How Do I Stop Separation Anxiety with My Dog?
Separation anxiety can be difficult behavior not only for your dog but for you as well. In this FAQ segment, Daniel discusses some different tricks and tips on how to combat separation anxiety in dogs.
First, let's define what exactly dog separation anxiety is. Dogs that suffer from this condition often panic when separated from their owner or a place they consider safe. What are some signs that my dog may be suffering from separation anxiety?
- Excessive and sudden barking or howling
- Chewing on doors and windowsills
- Attempting to escape through open doors
- Incessant barking and whining
- Damaging furniture and property
- Urinating and defecating indoors
- Even going so far as to attempt to break through windows in order to escape
Some dogs develop separation anxiety after a traumatic experience such as moving to a new home or the loss of an owner or another pet. Oftentimes this type of behavior begins gradually without any obvious reason.
It's important to note that any dog can develop separation anxiety at any age. Sometimes puppies will experience it until they reach social maturity, usually around 12-14 months of age, but it's still possible for older dogs to suffer from the condition as well.
There are three types of separation anxiety treatment methods: structured obedience training, crate training, exercise/mental stimulation. Each method has its own benefits that extend far beyond the treatment of separation anxiety.
As Daniel explains:
- Obedience Training - Creates collaboration and trust between you and your dog. The main benefit of obedience training is that it can help build confidence and security, regardless of whether you are near them or not.
- Crate Training - If done the correct way, it teaches a dog to feel comfortable with existing on their own. It can also create a designated safe space for your dog.
- Exercise/Mental Stimulation - Providing both physical and mental stimulation every single day is very important for dogs. It's also a great way to tire them out, which is beneficial for reducing anxiety of any kind.
Dog separation anxiety is a very real and common condition that many dogs suffer from. If any one of these treatments sounds like something you want to invest time into with your pet then we recommend consulting an expert first before starting anything.