Friday, October 28, 2011


Though we previously addressed this topic in an earlier blog post, it is an issue that continuously plagues dog owners with a solution that seems to remain elusive. Not only do dogs experience distress when separated from their owners but the anxiety is easily transferred to the owner. We as dog owners feel terrible when leaving Fido. We are also forced to suffer through the frustrating side effects of separation anxiety, which can include, but is not limited to, chewed up furniture, relentless barking, digging and soiled household floors or furniture. This makes leaving your house a stressful time for you, as visions of torn carpet and shredded pillows dance in your head. Read on for tips to help solve this aggravating problem.

Photo Courtesy of cogdogblog
Confinement Isn’t Bad
Start by designating an area for your dog to hang out when you are gone, whether it is a crate, the kitchen, or an upstairs bedroom. Periodically confine your dog to this spot while you are home for 30 minutes, then an hour at a time. This ensures that your dog will not associate your absence with being isolated in this designated area and gives you the opportunity to check-in on your dog and observe his or her behavior. When your dog is being quiet and non-disruptive, reward your fuzzy friend with a tasty treat.

Treats and Toys Are Good!
It is essential to place your dog’s favorite toys and engaging, yet safe treats like a Kong filled with kibble in your dog’s confinement area when you leave the house. These pleasant items will keep your pup happy and occupied. Alone time can evolve into a special time of rest, relaxation, yummy snacks, and chew toy playtime that your dog will grow to appreciate.

Make Your Exits and Entrances Casual
Photo Courtesy of Cast A Line
When you leave the house, don't make a scene. Exit as serenely as possible when your dog is engaged in their chew toy or nibbling the kibble from their Kong. It may further help to take your dog on a walk before leaving so they are tired and more likely to relax in their confinement area. When coming back home, it is important to remember to remain calm and placid so as not to over-excite your dog. You don’t want your dog to associate your returns with party time because your dog will only dread your absence more. When you first enter your house, ignore your dog and wait to give him or her attention until they have calmed down. If your dog grabs a chew toy and occupies him or herself, that behavior should also be rewarded. Your dog is displaying independence. At that point you can acknowledge your pup and let him or her out of their crate or whatever room they have been confined to.

Patience is Key
Remember to never scold or physically harm your dog for exhibiting signs of anxiety. Instead, reward your dog when he or she displays calm behavior and shows signs of independence. If you want to avoid the situation altogether, consider bringing your dog to Morris K9 Campus for doggie daycare where your dog will be surrounded by people and other dogs throughout the day. Being a part of this regular pack will decrease their distress about being away from you.

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