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.
Dogs are creatures of habit. Before you start getting ready to leave the house, put the dog in the crate, so they can not see you getting ready. When you allow a dog to watch your every move that causes anxiety because the dog associates your habits the minute you start getting ready that you are going to leave.
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 (short or tall), or a 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.
You, as the owner, will eliminate many messes from the dog urinating or defecating all over the house by confining your dog. You will save plenty of money due to the fact that 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.
Even if you are a stay at home mom or you work from home, DO NOT have the dog with you at all times. Put the dog in his confinement in another room, so he or she has time alone to sleep and play with their toys. 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. Just walk out or in. When you make a big deal about leaving or coming home and you make baby talk, 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 and DO NOT GIVE UP!!! 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.
If the dog has crate anxiety and gets extremely stressed out, use the crate as a place for the dog to get his toy that he is playing with or put some treats in for them to get them out without closing the door. A playpen, even for big dogs, can be used so the dog does not destroy the furniture, walls, or door to the room.
You can also set the dog up by putting the dog in the crate, go outside for 3 – 5 minutes then come back in and let him or her out of the crate. DON’T say anything, just let the dog out, so they realize that they can be comfortable being in the crate.
Certain toys and bones are very important to leave with the dog. Deer antlers, a kong toy with just a little bit of peanut butter on the top of the toy, bullysticks, pig ears, and pork rolls are great. Also, marrow bones are safe and they will keep your dog busy for a long time. They are found in your local supermarket in the refrigerator or freezer section. Just ask the butcher and they will direct you.
For large dogs, do not give them small bones because they can get stuck on the top of the mouth or they can swallow them whole and choke. You can give it to the dogs raw in their crate or outside, so they get all the meat and marrow out, then they can bring it inside and it doesn’t make a mess.
Dogs have digestive acids in their stomach that break the raw meat and bones with no problem.
Use the kong toy or marrow bones as special treats. Only give it to your dog when you put them in the crate or certain confinement, so they know they are getting special treats when in the confinement. Also, it keeps them occupied when you are leaving the house, it does not stress them out.
Training will definitely help with separation anxiety:
The bootcamp program, where the dog stays at the facility for training for 2 weeks is the only thing that will reset the dog's brain because the dog is taken out of the house and learns to be a dog. The follow up classes in home are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!
The dog will be socializing with other dogs and people, get desensitized from so many noises, and gets plenty of mental stimulation from training!
Obedience training with different commands are 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.
Remember after you work the dog, give them the bone in the crate and walk out without saying anything.
A tired dog is a happy dog!!!!!!