What percentage of dogs have separation anxiety?
Dogs and separation anxiety
Dogs love company - especially yours. So leaving your dog alone can trigger separation anxiety. The reason for this is usually too strong a dependency on the owner. Reasons for this addiction are premature weaning, separation or simply the special character of a dog.
And this is how separation anxiety can have an impact: You leave your dog at home alone for only twenty minutes because you have to buy something - your protégé is already using the time to cause a mess. When you returned, he emptied the rubbish on the kitchen floor, bit a pillow or peed in the hallway. Indeed, if your dog experiences this behavior frequently, he could be suffering from separation anxiety.
Too much addiction
But how do you loosen the too tight ties between you and your dog? Unfortunately, treating anxiety is a difficult process, but it is not impossible. With a lot of patience, you can completely overcome the destructive behavior that separation anxiety creates.
This is what you should pay attention to
Behaviors associated with separation anxiety include urinating and defecating in inappropriate places, destructive chewing or scratching with paws, excessive barking or yowling, refusal to eat or drink, or even the urge to bite or lick yourself .
Another clue is the ongoing and exuberant welcoming festival every time you return home.
Punishment is not the solution
Sometimes a punishment is unavoidable in dog training - but in the case of separation anxiety, the punishment should definitely not be given. Your dog won't be able to link the mess he made in your absence and the punishment you put on him a few hours later. While your dog may appear guilty, this is purely submissive behavior - dogs feel no guilt, but they can foresee punishment.
And this is how your dog demonstrates its submissiveness: look at the ground, pinch its tail between its legs, sneak away and show its stomach. Basically, he's saying, "I know you're the boss. Please don't be angry with me." In this case, you shouldn't punish, as this will only worsen the symptoms of separation anxiety, but its causes will persist.
Come and go
The best way to solve problems is to reduce your dog's addiction - this will decrease their separation anxiety as well. It can be eased by just getting your dog used to seeing people come and go in your house or apartment.
If you leave yourself, you shouldn't cause a lot of fuss or say goodbye exuberantly. That would only increase the fear - and for this reason you should greet him calmly when you get home. So wait until your dog has calmed down completely before being petted.
You can also do a few coming and going exercises until you get your dog used to this routine. Feel free to do this several times a day, pretending that you are leaving the house.
This is how you create the right scenario: rattle your keys, take your bag or briefcase, put on your jacket and walk out the door. You can also get in your car and take a lap around the block. You will only come back after a few minutes.
Once your dog is used to these short intervals, you should gradually extend the excursions. Ultimately, your goal is so that you can get out of the house and come back without your dog going insane or behaving inappropriately. Then, once you can leave him alone for an hour, it's pretty sure he can last a full morning or afternoon without you.
As always, if you have trouble with your dog, the first thing you should do is see a veterinarian. This can determine whether your dog's misconduct is caused by separation fears or is more due to his or her state of health.
Your vet will also be able to recommend a good behavioral specialist to help you solve your anxiety problem.
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