I've read the articles on Separation Anxiety, but just want to check my thinking here to make sure we are on the right track.
We made it through spaying and subsequent cone trauma. Now, at 7 months, she's started barking with the occasional little howl when we leave the house. She's always done this to a degree, but it generally stops after a few minutes and she goes to sleep (I set the iPad up to record when we leave).
The last few times we've gone to dinner, she appears to have barked/howled/whined for the full two hours or so, with just a bit of quiet time. She doesn't touch the treat we leave, but eats it as soon as we return. Normally she's crated when we leave. The last time, we left her in the family room - no destructive behavior, still barked. She did manage to turn on the TV (note - remove remote from coffee table)
I've started doing practice leaves, so she knows we are coming back. Also not making a big deal about it. Have also started putting her in the crate and leaving the room for periods, rewarding her when she's quiet. Anything else I should be doing? And is this possibly just another phase?
Thanks for any advice.