Separation Anxiety is often misdiagnosed in the canine world. Sometimes it is just boredom, or the dog becoming adventurous when given the opportunity. If your dog seems to follow you and stick to you like glue, and/or if destruction is happening within the first 20 minutes you are away, then you are probably dealing with some form of separation anxiety. Here are some things that you can do to help:
Dogs that get too attached to their owners sometimes suffer from separation anxiety.
Keep your comings and goings neutral! Don’t make a big fuss at either time. This is one of the biggest changes you can make. It is definitely harder on the human than the dog. Your dog will not be offended! They will just learn that the moment you get home is not the greatest time ever. Wait a few minutes, then proceed to greet and play with your pet.
Practice leaving with your normal cues (pick up your keys, grab your purse, put on your work shoes, etc.), then don’t leave. This will help desensitize your dog to your departures.
Give your dog a hobby while you are gone. Stuff a Kong, leave treats around the house, utilize a feeding tube, or anything that will get your dog up, moving and eating. A dog that is eating is not a stressed dog.
Leave your dog with an article of clothing that smells like you, such as an old t-shirt that you recently slept in. Even better, tie the shirt up into a big t-shirt ball.
A tired dog is a good dog! Try to exercise your dog more both mentally and physically.
Still having issues? Contact me or call 843.569.3022. I once trained a dog that ate through the house (insulation, siding and all!) to find his owner at the community pool down the street. He became a happy, relaxed dog at home after training. If he can do it, any dog can!