Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

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From Rover's perspective, shoes offer a tantalizing combination: they are chewy, readily available, and best of all, they smell like you.
Always remember to tell your dog what a good boy he is for giving up your expensive sandal in exchange for the treat. If you have a puppy in the teething stage, try giving him ice cubes, frozen dog toys or frozen wet washcloths to alleviate those sore gums. Don't punish your dog when he gets a hold of your shoes, as this will encourage him to run away with them. Don't chase your dog when he steals a shoe; this will turn into a fun game and your dog will steal shoes more and more. Never give old shoes you don't care about to chew on; your dog can't tell the difference between which shoes are acceptable to chew on and which are not. Make sure there are no medical causes of the chewing behavior.[1][2] In some cases, dogs chew as a coping behavior when they suffer from psychological problems (like anxiety). If your dog releases the object, give it something appropriate to chew (like a treat or toy) and praise it. Use deterrent sprays.[7] Dogs are much less likely to chew on things with tastes that they find unpleasant. This technique works best if your dog has a habit of chewing a particular object, or something immobile. Encourage good chewing by providing your dog with toys and treats.[9] If you provide your dog with acceptable things to chew on, it will have fewer incentives to chew inappropriate objects. Make sure to spend time with your dog.[12] Domestic dogs are social creatures that have evolved to be accustomed to contact with humans as well as with other dogs.
Dog classes are available in many areas.[15] These are an opportunity for pets and owners to practice together to help a dog learn new tricks or behavior.
Objects such as remote controls, shoes, and books are common temptations for dogs that like to chew.
Teach your dog the "leave it" command.[21] If you're willing to put in a little extra time and effort, it's possible to teach your dog a handy command that can save your possessions in cases where you catch it chewing on them.
Repeat this process until your dog moves away from your hand as soon as you say "leave it." This teaches your dog that ignoring whatever it wants to bite or chew on is better than chewing on that thing.


Many dogs develop destructive chewing problems out of boredom, stress, frustration and anxiety. If your dog is attracted to leather shoes, consider that they are basically treated animal hide, not much different from a pig ear or any animal-made chewies found on the market, explains dog trainer Pat Miller.
She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.
Your enthusiasm as an owner can wear thin, however, as soon as your dog starts ruining your possessions with frequent chewing.
Likewise, if your dog is affected by certain parasites or nutritional deficiencies, it may be compelled to chew all sorts of things.
Thus, you can discourage your dog from chewing on certain things by rubbing or spraying them with bad-tasting substances. For instance, you can spray chair legs with a bitter apple flavor if your dog has a habit of chewing on them. If they become bored or are kept from contact with other dogs, some dogs can resort to destructive coping behavior, including chewing. Dogs don't just want toys; they want fun, happy interactions with the people in their family! Place any objects your dog likes to chew (or might chew) out of its reach: in a cabinet, high off the floor, in a bag or box, etc. If this is the case, you may consider keeping it confined in a pen, dog crate, or other area while you are gone.
Get the dog's attention with one treat, then sharply tell your dog, "leave it" (referring to the object it is chewing). As soon as it loses interest in your hand, however, offer it the treat from the other hand and give it lavish praise. Luckily, you can prevent your drool-worthy shoe collection from becoming drool-covered toys.
If your puppy prefers a shoe to a chew toy, it is often a sign that your chew toys are pretty irrelevant. In other words, don't leave shoes around when you are not around, especially during the initial stages of training.


Because you are moving away, your dog may interpret this as a sign you are relinquishing the shoe; therefore, he may presume he has the green light to have it. Luckily, with consistent training and smart decisions on the part of the owners, nearly any dog can be trained not to chew its owners out of house and home.
Because of this, consider taking your dog to a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for an expert diagnosis and a suitable treatment plan, especially if the chewing is accompanied by other symptoms, such as weight loss, gastrointestinal problems, or abnormal behavior. That way, whenever it has the urge to chew, you can offer it something appropriate, or it can find something on its own. Be sure to take the time to play with your dog a little bit every day, especially if it's been chewing. You can also use baby gates to keep a dog out of rooms or areas that contain items it is tempted to chew.[20] In addition, you can supervise your dog while you are at home.
Her favorite article she’s worked on is How to Keep Cats Out of the House, and her favorite article on wikiHow is How to Care for a New Cat.
To make your chew toys more salient, try rotating them every now and then, stuffing them with treats or investing in long-lasting chews such as bully sticks; your dog will gain more interest in them instead of seeing them as boring as yesterday's news. Make it a habit of placing your shoes out of reach every time you are about to leave the room and leave your pooch unattended.
Just twenty minutes or so of play per day can go a long way towards expending a dog's excess energy and calming it down. With no shoes around, but only lots of toys, your pampered pooch can only make good choices. While it is true that a tired dog is a good dog, keep in mind that shoes will always retain a certain appeal, and as opportunistic beings, dogs will likely not pass up the chance to enjoy them if they are readily available.



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