ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Deal With Your Dog's Separation Anxiety

Updated on January 12, 2021

I have two dogs, a full chocolate Labrador and a Lab/pit mix, Cacau and Axle respectively. Shortly after I started working and my husband left for a business trip, my dogs started to show signs of separation anxiety.

First of all, let me say that I am not a professional dog trainer. However I believe my suspicions were correct and my plan produced positive results.

Next, let's review what separation anxiety means. Dogs are social animals who like to be within their pack. That means not only other dogs but human beings as well. For a dog, everyone else in their pack are dogs. Given that they are attached to each other, when a dog is left alone, he or she may feel insecure, and abandoned. Their way of dealing with that kind of stress, most of the time, comes in a destructive behavior. Whether hurting themselves by chewing on their tails, or destroying our houses by chewing on furniture, or littering on our so expensive wedding gifted rug - these behaviors can put your dog in serious danger!

My dogs received basic training and were pretty good in not getting into any of our things, especially our furniture. However, I noticed changes in their behavior, the biggest one being my couch... slowly losing its original form. Then the rug... Then the trash can and so on. They were extremely needy and had a lot of energy stored in their systems, meaning they were waking me up every other hour or so to "go potty". My house was being destroyed and I started to panic. That was when I took a deep breath, picked a piece of paper, a pencil and drew a plan. Here is the plan:

1) Crate training. We did not have the habit of crating our dogs, given that I have two, they could play with each other and spend some energy. Which they did! Seriously! They loved to chew on my couch together! That must have been fun, right? Well, not so much. So I bought a second crate and started crate training. The goal for crate training was to achieve a simple rule: whenever unsupervised and unable to stay outside, dogs go into their crates. It is safer for you and your house, but most importantly, it is safer for them. Have you imagined your puppy being hurt for getting in contact with a plant you did not know was poisonous? Or how about a glass vase that fell on the floor while they were running around your dining table? How about the risk of electric shock? On the other hand, your puppy could get hurt while trying to get out of his crate if he wasn't used to it, right? That is why training your dog to be in his crate is so important.

2) Discipline. Dogs like discipline, believe it or not. Before going outside, "senta!" (= seat, in Portuguese). Before getting back inside, "senta!". Before getting a treat, "senta!" As I poured food in their bowls, "wait!" and "fica!" (=stay, in Portuguese). We tend to feel bad about our pets when we are unable to give the attention WE think they need. As a result, we loosen up on the discipline. Discipline is attention and dogs crave for attention.

3) Tiredness. I use to say, a tired dog, a happy owner! Tired dogs do not have the energy to get into our things, so I made an effort to wake up at 5:00 hs e-v-e-r-y morning to play with them outside. This way, by the time I left for work they would be tired and most likely take a nap at least for the rest of the morning. Likewise, I dedicated some time to play with them after I got home from work.

4) Calming environment. That I learned by researching online. I bought a lavender scent and left in the room where they were crated during the day. I also left the radio on, in a station in which there was not too much music, but instead, talking shows. My take on that strategy is that dogs are used to the sounds and noises I made when I was at home and the radio was a way to pretend I was at home. My routine was to crate them as the last thing I did before leaving the house. For that they always received a treat, and after doors are closed, I did not say a word, and left as quietly as I could. The same process was done when I arrived back at the end of the day. Oh yeah... and they were only allowed out of the crate after giving mommy a beautiful "senta!" :o)

This is basically the plan. It was not easy at first and it took a couple of months for them to really get used to this new routine. However, I believe it worked because they improved their behavior and were much calmer overall. I have to say, though, that credits are theirs as well. My puppies are the cuttest, smartest dogs I have ever known. I love them with all my heart and would do anything to see those tails wagging! <3

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • TarHeelGreen profile imageAUTHOR

      TarHeelGreen 

      9 years ago from Tennessee

      Thank you MarloByDesign! I tried the lavender scent and radio instead of the calming medicines. I think that if a dog has a serious case of separation anxiety then their owner should seek professional help but a lot of times it can be solved by more natural means.

      As far as letting your pets know you are leaving, I have heard of many people who do that and it works for them as well. I think that if it works for you, that is what matters! Keep it up!

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 

      9 years ago from United States

      Voted UP and USEFUL! I will try the lavender scent as well. I do tell my dogs when I am leaving; however, since I want them to know that I am leaving and will be back later.

      It works for us.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)