separation anxiety in dogs don’t feel alone…..this is a problem common to many dog owners. It’s a painful experience for you as an owner not only because you feel badly for your dog, but also because it can lead your dog to destructive behavior.
The result can be anything from your dog barking when you leave the house to your dog destroying your home, making messes, digging holes in the yard, or barking incessantly for hours when you leave.
Digging a Hole What Causes Separation Anxiety in Dogs
On a very basic level, separation anxiety is due to a dog’s pack mentality. In the wild, a pack leader may often leave the pack for a time to hunt or scout ahead. If your dog sees you leave and gets upset,
it may be because he sees you as a follower, and himself as the alpha leader. You have not clearly shown him that you are a solid, in-command pack leader.
Or, going back to the pack mentality, if he is left alone, he may feel that he has been dropped from the pack.
Your job is to take control of the situation and show him that you are not only the leader of your pack, but that he can trust in you to deal with the issues at hand. And that you will return every time you leave.
Dogs that openly accept their owner as pack leader are infinitely less stressed and anxious.
Dogs feel a direct attachment to their masters and while a dog may not like it when you leave, there is no direct reason for them to become agitated.
If he gets agitated, most of the anxiety he feels may be caused by specific actions you are subconciously taking relating to your absence.
It’s normal to give him attention before and after you leave, or to go through the same routine with him every morning before leaving. However, without your realizing it, his behaviours are being reinforced on a daily basis and the wrong actions on your part may result in your dog not being able to control his anxious feelings when you leave.
There are many ways to reduce the anxiety your dog feels when you leave the house.
Here are a few of the easiest methods:
Change Your Routine : Start by changing your daily morning routine. If your dog starts acting strange the second your alarm clock goes off,before you leave and wait for a while.
Do not Re inforce the Behavior – When you pet your dog before you leave or lavish them with attention when you get home, you’re only reinforcing the behavior. Ignore your dog for 10 to 15 minutes when you get home, do not pet them when you leave and stop giving in when they make sad noises.
If they see you are coming back each time, you can stretch out how long you are able to leave each time.
Reducing Anxiety is Good For Their Health
Many people feel that the solutions to anxiety are cruel to the dog. In reality, you are helping your dog to relax and know that you are not only coming home but that you are in charge of the house and there is no reason for them to feel that anxiety.
Reducing separation anxiety in dogs is good for their health – both physical and mental.