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How to help a dog with Separation Anxiety

on 25 November 2014
How to help a dog with Separation Anxiety

When discussing Dog Behaviour, something I frequently get asked for advice on is how to help a dog with separation anxiety.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

There are many symptoms of separation anxiety which owners often put down to either boredom, naughty behaviour or even their dogs trying to annoy them.  These include:

  • Chewing furniture and being destructive
  • Weeing and Pooing in the house
  • Barking and Howling
  • Trying to escape
  • Excessive licking and chewing on their own body
  • Following their owners around the house

 

What causes Separation Anxiety

Popular belief is that a dog with Separation Anxiety is missing its’ owners when they are out and is getting bored and lonely.  However, the reality is that because a lot of dogs think they are ‘Top Dog’, they assume the role of the Leader and are worried about their human ‘babies’!   I remember only too well how I used to feel when my youngest daughter was little:  she was always very curious and no matter how hard we tried there were a few times when we lost her briefly when out and about.  I was overcome with fear and panic and ran around wildly calling out her name.  I would have torn down doors, run across busy roads and put myself at risk to find her and make sure she was safe.  This is how some dogs who think they are in charge feel every time their owner leaves them alone.  They are not being naughty or trying to annoy their owners, but are trying to get out, find them and make sure they are safe and sometimes also like to leave a scent to help their owners find their way back home!

 

How to Help a Dog with Separation Anxiety

To a dog, there is a separation every time there is a closed door between you and them, so some of the symptoms can be displayed even when you are in the house.  If you have a dog with Separation Anxiety there are a few things you can do to help them: firstly start creating as many separations as you can during the day by closing the door between you and them; also start making their World smaller when left alone by not giving them access to the whole house.  However for your dog to feel fully relaxed when left alone you need to become his respected Leader – just as those working for Virgin don’t worry about what Richard Bransen is doing or where he is going, your dog will be calm and happy when you leave him alone and won’t need to find ways of relieving his stress or leading you back to the house.  By using Canine Communication and learning how to interact with your dog in a way he understands, he will no longer think of you as his baby and won’t need to worry about your safety when he can’t see and follow you.

 

If your dog is displaying any of the symptoms of Separation Anxiety and you’d like to know more about Canine Communication and how I can help you and your dog, please call me on 07889 343383 or send me a message via the contact page.