How do you help a dog with separation anxiety?

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  1. midget38 profile image85
    midget38posted 11 years ago

    How do you help a dog with separation anxiety?

  2. lindalou1963 profile image59
    lindalou1963posted 11 years ago

    We have a dog that had this issue when she was younger. We made sure to crate train her. Never used the crate for punishment, but for her own safety. We didn't want her chewing electrical wires. Is your dog your only pet? We have 2 dogs and we found that if we leave them together, they both do fine, no crate needed.
    If your dog has a favorite blanket or soft toy, put these in the crate also. Or even an old shirt of yours, something that has your scent will help calm them also.

    1. midget38 profile image85
      midget38posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Linda. She was very worried when I took my other dog to the vet and pooped at the front door. So I just realized that she has a problem with being alone!

  3. alexadry profile image95
    alexadryposted 11 years ago

    Hi midget38, I have written extensively on this subject and the whole process is a bit lengthy. For severe cases, meds such as Clomicalm and behavior modification is needed. This entails, getting a dog used to gradually longer and longer periods of time alone, and removing the significance of pre-departure cues. In other words, making the dog feel as if you are leaving, putting the jacket on, tying your shoes and then instead of leaving just sitting on the couch. Over and over again until the dog is no longer stressed. Then pretend you are leaving get out of the door and then repeatedly coming back inside in gradual increments of time and leaving a stuffed Kong behind so dog associates when you leave good things happen. It's quite tricky and this is why I recommend doing it initially with a trainer/behavior consultant. Try to take a video when your dog is left briefly alone and you may likely see her pacing all the time, eliminating, whining and scratching at doors/windows. It's quite a stressful situation that needs addressed.

    1. midget38 profile image85
      midget38posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Alexandry,, for sharing. Will practice this with her!

  4. sleepylog profile image61
    sleepylogposted 11 years ago

    Another good thing to do is to ignore your dog for around 5 minutes when you come home. Patting him and giving him lots of attention will be seen as a reward by him, and each time you go out, he'll be waiting for you to come home to get his reward.

    Just ignore him for five minutes whenever you come home. Don't look at him, don't talk to him, don't touch him... just act as if he wasn't there. He will soon learn that you coming home doesn't mean he will be rewarded and this should reduce his levels of anxiety. Just like children, some dogs get excited when they know they're going to be getting a surprise or a treat and this can cause them anxiety while they wait for it. Stop rewarding your dog for his anxious behaviour when you get home and you should quickly see a change in him.

    You might want to start with small periods of separation, say 5 minutes, and as his behaviour improves you should increase the periods you're away from home until his behaviour has been corrected.

    1. midget38 profile image85
      midget38posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      It's a gradual process as with most behavior modification. Thanks for the suggestions!

    2. sleepylog profile image61
      sleepylogposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      My pleasure smile I hope it helps.

  5. tlmcgaa70 profile image61
    tlmcgaa70posted 11 years ago

    i had a dog who had it bad. i would come home to a house destroyed. it can be very frustrating. i was told to put her in my bedroom while i was gone as that was the room where my odor was the strongest. at the time i worked night shift, and slept in the day, so i had heavy curtains on my windows to block out the light...this may or may not have helped. i also left my cats in the bedroom with her. needless to say she never pooped in the bedroom nor tried to destroy it or get out. i was told since dogs are pack animals and have the denning instinct, being in the bedroom where my scent was strongest was like being in the safety of the pack den. whatever it was it worked.

  6. IDONO profile image61
    IDONOposted 11 years ago

    I don't know how professional this is, btu I had a big boxer that freaked out every time I left. He messed, he ate furniture, and barked the whole time I was gone. A friend told me to take a 15 ft. string, ( not rope) tie it to a door knob, then to his collar before I left. Then I put a radio, quietly on a talk radio station. I guess the string gave him a feeling of security. He could have very easily broken it, but never did. The radio, gave him the feeling that he wasn't alone. It worked!!!
         I would never promise it would work for you, but it did for my 80 lb. boxer.


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