Puppy Separation Anxiety
For a Puppy, separation anxiety is one of the most common behavioral disorders and if it is not dealt with at an early age, the result can be crippling for your dog and your ability to leave the home.
Separation anxiety is when your Puppy quite literally panics when they are isolated from you or you leave the home. This can manifest in a number of ways. see also : Best Puppy Training Tips
Most commonly, an anxious dog will bark – sometimes for a few minutes, other times for hours at a time. If you’re at work and your Puppy is barking for hours, guess who will be getting notes from his neighbors the next day.
The problem is that dogs are social and Puppys are even more social. Puppy separation anxiety is common because this breed was created to be very close to its owner – a fellow hunter that might rely on the Puppy for his life if a wild animal decided to attack.
In modern times, that loyalty and closeness is admirable, but it also creates situations of extreme anxiety.
While Puppys are prone to this disorder, it is not a guaranteed problem. Most Puppy separation anxiety, at least the more severe forms of it, are brought on by traumatic experiences. If you got your dog from a shelter or rescued it from a mill, they are likely to be more prone than others to anxiety.
What Does Puppy Separation Anxiety Entail?
While barking is the most common symptom, separation anxiety can grow exponentially worse and include a number of other symptoms like whining, shaking, urination, destructive tendencies, and even damage to themselves as they try to reach you.
Usually, this will be triggered by a sound or action that your Puppy recognizes as a sign of you leaving. It might be your keys or you lacing up your shoes, or even your alarm clock in the morning if their anxiety is severe enough. see also :Stop Puppy Chasing
How to Handle Puppy Separation Anxiety
Having a dog with severe separation anxiety can be hard. One part of you feels bad for the dog, but another part grows frustrated that you cannot leave the house without the dog growing upset. So, it’s best to tackle it head on, making key changes to both you and your Puppy’s routine.
To start with, make sure your dog gets a LOT of exercise. Before you leave, be sure they are too exhausted to really care that you’re gone. Most dogs will not grow anxious if they can disassociate your act of leaving with that initial moment of panic.
Additionally, try to give your dog something to do – a toy, a puzzle, some chews. Severe anxiety will usually cause them to ignore such bribes, but if your dog is just a little upset, this will keep them busy long enough to get over you leaving.
You should also get them used to you leaving. Throughout the day, go through your leaving routine and then don’t leave. Or, one day, just get up and leave without any warning – without socks or keys or anything.
By mixing up your routine, and by not paying attention to your Puppy before you leave the house, you should be able to disassociate the act from their mind with that sense of panic.
Finally, make sure you ignore the dog if he starts to whimper or whine. This is a tough one, but the more attention you lavish on them when they get upset, the worse it becomes. You need to ignore it, and do your best to create distance between your act of leaving and your dog.
Ideally, with the right attention to your dog’s boredom, a careful re-planning of your routine and consistent adjustments to how you interact with your Puppy, separation anxiety will be a thing of the past.
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