After spending plenty of time at home during Lockdown, you may now notice a shift in your dog’s behaviour when returning to work or being out of the house more.
Signs of separation anxiety include;
- Excessive whining, howling or barking.
- Destroying furniture/shoes/household items and destructive behaviours.
- ‘Accidents’ in the house with dogs that are already toilet trained. (Peeing on the rug!)
- Scratching at doors, trying to escape.
- Other signs of clear distress at your absence.
If your dog usually has fairly good house manners, is getting enough exercise, and enough mental stimulation, these signs can be indicators of distress and separation anxiety. Sending your dog to daycare doesn’t solve this problem, because your dog will still not learn to relax when on his own. It is great to have your dog be able to socialise with others and play at daycare to keep them stimulated, happy, and healthy – however, we are going to be looking at a few tips to help your dog be able to relax and feel comfortable at home even if you are not present.
Here are some tips to help with your dog pining when left alone:
- Leave the house twice a day for a few minutes.
2. Put him/her into a separate room for a little while every day.
3. If he can’t cope, use a stair gate so that he is separated but can still hear you.
4. Build up to leaving him in a separate room with the door shut.
5. Start with a few minutes and build up the time.
6. Give him something to chew or lick clean, like a Kong to help him pass the time.
7. Make sure they have a familiar toy or source of comfort, such as blanket or access to their bed.
8. Try to make your schedule as predictable and consistent as possible. Leave and arrive home at the same time each day, keep feeding and walking times the same, and put your dog to bed at the same time each night. These patterns reduce anxiety and build trust in routine.
Check out the video below by Mindfulness4dogs that you may find useful. Posted with Permission.
Visit www.mindfulness4dogs.com for more dog training techniques and resources to help guide you as a dog parent. Founder Darran Rowe has over 15 years experience as a Professional Dog Trainer And Canine Behaviourist.