[Skip to Content]
Latest Blogs

Dogs With Anxiety On Separation

PREVENTING AND CURING YOUR DOGS SEPARATION ANXIETY AND FOLLOWING AROUND UNDER YOUR FEET AT HOME

When you get a puppy make sure you get 2 weeks holiday and then make provisions for someone to break up his day regularly if you are out for more than 2 hours.

Remember you have to  ensure your puppy is going to be fine left alone when you leave a room, let alone leave the house! The straight forward way of doing this is, 
1) Remember to not involve your puppy in everything you do. I'm not saying shut your puppy away, but do be aware that's its what you do when you are with your puppy that makes him feel safe and understood. A simple recall for a puppy is look at him and walk  away...with this in mind, when you get up from a chair to go powder your nose :) don't involve him by looking and saying just going for a pee: Just simply go and shut the door behind you. When you return is the pup has been quiet, give it a few moments then call him to you. 

As a matter of course always shut  doors behind you, do not let him follow you all the time. So he has short moments of being alone so it becomes normal and non frightening.
Remember your puppy does not have to be entertained 24/7 he does need to just be him and rest like all little ones.

Separation Anxiety manifests it's self in a few ways and at different degrees. Some are fine when you are out but can't be alone in a separate room. Some are fine in another room while you are in but howl and bark the house down when you are out. Then again they can be really bad with both these but fine left in the car.

For a dog who has separation Anxiety;

We are generally welded to our seats at home, whether on the computer, watching TV and so on. We only get up to go out of the room or out the house. And because there is suddenly from quiet and rush AND you look at the dog and so therefore you are communicating with him, your movement invites him to follow you ( the dog is responding to your body language and eye contact..you asked him to come with you, it is as simple as that) ....dog gets into the habit of following you.
We have to desensitize him to your movement. Just because you are getting up does not mean you are going to leave.

"Take the sting out of leaving" starts with small movements and increases very slowly to enable you to be able to walk round a room freely with out your dog reacting.
Only then do you start moving out of the room, second by second.
Simply shutting doors as you move through the house, helps dogs immensely, showing them you do not need you with them and weaning them off them needing you so desperately.
 
TAKE THE STING OUT OF LEAVING TO CURE SEPARATION ANXIETY
 
  • We first have to desensitise your dog to your every movement. In our lives one moment we get up and go to make a coffee, get up and go to work blaa blaa blaa. So we get up to go somewhere. If you look at your dog when you get up, you’re inviting him to join you, let the poor bloke have some rest, each and every time you’re asking your dog to be with you, he’s no idea why, but you obviously can’t function without him, this is sending you down that slippery slope to a dog that can’t be without you
  • You have to break those triggers. Remember just because you do A doesn’t mean B will follow.
  • IMPORTANT. Do not speak to your dog, look at your dog whilst doing this. Looking at him is to invite him to join you in your chosen activity. 
  • When you’re sitting comfortably (wherever you are) in the home, make sure you can move around in your chair without him/her reacting.
  • Make sure you can stand up sit down, with out your dog jumping to attention. Usually when we stand up we are going to do something, well just stand up and stretch , then sit again.
  • Walk to the sitting-room door and back. Do not look for a react as you’ll get one.
  • Rattle the door knob and sit down, each time making sure the dog settles on your return - you may have to use a ‘Calm Hold’ or calm walk to make this happen.
  • Then out the door for two seconds and return, and sit…each time not looking at or acknowledging the dog’s reaction. You are showing your dog that you can come and go without it having to worry or react.
  • Put your hand up by all means but say nothing as you leave
  • Increase the time outside the door by seconds at first.
  • As you increase your time away (very gradually), if you have the facilities then leave by one door and return by another.
  • All this is done with no eye contact, vocals or you are asking the dog to be with you and making a big deal about what you are doing. 
  • If your dog gets up and has trouble settling between your movements then just bring the dog close to you and use a ‘Calm Hold’ until he relaxes and lays down. Then continue after a short time so he relaxes further. By doing this you are showing your dog that there really isn't an issue. You are completely relaxed and therefore so can he.
  • You will need a huge amount of patience and time in some cases, so stick with it and you and your dog will be rewarded.
  • If when you return from any of the exits the dog is overly distressed, it means you have been out too long. Go back to the period of time that the dog coped in your absence and move on from there. You will get to a stage when the dog does not react to your movement and stays relaxed wherever he may be. Do not get misled that your dog can only be relaxed in their bed. Remember though, to use your doors so your dog doesn't have the opportunity to follow you everywhere. 
  • The reason you exit so gradually is that the dog doesn't have time to get too upset, and when you return your dog will settle quicker as it's adrenaline will not have shot up off the scale.
  • You have to desensitise to the other triggers that mean you are going out, where it be putting on a certain pair of shoes or picking up keys.
  • Desensitising means doing the action so much it doesn't mean anything. So with out looking at your dog when you do these, pick the object up and put it down and repeat repeat endlessly. 
  • It's good to have soft classical music such as from www.icalmdog.com playing in the back ground not just for when you go out. Or it will be seen as yet another trigger for you leaving.
Very important to remember to call him to you for cuddles and massage and interaction at times. He needs you and you him to be close and have time together. But on your terms, not his.

More information in  "Why Does My Dog Do That?”  By Caroline Spencer


POSTED BY: CAROLINE SPENCER DOG BEHAVIOUR AUTHOR
DECEMBER 7TH, 2017 @ 18:41:37 UTC

 
 


RE: Dogs With Anxiety On Separation


thanks for the advice, we will take note and try to apply your ideas with our 14 week old puppy.
We have a major concern with her crate training she will only occupy it for very short periods of time and then wants to be out, this is not a big issue to us at the moment but will be when she has to stay away from home from time to time.
Many Thanks
Anthony

COMMENT BY ANTHONY, FEBRUARY 17TH, 2015 @ 10:39:29 UTC
 

Leave Comment

 
 
  G Z D I J E