Separation Anxiety in Dogs
By following these guidelines, you will hopefully be able to reduce the emotional impact of leaving your dog home alone.
Separation anxiety signs
Signs of separation-related anxieties may include: barking, chewing, toileting and self-mutilation. A new pet or an older established one or an animal that has experienced some kind of trauma or illness may exhibit these signs and a vet check may be necessary.
- For younger dogs, gradually accustom them to longer periods alone and precede these periods with quality time.
- Do not make a big deal about coming in and leaving the house.
- Leave your dog with something desirable that he can only have when alone and that will keep him occupied, such as food balls or toys.
- Do not punish mistakes or tell him off for barking. This can increase anxiety and is ineffective. Punishment should only ever be used if the animal is caught in the act, and even then is not very useful. Any mess should be cleared up when the animal is out of the room.
- Reward good behaviour, like any time the dog is sitting quietly.