Thursday, November 3, 2011


Separation anxiety can be more difficult to cure in older dogs since it is a learned behavior. Last week we provided some tips to help cure this problem in older or mature dogs even after it has already developed. When it comes to puppies, it is possible to avert this problem altogether. Prevention is key and it is up to you, the pet owner, to ensure your puppy does not develop this behavior later in life. If you have a puppy, here are some steps you can take to prevent this issue from developing.

Alone Time
Though this may be extremely difficult, like resisting free samples of chocolate, it is important to limit the amount of time you spend with your puppy. It is not necessary to be by your puppy’s side 24/7. When your puppy is sleeping, let him or her be, don’t hover. If you need to clean your basement, do it. If you need to buy more milk, run out to the store. You don’t need to call a puppy sitter to come for a half-hour or an hour. Leave your pup periodically and they will adjust to this alone time in no time!

Create a Comfy Nook
Again, it is vital to designate an area for your puppy while you are gone. It can be the laundry room, the kitchen or a crate. This will ensure your puppy does not soil the fancy Persian rug or start chewing on sockets and wires as though they were rawhide. Deck your puppy playroom with comfy blankets, toys and a treat or two! Have your puppy spend time in this designated area when you are home as well, so that he or she can adjust to it and not associate the crate with your absence.

As soon as you get a puppy, it is crucial to acclimate him or her to alone time. This takes a certain amount of conditioning that goes as follows: Put your puppy in their crate and sit close by in the room with them. Read a book or spend time on your laptop. Ignore your puppy if she or he gets anxious, squirms, or tries to get out of the puppy playroom. Praise your pup with sweet words, a treat, and attention when calm. After a while, move back further and continue the same thing; praise for calm behavior, the cold shoulder for fussing. Continue until you are able to move about the room without your puppy creating a scene. After an hour, give your pup a potty break. Next, leave the room. Enter when you pup is settled. Increase the amount of time you are out of the room from five minutes to 10 minutes to 15 minutes and so on. This will show your playful pup that you will return. Progress with this routine until you can step outside the house and even hop in the car and drive around the block or to the local supermarket. Take it slowly and don’t jump ahead until your puppy gets used to each step of the conditioning process and no longer creates a commotion. If you follow these steps your puppy will develop into a confident, self-assured dog that understands when you leave, you will always return to them.


  1. I like the part specificaly about doing something beside your puppy while he is squirming. I'm blessed with two other older dogs who does the disciplining for me. Whenever we have a new puppy and she starts to call mommy, my older dogs would issue an angry bark and the newbie will no longer whine.

  2. Haha, that is wonderful that you have two great mature dogs to help you with the training! That's adorable, I wish we were all that lucky!

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