Does Your Dog Have Separation Anxiety?

First of all, you might be asking…what is dog separation anxiety anyway? Simply put, it means that your dog is afraid of being left alone. Like us, dogs like routine and can easily get stressed with changes or disruptions in their schedule.

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Dog separation anxiety usually occurs when we have changes in our daily schedule and then these changes disrupt the amount of time we are able to spend with our dogs. When faced with these unexpected changes, dogs can become stressed, develop anxiety, feel panic and as a result often behave destructively. Some of the most common signs of separation anxiety include hyperactivity, barking and yelping, clinginess, destroying objects, urinating and defecating in the house, over-eating, under-eating, vomiting, diarrhea, depression or aggressiveness when they are about to be left alone. Some dogs tend to be extremely attached to their owner(s), and then become highly insecure when that person leaves. Find out more about excessive barking here.

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In general, it’s normal for puppies to show some signs of separation anxiety but as time passes they become more confident about being alone. So why do some grown dogs still get separation anxiety? The reasons can be varied.

In some cases it occurs in dogs who have previously not spent much time alone or who perhaps were abandoned at some point in their lives. For others it might be a case where they were not properly integrated into their first home or got relegated to a basement, garage or yard. It can also occur when a dog is removed from its mother and siblings too early (prior to 8 weeks old) or too late (after 14 weeks). Some dogs may have experienced a traumatic event, such as a frightening experience at a kennel which could cause them to behave this way. It could even be triggered by a new person joining the family such a a baby or relative or even when a family moves to a new home.

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First off, it should be noted that punishment does not work and will only aggravate the situation by raising the dog’s overall anxiety and compounding it with fear of his owner.

It’s important to understand that separation anxiety is a panic response, not behavior that the dog willfully engages in. Please be sure to remember that if you are stressed out, then your mood will only add to your dog’s anxiety. So try to stay calm and unemotional when dealing with bouts of separation anxiety.

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As owners you need to help find a healthy balance between enjoying companionship with your dog and him/her being sufficiently independent to tolerate being alone for periods of time. According to the experts, here are some tips that can help ease separation anxiety:

  • Take your dog for a walk before you leave the house
  • Start out small by leaving your dog alone for just 5 minutes
  • Keep departures and returns low-key. Don’t make a big fuss
  • When you do leave – make it fun. Perhaps offer pup a tasty treat
  • Reward your dog for resting quietly in her place.
  • Try to stick to a routine as much as possible
  • Stay calm and assertive!

If you suspect your dog may have separation anxiety and want to get things under control before they turn into a hazard, then read on…

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Believe it or not, up to 35% of dogs suffer from separation anxiety and sadly, this percentage is way too high and totally preventable. If you suspect that your dog might be one of them, we highly recommend you consider purchasing this eBook called: Curing Dog Separation Anxiety

This book is filled with tips, tricks and secrets that will help that behavior modification process go smoothly, and change your leaving the house from a period of bedlam to a period of calm. Some of these tips and tricks include:

What type of exercise to use with your dog
When to feed your dog to help calm him
What type of sounds to leave on when you leave home
What types of toys and distractions to leave for your dog
Why an anti-bark citronella collar may help reduce anxiety barking – plus many other tips to treat anxiety barkers!
Using aromatherapy and pheromones to calm your dog

Another critical component that you’ll need to learn are the techniques needed to minimize your dog’s anxiety prior to your departure.  It’s called “desensitizing departures,” and it’s an important technique to have. But it’s just one of the many behavior modification techniques you’ll find in Dog Separation Anxiety Trainer.

Some of the other techniques covered in the book include:

When to implement exercise before your departure
What type of behavior to avoid using on your part when you come back home
The healthy way to get your dog to earn the attention it craves
Where – and When – to reward your dog for appropriate behavior
What steps you must take each day before you leave the house to ensure your dog’s behavior improves

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