Separation anxiety in dogs is extreme panic caused by being left alone. It is not merely bad behavior, but a serious psychological reaction similar to a panic attack in humans according to Patricia McConnell, author of "I'll Be Home Soon: How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety." Dogs with mild to moderate separation anxiety may respond to home reconditioning and training.
Keep Events Calm
The most common symptoms of separation anxiety include destructive behavior while left alone, howling, excessive drooling, attempts to escape and frenzied greetings when you arrive home. Linda Case, author of "Canine and Feline Behavior and Training: A Complete Guide to Understanding Our Two Best Friends," explains that you must reduce the anxiety and replace it with calm emotions. Avoid excessive goodbyes or over-reassuring the dog that you will be back. Never issue stern warnings as you are leaving as this will cause more anxiety. When arriving home ignore your dog for several minutes before giving a calm greeting.
The Down-Stay Command
Train your dog to stay in a laying-down position. Move a few feet away once your dog is used to obeying with no stress. Gradually increase the distance until you're able to be in another room as the dog stays down on the floor. The point is to train the dog to relax while away from your presence, Case writes. Return to your dog immediately if anxiety is present to eliminate any stress during the training. Use the down-stay exercise throughout the day for short durations without leaving the house.
Your preparation for leaving may trigger anxiety. In "I'll Be Home Soon: How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety," author Patricia McConnell explains that you must examine which actions cause the panic response. It could be putting on your shoes, getting your coat or picking up your car keys. Do the trigger while ignoring the dog. Wait a minute and repeat. Continue until your dog remains calm with each trigger. Try allowing the dog to play with a special toy during the process. Give the dog access to that toy only during the training. Once your dog is comfortable with all the triggers, leave the house for a few minutes at a time and work up to longer durations. Leave the special toy with your dog.
The Safe Spot
Separation anxiety can cause destructive and potentially dangerous behavior in dogs. Confine your dog somewhere safe while you are gone. The Humane Society of the United States cautions against crating dogs with separation anxiety. "...Many individuals assume the reason is necessary to get dog training tips prior to having their pets. Many people could find this fascinating but a lot of people can concur that this is a excellent tip to follow. The situation with a number of pet owners is they will get a dog and then find out that they may be not suitable to take care of them. Ultimately, they might depart their pets in order to retrieve their previous lives. These dog training tips can let people find out what they have got to handle and if they have the time to train their dogs. These tips can be found on Secrets To Dog Training. By using the time to carry out appropriate dog training, you will delight in a lifetime of relaxed companionship with your ".... Instead, use a safe room or area with windows to reduce the sense of loneliness. Add toys or items to distract your dog to the safe spot. Have plenty of fresh water, too. Leave a television or radio on to distract the dog. Pick a word or gesture to become a symbol to your dog that you will return. Use it each time you leave the house. Working with your dog may reduce or eliminate the separation anxiety. Always discuss concerns with your veterinarian.
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