K9 Separation Anxiety
It is so hard for your pooch to understand why they have been left alone and have not gone with the rest of the pack. You and your family are your dog’s pack. They also have no concept of time. That is why when you are gone for even a minute; they are so excited that you have come back. A moment to them is like an eternity.
Often, the bad behavior your dog’s exhibits in your absence are mistaken for a bored or naughty pooch. Most probably, your dog’s behavior is a result of stress or separation anxiety.
When you are gone, your dog feels the burden of protecting their property. Every little noise can cause them stress. They race from sound to sound barking, howling, whining, and crying. They are on high alert!
You might think this is great. Your dog is doing a good job. Perhaps you are angry at your pet. The truth is that you are shortening the life of your dog. They assume the role of Alpha, protecting the pack’s den. The stress takes its toll.
When you get home, your dog is spinning, jumping, and displaying frantic behavior. You return to find your shoes eaten; trash spread everywhere, feces, and urination on your floors. Some dogs try to dig or eat through walls, window or door frames causing injury to themselves. They may cause bodily harm to themselves, by licking or chewing on their feet and tails. Maybe your furniture is destroyed. Whatever the case is, your dog is suffering. Often, dogs are punished. Many dogs are euthanized for this behavior.
So what do you do about the problem? You can show your leadership and help your pet deal with the separation. Here is what you can do:
1. Exercise – take your dog for a good walk before you leave.
2. Feed them after they have been walked.
3. Make sure they have clean water for the day.
4. Give them toys and something to chew
5. Gate off a comfortable area for your dog to remain in. This takes away the burden of having to protect the entire property. You can use a kennel too. They should be able to stand and walk around if they are going to be kenneled for the day.
6. Don’t make a big deal about leaving. Do not touch them, look at them, and no eye contact.
Remember, it is not your dog’s fault. They are confused and stressed to be separated from their pack. Your job as Alpha or leader is to help them to deal with your absence. Our dogs are dependent on us. Be patient and try these steps.