Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tips For Separation Anxiety in Puppies And Dogs

"Clean it up?.......I just got it the way I like it!"
Do you have a dog that goes a little crazy when you leave your home? Do they cry, whine, or howl, incessantly? Maybe they've chewed up your favorite shoes or eat the couch? If this behavior only happens when you leave home, your dog probably has separation anxiety.

"Fine! If you get the couch, I get the good pillow!"

Your dog loves you and misses you when you are gone. If they are young, they may wonder when, or if, you'll come back. They don't have the experience of your coming and going.
Dogs are pack animals and as such, they feel more comfortable when they are with others, particularly YOU, their Family. Some people have 2 dogs so they may keep each other company. And it works most times.

It's fairly easy to do training that is effective for your brand new puppy. A little more difficult if you have a dog that's been doing this for a while.

In dogs that suffer anxiety separation, if the problem isn't treated, worse behavioral problems may crop up. If it hasn't already, don't let it become habit.

Here are a few tips to try
if your going through this with your dog.

  1. Each time you leave your pet behind and come home again, don't give them your attention immediately. Wait a few minutes until they calm down. Give them your greeting and a treat too. This way they associate your leaving with something positive.
  2. Don't make a big deal out of leaving. If you're upset, your dog will know it and be upset as well.
  3. Whenever possible, exercise your dog with a good run or walk so they will feel more like sleeping than tearing up your home. Give them your attention and play time. It's what they live for.
  4. Leave your dog a few minutes at a time and come back. Conditioning, as I have said before, is very important. Get your dog, or puppy, used to your leaving them a few minutes at a time. Then try 30 minutes or an hour. Then 2 - 3 hours, if needed. If you take the time to do the minute by minute exit, a little at a time, you shouldn't have to experiment with leaving hours at a time.
  5. Some people say leaving a tv or radio going can be helpful. The dog won't get attention, but it may fool him into thinking that he is not totally alone.
Whether you use these tips, or find your own, remember, hitting never works. Use your brain, not your hand. And most importantly, solve the problem before the behavior escalates into other problems.


  1. Jill was a problem as a puppy, but since she has finally grown up some, the most we find torn up is a Kleenex or a paper towel. I leave the tv on low for the two of them and they seem to be fine with our leaving now.

  2. Thanks for your input Sharon. It's always helpful to us, as well as other readers, to hear about techniques or training that has been tried, and works. Glad Jack and Jill have learned to be ok when you are gone.