Articles - Separation Anxiety in dogs
Caroline Kjall at DogBasics
your dog chewing on furniture, digging a hole
in the carpet or barking non stop when you have
left him alone at home? This is your dogs way
of dealing with stress and anxiety and it is
your job to recognise that and do something
about it. You need to reassure your dog that
being left is OK and that it in fact can be
quite a positive experience.
Do everything that you normally do when you are going
out - put on your jacket, get your keys and mobile, turn
the heating down, put the lights out in the kitchen...
what ever your routines are - do that!
Walk out of the door and close and lock it behind you.
Wait for circa a minute and then go back inside again,
take of your jacket, put the lights on again, turn the
heating up... and do something relaxed - read a book,
watch TV, start dinner, do the dishes... - but don't greet
the dog when you enter the door, be very nonchalant and
just get on with what you are going to do (...dishes,
read a book, etc.).
Repeat this exercise as many times as you can muster every
day, but with at least half an hours break in between
After a couple of days you can start expanding the time
you are out of your home. First day 2 minutes, next day
3 minutes. This is to teach the dog that you will come
back soon and that there is no need to get excited. That
is also the reason that you should not greet the dog when
you enter the door - you are making just as much fuss
about him or her being alone as he/she is! A calmly spoken
Hello and a quiet stroke over his back is sufficient as
can help the dog cope with the loneliness in additional
I always used to throw a handful of tiny treats (if your dog is keen on his regular
kibble, you can use that), over my living room floor and sofa (yes, I allow my
dogs everywhere in my home) and they could spend a good minute or two searching
for their sweets, before they even noticed I was gone. There are many different
ways to hide the treats or the dogs favourite toy, so that when you leave, it
will actually be a positive experience for the dog!
type of problem will be easier to solve with the help
of an experienced dog instructor, who will set up your
training to your specific needs, so I would like to
advise you to get in touch with your local dog instructor.
You can get tips on where to find a good dog instructor
on the DogBasics dog training