Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

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Separation anxiety can result from suffering a traumatic experience, such as a major earthquake or becoming lost in unfamiliar surroundings. Leave Kongs stuffed with peanut butter or cottage cheese ready for him to dig into as soon as you leave. Unfortunately, sometimes separation anxiety just isn’t preventable, especially with an older dog. Your dog may look happy when you return, but in truth if your dog is excitable, he may be experiencing mental anguish, which is not healthy. 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. If you have more than one dog, and you do not know which dog is being destructive, you need to play private investigator.
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There’s nothing more heart breaking for an owner to hear the cry of their dog when they leave the house.
If you come home to find your dog chewing on your old house slippers, in all probability he simply finds the activity enjoyable and uses your absence as a chance to gnaw away, uninterrupted. For example, your dog knows that when you put on your jacket, you’re about to leave the house. When he can do that without exhibiting any signs of distress, add picking up your briefcase. The key is teaching him that leaving him alone actually means good things — the goal is for him to associate your departure with something positive. See that he receives plenty of physical and mental exercise and that he gets lots of time with you. Dogs who’ve been properly introduced to their crate tend to feel safe and secure in this private den.
Left untreated, it causes damage to your house and belongings — and serious psychological suffering for your dog. When you come back, do some other things first, like taking off your coat and putting the groceries away, before you greet the dog.
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. Below is an outline of our top tips to help you if your pet is suffering from separation anxiety.


Your arrivals and departures from the house should be as calm and uneventful as possible to avoid over stimulating your dog. The chewing action helps your dog to calm down because it releases the neurochemical serotonin.
The results — including the destruction of your belongings and the deterioration of your dog’s mental and physical health — can be devastating.
This signals to your dog that coming and going are casual, common occurrences — no need for drama or spectacular displays of emotion. In some cases, dogs prefer the sanctuary of a crate to being left alone in a big open house. 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. Just be sure you are the pack leader to your first dog before you venture into getting a second dog.
And, in some serious cases I’ve dealt with, dogs have even self-mutilated themselves due to the stress of being left alone. Excessive attention before departure and upon return from the owner can, unwittingly, increase the dog’s anxiety during separation. Items such as keys, jackets, shoes or handbags can often start the onset of anxiety before you’ve even left the house!
So, the chewing action becomes rewarding for your dog as it makes him feel better when he chews (a bit like when people chew their nails).You can help your dog by purchasing a DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) plugin to help promote calmness. Often the only times dogs are shut away in a room or have a door closed on them is when we leave the house.
Leave a radio or a television on before you leave the house so there is some background noise for your dog. For example, giving your dog a Kong filled with tasty treats which he has to work at to get to the food, may help distract your dog from your actual departure, enabling you to slip out quickly and quietly. In fact, a diagnosis of separation anxiety in no way precludes a healthy and happy existence for your dog. If your dog is instinctually seeing you as his follower and you leave him, it causes so much mental anguish that a dog often takes it out on your house or himself.
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. If you successfully position yourself as the pack leader to the first dog, he will help you teach the second one the house rules. Your dog should only be left alone for very short intervals at first (literally seconds to start with, then build this up to minutes) to ensure your return before the onset of anxiety.


Your dog might misinterpret your attention and give those objects his attention just because it has your fresh scent on the items. Changing the area they are left or providing a new bed may help overcome this, in conjunction with all of the above.
You’ll continue adding actions, in baby steps, until you can leave the house for a period of an hour or more without consequence. The dog sees himself as the one who is responsible for the pack and when the pack has left the house he gets in a panic because he is afraid that something might happen to his pack members, for whom he is responsible.
Sometimes it is just a small thing that makes the difference with controlling this problem. By moving these trigger objects regularly, picking them up and popping them back down, you will help teach your dog that just because he sees these items it does not mean you are leaving.
Go through these getting ready to leave actions repeatedly during the time when you are staying home, without actually leaving. Use an anti-chew spray such as Bitter Apple onto any items you cannot easily put away such as furniture items or skirting boards – any areas where the dog typically chews as the bitter taste will help discourage chewing. 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. If he has already learned to associate his fears with your departure cues, it will take a lot of repetitions before he will get it. If you allow the dog to pull in front, you are once again re-enforcing to your dog that she is alpha over you.
If you do not make your dog heel beside or behind you, the walk will not accomplish its intended goal. 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.
This works her brain and fulfills her canine instinct, but also relieves them of the responsibility of having to provide leadership in a human society, which the dog is really not equipped to do.



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Comments to «How to deal with dog separation anxiety»

  1. POLAT writes:
    Must ask them to contained in the crate for hear.
  2. vitos_512 writes:
    Thickness of the massive canine collar get properly socialized and.
  3. KINQ_BOXINQ writes:
    The presence of different canine in a manner that's positive at all.
  4. Emo_my_life writes:
    Reading and tips having an emergency equivalent to working.