Do you know that your dogs get stressed when you leave your home or just leave him? This is one of the common phrases and conditions seen in dogs, and sweetly named as ‘separation anxiety in dogs’.
Have you ever got complaints from your neighbor for your dog barking non-stop after you leave for work? I rush to the office daily as I wake up after my alarm snoozes 3-4 times. The moment Tofler sees me awake, he jumps onto my bed and plays around with me. I know he can’t stay a single second without me, but my job profile demands me to go to the office daily. If I would have been provided with work-from-home option, Tofler would be happier than me.
Separation anxiety in dogs is a dog problem behavior that arises when he is left alone in the room or house. The symptoms associated with separation anxiety in dogs include barking, scratching at walls floors and doors, excessive salivation, whining, destroying items in the home and trying to escape from the room.
Does your dog have separation anxiety?
To know whether your dog has separation anxiety, just watch him when you get ready for work or go out. If he has separation anxiety, he might act more restlessly. He will follow you around the house whining occasionally. Finally, when you pick your bag and keys, he will lie down on his bed ignoring the beef tendon you left for him on his plate.
When you get back home – be after an hour or 8 hours later, he/she will go wild with joy, shaking his tails, as if you came to pick him for a world tour. Then comes the worst part. You start smelling loose stool and find it all over the floor.
Separation anxiety – in 2 types
Basically there are 2 types of separation anxiety – simulated separation anxiety and true separation anxiety. Simulated separation anxiety is often manifested when the dog lacks leadership as well as self-control, whereas true separation anxiety causes the dog to experience real stress during the absence of his owner.
How to deal with simulated separation anxiety in dogs?
When they were puppies, we take them everywhere for socialization – for a walk, for a ride. But when they reach an age, we have to leave them alone. This is where the actual problem rises. We are the only source of confidence, security and love for our dogs. So a small change in their routines can create symptoms of separation anxiety. Each breed has their own purpose – like terriers are born to dig, retrievers to carry and protection breeds to protect. So when you hold them back from their instincts and drives, its a real mess for them.
Experts always recommend dog owners to correct these problems by prioritizing his training schedule. First exercise, discipline and then only affection should be given. You need to balance patience, obedience and confidence in your dog.
How to prevent separation anxiety?
- From the very beginning, teach your pup to be quiet and settle down for long time period. This way, he will learn patience and calmness.
- 90% of the separation anxiety condition in dogs can be treated with obedience, discipline and proper training. This approach lets your dog know what is expected from him and help in improving his behavior.
- Spend some time training your dog – not just one-week classes, but often and regularly. Train your dog to sit at the door, lie down and stay while you go out of his sight. Train him to sit and wait to be greeted by guests.
- When you come back home, pay no attention to your dog, even if he bangs at the crate.
- Your dog is as clever as you are. It is possible for him to recognize a series of actions you do. Change your daily routine – use different door, put your coat and bag in different places.
- Your dog does not have to follow you everywhere. He should be independent and able to wait until you request his company. These little changes will help your dog attain self-confidence and thereby help in overcoming separation anxiety.