4. Separation Anxiety
Some dogs have severe separation anxiety. All the misbehavior that takes place while you’re gone is really just his way of dealing with a canine panic attack that’s likely to be at least partly your fault to start with.
What do you do as you’re headed out the door?
Do you give Fido such an effusive goodbye that he feels like something really big is happening, even if you’re just going to the post office?
Dogs are extremely attuned to their owners’ feelings. If you inject a lot of drama into your departure, Fido will definitely take you up on it.
Instead, try being nonchalant. Try not saying goodbye at all. Or, if Fido is following at your heels, just offer a quick pat on the head on your way out. The best way to teach your dog that leaving is no big deal is if you act that way yourself.
There are other things you can do, too. If your dog starts getting anxious the second you pick up your keys, try picking them up on and off all day, then setting them back down without going anywhere.
Eventually, you’ll eliminate your keys as a cue. Another trick is to save a special treat that he’s allowed to have only while you’re gone. But you have to give it to him about 15 minutes or so before you leave. Otherwise, that will become his new cue, and you’ll be creating a new problem.