Overcoming Dog Separation Anxiety
Many dogs have separation anxiety. Separation anxiety in dogs exhibits behavior problems when they’re being left alone at home. This often leads to excessive barking, whining, chewing, house soiling and other types of destructive behavior. If your dog can comfortably spend the night away from you, then it is very likely your dog does not suffer from separation anxiety. However, if he has been throwing tantrums by showing some kind of dramatic anxiety response every time you leave home, your dog probably has it. It is important to understand that dogs behave in such way is not an attempt to seek revenge or punishment for leaving them behind. It is indeed a natural panic response for being away from the owner even for a short period of time.
Separation anxiety is one of the most common complaints of dog owners and in most cases they don’t even realize it. You need to find out whether your dog has separation anxiety so that proper treatments can be given to correct this behavior.
Keep a boring, low-key departure. Long-dramatic farewell will create more anxiety in him. A casual “Goodbye” or “See you later” will do. When you first arrive home, ignore him for a couple of minutes, and then calmly pet him.
Always provide him with lots of exercise and playtime. A tired, well-exercised dog is a happy dog. He will be much more contented to sleep during the day while you’re away. Mental exercises such as training and socializing with other dogs are all great activities for your dog.
Provide your dog with some of his favorite toys and treats so that he will have something to do while you’re gone. Stuff some treats into his toys to keep his mind occupied rather than having him waiting anxiously for you to come back.
You need to train your dog to be accustomed to your departure. Firstly, leave him for a couple of minutes and then comes back to him. Do not a make fuss over your dog. Repeat this step until he’s not anxious anymore. Then, gradually leave for longer periods of time and comes back. Make sure to practice this over and over again until he gets used to being alone at home.
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