How to Treat Canine Separation Anxiety
Dogs like human beings desire to be shown affection. This is because dogs in nature are pack animals thus require human company as they perceive man to be his pack mate. Dogs also have a tendency of feeling lonely and thus exhibit signs of distress because they are also social animals. Therefore, leaving dogs alone in the house for very long periods of time makes them to suffer from canine separation anxiety. This is a disorder that is emanated by continuous pulses of frantic panic which can be very annoying, destructive and disheartening. Therefore, many dog lovers are searching for mechanisms to treat the canine separation anxiety syndrome.
What are the symptoms?
Canine separation anxiety is mainly depicted either through dog vocals or physical behavior. Dogs that develop intense fear after being left home alone by their owners may result to barking, whining or howling. At times these vocals can change into disturbing shrieks of yells in an attempt of attracting attention and help. If these do not work the dogs become destructive and chew, scratch, tear or dig on anything that comes on their ways. For instance the dogs may chew furniture and cardboard doors or frantically scratch on the walls, windows and carpet. They do so in an attempt of creating escape routes.
What Causes it?
Treating canine separation anxiety is not a complicated task if well handled. Dog owners should look for the root cause of this disorder before starting to treat it. Some dogs are anxious because they are stressed. This is especially true for dogs bought from the pet shops or brought home from dog shelters. Such dogs have gone through traumatizing moments in their lives. Some may have been separated from their mother at a very young age, that is before they were 8 weeks old denying them the maternal care and affection. They also fail to develop dependency traits which are instilled by their mothers. Others may have been abandoned by their previous owners thus affecting their confidence and trust levels.
What Can I Do About It?
The next step is spending more time with your dog. This can be achieved by designating some of your schedule time to the dog. Taking the dog for walks, engaging in exercises together and playing with it will improve the relationship that exists between the two of you enabling the dog to trust you. Furthermore, this will advocate a chance to incorporate dog behavior training into your schedule. This will help the dog identify your role and importance in its life. In return it will respect and obey you. The dog will also adopt your schedule thereby, reducing its chances of emanating frantic psychological fear signs.
Try to accustom your dog to periods of separation. For instance while in the house separate yourself from the company of the dog for some few minutes. This can be started with a separation period of about 5 minutes which should be gradually increased at a constant time lapse for example 10 minutes. With time, you will treat the canine separation anxiety that your dog is suffering from.
One of the hardest parts of your dog barking constantly while you away is that you can’t be there to correct your dog, so typical obedience training doesn’t work. The best way to solve your dogs separation anxiety barking problem is through behavior modification training. Behavior modification can be used to reduce and eliminate the anxiety your dog feels while you are away.