Training to get rid of Dog Separation Anxiety


A world without dogs would be crazy. It would be lonely for most of us if we lost our favourite canine companions.  Fortunately, almost every household in the US had had at least one dog.


Dogs are animals that need special care and extra attention from us humans. Compared to cats, dogs are more active and showy to their companions. Cats just lie and sleep most of the day. It only moves toward you to get is dose of petting or to ask for food.  Most of the time, cats would rather sleep or groom themselves.


Dogs are different. They are playful; they interact with other people and other dogs as well. They show appreciation to their owner, in one way or another.  Men and dogs have become ultimate partners, helping each other... enjoying a complimentary relationship.


Dogs are also utilized outside the home, even in law enforcement.  The police have canine units that help them in searching for different dangerous substances or objects. Sometimes, K-9 units are also used to search for missing people.   If well trained, these special dogs can detect or identify crime suspects by tagging the smell.

Even blind people immensely benefit from dogs.  These dogs serve as the “eyes” of their blind master.  These dogs enable blind people to live relatively normal lives, allowing them to leave their homes and enjoy the outdoors much like other people who can see.


Dogs have different personalities. It really depends on the breed or the dog's family history. From being a puppy to an adult dog, they are accompanied by their human masters. These people are familiar to dogs and how they live everyday.  The dog's everyday routine is usually dependent on their master's lifestyle.


However, some dogs experience anxiety that almost comes instantly when they are left alone by their master.  If they are left alone, these dogs can become destructive, which is their means of expressing frustration or loneliness.  This is actually called separation anxiety in dogs.  Dogs can become restless and bored, and if they see that their master is not around, they may go out to chew on anything that they can get their paws on --- from slippers, to furniture, to other objects found in the house.


Probable causes for such behaviour often include dogs that were not properly socialized or dogs that have been living in different homes. With this in mind, owners should take a second look at their dogs and see if they exhibit such behaviour. This will give them the idea that their dogs might be suffering from separation anxiety.


Dealing with separation anxiety in dogs can be serious if not threatening for your carpet or sofa. Begin with a no “goodbye” technique.  Owners should not give their dogs any hugs before they leave the home.   This will only make the dog long for more attention from the owner. Another tip would be to leave some toys or goodies that will help your dog consume its time and takes its attention away from its anxiety.


Separation anxiety, also known in the dog training world as owner absent misbehaviour, is one of the most frequently encountered problems in the world of dog training. Separation anxiety can manifest itself in many different ways, including chewing, destroying the owner’s property, excessive barking, self destructive behaviour and inappropriate urination and defecation.


Dogs suffering from separation anxiety often whine, bark, cry, howl, dig, chew and scratch at the door the entire time their family members are away. Well meaning owners often unwittingly encourage this misbehaviour by rushing home to reassure the dog, but it is important for the well being of both dog and owner that the dog learn to deal with extended periods of separation.


How the owner leaves the house can often contribute to separation anxiety issues. A long and drawn out period of farewell can make matters worse by making the dog feel even more isolated when the owner finally leaves. These long types of farewells can get the dog excited, and then leave him with lots of excess energy and no way to work it off. These excited, isolated dogs often work off their excess energy in the most destructive of ways, such as chewing up a favourite rug or piece of furniture.


Excess energy is often mistaken for separation anxiety, since results are often the same. If you think that excess amounts of energy may be the problem, try giving your dog more exercise to see if that eliminates the problem.


If separation anxiety is truly the problem, it is important to address the root causes of that anxiety. In order to prevent separation anxiety from occurring, it is important for the dog to feel happy, safe, secure and comfortable while the owner is away for the day. It is important, for instance, to give the dog plenty of things to keep it busy while you are away. This means providing it with lots of toys, such as balls or chew toys. A pet companion is often effective at relieving separation anxiety as well. Giving the dog a playmate, such as another dog or a cat, is a great way for busy pet parents and pets alike to cope with the stress of being left alone.


Setting aside scheduled play times, during which the pet is given your undivided attention, is another great way to alleviate boredom and separation anxiety. Playing with the dog, and providing it with sufficient attention and exercise, is a proven way to avoid a stressed and anxious dog. A happy dog that has been well exercised and well conditioned will generally sleep the day away happily and patiently wait for the return of its owner.


It is important to schedule one of these daily play sessions before you leave the house each day. It is important to give the dog a few minutes to settle down after playtime before you leave.


For dogs that are already experiencing separation anxiety and associated misbehaviours, it is important to get him accustomed to your leaving gradually. Be sure to practice leaving and returning at irregular intervals, several times during the day. Doing so will get your dog accustomed to your departures and help him realize that you are not leaving him forever. Dogs that have been previously lost, or those that have been surrendered to shelters and readopted, often have the worst problems with separation anxiety. Part of treating this problem is teaching the dog that your absence is not permanent.


What to do when your dog has separation anxiety?


If you suspect that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, it might be wise to consider the following tips and suggestions:


Don't be so melodramatic when  you are leaving the house. Make any departures and arrivals low-key.


Show him whose the “master” of the house. You put every action you make in your own terms such as playing with him.


Discourage your dog from being so attached to you. Be aloof when greeted upon arriving home.


Maintain your distance. Do not allow the dog to settle down in close proximity. Give you and your dog some space. Do not call him and leave him here he is. It might be hard for you but it must be done.


Train him as much as possible.


Give your dog a special treat or a reward when he shows good behaviour while you are gone.


Another alternative: Leave the radio or TV on while you make an errand. This will make your  dog think that it is not home alone.

Do not punish your dog.  Dog have fears and can also experience anxiety. The thought of being abandoned really scares them.


Invest in dog toys. It will keep your dog preoccupied or busy while you are away.


Indeed, dogs have become part of our family and indispensable to having a fun and enjoyable home life.