Separation Anxiety

I have a 6 year old male boxer who tries to control my entire life! I've had him as a pet since he was 3 months old but he was going back and forth to the breeder for show training and became a champion at 3 years old. He is very lovable with no aggressive tendencies, weighs 90 lbs, and generally listens to commands like "sit" and "lay down". However, he gets really anxious when he sees that I am leaving - following me from room to room and then when I open the door to leave he jumps on me and barks!

He also constantly whines - sits in front of me without taking his eyes off of me and annoys me with his whining and "pawing" until I take him out. If I'm on the phone or the phone rings, (I work from home) he gets up and comes over to start whining. I realize that I have played into this behavior....by allowing it, but what should I do to stop it??? I walk him sometimes 5-6 times a day and give him lots of attention - he also sleeps in my bed, which I know I shouldn't allow...but after 6 years can I stop it? I am really getting frustrated with how he seems to be taking over my life!

Answer:

Boxers are known for their attachment to their owners which is why they follow us around everywhere. But in your case it sounds like your boxer has taken over. You need to take back some leadership in your relationship with your dog and go back to basics.

Start by insisting he sleeps on the floor next to your bed rather than in it, this may take a couple of nights but it will be worth it :) Have some treats and when he gets on your bed get up and call him off and reward him when he stays on the floor, try to intercept him before he jumps back on the bed. Stick with it and he will learn quickly. Also never take him out if he is nudging you as this means he is making the decisions, ignore him and only once he has settled can you go out for a walk. This will reinforce your authority.

As for the separation anxiety try going out for short periods ie; 5 mins and on your return completely ignore him even if he is jumping all over you just turn your back and do not speak to him, once he settles you can praise him. Gradually increase the time by 5 mins each time (you can do this several times a day). This will reduce his anxiety about you leaving as he is acting like the alpha male and becomes distressed when one of his pack leaves as he thinks he has to protect you. He needs to learn that he is not top dog but you are then he will stop worrying and be able to relax and you can get your life back! ;)

I have a 2 year old boxer boy who is always trying to take alpha position but i refuse to let him and always go back to basics if an unwanted behavior starts. I can now happily leave my dog for up to 6 hours without worrying (maybe more but never tried).

You just have to love the boxer they are so very clever that if your not careful they take over without you even realizing it :lol:

Hope this helps

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Jan 20, 2011
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sepeation anxiety
by: Anonymous

I certainly feel for you, as I am typing this my boxer has his enormous head on my keyboard, he has no boundaries when it comes to what he wants when it comes to affection. He is only 8 months old 75 pounds and really needy.

I have been home with him from the day we got him and I think that is what the anxiety is about when we leave, they think we are a permanent fixture in their lives and that if we go then so should they.

I found that Kash was expecting me to entertain him all day by playing taking him out and just being at his beckon call, well if I had no life then that would be fine, but that's not the case, I find he whines a lot too and what I started doing was I got a kids whistle and every time he started to whine I would blow the whistle and he would stop.

The whining has stopped considerably and he has started entertaining himself, well some of the time, it's hard to not want to play with him. Also my son has a boxer 3 weeks younger and he adores him they look for each other everyday, when Tango is around I don't even exist, so u might wanna try getting him a friend, that might help when u leave if he has someone to keep him company.

As far as the sleeping in the bed goes, I think u made your bed now it belongs to him lol I let Kash do it once and now he thinks it's his as soon as the lights go out I turn around and there he is, but at least he sleeps on his own side.

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