Separation Anxiety is a fear of being left, or possibly being left, alone. A dog with separation anxiety may whine, howl, bark, pant or pace when they believe their parents are about to leave. While parents are away dogs may bark excessively, destroy objects, urinate or defecate in the home. Separation anxiety is one of the most common behaviour concerns seen in dogs.
Common Signs of Separation Anxiety
Another dog will not necessarily fix the problem. Your dog may love the company of another furry friend, but still worry about your leaving. Dogs can also learn behaviours from each other, and you may end up with two dogs with separation anxiety.
Crate training can be a helpful management tool, however it does not resolve the underlying problem. Your dog needs to learn that you leaving is an okay thing, and that is where training comes in.
Unfortunately, separation anxiety has a tendency of popping back up when routines change. Ongoing management is key to a successful life together after training is complete.
Managing Your Dog’s Environment
Management is key in the successful training of dogs with separation anxiety. The following tips and tricks can help:
The ultimate aim of training is to change your dog’s emotional state when being left alone. Most training programs for separation anxiety will include the following:
Kristen’s Favourite Books on Separation Anxiety
Kristen Smith, CCPDT-KA is an avid pet lover and expert dog trainer specializing in behaviour. Her goal is to help educate and promote the use of reward based/ aversion free training that is grounded in science and backed by research. She is the owner of Smith Canine Academy and has over five years experience helping dog owners and their dogs in behaviour modification and training. Please visit her website for more details