Many of us know the terrible sound of our dogs crying and whining when we leave them home by themselves. Some of them ruin your furniture or get into things that are very dangerous to their health. My own dogs have gotten into prescription medications and ended up at the emergency vet costing more money and stress. I would like to share with you the dog separation anxiety training that worked for me and my dogs.
The first thing you can do is to not make a big deal about exiting and entering. Be sure to practice coming and going. Make sure you leave and return for different periods of time, going through the same actions you would go through for a five minute outing as you would if you were going away for eight hours. This way your dogs will never know if you are gone for a two minutes or ten hours. This is the most important aspect of the dog separation anxiety cure.
When you return be sure to take no notice of the dog, showing them that it is not big deal that you were gone. Once they have calmed down you can give them a brief pat. Do not reward excitement.
The next most important thing you can do to cure dog separation anxiety is distract them when you are not there. The thing that works best for me is a Kong stuffed with things your dog likes, their dinner, applesauce, blueberries, or whatever treats your dog likes best. I like to use a mix of wet and dry ingredients and freeze the kong so that it takes them a long time to eat what is inside. This way they will be tired once they get to the end and might even fall asleep while you are away.
In order to cure dog separation anxiety do not leave the dog with access to watch the outside world go by. This may cause additional stress to the dog if he/she sees other dogs or people walking by and they feel they need to guard the house. Also leave a radio on. Studies have shown that classical music is the most soothing to dogs with separation anxiety.
A couple other important aspects of the dog separation anxiety cure More tips from the separation anxiety cure: purchase Rescue Remedy and put a few drops on their tongue about an hour before you leave. You can also get a plug-in of Dog Appeasing Pharamone (DAP) or a spray that you can spray on their bed or on a bandanna around their neck to help them feel relaxed while you are out of the house.
Make sure to give your dog lots of physical and mental stimulation every day. Dogs who do not get out of their house and yard are not having their needs met and may have built up energy that translates into anxiety. A minimum twenty-minute walk just about every day is a great way to help them meet their physical requirement to roam with their pack. If you have an extremely anxious dog you may need to bike or jog to help cure dog separation anxiety
Equally as important is to integrate mentally stimulation into your daily routine. Dogs need to be challenged mentally as well as physically. Take an trick training course so that you can build a deeper connection with your anxious dog. Training with your dog can be just as tiring (if not more) than biking and is a great way to build your connection!
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