What Is Dog Separation Anxiety?

 

Separation anxiety is a critical behavioral problem, which can cause tremendous emotional distress for both dogs and their owners. It can occur in dogs of any age or breed. It is one of the most common reasons for pet owners to euthanize or give up their dogs.

Most dogs with normal behavior are more likely to sleep, bark randomly or chew their toys when left alone in the house without access to its owner. In general, they pretty much do what they normally do when you are with them. For dogs with separation anxiety, they can make leaving the house or even the room an emotional trigger and a difficult task for its owner.

Symptoms of separation anxiety

  • Urinating and Defecating
  • Barking and Howling
  • Chewing, Digging and Destruction
  • Escaping
  • Pacing
  • Coprophagia

Dogs with severe separation anxiety can destroy thousands of dollars in internal furnishings, injure themselves and defecate and urinate (eliminate) everywhere. Their howling, barking, and whining can also lead to problems with neighbors and landlords.

Do not scold or punish your dog. Anxious behaviors are not the result of disobedience or spite. They are distress responses! Your dog displays anxious behaviors when left alone because he’s upset and trying to cope with a great deal of stress. If you punish him, he may become even more upset and the problem could get much worse.

Treatment for Mild Separation Anxiety
If your dog has a mild case of separation anxiety, counter conditioning might reduce or resolve the problem. Counter conditioning is a treatment process that changes an animal’s fearful, anxious or aggressive reaction to a pleasant, relaxed one instead. It’s done by associating the sight or presence of a feared or disliked person, animal, place, object or situation with something really good, something the dog loves. Over time, the dog learns that whatever he fears actually predicts good things for him.

For dogs with separation anxiety, counter conditioning focuses on developing an association between being alone and good things, like delicious food. To develop this kind of association, every time you leave the house, you can offer your dog a bye-bye bone that will take him at least 20 to 30 minutes to finish.

Read about a bye-bye bone here https://dogsmartatlanta.com/bye-bye-bone/

 

Disclaimer
Advice and opinions provided here are the opinion of Dog Smart Atlanta and are not to be construed as legally binding in any way. This website is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have a medical or legal concern, please contact a professional who can address the issue.

Dog Smart Atlanta and Sonja McBerry are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Bye Bye Bones

If your puppy or dog has problems going into their crate or staying in their crate for any length of time, use a Kong or center-cut femur bone. The only time that they will be allowed access to one of these is while they are inside the crate with the door closed.

Make sure the Kong or bone is not too small for your dog.  Center cut femur bones are a great alternative to using a rubber Kong, but either will work. While you are home, take the bone away or lock the bone inside the crate so your dog won’t have access to it.

Mix some of your dogs’ kibble with a small amount of plain yogurt. Place a tablespoon of the mixture inside the bone, place the bone in the freezer overnight and give to your dog when you leave.

You may need to teach your dog to go into his crate on command first. Toss a treat into the crate and say “Crate”. Do several repetitions. Once your dog is walking in and out of the crate on his own, tell him “Crate” and give him the bone and shut the crate door.

If your dog does not interact with the bone and wants to come out, let him. Then lock the bone inside the crate. At this point, he may paw at the crate to go back in. Let him. Continue this until he understands that he will only have access to the bone while in the crate with the door shut.

You may want to prepare the bone at night and place it in the freezer. This way it will be ready for you the next morning. Grab the bone, tell your dog “Crate”, drop the bone inside the crate, lock the door and leave the house.



Disclaimer
Advice and opinions provided here are the opinion of Dog Smart Atlanta and are not to be construed as legally binding in any way. This website is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have a medical or legal concern, please contact a professional who can address the issue.

Suggested dog products https://dogsmart.vcardinfo.com/chewing

Dog Smart Atlanta and Sonja McBerry are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

 

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