dog training

 

Dealing with Separation Anxiety in Dogs  

Pet owners occasionally have to work on dealing with separation anxiety in dogs. They may observe that their dogs may be barking because they are anxious whenever their owners leave the house. When this annoying behavior is not corrected, the dogs may become destructive and may start becoming messy aside from barking non-stop for several hours. 

Causes of Separation Anxiety in Dogs 

Dogs by nature survive in packs. They form bonds with their owners so they may feel agitated when they are being left on their own. The anxiety that they feel comes from the attachments that they have that are taken away when their masters go somewhere. Although dogs generally do not like to be left alone, they are not supposed to be so agitated about it. 

This may occur because dog owners provide them every day with the attention that they need before they go out and when they return back to home. The behavior of the dogs is reinforced because of these actions that their masters do with them each day and so they become more anxious each time that they have to be left at home. 

Lessening the Separation Anxiety in Dogs 

Dog owners can do something to lessen the separation anxiety in dogs especially when they leave the house. There are some methods that they can follow in doing this. 

Changing the Routine – Dog owners may change their routine activities in the morning. They may observe that their dogs are starting to have separation anxiety problems when they start displaying unusual behavior every time they hear the alarm clock in the morning. Dog owners may vary their time schedule a little instead of following a definite pattern or time for their usual activities like getting dressed and leaving the house. A little change in the scheduled routine will lessen the separation anxiety felt by the dogs. 

Avoid Reinforcing the Behavior – Petting the dogs before leaving and when arriving only reinforces their behavior. Dog owners should refrain from doing this so that their dogs will not learn to associate the attention given with leaving them and coming home to them. It is advisable for them to ignore their dogs for a few minutes when they arrive home and they should not give in to their dogs even if they make sad faces or sounds. The dogs may be placed in a crate or in another room where owners can practice going and coming back for them after time intervals. 

Varying Time of Separation - Dog owners who observe that their dogs are becoming anxious when they leave the house may try to vary the length of time that they are away. They may leave them for a few minutes and then return back right away. Separation anxiety in dogs may be corrected by changing the time when the dogs are expecting their masters to return. Dog owners may train their dogs by leaving them and coming back with each time getting longer before they return until their dogs are able to be left on their own for longer periods without getting anxious. 

Handling the Dogs’ Anxiety Problem 

Dealing with separation anxiety in dogs using various methods does not mean that dog owners are cruel. They are simply helping their dogs to cope with the feeling of being left alone and through the process, the dogs are able to relax as they know that their masters will return home and they are still the leaders even if they are not there. Dog owners who are able to lessen the separation anxiety that is felt by their dogs are helping them in attaining good physical and mental health. 

Dog owners have to deal with the separation anxiety in dogs right away to prevent further problems. They have to teach their dogs that they are not abandoning them whenever they are left at home and dog owners can do this by not letting them make the wrong associations with their dogs’ survival and place in the pack especially when they leave them or come back to the house later.