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Separation Anxiety in Dogs

 

 

When you get a new puppy or dog, it is understandable that you want to spend as much time with the dog as possible but that can cause more harm than good.  When families take time off of work or have the ability to be with the dog at all times in the beginning, then their schedule changes and they have to leave the dog home, it can cause plenty of anxiety for the dog.  

 

Confining your dog is a good thing:

 

Separation anxiety can lead to mass destruction and will only worsen with time.  The most important thing to start with is to choose a confinement for your dog. It could be a crate, playpen, or certain small room in the house.  Do not see the confinement as a negative thing. Dogs are like wolves and they see their den or confinement as their safe place. Your dog will not have the opportunity to bite and destroy furniture. I have seen some horrible destruction of the home caused by one dog.

If you are a stay at home mom or you work from home, DO NOT have the dog with you at all times.  If you have the chance to leave the house for a little bit, even if it is for 10 – 15 minutes, please do, so your dog will get used to you leaving and coming home.  When you do leave and come home, do not make a big deal because it raises the dog’s anxiety.

A rescued dog with separation anxiety:

If you rescued a dog with separation anxiety, it will take some time and patience but the problem can be solved.  Please be patient!!! First, put the crate in an area of the house where the dog can not see you leaving the house.  You might also want to get a plastic covered crate, so the dog does not hurt themselves trying to get out.  

 

You can set the dog up by putting the dog in the crate, put a deer antler or empty marrow bone with peanut butter in to try to get their attention focused on the bone instead of you leaving.  Every dog is different. Go outside for 3 – 5 minutes then come back in and let him or her our of the crate. DON’T say anything, just let the dog out, so they realize that they can be comfortable being in the crate.  Also, before you start getting ready to leave, put the dog in the crate, so they can not see you getting ready because that causes the anxiety as soon as you start getting ready to leave. By the time you leave, their anxiety is very high.

 

Training will definitely help with separation anxiety:

Obedience training is so important for the peace in your household.  You gain the dominance of the dog and the dog gets more tired than just running around playing with toys because dog training takes mental stimulation.  The best part is that it does not take long on a daily basis. Even if you work with the dog for 10 - 15 minutes before you leave, that will be perfect. Take the dog out before you go and remember give them the bone in the crate and walk out without saying anything.

A tired dog is a happy dog!!!!!!

 

For severe separation anxiety cases, the Bootcamp program is the only effective training.  

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