My Cocker Licks The Door Frame!

by AB
(Topeka, KS)

My cocker spaniel is 3 years old and we got him from the pound just after Christmas.

He's a very well-trained and sweet dog, however, when we're outside working in the yard he will lick and chew on the door frames until we come in. He apparently has separation anxiety.

During the day when we are away at work, he does not do this. On the weekdays he is on a schedule, much like we have to be. We are away from home from 7 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon.

On the weekends we keep him as close to the weekday schedule as we can, but now it is nice outside we like to be out in the evening. We do not have a fenced yard and I have chained him up when we are out and he does fine with this.

Is there anything I can use around the door? I have tried soap, vinegar, and Tabasco sauce and it does not seem to phase him. He gets everything wet and his front is soaked.

Please help. We love this dog, but this habit along with his peeing when excited is getting OLD!!!!

Thank you.

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Separation Anxiety
by: Pauline

You're right, your cocker spaniel is suffering from separation anxiety. You can teach him to be comfortable alone, but it needs to be done slowly and with patience.

Try feeding him and then play with him for a few minutes. Settle him down by giving him a few quiet cuddles and then put him in his crate. Leave the room for a minute and then return. If your puppy is in his crate, praise him and pop a small treat into his crate. Next time you leave him, leave him for two minutes. If he's tired and fed he may just fall asleep.

Continue with the above, gradually extending the amount of time you leave him alone.

If you don't use a crate, just leave him on his bed or a blanket. The crate isn't important here, what is, is leaving him settled and comfortable in a room without you.

Here's a link to a page about helping your puppy overcome separation anxiety. You'll find a couple more relevant links at the bottom of the page.

Hope this helps - good luck!

Cocker licks door frame
by: Anonymous

Why can't you train him to the point where he stays with you outside without being on a leash or chained up?

Being alone for 9 hours, 5 days a week is way too long for any dog, he must be so bored and lonely with nobody to talk to him or even letting him outside.

I realise you need to work but surely there's something you can do?

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