Separation anxiety is an all-too-real affliction for dogs. Anyone who has a dog with it can be sure of that. Some dogs simply get so attached to their own that they have an intense emotional reaction to being apart from them, even for short periods of time.
There are many ways to provide the stress relief dogs need, from exercising them to just plain taking them with you when you leave, but there are always going to be times when you need to leave your dog on its own.
Then, when the owner comes back, they overreact, often barking, whining, and scratching. But it is manageable and here are a few ways to manage it.
Separation Anxiety: 4 Tips
Skip the Overreactions
Dogs are very good at reading the emotions and the demeanor of their human owners. Often, they reflect it back at them. If an owner shows an air of aggression or nervousness when walking, the dog might react similarly.
The same goes for when you say goodbye and hello when leaving and entering the home.
An effective way of training them to stop separation anxiety is simply by leaving without making eye contact or speaking to them. Similarly, when you get back, sit down and have some time to settle before giving them attention.
If you reward their attention-seeking behavior, they are only more likely to repeat it.
Make Sure They Get Attention and Exercise
If your dog does not have all that energy pent up, then they are less likely to react so physically when you come back from a trip out of the home. You should always be aware of how much walking your dog needs, as shown at Wag Walking.
In particular, you might want to take them for a walk that is on the longer side of what they can handle before you leave the home. They are more likely to be snoozing comfy in their own bed by the time you get back.
Take Them With You
It may not be a long-term solution but if you feel bad about leaving your dog behind, you can simply take them with you. If a leash would not be appropriate, then browse K9 Sport Sack to see if a carrier bag might work better.
Even if you own a motorcycle, the dog can go with you! You can learn about the safest carriers for motorcycles here. The long-term issue should be addressed, but you can help them maintain a calmer emotional state for short trips if you are simply willing to bring them with you.
Leave Some Background Noise
If you can simulate some company for the dog, it can help them feel less alone, meaning that their separation anxiety might not be as present. One way that has proven surprisingly effective, demonstrated by Cesar’s Way, is leaving an audiobook on.
The presence of a human voice calms them. However, silence can make them more edgy and worried. Crate training can help, as can leaving toys for them to chew on. If neither of them does the trick, however, then an audiobook might just be the solution that you have been looking for.
Some dog breeds are simply more prone to separation anxiety, so there might not be a way to prevent the problem but there are ways to treat it. If you want to avoid it altogether, then you need to research the breed you’re buying first.
Do have any tips or suggestions that you have tried with your animals that you can share with others to help them? Please share them in the comment box below.