Tips To Overcome Separation Anxiety In Dogs - Dog Training – Obedience, Tips and Tricks, Basics Commands, Techniques

Tips To Overcome Separation Anxiety In Dogs – Dog Training – Obedience, Tips and Tricks, Basics Commands, Techniques

Have you noticed that your dog gets nervous whenever you leave the house? You may also find that your house is destroyed upon your arrival back home. Your dog is very likely suffering from something called separation anxiety. It is estimated that between 15 percent and 20 percent of dogs suffer from separation anxiety. The good thing is that separation anxiety is able to be treated with proper attention; this will allow you to have peace of mind when you leave your dog at home alone.

What is Separation Anxiety In Dogs

The dog is an animal that needs social contact, especially with its personal family and owner. When the puppy is born, he must spend two to three months with his mother and herd since it is from them that he will learn most of the things he needs to become a balanced dog. When he comes home after his adoption, we usually spend a lot of time with him, but with the day-to-day obligations that appear in our lives, we are forced to leave him alone for long periods of time.

If you have not dedicated enough training time since he was a puppy to teach him to be without people or other dogs, it is normal that a situation of change like this generates a great amount of uncertainty and stress. However, a dog is not born with separation anxiety; dogs with separation anxiety acquire it with time. That is why with the appropriate techniques, you can try to soften the effects of this disorder as much as possible.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

  • Repetitive movements
  • Continuous barking
  • Obsessive licking or biting, which can lead to self-mutilation
  • Damage at home (objects, furniture, walls, doors)
  • The dog urinates or defecates inside the house to mark his territory
  • Obsessively waiting behind the door for the return of its owner
  • Escape attempts

These are the most common signs of anxiety in dogs. They can add to the feeling of panic, depression, or anguish. In these cases, dogs have a terrible time, and it is our duty, as the person responsible for them, to help them.

Tips To Overcome Separation Anxiety In Dogs - Dog Training – Obedience, Tips and Tricks, Basics Commands, Techniques

Leaving The Puppy At Home Alone: First Steps

Puppies, before arrival in their new home, have generally never experienced loneliness. The reason is that they have found themselves surrounded by their siblings at all times during the first weeks of life. Training should not start right after the new family member’s arrival, as the puppy has a lot to get used to first, and leaving him alone would only add more stress to the situation.

Taking the time to bond between owner and dog is also essential, a prerequisite for keeping your dog calm with your departure. After giving him a few days to get used to his new home, you can start small with short exercises each day. Start with something simple. For example, when your puppy is entertained with a new toy or a special treat, leave him alone for a minute, no more, since he does not have to miss you.

Go in and out of the room several times so your dog understands that you will always come back. In the next step, the difficulty is slightly increased since you have to leave your dog in the room for a short time.

Exit the room and re-enter in a maximum of two minutes, in a relaxed and calm manner. In this way, your dog will understand that your leaving and return is the most normal thing in the world. If your furry complains when you are away, ignore him and pay him no attention; reduce the time of absence in the next exercise. If he has behaved appropriately, praise him. This will begin to get the dog used to your daily routine.

Home Alone

After the two-minute absent exercises are over, it’s time to move on to the round of leaving home for about three minutes. It would help if you did not leave your puppy alone when he is sleeping. Also, do not say goodbye before leaving, but try to act normally: if you transmit calm, your furry will not get nervous. Practice this brief separation several times in different ways, leave the house as if it were any other day, first without the jacket, and then with it. All variants should become completely normal for your puppy.

Once your puppy has gotten used to these short periods of loneliness, gradually increase the time away. Go to the bakery or pick up the mail, but don’t make the durations too long and make sure the return is unpredictable. Come back after ten minutes, then repeat the exercise with five and, finally, with fifteen. In this way, your furry will get used to the flexibility of the times, and you will prevent him from waiting for you for a certain number of minutes.

A toy adapted for puppies or a chew bone can be an excellent option to keep your dog entertained. During this learning stage, it is still convenient that you stay, at least for a few minutes, in an area where you can find out if your dog cries or barks when you are away.

However, in no case should you respond from the outside to any of these signals since only those unwanted behaviors would be enhanced. When this exercise is properly executed, you can always continue to extend the period you leave him alone. However, until a puppy is four months old, this time should not exceed two hours.

Possible drawbacks:

If your puppy cannot remain calm despite these exercises when you leave him alone at home or even when you leave the room, it may be due to various reasons. These are some of them:

  • You have lengthened your absence times too fast: In this case, take a few steps back in training and perform the exercises keeping the periods short until the puppy feels confident. Only then will you be able to extend the times again.
  • The bond between the dog and the owner is not yet solid: so it is recommended to spend more time on the exercises.
  • Too much time alone: ​​up to four months, the puppies should not be left alone for more than two hours.
  • Storms, thunder, or slamming doors: if your dog is scared in your absence, it can mean a setback in the evolution of his training. Do not do the exercises in bad weather.
  • When the hierarchy has not yet been defined, leaving him alone can become a problem: if your furry looks like the head of the pack, it is natural that he wants to accompany you.
  • Before leaving your dog for a long time, he should be relaxed.

Only a happy dog can be left alone – remember, only practice makes perfect. Although you enjoy every minute with your young dog, there are also situations where he should stay home. For example, when you want to go to the movies or a shopping center. Take each step of the training slowly and think positive thoughts as the tranquility you emulate will also be transmitted to your furry.

Tricks And Tips For Overcoming Separation Anxiety In Dogs

1. Before Leaving, tire him out

As we recommended in this other article, before trying any other technique, the first step will be to make sure we “tire” the dog before leaving him alone. And tiring a dog is not just about taking him for a run or throwing the ball at him for hours. To be in optimal condition, a dog needs both physical and mental fatigue.

Obviously, it would help if he expended energy running, walking, and playing, but you also need to allow him to sniff, investigate his surroundings, and develop social relationships.

2. Give him a special toy when you leave

Toys allow the dog to be entertained for a long time, disconnecting his brain from the main source of anxiety (thinking “I’ve been left alone”). The trick is to only give it to him when you leave. In this way, you will end up creating a positive association with your absence, and you will ensure that the dog stays calm with your departure.

3. Olfactory mats

Olfactory mats can be bought or made at home. They are carpets made up of several pieces of fabric, among which you can hide sweets and other prizes. The dog has to use his nose to find them. This matt is a simple way to guarantee a good time and entertainment for your dog in which concentration and reward will be present.

4. Leave the garment of a family member

We know that the smell of dogs is much more powerful than that of personal beings. For a dog suffering from separation anxiety, the scent of his personal family members is a great source of reassurance. You can try leaving some of your garments (we recommend that they be old, in case you want to express your anxiety with a destructive desire) that you have previously worn.

Yes, it may seem unhygienic, but it really is necessary for it to function. It doesn’t matter to your dog that your shirt still smells like “wildflower” fabric softener; rather it smells like you.

5. Prepare a tour with sweets hidden

This is the “walking around the house” version of the olfactory mat. It consists of hiding small prizes (sweets, toys) in corners and other hiding places within a room. It will pique the dog’s curiosity and keep him entertained for a moment. But this activity is not recommended for all dogs. Some might take this treasure hunt very seriously and turn the house upside down to find the hiding place of a hypothetical sweetie.

6. Pheromones to relieve separation anxiety

Pheromones are chemicals that all living things give off. Dogs are susceptible to them and perceive them through smell. There are different types of pheromones that convey different types of messages. For example, when their puppies suckle, female dogs secrete a calming pheromone. It is these pheromones that have been synthetically recreated in the laboratory for use in products that are sold in commerce. There is a wide range, from necklaces to electric diffusers, through pills or sprays.

7. Try leaving ambient noise at home

Another trick is to leave an ambient noise in another room (television, radio with chat rooms…) so that it seems that there is someone at home. Not to mention the podcasts and shows that have been developed especially for dogs in recent years. Far from “fooling the dog” into thinking that he is not alone at home, these channels have developed a complete program that supposedly is interesting for dogs.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.