Friday, February 4, 2011

Separation Anxiety

Question of the day: How do I prevent my dog from getting Separation Anxiety? What do I do if they have Separation Anxiety?

Answer: You can do several things to help prevent your dog from developing Separation Anxiety. When you first get your new dog or puppy, be sure to spend time away from them. It's great to always have them with us, but they need to learn that being away from you is okay too. Even if your dog isn't new, practice spending time away from them. Put them in their crate for half an hour to an hour while your cleaning the house or running errands in town.

Make sure you never make a big deal out of coming and going. When you return home, wait at least 5-10 minutes before giving any attention to your dog. Let them calm down a bit, then give them calm praise. If your dog is in a crate, wait until they are calm in their crate before letting them out. When you let them out, wait till they are calm again before giving them attention.

You always want to be sure your not making a big deal out of anything. If you do make it a big deal, they will think OH NO! She's leaving again, when will they be back! They will start to panic. If you show them it isn't a big deal when you come and go, they will learn to relax.

Making sure your dog has things to do while you are away or while they are in their crate is also very helpful! Try to exercise your dog before leaving or putting them in their crate so they are more likely to be tired and worn out, ready to sleep. Try giving them some interactive toys such as the Kong (check product of the day below), or any other interactive toy that you can put their food or treats into and let them work at to get it out. This stimulates their mind and helps to tire them more.

If you have a dog that already has separation anxiety, there are a few things you can do.

First thing, you can help desensitize them to you leaving and coming home. Practice going out, be sure to do everything as though you are leaving for work. Go out for a minute, come back in and ignore him. Do not make leaving and coming in a big thing. Repeat this, leaving for longer and longer periods of time. Try going and getting in your car, waiting then coming back in. Make sure when you come in he isn't making any noise as coming in would reward him for noise making. Be sure he's quiet! Practice starting you car, maybe driving around the block. Keep practicing until you can be gone for an hour or so with out him making any noise. Might keep your recorder there so you know if he made any noise or not. Every time you come home, ignore him for at least the first 5-10 minutes. Wait till he relaxes and is calm, then you can give him calm praise. Doing this will help him realize you going and coming is no big deal. Make sure when you leave you are also being calm and ignoring him.

You can also work on their stays. Sounds silly, but a dog that knows how to stay while you go out of sight will also help with separation anxiety.

Book of the Day: I'll Be Home Soon!

Though I don't have this book, nor have I read it, it goes along with our Question of the day. This book is about preventing & treating Separation Anxiety. This book has good reviews at Amazon, and I think would be very helpful to anyone wanting to prevent or treat a dog with Separation Anxiety. Simply click on the link above to go find out more about the book or to buy it. It's at a good price of 7.95, so certainly worth a look.

Interesting Dog Fact of the Week:

Did you know Dogs (including wolves & foxes) are descended from a small, weasel-like mammal called Miacis which was a tree-dwelling creature and existed about 40 Million years ago?

This interesting fact and more came from:

Another book I found dealing with Separation Anxiety, is an ebook. I have not read this or bought it, so I can't say how good it is. I figured it might be of interest to someone so I thought I'd add it in.

Curing Dog Separation Anxiety

Product of the day: The Kong

KONG Dog Toy (Large; 4.25

KONG Dog Toy (Large; 4.25" Height; For Dogs 30-65 lbs.)

KONG Dog Toy - Available Online at PETCO.comKONG's exclusive red natural rubber is puncture resistant, super bouncy, and chewer friendly. It is unmatched for resilience, durability, and bounce. KONG(R) satisfies a dog's natural need to chew and also cleans teeth and conditions gums. The thick, flexible walls keep springing back for more! KONG(R) rubber is non-toxic, nonabrasive, non-splintering, and does not get sharp when chewed. Kongs(R) are widely used for therapy and prevention of boredom, separation anxiety and other behavioral issues. Regular use of Kongs can also improve oral health. Their unpredictable bounce lures most dogs into a game of chase, catch and chew. The hollow center can be filled with food and treats. A dab of peanut butter spread around the inside is very effective. Providing food and/or treat stuffed KONG's(R) for your dogs can keep them contentedly busy (working) and out of trouble for long periods of time. Add more stuffed Kongs to increase their work time. KONG(R) toys are enthusiastically used and recommended by veterinarians, trainers, dog professionals and satisfied customers world wide.

The Kong toy also goes with the Question of today. Kongs are an excellent way of keeping your dog busy and my dogs absolutely Love them! There are several Kong recipes out there, have fun with them!


I've joined a few forums today, perhaps others will enjoy them too:

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