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Dealing With Separation Anxiety In Dogs

Apr 24, 2008
Separation anxiety is the dread or fear that your dog experiences when someone that they are attached to leaves them. So a typical instance of this might be when you go to work in the morning, the dog might get tense or anxious. Typically this anxiety produces negative behavior in the animal. It may howl or bark, urinate or defecate in the house, start to chew things or bite itself. Obviously this is not good for the dogs state of mind or your home. So what can be done about separation anxiety in dogs ?

Separation anxiety begins when a puppy is separated from it's mother too soon. A puppy should have at least 8 weeks with it's mother before being re-homed. If a puppy was re-homed before this time it may experience separation anxiety in later life.

Training for separation anxiety in dogs can start as soon as you bring the puppy home. To begin with, don't make a bid deal of the separation when you leave it at night or on odd occasions. Put it in it's basket and walk away. It will get used to the fact that you are not always there.

If you make it clear to the puppy that you will not always be there then it will get used to it and will probably not suffer from separation anxiety when it gets older.

Training a puppy is relatively straightforward, however it may not be as easy with a grown dog that is suffering from this problem. The dog may have been given to you by a previous owner or you found him at the dog shelter.

If it has come from the pound or shelter then it may have been neglected in the past. Dog's a sensitive to abandonment and have a rational fear of being separated from the owner. It may have received little affection whilst in the pound too, which will only heighten it's anxiety.

If it has been given to you by the previous owner there is generally a good reason why they have done this. It may be that there were family problems, a divorce, money problems or that the person had to leave the country. As a dog is a social animal and needs the support that a family gives to it, it is also aware when there are problems in the family. This can trigger emotional problems that could result in displaying separation anxiety at some point.

So for an older dog the first step is to heal old emotional wounds. In terms of separation anxiety, you will have to leve at some point so start off slowly. Practice leaving. Leave for a few minutes and then return. Don't make a gbig deal of the leaving and returning, so as to imply that this is a normal process.

Do this repeatedly, gradually increasing the length of time that you are away from the dog. If you notice that the dog is beginning to get anxious then go back to a separation time period when it was content. Continue this process until the dog is not displaying any signs of anxiety.

Other strategies that may work are to keep you pet bust while you are out. So you could hide some tasty treats in the garden to take his mind off the fact that he is alone.
About the Author
Visit http://www.doghealthncare.com for more ideas on training your pet and understanding canine health issues. The site includes a detailed review of a popular dog training behavior course.
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