It is important to train your dog from the very beginning so he does not have to endure separation anxiety for a long period of time. Separation anxiety is when your dog is very sad when they are apart from you and can start crying, howling and barking calling for you. They can also be destructive where they start chewing on the furniture or clothes or shoes. Clawing and digging on doors and window frames awaiting their owners.
There are many reasons this can happen, even a well trained dog may have some family trauma that may instigate separation anxiety.
How to help:-
Treat arrivals and departures like minor things. Ignore your dog for the first few minutes after you get home. Leave your dog calmly and don’t get them so excited with hugs and good byes.
Start with shorter outings and then start increasing the time
Leave clothes/blanket at home that smells like you.
Leave a special chew toy for them and only let them have it when you go out. This will then be a distraction for them and will help keep them occupied.
Leave a radio on to muffle any outside noise that can help them ease and not bark at noises. The sound of the radio presenters will help calm your dog.
Let them know you are coming back.
Exercise – A well exercised dog is a happy dog and it helps with stress levels. Also when you are out, it then give them a chance to have a rest.
Make sure their bed area is nice and cosy and makes them feel secure
Make sure they have a chance to go to the toilet before you leave
Stay Confident and in control. If your dog senses your anxiety of leaving them alone this will trigger then even more
Please do not punish your dog for showing any anxiety issues. This can create even more anxiety and can then take longer to help with the anxiety. Keep following the above and repeat until your dog feels at ease and understands your systems and trusts you will return.
Change can also affect separation anxiety, when you are at home for a long period of time over Christmas and Easter you spend more time with your dog so its natural they will find it difficult to go back to their routine, just like we do when we go back to work. dogs also suffer from ‘the holiday blues’. Before the holiday ends start with the above routine again so they get used to you going out.
If none of the above helps, you can look at hiring a dog sitter and then slowly reducing the hours and also you may decide to visit a vet.