Separation Anxiety in Dogs An Overview of this Condition and What You Can Do About It

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Separation Anxiety in Dogs An Overview of this Condition and What You Can Do About It

by Kristi Patrice Carter

Does your dog bark and whine whenever you leave her alone? Does she howl and chew up your furniture or have accidents whenever you leave the house? Well, before you assume that she is just ?misbehaving,? you should take another look. Your dog might be experiencing a medical condition called dog separation anxiety. Dog separation anxiety is a condition that affects millions of dogs around the world. But, what is separation anxiety?

Dog separation anxiety is a condition in which dogs experience undue fear and nervousness when separated from their human companions or pack leaders. As a result of this condition, many of these dogs attempt to relieve their anxiety through digging, escaping, self mutilation, chewing, barking, or whining excessively. In addition, dog separation anxiety is often difficult to treat because the behavior only occurs when the owner leaves and is not demonstrated when the owner is home.

The solution for dog separation anxiety is to train her how to be alone. This includes engaging your dog in behavior modification with or without medication.

Here are 5 proven tips that can help you retrain your dog:

1. Don?t administer heavy handed punishments. Physical punishment doesn?t work and in some instances may aggravate the problem more. This is because your dog is not ?acting out? in order to upset you. She is experiencing stress and anxiety because she needs to be properly trained how to deal with these anxious feelings.

2. Don?t ignore the problem. The symptoms of dog separation anxiety won?t go away. In fact, they seem to get progressively worse as the dog matures, so it is better to nip the behavior in the bud before it becomes even more problematic. So, if you notice that your puppy is experiencing dog separation anxiety symptoms, don?t ignore them. instead, start retraining her now.

3. Develop an individualized program for your dog. There are numerous behavior modification training programs specifically for dogs with dog separation anxiety, and since this condition effects dogs differently, a one size fits all approach often doesn?t work. Instead, you have to develop a specific program that takes into consideration your dog?s age, breed, anxiety tolerance level, motivational triggers, etc. In addition, you may have to utilize anti-anxiety medications combined with behavior modification therapies for maximum benefits, depending on the severity of the issue.

4. Engage in basic dog obedience training and don?t spoil her. That is, don?t give your dog too much attention when you?re home. Instead encourage her to play by herself as much as possible and administer praise when she does. For instance, if you want to give her a treat then make her do a command like sit, before you give it to her. This establishes you as the pack leader and ensures that she understands her place as the lower pack member.

5. Don?t make leaving your dog a big deal. Just go. Don?t sit there waving to her for hours and don?t tell her goodbye a hundred times. Simply exercise her before you leave, give her a special treat, and then leave without making a fuss. Then, when you come home, keep it low key as well. This will demonstrate that your leaving is not a bad thing and is something that just happens. One great trick is to act like you?re leaving and then not go anywhere in order to get her used to being left alone.

In conclusion, if you suspect that your dog has separation anxiety, it is absolutely paramount that you don?t ignore the problem. Although it is tempting to just think the problem will go away, this is often not the case. In many cases, it only escalates the problem. By doing what you can now, you will help your dog overcome dog separation anxiety while feeling more comfortable when you leave him alone.

Is your dog traumatized when you leave him alone? Don?t get mad or frustrated. He may be suffering from dog separation anxiety. Learn proven and humane tips to help him overcome dog separation anxiety once and for all! Visit today!

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