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 dog 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 of destruction behavior, even self-mutilation! That, in severe situations, dogs are prescribed dog anxiety 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 5 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 for more than a few hours.
Unfortunately, I had to get a job after college and that meant Jax had to start spending 8 to 10 hours a day in a dog crate.
At first it seemed like he was adjusting… that was until I came home one day to find him covered head to toe in a puddle of his own drool!
It was insane how much drool there was, I didn’t understand how so much came out of his little body! I was freaked out to say the least…
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 and he basically had a mental broke down.
I failed him…I didn’t prepare him at all.
“Has This Ever Happened To Your Dog?”
I was so upset with what Jax was going through and myself for causing it. I had no idea that dogs could even have separation anxiety, I couldn’t help but blame myself.
If I had prepared him better this would have never of happened.
Searching For A Solution
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. I couldn’t even make it to half the classes every week. I was starting to have a mental break down myself…
Turn Of Events
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 their dog’s bad behavior over the years and how to deal with dog behavior problems!
One person shared a story about their dog having severe separation anxiety which really peaked my interest.
I couldn’t help but cry, 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 it is 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 website this dog training course was on and temptation got the best 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!
I was so impressed that I bought the course right then and there! Fast forward a few years, I couldn’t be any happier with my purchase.
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 dog separation anxiety tips that worked for Jax that you can try now.
Does My Dog Have Separation Anxiety?
This can be a very cloudy area because separation anxiety can be very difficult to define.
Dogs can’t talk, so it’s extremely difficult to for humans to know how they are feeling inside. Which leaves us to interpret what they might be feeling or going through.
Needless to say, this leaves A LOT of room for ERROR!
How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety?
Generally, dogs with this issue tend to follow you around everywhere… I mean everywhere…or whine and bark when you are out of reach or sight.
For some reason the excessive, repetitive barking, whining and pacing seems to have a soothing affect over dogs. It’s almost like a built in defensive mechanism… a way of coping when they are anxious.
Dog Separation Anxiety Symptoms
- Excessive Barking
- Excessive Pacing
- Excessive Whining
- Dilated Eyes
- Sweaty Paws
- Excessive Chewing
Some dogs may even break out of the area they have been confined to and concentrate their destructive chewing or digging behavior at exits and windows!
Dogs with extreme separation anxiety will not even bother with chew toys or bones.
Some dogs will also start to use the bathroom in the house again after they have been accident free for years!
Predisposed To Separation Anxiety
We can not deny the fact that we have selectively bred dogs to interact with us on a deeper emotional level. Whether that be to do work around the farm or to be a lifelong companion.
I mean, think about it… it is not their fault for always wanting to be around us. We are the ones that made them that way after all…
Just because your dog barks, whines, chews things up or has potty accidents when your away doesn’t necessarily mean they have separation anxiety.
Separation Anxiety In Puppies
All these issues are prevalent with puppies and young dogs under 2 years of age. But it’s also, a sign of anxiety with many dogs… remember how I said it’s really hard to determine?
If your puppy is experiencing signs of separation anxiety it is mostly likely because they are bored or have not been properly house trained yet.
Barking, whining, chewing, pottying inside the home are all normal puppy behaviors.
How To Solve Separation Anxiety In Dogs
Separation anxiety is a horrible thing for your dog to go through. Fortunately, in most cases the issue can be resolved by following a few simple guidelines.
1. Exercise Your Dog
One of the largest environmental factors that are significantly associated with separation anxiety is the amount of daily exercise a dog receives.
Which means you need to make sure that your dog is getting adequate exercise each and every day.
If possible always take your dog for a walk before leaving and returning for the day. I know this isn’t always possible, but it will help them greatly.
If you are unable to take them for a walk, then I would highly suggest a game of fetch.
Fetch is the ultimate tool, it’s extremely simple, straight forward and the most effective way to drain a dog’s energy.
If you are really strapped for time, then play a quick game of tug-of-war with your dog.
A well exercised dog will be satisfied both mentally and physically and will be less inclined to bark, chew, dig… you know, all those things that come with separation anxiety!
The goal is to leave your dog in a resting state while you are away, so they can be at peace until you return.
2. Training Your Dog To Be Left Home Alone
You should know by now that dogs are extremely smart. They know when they are about to be left home alone and that’s when the anxiety is triggered.
When you are getting ready for work you are being spied on… you might not know it, but your dog is watching your every move! They know that you are getting ready to leave them all alone.
As soon as you put that jacket on or pick up those keys they have already went full panic mode on the inside.
They don’t show any signs of anxiety until you are out of sight and out of range of their hearing!
You can passively train your dog to be okay with being left alone for large periods of time by utilizing a few mental stimulation exercises.
- Pick Up Your Keys
A lot of dogs with anxiety freak out when they see their owner grab their keys… They know what’s coming…
To fix this is issue, grab your keys more often around the house… I know right… simple stuff!
By picking up your keys more often and jingling them around, your dog will start to catch on that you are not always going to leave when you grab keys.
- Keys and Treats
To take the picking up keys exercise a step further, simply add in treats!
Yup! give your dog a treat every now and then when you grab your keys. Make sure you are doing this in a nonchalant manner, make it seem like no big deal.
By doing this you are passively associating leaving with something good aka the treat.
You should be doing these exercises as early on in your dog’s life as you can. Because it’s a great way to get traction on solving your dogs separation anxiety issues before they even start.
If you start these types of exercises early, they will be very short term. Even if your dog doesn’t become anxious, when you grab your keys or coat you should still utilize this exercise.
Its best to be safe than sorry, to keep these problems from arising later in life.
The goal is to get your dog feeling comfortable when you have to leave the house.
So, if your dog associates, you are leaving with getting something awesome like a treat or toy.
Then they will be one happy satisfied doggo!
Dog Proof Room
It is extremely important to warm your dog up to the place where he or she will be spending most of their time through out the day.
Generally, dogs with extreme separation anxiety do not do well in a dog crate.
So, your best option is to dog proof a room of your house. You want to go with a room that they can do very minimum or no damage to at all.
Get them comfortable with spending time alone in the area they will be spending most of their time in.
You can accomplish this by putting them that area for shorts periods of time.
In the beginning, you might just do this literally for a few seconds at a time.
Slowly increase the time over a course of weeks…
3. Dog Separation Anxiety Music
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 or calming sound present at all times it will greatly reduce your dog’s stress levels while you are away.
If you don’t have any dog anxiety music, try leaving on some regular music or the television.
For optimal results put something on that is calm and soothing.
What If Your Dogs Anxiety Doesn’t Stop?
If you have attempted to follow the suggested tips and still have dog separation anxiety issues, then it’s time to pull in professional help.
That doesn’t mean you need to go out and find a local dog trainer and pay hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Dog anxiety is very dangerous and the last thing you want is for your dog to harm themselves or destroy your home.
Don’t wait until it’s too late…your dog deserves better!
I was able to train Jax to remain calm and anxiety free with the help of all the tips I shared with you! I have also been able to proactively train him all throughout his puppy stages up into adult hood!
Jumping, pulling and worst of all biting are a thing of the past and it’s all thinks to The Online Dog Trainer.
Hopefully the training tips I covered in the article were enough to get you started on solving your dog’s separation anxiety.
If you feel like you need further guidance, with clear step by step instructions. I would highly suggest checking out the https://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 free to leave me a comment!
Have a great day and good luck!
Common Dog Anxiety Questions
What if my dog destroys something
Well, that’s very unfortunate and I can relate trust me… But at the end of the day it is NOT your dogs fault.
The only person you have to blame is yourself, I know that might sound a bit harsh, but it is the truth.
As dog owners it’s OUR responsibility to control our dog’s environment at all times.
Do NOT punish them, for YOUR mistake.
What If My Dog Suddenly Develops Separation Anxiety
If you have a dog that is unusually anxious or has become anxious out of nowhere then you might want to consult your local vet.
There could always be an underlying medical issue. Its better to be safe than sorry.
How Long Does It Take To Cure Separation Anxiety In Dogs
Every dog is different, so there is no defined answer. The process can take a few weeks or a few months.
If you have a dog with EXTREME anxiety you might never fully be able to cure it completely.
Don’t let that discourage you though, because you will most certainly be able reduce it over time if you implement the tips we covered today.
Should I Use Dog Separation Anxiety Medication
This one is truly up to you, I highly advise that you do everything possible to cure your dog’s anxiety naturally through training.
You should always consult with your local vet before ever placing your dog on any type of medication.
They are medications on the market that can aid in helping your dog, but these medications are not ideal for your dog long term.
There are almost always side effects of anxiety medication.
Should I Use Dog Separation Anxiety Toys
Toys can and will bring comfort to your dog, but in extreme cases they will not be much help.
The best dog toys for separation anxiety will vary depending on what your dog prefers. Some dogs like hard toys, some like soft, some like an in-between.
I would highly recommend that you test out each type and let your dog decide for themselves.
If your dog likes a multitude of textures, then I would suggest that you buy a few different types of dog chew toys so that you can rotate them out.
This will also benefit your dog, because they will always have some new and exciting toy to chew on. It will keep things interesting for them.