Separation Anxiety is fairly common for dogs. A dog often feels anxious when his owner has been gone for a period of time. The nervous anxiety a dog feels can intensify quickly. Understanding your dog and his needs will help to prevent this problem.
Since dogs are social animals they need our time and attention. The need for companionship and social interaction is as important as food, water, and shelter. You must be willing to give your dog plenty of time and attention if you want him to be happy.
Your dog is bound to feel anxious if left alone for a period of time. Some other situations can also contribute to a dog’s anxiety.
For a comprehensive guide that will help with dog separation anxiety, as well as other dog behavior problems, check out Secrets to Dog Training by Daniel Stevens.
Among some dog breeds separation anxiety is more of a problem. Airedales, Springer Spaniels, German Shepherds and Weimaraners are among these breeds. Removing a puppy from his mother too early can result in problems with separation anxiety Dogs that have grown attached to a family and found themselves in a “dog pound” often develop this fear. Neglect is the prime reason for separation anxiety in dogs.
If your dog becomes anxious when he hears the jingle of keys or sees you getting ready to leave he is suffering from separation anxiety. When your dog is fearful that you are leaving he may cry and temble or he may become aggressive in an attempt to keep you home.
After you leave your dog, trying to go after you, may scratch at doors and windows. Your dog may bark or whine throughout the day and he may also chew on anything he can find. Urinating and defecating in your home can also be a problem. In order to alleviate his fears your dog may lick himself over and over again until it becomes raw.
Here are some things you can do to help alleviate your dog’s feelings of separation anxiety:
First, you must help your dog become accustomed to having you leave the house. Pretend you are leaving. Put on your coat, take out your keys and jingle them. You could then walk to the door and open it. Then sit down and don’t go anywhere. Continue to do this until your dog is comfortable with your getting ready to leave. When your dog does not become anxious, with the idea of your leaving, give him a treat and plenty of praise. The next step is to actually leave and then immediately return. Continue with this step of the process until your dog does not react negatively. You must be patient. This will take time and you must go through these steps slowly.
Check out Dog Separation Anxiety for a complete guide on how to prevent this common behavior problem.
Another thing that will help is exercise. Exercise is very important for your dog. Before leaving your home take your dog for a nice long, fast walk. You should walk your dog for 15-20 minutes.
Make sure your dogs has appropriate toys to chew on. You might also give your dog a bone to chew when you are leaving. In this way your dog will be preoccupied with something else instead of focusing on the fact that you are leaving.
You can also leave a radio on. Have classical music playing at a low volume. It will help calm your dog and make him feel he is not alone.
You should also try to provide a place for your dog to see what is going on outside. If your dog can see what is happening he may not feel so isolated.
If you will be gone for 8-10 hours plan to have someone walk your dog in the middle of the day. This will meet your dogs needs for attention and exercise.
Do not act overly worried about your dog when you return home. Simply greet him calmly and act as if everything is okay. Do not be overly sympathetic when you return home This will only validate his feelings of panic. This may sound cruel but if you react with too much sympathy it will affirm your dog’s feelings of panic and increase his anxiety.
Is your family’s life style the best situation for a dog? Consider that carefully before getting a dog. Are you gone for long periods of time? Do you have the time and inclination to give a dog all the attention he truly needs? Your dog has the right to healthy, happy social activity. Not every family’s situation is best for a dog.
I hope this article has been helpful. For additional help with dog training go to Dog Secrets Discovered.