Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

Personal protection puppy training
In order to stop our dogs from having separation anxiety, we first need to understand what is causing it.
Since it is not natural for a pack animal to be left alone, this can also occur in a submissive dog that does see you as the leader, but that is not completely secure within his pack or a dog that has not learned how to handle being alone.
The Material contained herein may not be reproduced without the prior written approval of the author. Seperation anxiety may be preventable with proper socialization and training when a puppyPuppies should be well socialized with other animals and people.
You may still want to crate your dogs while you are gone, however having the crates close to one another can ease your dogs’ tension, as they will not be alone.
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When you leave, it intensifies her stress and she acts out because she does not know what else to do with this built-up energy. I, too, have worked with dogs a lot, not in fostering, but I have been a groomer and worked for 2 vets. When you bring your puppy out of alone time, to socialize with the family, make sure that you only get him when he is quietly playing with his toys.
Saying goodbye to a dog is something that helps the human deal with the separation, but in reality the ritual of saying goodbye means nothing to the dog. We own two adult dogs who can have some separation anxiety problems when we are away from home on vacations and such. Sometimes it is just a small thing that makes the difference with controlling this problem. A well adjusted puppy should do well either alone or with the family and will be less likely to have seperation anxiety in the future. If you do not understand the instincts of the dog and his pack members, the articles on this page Understanding Dog Behavior will give you a better idea of how your dog instinctively thinks.


When a dog walks with her mind focused on her owner, she releases both physical and mental energy.
This too, although it does not happen often, is separation anxiety because it only happens when we leave the house. Some dogs will attempt to escape or become extremely anxious when confined, so that destructiveness or house-soiling when a dog is locked up in a crate, basement, or laundry room, may be due to confinement or barrier anxiety and associated attempts at escape. In other situations fear or anxiety due to an external event (construction, storms, fireworks) may trigger destructive behaviors.
Old dogs with medical problems such as loss of hearing or sight, painful conditions and cognitive dysfunction may become more anxious in general, and seek out the owner's attention for security and relief.
Perhaps the best way to determine if the behaviors are due to the anxiety associated with the owner's departure is to make an audiotape or movie clip of the behavior when the dog is alone. He plays with toys all the time now too, which he didn't do for months when we first adopted him.
With separation anxiety you must reinforce the pet for settling down, relaxing and showing some independence, while attention seeking and following behaviors should never be reinforced. In time, a daily routine should be established where the dog learns to lie on its mat after each exercise, play and training session to either nap or play with its own toys. Audible cues such as a radio, CD or TV, odors such as aromatherapy candles or a piece of clothing with the owner's scent, and a comfortable bed can help to promote a relaxed response since they are associated with relaxation and owner presence (non-departure). In addition, the pet must learn to accept progressively longer periods of inattention and separation while the owners are at home. If you can prevent your dog from observing any of these anxiety inducing pre-departure cues, or if you can train your dog that these cues are no longer predictive of departure, then the anxiety is greatly reduced.
Even with the best of efforts some dogs will still pick up on "cues" that the owner is about to depart and react. Train your pet to associate these cues with enjoyable, relaxing situations (rather than the anxiety of impending departure).


He is an extremely well-behaved dog, always has been, but he seems to suffer from separation anxiety when my husband or I leave. I am currently expecting my first child, so the dog is rarely left alone (and when he is it's for 4 hours or less), but with a lot of upcoming doctor appointments, I am worried the problem will continue.
I can't stand the thought of losing him, but with a baby on the way, I cannot afford to lose my home either. You may need to begin with food lure exercises, starting with a down-stay and gradually increasing the time and the level of relaxation at each session. Once the pet will stay in your presence, begin to walk away and return beginning with just a few feet for a few seconds and progressing over time to leaving the room for 30 minutes or longer. Reward with a quiet play or attention session, perhaps coming back and giving a gentle massage or tummy rub. In this way the desired behavior is being shaped and reinforced with the very attention that the dog craves. Remember however, that attention at other times, especially on demand, encourages the dog to follow and pester rather than stay in its bed and relax.
This may be because the dog has learned to relax and enjoy the car rides, without receiving constant physical attention and contact. However when I leave the house just to check the mail or whatever reason for a minute or two, she will poop in front of the door right where I would step when I come back in. I would take her with me, but she barks at everyone who comes near me and I'm working on that as well.



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