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Biting me when I leave.

My 3 yr old lab goes crazy when I pick the keys up each morning when I go to work. He is barking and has just started to bite me when I try to leave. When the wife leaves he's not as bad. He's on the verge of where I have to sneak out before I leave in the morning. Can Anyone help me on what to do with my dog?
6 Responses
1916673 tn?1420233270
Hi. Yes, this is separation anxiety. Your dog is actually trying his best to protect you. He feels he should be with you to prevent anything bad happening to you while you are out. This is a very serious and potentially dangerous development in his behaviour. He has become over-dependant on you and fixing it will be a difficult process - more for you, actually, because you need to wean him away from your attention.

Does he sit close to you when you are home? Does he want you to touch, stroke and pat him often? Who feeds him? Where does he sleep?

Theideal situation would be for ou to acquire a dog behaviourist to deal with this, so that might be something you could look into. I can offer some "starting" advice ... but an on-hand behaviourist would be much better and deal with the problem faster.

Tony
1696489 tn?1370821974
Try making your leaving a 'happy time' for him.  Keep special 'busy-treats', like the toys you can put treats into, bones that take awhile to chew on, etc.  Have 5 min of playtime right before you leave, then AS YOU GO TO THE DOOR, present the treat to him, always praising good behavior - he will associate your leaving with something awesome - your attention and that treat.  Always pick up what is left of it when you come home, and don't use the same one every day, AND remember he ONLY gets it when you leave. :)
974371 tn?1424653129
Agree with Tony that it is separation anxiety.  I see he is 3 years old.  Is this a new behavior?  Is he a new dog for you or have you had him since he was a pup?  What is he doing while you are gone?  Is he loose in the house alone? Any barking, howling, destruction issues?  
Aside from that, you can start some reconditioning techniques, assuming you probably follow the same routines in the morning.  Leave your keys out.  Now and then, pick them up but do not leave the house.  Wait a bit and put them away.  Ignore the dog.  If he does not react to that, start picking up the keys and go out the door then come back in and ignore the dog.  This can be repeated also.  You can try extending the time you are outside the door to maybe a minute or two.  Ignore the dog coming and going.  
You can try the great truck and see if that works.  Trying to give him a large Kong with treats or peanut butter before you go may help.  
Biting is NOT acceptable.  If he does that when you go to leave, turn around and walk towards him until he starts to back up and preferably sit.  Try leaving again and repeat.  You can say nothing or give a firm No! Once.  
This can be difficult to deal with but it does take time and patience.  Even when you come home, don't make a big fuss and, if he is over excited, walk past him and wait until he settles down to praise and greet him.  
You can look up separation anxiety in dogs and read up on it.  
Please a little more info and update!
974371 tn?1424653129
I love auto correct!!!!

You can try the treat trick and see if that works.  Please don't use a truck.  
675347 tn?1365460645
COMMUNITY LEADER
Good advice above.

He is trying to control you. That's what the biting is about. Not to injure you but to control you. He obviously doesn't want you to leave. Dogs only have their mouths to convey these sorts of feelings.
Is he left for long periods of time on his own while you and your wife work?

When he bites -what do you do? Do you talk to him, push his body, make exclamations, shout at him, make noises or even laugh? All these are emotional interactions as far as he's concerned, and he has delayed your departure and got you to interact with him. Which is what he wants.

I agree the biting has to stop ASAP. His attitude has become aggressive now, even though his 'heart' may not mean you any harm. It's time to try to break something which could become at the least -a nuisance habit, and at the worst -dangerous for visitors or family.

14818498 tn?1436719801
This dog is suffering from separation anxiety and does not want you to leave.
Here are a few tips to help stop this:

http://dogtrainingbyvideo.com/how-to-stop-separation-anxiety/
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