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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Velcro Dog

Chocolate Labs waiting at window
First, I just wanted to say that I love your blog and read it every day, usually with my own little chocolate lab brat lying on my feet.

I have a question about separation anxiety. My boyfriend and I have a 5-month-old chocolate lab named Boomer. He's very sweet and smart and we love him dearly. A couple days ago, Boyfriend had to go out of town for work and he'll be home in another couple of days. When he left, Boomer seemed to just mope around the house for an entire day. The second day, I tried to distract him by taking him walking on a nearby nature trail and setting up a playdate for him with one of my friends' dogs. This seemed to cheer him up a bit, but he's still being extra clingy to me and was very vocal last night about not wanting to go into his crate when I went to have dinner out.

This wouldn't concern me that much as Boyfriend is coming back in two days, except that I have to leave to work in a different city over the summer. It's about two hours away and I'm subleasing an apartment there for the summer, but I will be home on weekends. I was wondering if there's any way to sort of prepare Boomer for this, as I don't want him to be mopey all summer while I'm gone.


Separation anxiety and Labrador Retrievers is very common as they are "people dogs". All they want is to be around people and please their owners.

To prepare for those long periods of absence, I would recommend that you begin to leave the house for long periods of time now. Leave your boyfriend in charge of Boomer and go off to a day out with friends. Show Boomer that is alright for you to be gone for long periods of time because you always come home in the end. And when you come home, bring Boomer something special such as a new treats or toy to show him that the waiting is well worth it. When you return home and act like it is a party just to see Boomer, he will begin to associate your leaving and returning with something good rather then dreading the day his mommy leaves.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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