When raising a dog there can be more behavioral issues than you originally anticipated, one being separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is when your dog exhibits stress or behavioral problems when left alone. We’re sure many of you feel like your dog may be suffering from this, but there is a difference between separation anxiety and normal dog behavior. Separation anxiety is much more serious than your dog whimpering as you leave the house.
Signs of separation anxiety:
- Excessive barking
- Destructive acts
- Indoor accidents such as going on the carpet
- Excessive salivation, drooling or panting
- Intense pacing
Here is how you can prevent separation anxiety in your dog:
If your dog follows you or a family member around the house, simply ignore them. Attention seeking behaviors can be corrected with this technique.
Play it cool
Now it may sound like you’re a hostage in your own home, but you can sneak out of your home. Hide all departure cues from your dog so he doesn’t associate these with you leaving.
You can keep your dog from having a complete meltdown each time you leave by giving him something really fun to do in his crate. Save a special toy or treat for when you leave to distract him while you exit. Soon he’ll be conditioned to receiving rewards when you leave. Who knows, he may begin looking forward to your departure.
When training your dog in his crate, make sure it’s fun and not punishment. Keep your dog in his crate for 10 to 15 minutes a day while the family is home, this way he is trained with his crate when it does come time to leave.
Tire him out
Before you leave, make sure your dog gets plenty of exercises, especially if he is larger or has more energy. A dog that has received plenty of exercise and playtime will be too tired to be concerned with your departure.