If raising a dog from a new puppy to a beloved family pet teaches us nothing else, it’s understanding that our four-legged friends genuinely never tire of our company. This attribute is one of the greatest joys of raising a dog. They’re always happy to see you come through the door, no matter if you left for an hour or are returning home from a long workday.
Unfortunately, a dog’s desire to be with you can evolve into a significant problem. Many pet owners discover separation anxiety in a dog the difficult way. The neighbors may complain of constant howling or barking while you’re away—or worse, your dog may escape a crate or start chewing through furniture.
What is Dog Separation Anxiety?
The first step to help your dog with separation anxiety is to understand the condition. Dog separation anxiety occurs when your pet becomes overly attached, expressing signs and symptoms that include appearing visibly upset each time you’re separated.
Separation anxiety may cause your dog to panic at the thought of you leaving them home alone. This panic may feel so overwhelming that the dog becomes destructive, paces, salivates, or barks incessantly when you leave.
Separation anxiety is a stressful situation for both dogs and their owners, and routine obedience training alone doesn’t commonly break these issues.
How to Help a Dog With Separation Anxiety
If you suspect your pet may suffer from a bad case of separation anxiety, discussing your concerns with a professional is imperative. Experts like dog training camps and veterinarians commonly work together to help dogs with separation anxiety by mitigating fear and other triggers.
Prolonged separation anxiety can lead to health issues and illnesses in dogs. However, treating dog separation anxiety isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. You may need to approach various treatment options to find the right solution for the pet’s needs. Professionals like our team from Good Dogs Training Camp often rely on methods like desensitization and counterconditioning to help a dog with separation anxiety.
Desensitization works by gradually helping dogs to feel less sensitive during their alone time. This process involves owners leaving their pets alone for shorter times that may not trigger anxiety before gradually increasing the duration.
Counterconditioning alters dogs’ reactions to being alone from feeling anxious to excited. Owners may accomplish this by training dogs to associate alone time with special treats, food, and other enjoyable things.
Good Dogs Training Camp is a dog obedience trainer operating in Northeast Florida. Our family takes pride in the positive reputation we’ve earned in Ponte Vedra and surrounding communities, relying on our training, experience, and passion for dogs.
Although we don’t comprehensively understand the reasons for separation anxiety in dogs, properly approaching training while encouraging and reinforcing strong pet relationships is an ideal approach to help a dog with separation anxiety.