I have a 2 year old pure bred Basset Hound. He has only been mine for about 7 months, but I love him to death! He is a lovable, well trained dog, an excellent hunter, and even a licensed therapy dog- so long as I am with him. The moment I leave his side he loses his mind. Howling, barking, scratching to get near me, chewing things, messing in places out of spite. He even gets to the point of illness. He won't eat/drink (not even treats or toys, which he has tons of). He won't sleep. He even gets diarrhea, tremors, and occasional vomiting. When I come back he barks and cries and jumps on me (which he knows not to do). Due to cranky neighbors, I had to buy him a bark collar, which I would normally disagree with. I've tried crating him, ignoring him, rewarding him when I leave for a second with no barking- nothing seems to work, it all just stresses him more. Now its getting worse. We recently moved and I got a new job (one which actually requires me to leave him during the day). I know this is stressful for him, but it's been over a month since the move and he is still getting worse. Keep in mind, he's not entirely alone. He has another dog to play with, and my husband is usually home, if he isn't then someone is here with the animals. Now it's turning into other behavioral issues. He's starting to question me being Alpha. He's starting to hesitate before listening to commands, pulling on the lead during walks, and going after the cats. He has even briefly snarled at my husband and my mother because they got between me and him (by physically standing between us or pulling him away). Which he has NEVER NEVER NEVER done. He has been through obedience classes and passed with flying colors. Like I mentioned earlier, he is even a licensed therapy dog. I don't know what to do to help him understand that he doesn't have to be at my side at all times without completely shunning him. I do enjoy him laying on the couch with me during a movie and things like that, but when I have to go somewhere without him, I wish he would play with his toys or lay down.
Has anyone else has this issue to this severity? or with a Basset Hound? How have you taken care of it? PLEASE HELP! I don't have the money right now for more classes, or I would take him to a professional trainer. He is the first dog I have ever gotten who was already over a year old. My dogs in the past learned to be alone very early in life so this has never been a problem.
We went through some of this with our Cocker Spaniel. We tried a homeopathic called "Natures Remedy". We finally resorted to a small dose of Valium because she was so frantic when left alone. She's gone now but with our new Corgi I've been reading a lot and doing things differently. It seems that exercise is helpful with a number of issues. Even though he's a Basset Hound, some extra walks or even playing with a ball might be helpful. Walking on a leash also helps with manners. Leaving him with a Kong stuffed with treats might be helpful and remember to leave him without making a fuss over him. The same with coming back.