How to Deal With Separation Anxiety in Your Dog

Hi guys, it’s Cohen and Albert here with GetFreeDogTraining.com. This week we’re going to be giving you some top tips on how to deal with separation anxiety in your dog. This is one of the most common problems for dog owners worldwide. Separation anxiety is when a dog will bark, howl, urinate, defecate try and rip up things in your house, basically – trying to destroy everything as soon as you leave.

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When treating a dog that’s got separation anxiety the end goal is to replace the fear or anxiety that they feel when you leave with being able to tolerate it or even enjoy being alone. So the answer to separation anxiety is behavioral therapy for your dog. Now you can take him to a professional trainer to sort this out for you, but actually, you can do these by yourself, I’ve done them with Albert.

I rehomed Albert at five months old and when he first arrived at our house he was very very anxious, he obviously had some abandonment issues as his first family had, unfortunately, had to give him away. He soon got out of these though – I used a behavioral therapy called counterconditioning.

Counterconditioning is basically turning a negative into a positive. So you need to make sure your dog is associating the negative of you leaving the house with a positive of something that he’s going to gain from the situation.

So to do this I used KONG toys. I filled these up with peanut butter or cream cheese, put them in the freezer so that it takes him even longer to get his gnashers round it, and put this in the crate with him. This took his mind off what else was going on, it took his mind off the fact that I wasn’t there, and it kept him occupied for a good amount of time. I also started desensitizing Albert to me leaving the room, so when I first got him I started leaving him for very short periods of time, multiple times during the day.

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So I would leave him for five minutes, then I’d come back, I’d leave him for ten minutes and then I’d come back. I would gradually increase the time that I was leaving him. I still make sure that I give him some intense exercise for at least 30 minutes before I leave right before I leave. I also feed him in his crate, so I always give him his dinner as soon as he gets into his crate and I leave while he’s eating his dinner.

Downplay Goodbyes and Hellos

Some other really good advice is to always avoid excited hellos and goodbyes. When you leaving your dog just pat his on the head, say goodbye and leave, don’t get excited and don’t give him loads of fuss. When you come in this is even more important because your dog is going to be excited to see you because he loves you, but just try and make sure that you just don’t give him too much attention until he has calmed down. So we really hope that you enjoyed today’s article If you like this post, please like and share with your friends. Thanks

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