Archive for September, 2009

Dog Separation Anxiety in Shelter Dogs

I love shelter dogs, and most of my dogs have come from the shelter.    One of the most common problems with shelter dogs is anxiety.    Work with them, love them, and give them some time.    They will come around.     Here is an article I wrote for Ezine Articles about shelter dogs and anxiety.

You adopted a little dog from the dog shelter, and the dog is seems perfect. Perfect, at least, until you leave the house. Then that adorable little mutt from the shleter society becomes a menace to society. They bark constantly, destroy your house, and your piece of mind. Welcome to rescue dog separation anxiety.

Dog Separation Anxiety is the second most common reason that dogs are sent or returned to shelters. Dogs that are adopted from shelters are more likely to have separation anxiety than dogs that come from a breeder. Unfortunately, some rescue dogs find themselves caught in a revolving door between the shelter and a placement home.

Why Do Shelter Dogs Get Separation Anxiety

There are a number of reasons rescue dogs get separation anxiety. Primarily, dogs are pack animals. They are genetically descended from wolves, and are hardwired to make strong bonds with their pack. A wolf without it’s pack would die in the wild, and dogs feel just the same way.

Rescue dogs are rarely left alone. They can usually smell, see, and hear their fellow rescues nearby. The longer a dog has been in a shelter, the more likely that problems will develop. The experience of going to a home, to a shelter can be a traumatic experience. They believe that their pack has abandoned them. When you step in and adopt the dog, you need to become its replacement pack. This can take a bit of time. Remember, Dogs bond with their pack strongly. When a dog has been sent to a rescue shelter, it can be nervous that it will be left again.

Rescues may also have a checkered past of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. These dogs aren’t ruined. They just need someone with some patience, understanding, and knowledge to help them through their issues.

What Can I Do?

The first key to helping your rescue dog overcome separation anxiety is to be a strong pack leader. You need to look after all of your dogs needs, but don’t spoil it. Be a calm, fair leader. The second key is to practice behavior modification drills with your dog. Behavior modification can be used to reduce and eliminate the anxiety your dog feels while you are away. Once their anxiety is below a certain threshold, they will no longer behave destructively.

If you want to learn more about behavior modification, and how to Cure Dog Separation Anxiety, visit to sign up for a free 5 Day course. You’re rescue dog will appreciate everything that

The 3 Pillars to Curing Dog Separation Anxiety

3 Pillars for Curing Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation anxiety in dogs is extremely common. If you have a dog that has symptoms, such as constant barking, destruction of furniture, or shaking, you need to help your dog as soon as possible. If you don’t treat your dog, the symptoms will just get worse!

Here are the 3 pillars to successfully treat your dog:

1) Be The Alpha Dog

Pack leadership the most important thing in your relationship with your dog. If your dog thinks that they are the leader, they aren’t just worried about their own welfare, they are worried about you too. If you have a dog with separation anxiety, you will need to set some new ground rules for the sake of your relationship. For example, if your dog expects to be pet, make them sit first. If they don’t sit, ignore them. They need to understand that they work for you.

2) Behavior Training

Behavior Modification training is used to replace the bad, anxious behavior, with calm appropriate behavior, or no behavior at all. One example, if your dog gets anxious when you put on your coat, you need to put on your coat more often when you aren’t getting ready to leave. This way, your dog won’t associate your change of clothing with you leaving. Keeping your dog relaxed before you leave is one of the keys to having an anxiety free pet.

3) Distracting Toys, Natural Remedies and Medication

For dogs with serious separation anxiety, you can make a trip to the vet and get medication. One of the most common medications is Clomicalm. Chlomicalm isn’t magic, and it takes a couple of weeks of daily doses before you see results in your dog. It must to be combined with strong pack leadership and behavior modification to solve the underlying issues. For less severe separation anxiety, natural remedies can help keep your dog in a calm mental state, and speed up the training process.

Get with the program! Click here for a complete program on how cure separation anxiety in dogs

Dog Barking Caused by Dog Separation Anxiety

Dog Barking – Dog Separation Anxiety

Most owners are caught off guard when their neighbors complain about their dogs barking up a storm, because the dog never barks excessively when they are home. If your puppy or dog barks while you are gone, you have a major problem on your hands especially if you live in a apartment or townhouse. Dog barking is a common complaint for by-law officers and landlords.   Luckily, there is something you can do about it!

The main reason dogs bark when they are left alone is separation anxiety. Your dog thinks that you have gone for good, and that you aren’t going to come back.   Most dogs start out by whining, then after a few minutes start to bark.  Some dogs bark constantly, others bark for a certain period of time after you have left.   These are typically high pitched panicked barks.   They are trying to call you back.   If your dog is very thirsty, but has water in their bowl, they may have been barking the entire time you were gone.    You can video or tape your dog to find out.

Sometimes the barking will go on for a hours and hours.   This happens because the dog gets more stressed out and panicked by the act of barking.   It becomes a cycle of barking, then stress, then more barking due to stress. Each time the dog is left alone to bark, this cycle repeats itself until it becomes their normal bad behavior.   You will want to work on calming your dog immediately.  The longer you wait, the more this behavior becomes imprinted and harder to change later.

The hardest part about solving this type of barking problem is that you aren’t there to correct them, so typical obedience training doesn’t work. The easiest and fastest way to solve the barking issues  is through behavior modification. Behavior modification can be used to change the way your dog behaves while you are away and quit barking!

If you want to learn more about behavior modification, and how to Cure Dog Separation Anxiety, click here.