Does your dog have seperation anxiety?
If so, what do you do to help them?
Yes. She is a rescue.The first time we dropped her off at the big box pet store for a trim, it was very clear that she thought she was being returned as damaged goods. She almost lost her mind when we picked her up again. She is getting better. It only takes time. Lots of getting left on her own and having us return very nonchalantly has made our absences a fact of her life and easier for her to accept.
It is a mistake to greet your dog excitedly upon your return. Only greet your dog when it is calm and wiling to lie down to show you its belly. Until then, don't let your dog jump up on you or guests. Tell your dog firmly "no" then issue the command "roll over." That way, when you are getting your dog's belly later, you are rewarding the calm feelings instead of its excitement and angst over your being away. Eventually your dog will learn to feel calm in your absence in order to be rewarded and get its belly rubbed that much faster.
Yes, experts advise this and I did these with some results. But someone told me that another expert says to do the opposite - give them big hugs and show happiness to see them upon arriving home. I found this actually had great results for my dog.
My bigger dog suffered from it badly for 4 years and seriously I don't think anyone else would have kept her. She was abandoned with puppies in an abandoned house for a week in the dark. But, she's a fantastic dog otherwise. It took commitment, a lot of patience and figuring out what worked. Also, she did not respond to scolding or a stern voice. A calm voice got much better results. For her, it meant keeping her off the furniture when she was home alone, leaving the curtains or blinds open so she could see outside when I was out, leaving a night light on if I was out because she's afraid of being alone in the dark due to her experience, and not having latch doors because she could open those. Getting another dog - but years later - also helped her a lot - an older, calm dog that wasn't afraid of anything - in this case, a tiny fru fru dog. I wish I had done this earlier. She ended up being such a fantastic dog - very loyal. My advice is don't give up and always show love and you will win in the end 100 times over. Both of mine were adopted. There are lot's of fantastic dogs out there for adoption.
@Ginny - it is definitely a mistake to get all excited when greeting your dog. All that accomplishes is turning your arrival into a big event and getting your pup all worked up. Wait until they are calm and collected, then greet them. This teaches them that (1) you are calm and have things under control, (2) you leaving and coming home is not a big deal, and (3) you expect the same calm behavior from them.
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