Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety

separation anxiety

This can be a mild to a serious problem in some dogs. Dogs like to be with their pack members; maybe too

much, and develop a case of separation anxiety. Depending on the age, confidence, and energy, this can be

managed.

For young dogs, a good walk, play (to get their energy down, along with something to do while you’re away as

they’re inside their crate) can help them concentrate on the kong or chewie, and less about your leaving. Only

give the special treat when you’re leaving. No other time.

Energetic dogs can develop a much higher sense of separation anxiety, so it’s best to give them a good

workout if they’ll be in a crate for awhile. Again, use a stuffed kong, puzzle, or chewie to give them something

to do when you leave. Make sure the puzzle and/or kong, are safe and can’t be digested.

Older dogs may or may not have to be crated; it depends on your regular routine, but sometimes (when your

family has moved into a new home, or moved to a new area in the house), giving them too much space can

create anxiety, especially when the doorbell rings or looking outside window. It’s too much pressure to guard

and, in that case, perhaps put them in a smaller area of the house.

Some dogs make a big fuss by barking or howling, so the first priority is to get them crate-trained. Throw a

treat in the crate, and to get them to go in, say, “Crate!” or, “Nap Time”, or whatever you want to call putting

him/her in there. Once they go in, say, “Good Boy (Girl)!”

After you’ve successfully trained them to go in the crate using the command and treats, you can now train

them to stay in the crate for an extended time. The crate means relaxation time; a time to chill out in their

space; home.

To start extending the time, say, “Crate Time”, then give them that special super-duper treat, close the crate,

don’t make a big deal about leaving, just leave for about 5 minutes. Come back and just let them out of the

crate. After they’ve calmed down a bit, give them a little affection. Repeat this and extend the time to 10

minutes until you can be away for 30 minutes without an incident. If you’ve successfully worked up to an hour,

take them outside to use the bathroom because this is what you will be doing, anyway, after returning from

your trip.

Some dogs can get so nervous they start drooling, or biting themselves. Don’t feel sorry for them and

acknowledge this behavior! Help get their confidence up and praise them when they’ve done well. A radio or

TV can help keep them company, too. Put the volume on low for them, because remember: their sense of

hearing is much more advanced than ours.

 

If you crate them atseparation_anxiety bedtime and and they’re making a fuss, keeping you up atpatience can wear thin and you may be willing to do anything to get a good night’s rest. If kongs and chew toys don’t work, you can use a water gun to squirt at them with a command such as, “No Bark!” This method is not ideal, but it works for some. Try other methods first.

Some dogs just absolutely hate being in a crate, no matter what; it could be from always being kenneled in

their previous life or just a bad experience. You could try leaving them in a small room with toys, chews, kongs,

etc., and test it out. Make sure there’s nothing valuable or important to you that he/she can get their paws on,

or it’ll be a bad experience for you! Try it out, and if they do well, then trust that they can be free to roam in one

room; then try them out in another room until they can roam the whole house.

Here are more tips:

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/separation-anxiety

http://www.animalhumanesociety.org/training/ill-be-back-really-preventing-separation-anxiety

http://www.cesarsway.com/tips/problembehaviors/5-tips-for-separation-anxiety

 

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