Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs

dog in bed

Treating a dog that suffers from separation anxiety can be stressful taking time and effort to teach your dog to be confident when you leave. 53% of dog owners in the US believe that their dog has separation anxiety when left alone, with 61% saying their dog's exhibit signs of stress when leaving the house

Some common signs of separation anxiety include

  • Barking
  • Scratching doors
  • Pacing
  • Excessive chewing of household furniture

These nuisance behaviours are unpleasant for both the owner and the dog that suffers from a high level of stress. To cope with these behaviours owners often arrange daycare for there dogs or provide medications to relieve the separation anxiety. Both these options are helpful and should be used but steps should also be taken to train the dog to feel more confident when left alone.

Training plan

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Before digging into the details, your dog should complete all training without getting stressed. If training is causing your dog to be stressed then you may need to take smaller steps. Only by building positive associations can we start to make progress with training our dog that being alone is not scary! The following is the training plan we use to help owners train their dogs.

Before you step out the door, if your dog is already working themselves up they we recommend desensitising your dog to these triggers. Common triggers include:

  • Moving towards the door
  • Putting shoes/coat on
  • Picking up keys

To do this, completing these actions without leaving the house until the dog does not associate these actions with you leaving. This starts by doing these actions in the same room, getting closer to leaving as the course continues.

Once you can prepare to leave without your dog getting stressed then leaving for very short bursts at first building up until you can leave without causing stress to you, your dog (and your neighbours!).

Getting started with Training

We offer a step by step course that goes at the pace of your dog that walks you through the training in more detail with additional tips.

Sign up to start training today!