Mr. Mike Wilcox, Editor

August 30, 2011

First, let me say it’s refreshing to know that your Golden is kept indoors, not chained or fenced outside.  That’s a whole different topic!  I do, however, disagree with ‘everyone’ who tells you she will ‘get over’ her separation anxiety.  That is not likely to happen without several changes in her lifestyle.  She’s bored being alone all day.  Dogs are pack animals, whether their pack is other dogs or people.  It would be wonderful if she could accompany you to work.  If she’s not crate trained, she should be (in my opinion).  But it will take time and persistence to make that happen.  The crate needs to be big enough for her to stand and turn around.  It needs to be her safe haven; therefore, she is never put there as punishment.  If she’s fed in her crate it will be helpful.  Short stays initially will get it started.  A short stay is a minute with a treat as a reward and in a place where she can see you.  It takes time!  Goldens need plenty of exercise.  A tired dog (puppy) is a good dog!  Safe toys to ease her anxiety are a good choice.  Nylabone and Kong toys are typically the safest.  It appears her crimes are all crimes of opportunity.  She’s doing these things to entertain herself and alleviate her anxiety.  I hope you don’t punish her for your shortfalls!  Dogs live in the moment.  If you come home to a chewed article of clothing and rant, it means nothing to her.  However, if you see her pick up something she shouldn’t have, calmly take it and replace it with one of her toys.  You can’t praise her enough for her good choices.  She wants to be around you and I assume you her or you wouldn’t have gotten a dog.  When you get your crate, get two–one for your office!  Since you’re the boss, you won’t need permission to bring her to work!  I speak from my experiences with 11 Goldens over the past 30 years.  For your sake, I hope these suggestions help.  Especially for her sake, I hope they do, too!  Leave a radio on to keep her company when she’s home alone.

Judy Brankel

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