Separation anxiety in dogs - Part 2/2
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Separation anxiety in dogs Part 2/2
In the first part of this two part article series, you have learned what exactly separation anxiety in dogs is, how it arises and what symptoms it causes in the dog. In the second part, we focus on what you can do against it and how the dog can lose their fears.
How does the dog lose the fears and what can you do against it?
Being alone must be taught the dog and can sometimes require a lot of patience. It is important that you take a lot of time here and do this process step by step. You should take for the desensitization a few weeks.
In the initial phase you must not make the mistake to let the dog / puppy for hours alone, as this may panic and think that its owners have abandoned him. To desensitize a distraught dog back is much more difficult. Therefore, it is highly advisable that you start with small steps. In the beginning you can start with the place training so the dog learns to stay longer on a place (e.g. in the basket) until the command was canceled. This can be done three to four times a day for a short time, repeat this until the dog remains calm and relaxed to the desired place.
If the place training course worked successfully, you can start with the distance training. Here you can leave short times the room and get into it again. Next time you can close the door and come in immediately again without praising him. So the dog learns that you come back. As a small deflection it usually helps a favorite toy or a treat.
The distances can then extend slowly until the dog can remain relaxed for a while alone. If the dog whine or bark, then walk into the room again until he is calm. Because otherwise the dog associates that by barking or howling the owner comes back. This exercise can be performed two to three times a day and the alone time can be increased slowly step by step. Initially, such an exercise unit should only take a few minutes. The time can be increased after a few days, when the dog is calm and relaxed while he is alone.
As a next step you can leave the house. When leaving do not talk to the dog, but just go out as if it were the most normal thing in the world. Take out for example the trash and go back home. When you come in, you should not welcome your dog effusive or even reward him with a treat, but first ignore him (this is especially hard) and when he has calmed down, you can pet him.
When you leave home you should proceed exactly as leaving the room. The time of absence should always be increased slowly. Should your dog be unsafe, then go quietly a step back and extend the time only when your dog feels relaxed. As I said, this one takes sometimes a lot of patience, which later really pays off so that the dog can be left alone, without having to suffer because he has learned that you come back. It is best to do some exercises with your dog before a leaving-alone-training-unit like a long walk or play. A balanced dog can also relax better.
Almost all dogs associate with dressing the jacket or putting the shoes on, with grabbing the handbag or taking the keys that the owner is leaving the house. Here, you can simply dress the jacket without leaving the house. After a few times you can then take the keys and so on until the dog no longer reacts with stress. If practicing this for several weeks, the expectations of the dog will be neutralized. However, this measure does not work for every dog.
Offer your dog also a structured daily routine. Solid structures give your dog safety. These include regulated feeding times, walks and play and cuddle time. Your dog should also be mentally and physically busy. These include, for example, playing with other dogs or learning new commands. Equally important are rest places where the dog can feel comfortable and relax. Also a permanent running after you in everyday life should be avoided.
Prevent Dominance Behavior
To avoid dominance behavior of the dog, so that he feels as a parent animal and develops separation anxiety, you must consider a lot. If visit is announced, then you have to welcome yourself the guests first. The dog should be able to welcome the guests only on command. This also applies if your dog wants on the sofa. He may come only to you when you invited him to. The same procedure applies to playing. Playing should always go out from you. When feeding your dog he should be able to eat after your command. If you leave the house, you should go out first. With a firm and clear hierarchy structure, in which the holder takes responsibility, there will be no dominance behavior of the dog and therefore he can not develop separation anxiety in this respect.
Is there a separation anxiety quite for a longer time, the treatment takes longer because the fears of the dog have been consolidated over time. In this case you should consult a behavior therapist to deliver long-term success. Likewise, a therapist should be consulted when it comes to extreme cases in which the dog, for example, has been injured.
With this two-part article series, you get a good overview of separation anxiety in dogs by recognize it better and do something against it.
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