If your dog has difficulty with separation anxiety, you will want to deal with the problem aggressively so they are not upset if you need to leave them alone for any length of time. Dogs that become very attached to their owners may find it disturbing to be left alone. This can lead to depression or destructive behavior as they wait for their owner to return. Here are a some tips to use to help your dog adjust to time apart from you.
Change The Timing Of Affection
If you regularly say goodbye to your dog by petting it and showing it affection, only to walk out the door afterwards, your pet will feel upset that you give attention and then abruptly take it away. This can confuse a dog. Give affection when you plan on staying at home for a while. When you leave the home, do not make a big deal of the situation by giving a long goodbye.
The same advice goes for when you arrive back home. If you act as if coming and going is a part of your everyday routine instead of an event, your dog will start to associate affection with times you will be around rather than when you are not at home.
Exercise Your Dog Before You Leave
Take your dog on a long walk an hour or two before you plan on leaving for a while. You can incorporate some playtime into the walk by stopping at a dog park or field so your dog will be able to run around for a bit as well. This exercise, followed by a nutritious meal, will tire out your dog so it will be relaxed and perhaps allow it to nap. Since your dog will have a subdued demeanor, it will be less apt to become upset if you walk out the door.
Increase Time Away Slowly
When you first start the process of trying to reduce separation anxiety in your dog, leave your dog alone for only five or ten minutes. When you walk out the door, do so calmly and do not go back inside even if you hear your dog barking or whimpering. When your return, you can give your dog a quick verbal hello and do something in another area of the home. Continue with several five or ten minute getaways. Gradually increase the time by a few minutes each time you leave your dog.
Give The Dog Time Alone Away From Home
To help your dog adjust to your time away from it, bring it to a few activities outside of the home where you will be able to leave it in the care of other people. Bring your dog to a friend’s home and see how it adjusts to you being gone while your friend is the one giving the attention. Take your dog to a groomer and leave it in the room with the employee. Bring your dog to an obedience class. Consider visiting a dog boarding facility like All Creatures Inn to give your dog some pampering and exercise with other dogs. These small steps can help your dog become more adjusted to time when you are not in their presence.Read More