What is Separation Anxiety in Dogs?
Separation anxiety in dogs is frantic, distressed and often destructive behaviors associated with separation from their pet parents. It can still qualify even if these actions only last for a few minutes. Pet parents often mistake separation anxiety for disobedience or spite, but dogs are actually distressed and upset because of their parent’s absence.
How to train dogs with separation anxiety ?
1. Take steps to prevent separation anxiety in your new dog by conditioning him to accept being left alone.
2. Assess your dog’s anxious behaviors (destructive behavior, vocalization, and inappropriate elimination) to determine if the behaviors might have a cause other than separation anxiety.
3. Understand that your dog’s difficult behavior is not deliberate, and that punishment is ineffective, inappropriate, and will only exacerbate the behavior.
4. Exercise your dog well before you leave. A tired dog has less energy with which to be anxious and destructive. End exercise sessions 20 to 30 minutes before you go, so he has time to settle down.
5. Make your departures and returns completely calm and emotionless. No huggy/kissy “Mummy loves you” scenes. If he gets excited and jumps all over you when you return, ignore him. Turn your back and walk away. When he finally settles down, say hello and greet him very calmly. ( This is very important step )
6. This may sound funny to you but this works well, defuse the pieces of your departure routine by also doing them when you are not leaving. Pick up your car keys and sit down on the sofa to watch TV. Dress in your business suit and then cook dinner. Set your alarm for 5 a.m. on a Saturday or sunday, then roll over and go back to sleep.
7. Make the morning as unpredictable as possible. Mix up the pieces of your departure routine when you are leaving, so his anxiety doesn’t build to a fever pitch as he recognizes your departure cues. We are creatures of habit too, so this is hard to do, but can pay off in big dividends. Eat breakfast before you shower instead of after. Pick up your keys and put them in your pocket before you take your dog out for his final potty break. Put your briefcase in the car while you’re still in pajamas.
8. Teach a “safe” cue such as “I’ll be back,” only when you know you’ll return within the time period your dog can tolerate.
9. Consider working with a behavior professional to be sure you’re on the right path – and to help you explore the possibilities of using anti-anxiety medications to maximize the effectiveness of your modification efforts.
Remember that there is no magic guide on how to cure separation anxiety in dogs immediately. These three easy tips dog owners can use right now to prevent separation anxiety and keep dogs calm.
Three Easy Steps To Train Your Dog Quickly