21 Apr DOGS SEPARATION ANXIETY
Simulated separation anxiety is often manifested when the dog lacks leadership as well as self-control.
The following is a list of symptoms that may indicate separation anxiety: Urinating and Defecating, Barking and Howling, Chewing, Digging and Destruction, Escaping, Pacing ecc..
For some dogs, even being verbally reprimanded for such behavior is rewarding because he feels he was noticed.
We like our dogs to be with us and when they are puppies, we take them everywhere for socialization. Then, we have to leave them alone, but they reach an age when they not only want, but also feel the need to be with us—we are their source of confidence, their security, and their pack.
A change in their routines can create the symptoms of dog separation anxiety, but destruction and stress can also be created by boredom and lack of exercise.
The following is a list of situations that have been associated with development of separation anxiety:
Change of Guardian or Family. Being abandoned, surrendered to a shelter or given to a new guardian or family can trigger the development of separation anxiety.
Change in Schedule. An abrupt change in schedule in terms of when or how long a dog is left alone can trigger the development of separation anxiety.
Change in Residence. Moving to a new residence can trigger the development of separation anxiety.
Change in Household Membership. The sudden absence of a resident family member, either due to death or moving away, can trigger the development of separation anxiety.
Part of getting your dog comfortable with your absence is desensitizingthem to all the little things you do before you walk out the door.Dog overcomes their anxiety does not correspond to the severity of the symptoms, the age of the dog, or the breed. Every dog is an individual.
You can begin to slowly desensitize them to longer and longer absences. In a period of time up to 30 mins total, practice going to the door and stepping outside the house for variable periods of time. For example, if my dog’s panic began the moment I walked out the door, I might start with the steps below on day 1.
Here are some other things to keep in mind as you move forward:
Breaks are essential. Don’t try to work with your dog on training every day. For both your dog’s sanity, and your own, take at least one day off per week.
This is a high-stress type of training so we need to be careful not to ask too much of the dog. Stick to 30 minutes of training per day total.
Dogs are terrible at generalizing, which means that if you’re only working on your alone-time training at 10am every morning, your dog won’t understand that the same principles apply to 3pm and 8pm. Be sure to practice at different times of day.
If you live in a multi-person household, be sure that everyone is involved in at least 1 training session per week. If Mom is doing all the training while the rest of the family is out of the house, the dog will struggle to be left alone when people besides Mom are leaving.
As you move forward with your training, expect to go slowly. Remember this is called “gradual desensitization” for a reason!