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How to Prevent Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Does your beloved pupper turn into a whirling dervish of anxiety whenever you’re about to head out of the house? Well, H.K. Dog Training offers professional puppy training in Fort Myers, establishing a great foundation for pups and their human companions. But no matter the effort you put into training your pup, they can still develop separation anxiety when left alone.

We get it; the trembling, barking, whimpering, and clinging to your leg – is your dog’s way of screaming for attention. And, lest we forget, the pièce de résistance – the glorious mess that greets you upon your return. It’s like a tornado tore through your living room, leaving a trail of shredded cushions and gnawed-on shoes strewn across the floor.

These behaviors are classic signs of separation anxiety. That said, you can help your furry friend cope with their emotions. Here’s a compilation of our favorite pointers to help them overcome their fears and save your shoes from doom.

Train them to ‘Stay’ for Longer Durations

Oh, my dog! The battle with separation anxiety is real, but guess what? Teaching your furry friend to ‘stay’ for extended periods can do the trick. It’s like showing them to Netflix and chill without the popcorn – sorry, Fido.

Well then, how do you upgrade your canine from an anxious barker to a relaxed napper during your absence? Start training them slowly, just like teaching them to walk on a leash without dragging your every which way or pulling your arm off.

Then, introduce increasing intervals when asking your pooch to ‘stay,’ and reward them for their patience. It may begin as a classic sitcom-length separation and gradually evolve into a feature-film-length adventure.

While at it, remember that patience is critical (for both hoomans and doggos) as they learn to understand that it’s okay to be apart for a while. You may also offer them their favorite toy to keep them busy as they stay put. This provides a distraction, implying they’re less likely to seek attention. Soon enough, your loyal companion will get the hang of it – and probably enjoy a well-deserved nap or rest.

Give them Space Before you Leave

Our little four-legged fur babies can get a tad clingy, don’t you think? Let’s face it – it’s all on us humans. When we start with long-drawn, sloppy goodbyes, we’re stoking quite the puppy anxiety bonfire. Want to know the secret sauce to minimize their anxiety?

Save the “see you soon” theatrics and simply ignore your pup for a few minutes before stepping out – no sideway glances or talking to them. Act like you’ve never seen that fuzzy little face before.

I know what’s on your mind – this is somewhat counterintuitive, no? But believe it or not, your pup is a smartie and will quickly catch on to the fact that your departure is no big deal.

The same trick can also work when you come back. Don’t race to them like they won the lottery – instead, wait until they calm down before you greet them. Or, sneak in and whip up some dinner before they know you’re back – good luck with that!

Resist the Temptation to Carry Them Everywhere

The joys of owning a petite pooch are unfathomable. You know the type – the ones that fit snugly in your designer doggy bag, peeking their heads out with their big, pleading eyes. And sure, toting your tiny furball around town seems like fun, but beware. The sweet, adorable face may be hiding a brewing storm of separation anxiety.

What happens when you have a meeting to attend and can’t take them along? Oops! Well, constantly carrying your little canine companion can lead to some major doggy dramas.

Imagine leaving for work one day, Mr. Scruffles in his cozy little corner, and suddenly BAM! World War III has erupted in your living room, all because he fears he’ll never feel the warmth of your loving lap again.

Pro tip: try to save your beloved micro mutts from becoming nervous wrecks by encouraging them to explore the world on their little paws occasionally. After all, a confident, independent pup equals a happier human, right?

Let them Hang out with Other Humans

While we love to share moments with our adorable pups, sometimes our human commitments get in the way, and we can’t be with them 24/7. As such, consider leaving your dog with someone else, or what I like to call an “assistant human.” This can help prevent the much-dreaded anxiety.

Because let’s face it, our dogs are like our shadows; they follow us everywhere, including the bathroom. By entrusting your pet to a responsible person – a friend, fellow dog lover, neighbor, or professional – they can socialize and adapt to new environments.

It’s like sending them to a puppy playdate, but with added benefits. You know what they say, a tired dog is a happy dog. So, take that weekend trip without guilt, and embrace the ‘possibilities’ of a worry-free bond with your furry sidekick.

Intentionally Distance Yourself from Them

Sure, some time spent together with your pup won’t hurt. However, just as you might get a smidge gnarly when your best mate steps out for a bit, your furry friend could also fall victim to separation anxiety. Thankfully, you can address this oh-so-serious predicament by deliberately separating yourself from your dog (insert dramatic gasp).

I know it sounds unthinkable – like leaving the house without your phone or keys. But it’s for the greater good. By creating moments of solo time for your pooch, you can help them develop a sense of confidence and resilience. Here’re some ways to make it happen:

  • Hide their toys or objects they like around the house, and let them find them.
  • Let your dog stay in a kennel for a wee bit (20 minutes to an hour).
  • Set the ground rules – create boundaries and take your cues from their reactions.
  • Use a pet gate to keep them in one area – this also helps with toilet training.

It’ll take a lot of trying and erring, but your pup will eventually learn to survive without you, or at least not freak out when you’re gone. The idea is to let them know that life doesn’t revolve around you and that they can independently find joy.

It’s normal for dogs to feel a tad antsy when you leave them. Nonetheless, you don’t have to return to shredded furniture when taking your much-needed break. Train them to be independent so you can step back and enjoy life without worrying too much about their well-being. Hopefully, these tips can help your pup on their journey to being a cool and confident canine. And if you need guidance or help, feel free to call us. Meanwhile, check us out at https://www.hkdogtraining.net/programs/puppy-training/ for more insights on our tailored training programs.

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H.K. Dog Training, 

6146 Hershey Ave, 

Fort Myers FL 33905, 

(239) 822-1285

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