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What to Do About Puppy Separation Anxiety

 

   The term puppy separation anxiety refers to your puppy's nervousness and worry that comes when being left alone. This anxiety may make your dog destructive and have negative effects on its mental health. The idea that dogs are acting out of spite by digging into the garbage, urinating on carpets, or destroying loved pillows is wrong. In some cases the behavior may be best explained by boredom, in others it occurs because the puppy is suffering from intense anxiety. Fortunately it is possible to treat separation anxiety. The following is a look at puppy separation anxiety and how to handle it.

 


Diagnosing Puppy Separation Anxiety


Undesirable behaviors associated with separation anxiety include:


• Howling immediately as you leave the house


• Whining excessively as you leave


• Excessive salivation


• Barking


• Destructive behavior while your out of the house


• Attempting to, or successfully getting out of their crate


Not all undesirable behaviors are caused by separation anxiety however, so it is important to learn the reason for your puppy's behavior before treating it. If you find that your puppy chews on shoes while you are away, it may simply be that is taking advantage of the lack of supervision. It may also be a lack of toys or activities to keep them occupied. 

The behavior is genuine puppy separation anxiety when:


• The unwanted behavior occurs each time that you leave


• The same behavior does not occur when you are home


• The signs of anxiety start before you leave, like whining when you put your coat on or grab your keys

 

 

How to Treat Puppy Separation Anxiety


Desensitization

This method involves getting your dog used to you leaving, and is necessary to work on this gradually. Start desensitizing your puppy by gradually introducing things like getting your coat on, or making your keys jingle, even when not actually leaving. Over time, you add other steps such as opening the door and pretending to leave, or standing outside of the house for just a moment to gauge their reaction. When you can leave the house without any signs of anxiety, try to extend your trips out of the house; this will allow the puppy to be alone for longer periods of time. As you work on this, avoid long, drawn-out goodbyes and try not to be overly excited to great your puppy when you return. It is best to teach them that going away and coming back are common, regular occurrences.

 


Use Crate Training

Make your puppy's crate a comfortable, safe place for them. Start by getting them familiar with it by keeping them inside of it while you’re busy or sleeping. Provide them with comfortable blankets, toys, and even a piece of your clothing that has your scent. When their crate becomes a comfortable spot for them, they are less likely to try to escape when you are gone. This way they are relaxed and well rested when you arrive home.

 

 

Medication

In severe cases, it may be necessary to for a veterinarian to prescribe medication to treat the problem. This should happen only after multiple behavioral training attempts have failed.

 


With proper diagnosis and training, puppy separation anxiety will be a thing of the past. To learn about our upcoming puppy litters and to find your next furry friend, contact us today!

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