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Dog is a pack animal. Without it - there is trouble!
Does your dog follow you around the house or barks / howls excessively while you are away? Well, he/she may be suffering from separation anxiety. Dogs are pack animals; they play, hunt, eat and sleep together with their pack members. It is very alien to dog’s DNA to be left alone for hours. When we bring a pooch to our family we become his pack. Sadly, not all of us can be with our furry babies 24/7.
They need to stay alone for most days and we have to aid them to learn this.
True, many dogs are more confident and calm when left all alone. But most need some time and our help to know how to deal with solitude. It is not clear why some dogs exhibit more separation anxiety than others. But as dog parents we need to know the symptoms and also how to deal with it. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety typically will follow their handler excessively, pace a lot, excessively salivate, vomit, indulge in destructive chewing, bark/howl/whine, urinate/defecate in the house, dig and scratch at doors or windows in an attempt to reunite with the family.
If your pooch shows these symptoms while left alone, please try a few of these technique to help them overcome separation anxiety.
• Every time you leave the house, make no fuss; no long goodbyes or kisses. Yes, it might be hard for you but this will help him, so do it. Go out of the house without showing guilt or remorse. Do the same while coming back home. In fact make it a habit to isolate you from your dog 20 mins before leaving or returning.
• Crate train your pooch. Leave him inside his crate while he is alone in the house. Small cozy place that smells of him will help calm him and give him confidence to stay alone. Try to put him in the crate for a few mins in the beginning while you are around, and then gradually increase the time and also the distance between you and the crate. Be patient, reward will love and treats every time your dog inters his crate on his own and every time you come home to a relaxed and calm dog in his crate. Once this becomes a routine you may start putting him in the same room with the crate door open in case he wants to go in. Very gradually the whole house can be opened for him. But only if he has learned how to stay calm on his own alone.
• Provide plenty of exercise, play, and fun while you are around so when you are away, the dog is content and sleeps most of his alone time.
• Feeding the dog before you leave will help relax and sleep. But make sure he has gone out a bit to relieve himself.
• Leaving the radio/TV on also helps our furry babies relax while they are all by themselves. Use these simple techniques to avoid any stress in your pooch’s life caused by separation from you and enjoy the happiness and fulfillment that only having a dog in your life can bring