Posts Tagged ‘Seperation Anxiety’

Understanding Separation Anxiety Disorders In Dogs

Gemma | August 20th, 2012
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Does this sound like you and your dog? Youve had him since he was a puppy. He is a sweet dog, eager to please, and enjoys being around you and your whole family.

But lately, youve notice that hes become destructive around the house whenever hes left alone, even for just a few hours. You come home and the house looks like it was hit by a tornado papers scattered everywhere, the trash can was knocked down, and your clothes were chewed into shreds.

Your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety, a problem common with many puppies and dogs. Separation anxiety is a panic disorder exhibited by a dog in the absence of his owner. It is the fear of being left alone that results in unwanted, destructive behaviors.

Dogs are social creatures. As puppies it is natural for them to get dependent and attached to their mother and littermates. This type of attachment is transferred on to you, his owner, when the puppy enters your life. This attachment results in distress whenever the dog is left alone in the house, which is the most common cause of separation anxiety.

Signs Of Separation Anxiety

Your dog is suffering from separation anxiety if he displays the following signs: Destructiveness; excessive crying, barking, howling, whining, house soiling, pacing, depression, self mutilation, excessive salivation, hyperactivity, and scratching or chewing at walls, doors, windows, furniture, and other objects.

Causes Of Separation Anxiety

There are many causes for separation anxiety in dogs. Some were developed with experiences they had before the dog ever became part of your family, such as loss or abandonment of previous owner.

Below are six other causes of separation anxiety in dogs:

1. A traumatic experience such as an injury, thunderstorm, or an alarm system going off that happened while you were gone.
2. A loss or addition of a family member.
3. Premature separation from its mother and littermates.
4. Having a new pet in the house and spending a lot of time with that new pet and less time with him.
5. A sudden change in schedule, lifestyle, or environment.
6. Changes that occur in older dogs, both physiologically and mentally, that results from aging.

4 Tips For Dealing With A Barking Puppy

Gemma | November 26th, 2009
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Young puppies will often bark loudly and this can be quite unnerving for a new owner. Many new puppies will bark and yelp intensely when they arrive at their new home. Although this is quite natural and should be expected, if your new best friend doesn’t quiet down after a while and is driving you nuts at night these tips may help.

One of the biggest phases that a puppy will go through is the fear of being alone. And I’m not talking about being alone in the sense of you leaving the house. Some puppies will go absolutely nuts even when you only leave the room for a split second. They just can’t bear to be alone because they are used to having their mommy or littermates around non-stop.

When faced with this situation, what you do? If you run to your puppy to sooth and caress him every time he cries, then you are only feeding the behavior and creating a spoiled dog. On the other hand, if you ignore him and let him bark his brains out, the rest of the family (especially your spouse) will become very annoyed with you for letting the barking go on.

It’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place, however, we do have some tips to help you deal with your puppy barking situation:

1. Don’t Yell

The first step is to try to ignore your puppy’s barking if at all possible without yelling at him. Yelling will either scare him from wanting to come near you or will further add to his anxiety levels that and he will continue barking.

2. Use A Teaching Lead

There is a product called a “teaching lead” which will enable your puppy to be around you at all times in the house. Use these types of tools so that your puppy can be around you while he is getting used to his independence.

3. Leave & Arrive Calmly

When you leave the house, try to refrain from long and drawn out departures. Although it’s understandable to want to pet your puppy and talk sweet to her before leaving the house, it only creates more stress because she will start to associate your behavior with you leaving her side. The same advice goes when you arrive home. Avoid big and exciting welcomes after walking through the door.

4. Use A Simple Training Aid

Try using a simple training aid to get your puppy to quiet down immediately when she is barking. A water bottle that sends a quick burst of streaming spray is a perfect idea. Or you could use a small tin can filled with a few pennies in it. When you go to leave her side and she starts barking, simply throw that can in her area. It will create a startling noise while at the same time diverting her attention.

5 Tips To Ease Your Dogs Seperation Anxiety

Gemma | November 25th, 2009
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Whenever you leave the house your dog may suffer from seperation anxiety. Remember that your dog is dependant on you and being left alone can be a scary and daunting prospect for many dogs.

You’ve probably noticed the signs when you are preparing to leave and are wondering what you can do to ease your dogs stress and anxiety each time you leave the house.

Here are several tips to help soothe separation anxiety for your dog in order to help them feel more secure while you are away… 

1. Don’t Give Your Dog Too Much Attention

Having a new puppy or a new adult dog is an enjoyable experience. It is so easy to give the new member of the family tons of love and attention. But spending all of your time with your new dog can create negative consequences, especially when you return to your normal schedule where you are out of the house all day.

Give your new dog a lot of attention, but also get him use to being alone, even when you’re at home. Getting him used to your absence should be done gradually so it doesn’t create a traumatic experience.

Start by going to a different room and closing the door behind you, leaving your dog by himself in another room. Do this several times every day. Next, leave him alone in the house for five minutes, then fifteen, and so on, until he is comfortable enough to be left alone for several hours at a time.

2. Use Positive Association

Being home alone should be a good experience for your dog. This can be done by linking a positive association with that of you being away. Give your dog a new toy before you leave the house. Provide him with different toys when you are home so he doesn’t associate the toys with you going out and leaving him. Another strategy is to give him his favorite snack or a hollow bone filled with tasty treats that will take the dog a while to finish. These are two pleasant activities that your dog can engage in that will relieve him of the feelings of anxiety and fear.

3. Create A Secure Environment

Sometimes it is necessary to confine your dog when you’re not home. If you must do this, be sure to create a positive association with that room. Make him feel that he is going to a fun place. Do not put your dog in a crate because this will only increase his feelings of loneliness. Instead, pick a safe room where he feels secure. And when you are home, make it a point to spend some time and play with him in that room so he can associate the area with fun.

4. Don’t Make A Big Deal Out Of Leaving

Do not make the act of leaving the house a big deal and do not feel guilty about it. Ignore your dog for about ten minutes before you leave the house, and then another ten minutes upon returning home. This eliminates the excitement of you going away and coming back.

5. Exercise Your Dog Before Leaving

Another way to ease your dog’s feeling of distress is by giving him enough exercise, especially before you leave the house. Taking him out for a jog or a brisk walk will make your dog feel relaxed and tired, ready for a long nap while you are gone.

The Fastest Way To Relieve Your Dogs Separation Anxiety

Gemma | December 10th, 2006
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Separation anxiety occurs when dogs feel frightened and distressed at the absence of their owner. This type of attachment problem can be mild or severe. A mild case is often exhibited when the dog is pacing, over-grooming, and panting, whereas a severe case of separation anxiety can be quite a challenge for the owner. The dog soils the house, cries nonstop, barks or howls, and destroys furniture and other objects around the house. Often times, the dog starts to show behaviors associated with separation anxiety after being left alone for only ten or fifteen minutes.

Dogs that are more at risk of developing separation anxiety are those rescued from shelters, were living on the streets, or were locked inside a crate or kennel most of their lives. And because this behavior only occurs when the dog is left alone, theres really nothing you can do to stop him from destroying your home or irritating the neighbors every time you leave the house. However, you can teach your dog not to be scared or panic during your absence.

Here are five ways that can help.

1. Some dogs feel comfortable being confined to a small space such as a crate or a small gated area of the house, while others feel comfortable safely out in the backyard. If your dog starts to feel agitated when crated, take him out and do not try to force it because it can only make matters worse.

2. In some cases, confining your dog to a small area where he has viewing access to the outside world is enough to make him feel comfortable and eliminate separation anxiety. You can place his crate or bed in front of a sliding glass door or a clear window.

3. Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety because of boredom. Find a job that your dog can do. Teach him how to play Find it a game that he can play by himself. To play this game, you must hide his favorite bones or stuffed treats where he can find them. To keep him busy, use three or five bones or treats (depending on how long youll be gone).

4. Another way to fight boredom is to provide your dog with plenty of toys. Rotate the toys so he will not get tired of playing with them. Playing, chewing, chasing, and hunting for his toys or treats has the power to cause your dog utilize his natural canine instincts while keeping him occupied for hours.

5. Leave the television on or play a soft, relaxing music. Researches have shown that soft, classical music relaxes dogs. Pick something that you listen to when you are at home, so your pet doesnt relate the music to your absence.