child locked him outside in the rain. He was there a couple of hours before I heard him crying. I went over, got him and called the neighbor. She stated that she was looking for homes for him and his brother. That was in May, 2015. Apollo does have separation anxiety. He doesn’t want to be left alone even for a few minutes. He acts out by peeing all through the house. My question is:
What is the best way to help him over this?
He will also just randomly pee on things in the house even if one of us or both of us are here with him. We do let him outside when he goes to the door. He won’t use pee pads.
We have never had a Chihuahua before and someone told us that their temperament is different. I don’t know if that is true. We’ve never had a male dog before either.
Time, patience, and positive reinforcement. Also, for periods when you have to leave him unattended, does he have a crate? A good crate can be a lifesaver for both you and the dog, as it provides him with a safe, cave-like place that is his and his alone.
Until he is properly house trained, there needs to be 100% vigilance with him when he is free-roaming / loose. If no one is able to pay close attention to him, a play pen that zips closed is a good alternative. You can put a bed, blanket, and some toys or a bully stick in with him, so he can stretch and move about but is comfortably confined while your attention is elsewhere.
Lots of patience and constant vigilance though. Males are instinctually driven to mark, and since he’s already marked inside before, he will be able to smell those areas (dogs are 80,000 – 100,000 times more sensitive in sense of smell than humans) so get them as clean as you can, use some enzymatic cleaner, but still pay constant attention and intercede/correct him any time he goes toward an area to lift his leg.