[HELP] My puppy that used to be good alone, now has separation anxiety after COVID quarantine

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/iyg6un/help_my_puppy_that_used_to_be_good_alone_now_has/

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I am sure I am not alone in this, but I got my puppy a little over a year ago and gradually got him quite good at being left alone (he was good up to 6 hours), but now after months of quarantine he has regressed beyond even when we first got him.

We got him at 10 weeks, socialized him, trained him a ton, and made sure to work on his separation anxiety. He was in a crate the first 5 months or so we had him. We would leave him in there when we left and when we slept and despite being pretty bad overnight, he was good for about 2-3 hours if we had to leave. Gradually we let him out as he never really acclimated all that well to the crate overnight, despite being decent when we left during the day. This wasn't us giving up, he never viewed it as a den no matter how many treats or toys we gave him in there or however long we would ignore his barking. The overnight barking was especially bad because he is a schnauzer so has an extremely loud bark and hates being seperated. From there, he slept in bed with us and we would give him free reign in the house when we left during the day. We gradually extended the length of time he was alone during the day until he was completely fine for 6 hours (no barking, destruction, or anything).

Then COVID hit and we were home all day. We have started to transition to leaving the house more often (we are in NYC) and on our Furbo we can see he barks immediately when we leave and does not stop for hours. This especially is difficult because we are in an apartment building and have had neighbor complaints. I try to exercise/stimulate him before we go, give him treats as we are leaving or touching the keys, and give him tons of toys to play with and still he goes straight to the door and starts howling the entire time we are gone. I thought I had a pretty good handle on how to train this, but I clearly was wrong. My current approach is just to start leaving every day for 2 hours at the same time so at least there is some consistency, but that doesn't seem to be working. I really don't think reverting to the crate will help as he really has never liked it regardless of the amount of positive associations. Any advice would really be appreciated.

submitted by /u/Pavoman23
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