One of the heartbreaking facts of having a pet is when you know that they can cause a calamity when they are left alone, and one of those troublesome behaviors is the separation anxiety. Separation anxiety can trigger destructive behavior in dogs and sadly, it is one of the common causes for dogs to be sent to a rescue center. It is essential that you can leave your dog by itself in the car and even in the house without worry. Here are some pointers on managing separation anxiety for puppies and adult dogs alike:
- If you have a 12-14 weeks old puppy, you can start getting it accustomed of being left alone by putting your pup in the crate or caging and make sure to put his favorite toy or favorite rug so you can divert his attention while you are away. If you adopt an adult dog, start within the 2nd week or 3rd of taking it home.
- Make sure that your pet dog is comfortable in its bed in the house or on a cushion or on the backseat of your car. A bed specially made for your dog can be placed in the crate if you are using gone.
- Ensure that your dog is not hungry so that it is more inclined to sleep.
- Make sure that your dog has water and is placed at his favorite bowl, and that the place is adequately ventilated and not likely to get too hot or too cold, especially if you’re pet is a bulldog or a boxer which are more prone to over-heating.
- Start by leaving your dog for very short periods, maybe only ten minutes, making sure your dog has noted the adopted cues. Don’t go far, just keep out of his sight during this period, and if possible remain outside your house. If all is well on your return and your dog didn’t bar while you are away, reward your dog with his favorite tidbits and praise him verbally but if he barks and wiggle its tail, you must make him halt, show him that you are the pack leader and those extra woofs is against your rules thus he must obey.
- Over the next 15 to 30 days gradually increase the interval for which you are absent from ten to twenty minutes at a time, up to a total duration of two hours.
Training a dog for this type of conditioning requires a lot of patience and must be practiced every day for it will be more effective if you don’t waver during this critical session. However, don’t set your expectations too high, as that may result in your rushing the procedure and remember that a dog will always check you out for the dominance at your house so don’t blink when he’s got an extra attitude during this training, you must show him that you are the pack leader and your rules are absolute. Constant training and re-enforcement will kiss away goodbye the separation away anxiety of your dog.