Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

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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).
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. 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. 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! Get the dog's attention with one treat, then sharply tell your dog, "leave it" (referring to the object it is chewing).
As with any type of behavior you wish to change, one of the most important things to do is manage the environment. Exercise is vitally important for dogs prone to inappropriate chewing or other destructive behaviors. Occasionally chewing or tearing things up is a symptom of a more serious problem, such as separation anxiety.
A few training books are still on the market that advocate inhumane methods for stopping destructive behaviors, such as putting duct tape around a pet’s mouth or physically hitting a dog. 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.
Chewing or tearing things up (like paper) can also be a displacement behavior, a way to release pent-up energy or stress. It can be helpful to have a stuffed Kong toy in a Ziploc bag in your freezer – so you can quickly produce it when needed.


For example, spray items with Bitter Apple spray or Boundary dog repellant, or use a Scat Mat at the edge of a countertop, to stop counter surfers.
If you suspect separation anxiety, the first thing you need to do is schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. He’s most proud of his work on How to Reduce Glare when Driving at Night, which has been featured and translated into 5 different languages. But we often forget that many adult dogs need the same type of management to keep them out of trouble. Many pups have certain times of day when they are more likely to chew, so you can head this behavior off at the pass if you choose this time of day to give the dog an approved chewie.
In fact, it is these endorphins that are stimulated by chewing, so if your dog is not getting enough exercise, he may unconsciously be seeking to replace needed endorphins by releasing pent-up energy through chewing.
The use of proper management (for instance, crating a dog when he is not under your direct supervision), along with proper exercise, takes care of 99 percent of destructive behavior problems. If you think you can leave an article better than the way you found it, I'd encourage you to do just that.



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