Labrador rescue can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things in the world. Adopted Labradors are forever grateful and offer a close companion to the family that saved their life. As with any rescue animal, though, your new pet may come to you with a little anxiety about being alone.
If you notice that your new pet Labrador tends to bark or whine when you leave it’s sight, your dog may have abandonment issues. Most dogs with abandonment issues will tend to cling to their owners, following them wherever they go and not letting them out of their sight. Some will even act out when you are away, destroying furniture or getting into things they know they are not supposed to.
This behavior is a way for your Labrador to let you know that they are scared of being alone. After being abandoned once or more, your pet can be extremely anxious about it happening again. This causes them to become very needy, requiring constant attention or reassurance that you won’t do the same thing the owners before you have done. Your Labrador rescue pet may show you the signs of it’s abandonment issues as a cry for help, asking you to show that you are in their life for good.
You can reinforce your commitment to your Labrador rescue by following a daily routine. Don’t make a big deal about coming or going. Simply carry on about your day as you would if your new pet wasn’t there, allowing some extra time for affection during good behavior. If your Labrador barks or whines when you go out of sight, don’t suddenly reappear. This shows your pet that you come when they make noise so they will continue to do so. If your Labrador gets too clingy and under-foot, you can put up baby gates in certain areas of your home to teach them boundaries. If they jump and whine at the gate, the best action is to simply ignore them. If they show restraint and simply lay near the gate, be sure to show them that this is good behavior by acknowledging them every 15 minutes or so; A simply pat on the head or a “Good dog!” will do.
Keep in mind that abandonment issues in Labrador rescues are not the fault of the dog. People before you have left their mark in a bad way. Don’t let your pet control the house, but be sure to show it that you’ll stick around.