Three Quick Tips To Prevent Dog Separation Anxiety Development
Dog separation anxiety is not a good thing for either dog or owner. That said the steps which you can take to seek to help prevent your dog developing the condition can be simple, straightforward and can be very effective indeed. Let’s take a look at three things you can do starting right now which can help to reduce the risk.
Just like it is with most problems in life, and dog separation anxiety is no different, things are quite often easier to seek to nip in the bid and seek to prevent rather than wait until a problem has developed and then try to cure it.
To begin with, when introducing a new dog to your home, try to think of the types of habits and other behavior patterns that may discourage your new dog from becoming anxious as these are basically the opposite of the potential causes. Then when you do bring your new best pal home the tips below may help both you and your dog set boundaries right from the off and thereby reduce the risk of separation anxiety manifesting.
Tip 1: Try to minimize your arrivals and departures from the room and/or your home. When you are planning on leaving – for work, to go shopping or whatever, and not taking the dog with you then pay some extra attention to before you leave and after you get back. But not immediately on departure or arrival. The purpose of this is to seek to condition the dog in to thinking that your comings and goings are nothing to worry about and that he knows you’ll be back soon.
Tip 2: Try to set clear boundaries in your home. This will have the effect of you setting yourself as the pack leader in the eyes of your dog – that you are in charge. The pack mentality will then help to give your dog a feeling of security safe in the knowledge that the leader (i.e. you) are in control and that’s fine. If not then your dog’s natural instinct will be to assume position of pack leader and think that he controls you. Then when you leave and he can’t see you he’ll probably become stressed and nervous and feel that he’s not in control.
Tip 3: Make sure you give your dog some alone time to himself. Randomly leave the room for short periods – gradually getting longer – leave the house and go for a short walk without your dog without making a full on leaving or coming home (see tip 2). The idea here is to get the dog used to being alone for various amounts of time without you so he will think it is entirely normal. However be sure not to treat the separation time as a form punishment or some other negative experience for your dog as this will have the opposite effect of what you are seeking to achieve.
You may find that these above tips are especially of use with young puppies being brought home for the very first time so conditioning can start immediately. You may also find that combining these tips with crate training will help the pup become accustomed to his den (his crate). These measures combined with crate training will go a long way in teaching a puppy that his “den” (crate) is a nice safe place to be at any time for example when you do have to leave him for a short while, when sleeping or even travelling.
I hope you enjoyed this brief article and found it informative. Canine separation anxiety is certainly treatable and for further information you may wish to download a free ebook which covers more aspects of the condition.