I have a 4 1/2 month old soft coated wheaten terrier named Gus. He has separation anxiety which we're currently treating. Gus was crate trained and responded very well except when it came to being left alone. When he is left alone for even the shortest periods, Gus will soil his crate (urinate and defecate), pace, pant, whine, and bark.. Unfortunately my wife and I work during the day so we're currently leaving Gus alone at home (2-3 hours at a time, coming home at lunch). We're building up Gus' independence, following methods to desensitize, counter condition and working to eliminate departure cues so we can do away with his separation anxiety (at this point we’re in the very early stages of his treatment). I would appreciate feedback on the following:
Should we be leaving Gus in his crate by himself when we’re gone (and continue to crate train him to love his crate and remain there independently)?
Should we section off a safe area in the house for him to stay while we’re gone?
Or, should we not even be leaving him alone during his treatments for separation anxiety (which could take weeks or months to fix)?
Does anyone have any personal experience or wisdom to impart?
Keep in mind that Gus is currently learning to stay out of our view, and to remain by himself in different rooms than us for short but increasing durations.
I personally would leave him in the crate while gone. A dog suffering from anxity could get into all sorts of trouble if not contained. Maybe you can get some sort of grate to put at the bottom of his crate so if he urinates it will drain through and he wont have to sit in it untill you get back to clean it up.