Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Few Tips On How To Cure A Dog Of Separation Anxiety

Being afraid of abandonment is scary!

Picture created by Eve Hoffman 
Life is good when the pack is home!
Life is good when the pack is home!

Dogs and humans can suffer from separation anxiety for several reasons. How we cope with the anxiety can make the difference. Often times when a person or dog has been abandon in the past, the fear of being left alone becomes to great. Also, a traumatic event can spark fear of being left alone. Furthermore, some dogs develop separation anxiety if they are over indulged. 

No matter the reason, separation anxiety is heartbreaking and can be both difficult for the dog as well as the pet parent. One of the main reason dogs end up in a shelter is due to separation anxiety. Love, understanding, patience, and coping skills will help prevent the dog  from being abandon again to a shelter.

All my dogs are rescue puppies. Separation anxiety is common with shelter or abandoned animals. I have five large dogs. I have three dogs with different levels of separation anxiety. My other two are older and outgrown their anxiety. Bojangles is the worse, since he has already been abandon two times within a year of his life. I am his third and final pet parent. So, I take the time to insure Bojangles I will return when I leave him alone. 

1. I take the dogs outside and play in my back yard to insure they potty about 15 minutes before I leave.
2. I give the dogs cookies about ten minutes before I leave the house. 
3. I leave the T.V or radio on softly.
4. I shut my office and locked down the doggy door. 
5. I leave a few blankets out that smell like me and I allow them in my bedroom. Bojangles like to hide under my bad or wait at the door for my return. 
6. I will leave a old shirt I have worn as well for comfort. Note: make sure the item you choose your willing to let be chewed on. 
7. As I get ready. I insure and calm the dogs down. I tell them I will be gone a few hours and I will back. 
8. When I leave, I tell the dogs, be good boys. I will be back. 
9. When I return I look around and say good boys and give treats if there is no accidents. If there is an accident, I simply give the dogs a disappointed look and take them outside. I still tell them I am glad to see them, just not with the same excitement. I make a big deal when I come to the house as I left it.
10. I keep to a routine. So, the dogs know how long and when I will come home. Dogs are very smart. They will look forward to your return and expect your departure in time.  

Dogs naturally chew on items that smell like us. This is a way to provide comfort when we are away and they are feeling anxious. We should never punish, no matter the behavior. Punishment makes the anxiety worse, since dogs only want to please. Showing our dogs we are please about something positive allows the dog to behave less negative and more positive.

We must remember in nature dogs are normally never away from their pack. Dogs work and live together. As the leader of the pack, the job is to make our dogs relaxed and at ease with our lifestyles.

Also, I have found leaving my dog calm is best for both of us. I  always say, be good boys, be back soon, and pat them on their heads when they are sitting calmly. I do not do this when Bojangles is anxious and jumping on me. I will ask him to sit and in a calm tone tell him, he will be alright, and I will be back. Never in a frantic mode because trying to soothe the dog can make the anxiety worse. 

I have had Bojangles for over six months now. He is improving when I have to leave the house. I notice he gets anxious now if I do not give the cue word I will be back, you be a good boy. Also, I have had less potty mistakes in the house, since I spend about ten minutes with Bojangles celebrating my return and his braveness for being alone even if he had made a mistake. 

The dogs are eager to please. Even though I celebrate my return home, I can give my dogs a look and they know they had done something to disappoint. Most of the time I do not see the same mistake repeated. All dogs behave better under positive rewards with love, specially when the dog as separation anxiety. 

Caring is sharing. Please share Bully Love & Devotion to spread education and animal awareness, while helping to find homes for dogs in need. 





Video Created to PuppyTrainingDogTrainingRevolution, found on YouTube.

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