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Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation Anxiety is one of the most common problems in dogs today. 

If your dog show signs of distress and exhibits behavior problems when left alone then your dog may have separation anxiety

 

Examples of dogs displaying separation anxiety

Digging at doors 

 

Destroying doorways, curtains, glass window, crate

 

Urinating/defecating - This can even happen with a potty trained dog

 

 Causes of Separation Anxiety

Family member dying or pet family member or leaving 

 

Constant human contact when you are home with the dog (This is the most common cause of separation anxiety)

 

Trauma - Going to a boarding facility where dogs are kept in kennels or if a dog is relinquished to a shelter 

 

Puppies that are left alone for the first time

 

Ways to treat separation anxiety

 

Find healthy ways to keep your dog busy when you are gone like using a food/treat product that your dog takes a long time to eat like a lickimat 

 

A lickimat is a mat that you spread your dogs favorite treat on like peanut butter or yogurt and the dog can only lick it because of the raised bumps on it. 

 

Ways to deal with the behavior

1. Hire a fear free certified dog trainer  to help you by giving you a regimen to follow over a couple months of training lessons. 

2. If you are dealing with some MINOR separation anxiety then you can try to teach your dog that when you leave you are coming right back by leaving and coming right back in 10x a day for 3 weeks. Walk out of your front door or bedroom then as soon as you close the door, come right back in and say yes, then give your dog a treat - 10 x a day for 3 weeks - On week 2 and 3 you can start to stay gone for a little longer each day as you go. 

3. You can also start leaving things like a hard backbone nylon dog chew

4. Get a lickimat or lickimat product and spread peanut butter on the lickimat and leave one of those when you leave 

5. We love to give our dogs an everlasting treat wheeler with puppy ice cream spread all over it with supplements sprinkled on top

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2 comments

  • Hi There! I have a boxer, he is about 8 years old now and was around a year old when I rescued him. He had severe separation anxiety when I first got him but he is so much better now. One thing I am having a hard time with though is that he constantly barks at me. Especially if I’m sitting somewhere that he can’t sit next to me if he decides to. He used to follow me around the house constantly but he also no longer does that, he will go to bed when he’s tired or sleep on the floor while I watch TV….he used to be beside all the time. If I’m sitting on the couch watching TV sometimes he will just sit there and bark at me. Last night I ignored him and he barked for 10 minutes straight. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you in advance!

    Lisa
  • Hi,
    I own a dog hiking/pet sitting business where my dog is with me all day every day. She is a 6 year old Boxer/Pitbull mix who I adopted about a year and a half ago. She has severe separation anxiety!! She has since before I adopted her. I have tried every trick in the book and even just ordered the lickimat for her (and also for one of my kitties who obsessively licks all the time).
    My problem with trying things like this is that she will not touch anything I leave to entertain her while she’s in her crate until I have come back. I could leave her very favorite treats for her and they will still be there, untouched, when I come back.
    Do you have any suggestions for this?
    Thank you in advance!
    Tiffany Davis

    Tiffany Davis

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