What Is Dog Separation Anxiety and how to cure?

What Is Dog Separation Anxiety, and How Do I Fix It?

What Is Dog Separation Anxiety, and How Do I Fix It?

Dogs are pack animals, who thrive on the companionship that they get from you and the other members of the family. If you’ve ever left for work and seen your dog staring at you from the window as you drive away, you may be concerned that he is missing you and may be potentially be suffering from Dog Separation Anxiety

The truth is that he probably is. Most dogs will just whine, or maybe bark a bit. But will soon settle down. The problem comes when some faced with dog Dog Separation anxiety, and accelerate their behaviors to those that make them a nuisance or a danger to themselves.

Just what does Dog separation anxiety look like, and how do you fix it?


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Displayed stress, noticeable behavioral problems

Dogs that have separation anxiety will typically display symptoms of stress, and of being in distress. Their behavioral problems will be noticeable. They will often whine excessively, bark excessively, and also may be destructive.

These may start even before you’ve left the house. Dogs are very aware of our behaviors, and will recognize patterns in our behavior. So when you pick up your keys or put your shoes on, they’ll soon learn that is the precursor to your leaving the house.


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Your canine shadow

Dogs that have separation anxiety will often follow their humans around, from room to room. It doesn’t matter if you get up and walk just a few steps to another seat; your dog will get up and follow you.

This is often one of the first indicators that he is a dog with separation anxiety.

No time limits on it

To a dog it doesn’t matter whether you’ve gone out to the mailbox on the curb, or whether you’ve been gone for an hour. A dog with separation anxiety is going to react the same way to your being out of his line of sight.


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Underlying causes

There may actually be no underlying cause for dog anxiety. Some older rescue dogs may have had unpleasant experiences that have contributed to their fears of abandonment, however.

Dogs however can develop separation anxiety for almost any reason, or no reason, at any point in their lives.

Triggering events

Dogs thrive on routine, so any sudden changes can throw their entire world and sense of stability and safety out of whack. Perhaps your family moved to a new home, or perhaps someone who was once home all day is now working out of the home.

You know your dog best, so you will be the only one who will be able to determine what if anything may have triggered his separation anxiety.


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Don’t make it worse, by over-compensating

If the dog separation anxiety is still in the mild range, you may be able to help him to recognize that your leaving isn’t really a big deal. When you get home, don’t make it worse by over-compensating with high levels of excitement and affection.

Ignore him for a few minutes, keep yourself in a calm state, and finally pet him once he has calmed down.

Give him toys, and treats

Before you walk out the door you could try offering dog toys or favorite healthy dog treats that can help to distract him while you leave the house. Pick something that will keep him busy for a good 15 minutes, and will be something that he’ll look forward to every day that you have to leave.

When you get home, take the dog toys away, and give him plenty of affection and praise.


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Give him a safe place of his own

While it can be tempting to crate your dog with separation anxiety, it’s not necessarily the best plan of action for many dogs. You could create a confined space for him to feel safe in, such as a bathroom or laundry room, however.

A dog crate will be such a small space that it might actually make his anxiety worse, and might lead him to exhibit some of the same behaviors. He may urinate, defecate, and potentially hurt himself trying to get out of the crate.

If he is in a private dark space, with room to walk around, with no windows, and a piece of your clothing, he is much more likely to remain calm until you get home.

Don’t punish your dog

It can be tempting to give into frustrations you’re feeling when you are faced with dog anxiety, but it’s important that you remain calm. Your dog is already in a heightened state of emotional distress. Adding your own emotions into the mix is not going to make it any better for either of you.

Stay calm, definitely don’t punish him, and focus on positive reinforcement methods.


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Conclusion – Dog Separation Anxiety

Most dogs get to feeling unsettled when their owners leave the house. Dog anxiety may lead him to truly believe his humans are never coming back. Work with your dog to build his trust in you, build his confidence, and take steps to help him cope with his time away from you.Puppy training

In severe case you should consult with your veterinarian for some medications that may help.