Tips For Curing Separation Anxiety In Dogs

You arrive home from work to a crazy, spinning, whirlwind of energy.  Your dog follows you to your bedroom, where you find that she has chewed up your very expensive pair of shoes.  Your next-door neighbour comes to complain to you that your dog has once again been driving the neighbourhood crazy by howling all day long.  If this scenario is familiar, then your dog is probably suffering from separation anxiety.

Here are 5 tips to help you deal with the separation anxiety

1/ Taking your dog for a walk before leaving the house

You should try starting your day by taking the dog for a brisk walk.  Use a dog pack with additional weight in it to make the walk even more rigorous.  Afterwards, reward the dog with food and water for its calm-submissive energy.  Even though some dogs need their rest before eating, all dogs can use some hydration.  The idea here is leaving the dog in a calm and relaxing mode while you are not around.

2/ No talk, no touch, no eye contact

Do not make a great deal when leaving the house and when coming back. In so doing, you are communicating to the dog that being apart isn’t a great deal.  Depending on the level of anxiety in your dog, you may have to practice the rule for 5 minutes up one hour before leaving and once you get back.

3/ Saying goodbye to the dog before you leave

If you are having trouble practising the no talk, no touch, no eye contact, remember that the dog won’t get its feelings hurt if you don’t say goodbye.  Keep in mind that you are doing this for the dog, so be strong and don’t make a big deal of leaving.

4/ Staying calm and assertive

Once you are ready to go to work, leave you’re concerned, nervous and guilty feelings back at home.  Instead, make it known to the dog that all will be all right by projecting the confidence and energy of a pack leader.  Calm and assertive leadership helps ease separation anxiety in dogs.

5/ Starting out small by leaving the dog alone for just five minutes

Leave the dog alone for 5 minutes, then extend this to 20 minutes, then to an hour.  Over a week-end continually increase the amount of time spent away till you achieve a full 8 hours without having any more problems with your dog.

Mark Mansfield

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