Overcome separation anxiety in dogs - Toutoupourlechien

What is separation anxiety? Separation anxiety is a common dog behavior disorder in which the dog shows emotional signs of distress in the absence of the person - or people - to whom he is excessively attached. Thus, a dog suffering from separation anxiety cries, barks, scratches the exits, destroys the furniture and/or defecates when he finds himself alone in the house.

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What is separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety is a common dog behavior disorder in which the dog shows emotional signs of distress in the absence of the person - or people - to whom he is excessively attached. Thus, a dog suffering from separation anxiety cries, barks, scratches the exits, destroys the furniture and/or defecates when he finds himself alone in the house. Some dogs may also suffer from digestive disorders such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Generally, the dog also shows signs of hyperattachment in the presence of this person: he follows her constantly, is always in the same room as her and does not move away even during a walk without let.

Anxiety or frustration poorly managed?

Sometimes, it happens that a destructive, messy or barking dog in the absence of its owner does not suffer from anxiety but is simply "upset" by the departure of the latter. We recognize these dogs by their somewhat tyrannical character at home on a daily basis. The treatment to be applied to put an end to these undesirable behaviors is then different than in the case of separation anxiety. It consists of teaching the dog to better manage his frustration. We explain how to do it in our full article on the matter!

To put an end to the undesirable behaviors linked to separation anxiety in your dog and to relieve it, we give you some courses of action in the rest of this article.

Prepare your dog for your absences, as soon as possible

Loneliness is like everything, it can be learned! As soon as possible, get your dog used to staying away from you while you are at home and then to staying alone in the house.Start by isolating it for a few seconds in a room in your home and then very gradually increase this isolation time. Then, leave your home for a few minutes. Repeat the operation by going away longer and longer until he can be alone for several hours in a row without worrying. Trivialize your departures and your returns as much as possible, paying attention to your animal only when it appears calm and peaceful.

Offering the dog an exciting activity like a chew toy or food-dispensing toy can make things easier by distracting his attention from you leaving. Also, be sure to walk your dog well before leaving him alone. This will allow him not only to do his needs but also and above all to spend it physically and mentally. In your absence, your dog will have only one desire: to sleep to recover from this beautiful tiring walk!

Teach him to untie

If your dog is already an adult but has never learned to be alone, the method to apply is the same as when learning to be alone. It will just take him more time to get used to it. Show patience, kindness and understanding.

At the same time, the dog should be pushed back gently and without brutality when he comes to lie down against the person to whom he is too attached, by sending him to rest in his basket instead. In doing so, we act a bit like the female dog who pushes her puppy away to teach him to become more independent.

When he asks for a caress, he will always have to be made to wait a few seconds and not respond immediately to his requests. On the other hand, we can call him for a hug, a caress or a play session as soon as the animal is busy with something else. This makes it possible to maintain a sufficient and essential attachment to the relationship between the dog and its owners, while remaining at the initiative of the contacts.

Bet on soothing pheromones

When anxiety is the cause of hyperattachment, it can be very useful to use soothing pheromones and/or Bach flowers. These natural nudges will ease your dog's anxiety and make him more receptive to behavior therapy. If natural methods do not seem sufficient, your veterinarian may prescribe anxiolytics to your pet, also to support the effects of detachment therapy.

In addition, do not hesitate to consult a behavioral veterinarian to best adapt the behavioral therapy to the particular case of your dog.

The mistake to avoid: scolding your dog

When you get home, if you find that your dog is "silly" , there's no point in punishing and reprimanding him. Not only would your dog not understand why, but it would only increase his anxiety.Understand that these behaviors are not voluntary in your dog and are only the emotional manifestations of his discomfort.

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