Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

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Separation anxiety in unfortunately a big problem for many dog breeds such as Patterdale terriers and Weimeranas. It’s very stressful for a dog to suffer with separation anxiety and so it’s important to be able to recognise the signs of separation anxiety in dogs so that you can put training in place that they might need. Here are the main signs of dog separation anxiety…

Crying and Barking

If you hear crying and barking the second you close the door, you know that it is stressful for your dog to see you leave the house. In the worst cases, the barking and howling can last for the whole time that you are out. It’s one of the most common signs of separation anxiety in dogs.

Destructive Behaviour

Your dog may start to display destructive behaviour if it is suffering from separation anxiety, because of boredom and stress. This could involve chewing things up – one of the naughtiest things my Patterdale has ever done was to chew up my husbands glasses! At extreme levels this can include chewing furniture and even windows and doors to try and get out. This behaviour is clearly due to boredom and distress.

Defecation

Sometimes your dog will wee or poo as soon as you leave the house as a sign of anxiety. It’s a stress indicator and they shouldn’t be told off for it – they probably wouldn’t even know why they were getting disciplined anyway. Instead, dogs need to be walked before they are left alone (so they are empty) and also they need to be given plenty to do and be distracted from the separation stress.

Does your Dog display these Signs of Separation Anxiety?

If your dog displays these signs of separation anxiety, don’t worry – there are things that you can do and ways to train your dog to stop this. First, you might want to assess the situation by getting a Furbo Dog camera or similar to see what happens when you go out. You will probably find the above signs of separation anxiety in dogs being displayed by your pooch. Once you know this is the problem your can start the following plan to keep your dog occupied and train your dog to get used to being alone.

  • Buy a KONG EXTREME and stuff it with his favourite wet food. This will entertain your dog while he gets out the food! You can also layer Kongs with different treats such as dog Peanut Butter and cottage cheese!
  • Get plenty of Interactive dog toys and hide his/her favourite treats in them to keep your dog entertained while you are out.
  • You can also try other enrichment toys for dogs such as a snuffle mat with treats hidden inside.
  • ALWAYS put out the Kongs and toys with your dog when you go out and leave him/her alone. You can also leave chews and dentasticks.
  • As well as leaving the above down for your dog, you need to get your dog used to being alone and let him or her be ok. Don’t ‘baby’ your dog and let him or her follow you to every room in the house. Train it to have some independence.
  • Extend the length of time that your dog is alone slowly. So first of all leave for just 5 mins, then 15 mins, then half an hour and then an hour or two.

I hope that this advice helps with Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs. If you have implemented any of these approaches, or have your own suggestions, please comment below.

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