Help with separation anxiety and fear of men

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Hi there,

I know this has probably been covered a million times, but we have a few issues compounded that I’d love some advice on. My husband and I have always adopted project pups with physical challenges and health challenges to overcome, but I’ve never had a dog that needed training for behavior before now.

My husband and I adopted a 2 year old stray. She is the sweetest and most loving, snuggly little girl I’ve ever met. She has been through a very traumatic two years and as a result can be skittish around men. She’s usually fine, but if a man approaches her from above she cowers away. She’s fine if she is the one approaching the man. It also can come out of nowhere. She will be happy getting lots of pats and scratches, then something triggers in her and she flinches and slinks away. She also has separation anxiety about me. She follows me like a little shadow, if I try to leave her alone or with someone else she is upset. If she is alone she scratches and rips things around the door until I come back, and if she is with someone else she cowers and hides in the corner until I return.

This is an issue because while I’m around 24/7 for now, I’m a teacher and will go back to work soon. She really needs to become comfortable with her dad, because our dogs have always come to work with him every day. In a couple weeks, she will only see me after 5:00.

I’m glad she feels comfortable with her mama, but I know this behavior is not healthy. How do I help her get over the separation anxiety and get her comfortable with her dad? I’m trying to tackle both issues at once.

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