Separation anxiety in dogs is probably one of the most common issues what many of us dealing with on a daily basis. But the easiest to understand. Of course, it would be great if we could be with our dogs all the time but in our modern world that’s impossible, and sooner or later you’re going to have to leave her, at least for a short while.
But being left alone is something many dogs have an issue with. But why separation anxiety is easy to understand? Because it’s unnatural for dogs to be alone. They are extremely social animals and in the wild would almost never be without at least part of the pack. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a problem; it just means that you have to be aware of your own behavior and make sure you don’t contribute to your pet’s anxiety by giving off the wrong energy.
One of the most important steps is to make sure your dog gets exercise before you leave her alone for the day. Take her for a long walk or, better yet, a run so that she drains some of her energy. When she’s tired she’s much more likely to settle down and rest when you leave.
Scents can play an important part in creating a calm environment. We’ve found that lavender has a pleasantly calming effect. We’ve also known people who leave a piece of their clothing, like a T-shirt they’ve worn, so their scent is around the dog after they’ve gone.
One of the most important key to avoid separation anxiety in dogs, is to take low-key approach when you leave or return home. When you’re ready to leave, try to follow no-touch, no-talk, no-eye-contact rule. If you talk to your dog when she is in an excited state about you leaving, it will only make matters worse. Your dog will not understand your explanation of where you are going or how soon you will return! And while you’re talking, you’re more likely to transmit your own insecurities to your dog.
The less of a deal you make about going, the better. Once your dog is fed and resting, it’s best to just quietly leave the house. Of course, it’s still possible that your dog will become upset and may even behave destructively while you are away. Try to stay calm if this happens because your dog isn’t going to associate your present anger with something he did earlier. Remember, it’s not personal – your dog is working out frustrations. Maybe you should consider confining her to a small space or crating her for the day.
As we said, being left alone is not natural for dogs, so you may have to be patient while your pet gets used to it. But if you follow the steps – particularly about exercise and encouraging a calm, submissive state – you should be successful.
Want to train your dog like a professional? Click below!