How To Stop Dog Separation Anxiety Permanently! ULTIMATE Guide
I was super excited to come home to my spunky puppy after a long 8 hours at the office. That was until I saw him…
He was soaking wet!
I figured he just had an accident, boy was I wrong. He wasn’t wet from pee he was wet from drool… yes drool, thick slimy drool! There was a huge puddle of it sitting inside his crate!
Fearful that there was something majorly wrong with him, I immediately called my vet. Nearly in tears voice trembling I explained the whole scenario.
The Vet told me that everything would be okay, that Jax had severe separation anxiety and that I should put him in dog training as FAST as possible.
He said separation anxiety in dogs can lead to all sorts destruction behavior even self-mutilation! And in severe situations dogs are prescribed medication to help them cope only as a last resort.
Hi, There! My name is Ashley and today I wanted to share with you how I trained my 5-month-old American Pitbull Terrier puppy in as little as 4 weeks using something I didn’t even know existed until recently.
Jax was around 2 months old when I first got him, he was all curled up in the corner of a dog crate looking all cute. He was also the runt, and since I’m pretty much a runt I knew he was the one!
Jax and I spent most of our days together for about 3 months, he was never alone more than a few hours. Unfortunately, I had to get a job after college and that meant Jax had to start spending 8 – 10 hours a day in a dog crate.
At first it seemed like he was adjusting okay… that was until I came home one day to find him covered head to toe in a puddle of his own drool.
I spoke with the vet and found out that he had a severe case of dog separation anxiety.
This was partly my fault because I was with him almost every hour of the day and then suddenly I wasn’t, he didn’t know what to do or how to react he basically had a mental broke down.
“Has your dog ever done this?”
I was so upset with what was going on, I had no idea that dogs could even have separation anxiety and I couldn’t help but blame myself.
If I had prepared him better this would have never of happened.
I was determined to get him the help he needed, unfortunately dog training schools were my only option at this point, and they were too expensive.
On top of that my work schedule wasn’t making it easy for me to even make it to half the classes every week. I was starting to have a mental break down.
luckily for me no mental break down occurred, and I found a cheaper and better way to train Jax!
Surprise-Surprise I found this weird technique inside of a Facebook group that I joined when I first got Jax.
A few members were sharing stories about how bad their dogs have been over the years and what they did to fix the issue.
One person shared a story about their dog having severe separation anxiety which really peaked my interest.
I couldn’t help but cry over most of them, it was just so sad. I did however share my story about how I found Jax and how I’m not home as much as I used to be and how I feel like its my fault.
The group was extremely supportive and told me I shouldn’t be so hard on myself because it happens to almost all dogs to a certain degree.
One lady suggested an online dog training course that they’d all been following, which at first, I thought was a little silly… How can you train a dog online?
She shared a link to The Online Dog Trainer and temptation got the better of me.
I watched the introductory video on the home page and everything just made sense. You can watch the video here to see what I mean.
I even tried one of the tricks that he teaches in the introductory video and you know what… it actually worked!
For legal reasons I cannot show you everything in the course, you’ll have to go to the site and try it out yourself, but here’s a couple of neat little tricks that worked for Jax that you can try now.
Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions Top 3 Tips
1. Leave audio books playing
Remember that weird tip I was telling you about? Well here it is! It helped Jax so much, it however didn’t fully cure his anxiety, but it did wonders.
Humans don’t do well in complete silence nor do dogs, by having a voice present at all times it will greatly reduce your dog’s stress levels while you are away.
If you don’t have any audio books, try leaving on some music or the television.
For optimal results put something on that’s calm and soothing.
2. Leave for short periods of time
When you have a dog that is not used to being alone you should always ease them into it.
Leaving a dog alone cold turkey will only cause problems, because they do not understand what is going on.
Start out by leaving your dog alone for five minutes, then extend the time to thirty minutes, then an hour. Slowly increase the time you spend away until you can leave them for a full eight hours without any problems.
3. Exercise before you leave
If possible always take your dog for a walk before leaving for the day. I know this isn’t always possible, but it will help them greatly.
The more energy you can get them to burn off the better, if you are strapped for time try placing a dog backpack with some extra weight in it.
The goal is to leave your dog in a resting mode while you are away.
Check Out Jax!
He has come so far, I couldn’t be any prouder of him! He just chills in his doggy crate until I come home and its all thanks to Doggy Dan.
If you have given these tactics a try but haven’t had any success, then you will need to seek professional help.
Don’t be ashamed to seek help, dog training is a science and can be very hard to understand. It’s best if you go with a program that explains everything fully and visually. I used TheOnlineDogTrainer.com to learn how to fix my dog’s separation anxiety.
The training was created by world renowned dog trainer Doggy Dan, his training provides over 300+ full video tutorials. You can’t make any mistakes with is course!
NO MORE SEPARATION ANXIETY!
I no longer worry about leaving Jax for extended periods of time. He sleeps for the majority of the time in his crate and chews on his bones and chew toys for the remainder.
If you’re having trouble with your dog, I highly recommend checking out TheOnlineDogTrainer.
I’m so glad I did because if I hadn’t Jax would still be suffering today.
At the end of the day if you want to solve your dog’s separation anxiety you will need to become the leader. This can take some time because you will need to gain your dog’s respect, trust and loyalty.
Hopefully the training tips I covered in the article were enough to get you started on solving your dog’s problem.
If you feel like you need further guidance, with clear step by step instructions to establish leadership over your dog in a loving way. Then I would highly suggest checking out TheOnlineDogTrainer.com.
Doggy Dan has everything you will need and more to solve your dog’s jumping problems.
If you have any questions, please feel to leave me a comment
Before You Go
I thought it would be beneficial to explain to you what separation anxiety in dogs is and the reasons behind why they get it.
I’ll also cover what symptoms to look out for!
If you have any questions at all feel free to drop a comment in the comment section!
What Is Dog Separation Anxiety?
Dogs often become extremely close to one or even multiple people in a home. When they are left alone they think that they are never going to see that person again causing them to panic uncontrollably.
This is also known as dog separation anxiety.
This type of anxiety can trigger your dog to become destructive, bark like crazy and forget all prior house training.
The moment you open the door they frantically come to your side loving on you like they haven’t seen you in years.
But in reality, you have only been gone for a short period of time. Dog separation anxiety can be extremely rough on dogs and their humans.
What Causes Dog Separation Anxiety
A multitude of things can contribute to separation anxiety in dogs. Let’s cover the main ones.
1. New owners
Many dogs are abandoned by their so call families to kill shelters. Traumatized by being left alone they develop separation anxiety.
The lucky ones that receive new homes are often so traumatized they have no idea how to move on from their past life.
They will spend their day waiting for their previous owner to return home and not in a calm manner.
Some dogs go to new owners because their original owners pass away, the sudden loss of their owner can have detrimental effects on them.
2. Schedule changes
Dogs like humans get used to schedules, and when schedules get altered it can cause havoc.
Sometimes dog owners will have schedules totally flip flopped or extremely altered which can lead to dog separation anxiety issues.
Dogs become accustom to you being around at certain times of the day. So, when you suddenly are not around when you should be it creates problems for them.
You go from being an at home parent to a parent that must get a 9 to 5 job. Or your new job requires you to work 12 hour shifts instead of 8-hour shifts.
This happens all the time and leads to so many dogs getting separation anxiety.
3. Change in residence
Some dogs develop separation anxiety when they move from one home to another.
New living places can put your dog into shock for long periods of time.
You go from a nice roomy house with a fenced in back yard to a cramped condo with no back yard…
This will have an extremely powerful affect on your dog, and they will start acting out in ways you have never seen before.
Dog Separation Anxiety Symptoms
Most people don’t even realize that dogs can suffer from separation anxiety.
I was one of those people, I had no clue it was even a thing.
Most people will simply think they have a bad dog or they are just going through a stage like children during their terrible two’s
Not knowing that their dog is actually suffering, from a complex problem that can cause them mental and physical harm.
I have compiled a list of dog separation anxiety symptoms to help you identify if your dog has a problem.
1. Urinating and Defecating
This ONLY applies if your dog is urinating or pooping in the home when you away.
I’m sure you have had moments where your anxiety kicked in, did your stomach give you issues.
When people get really nervous about something they generally start having stomach pain which leads to having a bowel movement.
Dogs suffer from the same symptoms.
If your dog does not have any issues controlling their bowels while you are home, then its highly likely they have separation anxiety.
2. Barking and Howling
This ONLY applies if your dog is barking or howling for large periods of time while they are home alone, and you are away.
An easy way to figure out if they are suffering from separation anxiety is to pretend to leave your home. “Make sure they cannot detect your presence”.
If they persist to bark after half an hour of being left alone then they are suffering from dog separation anxiety.
3. Chewing, Digging, Drooling and Self-Mutilation
This ONLY applies if your dog is chewing, digging, drooling or self-mutilating themselves when you are not home.
As a word of caution your dog can cause bodily harm to itself by ingesting foreign objects, chipping teeth or nails…
This ONLY applies if your dog is Escaping when you are not home.
This Is the most dangerous habit that comes with dog separation anxiety.
Some dogs deal with separation anxiety by escaping the area that they have been confined to when left alone.
Depending on where the dog is located they might cause major damage to themselves or the home by chewing doors, digging up carpet, breaking teeth and nails while trying to escape.
This ONLY applies if your dog is pacing when you are not home.
This is the hardest habit to discover, you will most likely only find this out if you leave your dog with a sitter or have a video camera set up.
Some dogs deal with separation anxiety by pacing back in forth for hours on end which can lead to dehydration, strokes and heart attacks.
This ONLY applies if your dog is participating in copraphagia when you are not home.
For the ones who do not know what copraphagia is… let me explain.
“Coprophagia is a term which refers to consumption of feces. Yes, you read right, eating one’s own poop. In dogs, while coprophagia appears to be purely behavioral, there are indeed numerous medical problems that can cause or contribute to coprophagia.”
Some dogs deal with separation anxiety by defecating then consuming the excrement. This is a very gross and dangerous habit.
Your dog could end up at the vet in critical condition depending on how bad and how long this behavior has been going on.
If your notice your dogs breathe smelling a little umm you know… then it’s probably due to eating their own.
It’s very important to understand that dog separation anxiety is very real and very scary for your dog. It’s a condition that is often over looked and pushed to the side.
Owners just think it’s something that their dog will grow out of over time. Little do they know that their dog is suffering mentally and physically every moment they are away from them.
You should never use punishment of any sort as a way to deal with your dogs’ bad habits especially ones that are dealing with separation anxiety.
If you truly want to help your dog overcome separation anxiety you need to stop encouraging it.
What I mean is you need to avoid behaviors that reinforce “Neediness” from you. I would highly recommend that you invest in a good dog training program that teaches you what to do step by step. The one that I use is called The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan.