Tuesday Tails: Separation Anxiety

Ever since I left on my business trip, Arccos seems to have developed separation anxiety. When we first got him, he was very attached to me, but would also wander and explore as well as do training with LD. However, since I left for a few days and came back, he panics if I leave the house without him. It doesn’t matter who else is home.

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Luckily for us, he is not destructive and only has a minor case of separation anxiety. When I leave, he will whine, shake, and bark. Thankfully, his bark is not loud enough for our neighbors to hear and can barely be heard outside of the house, but it is still not healthy for him to be this attached.

In fact, the other day when I closed him out of the room because he did not believe in giving my sewing machine pedal a safe distance, he had the same reaction. The door meant he could not see me. He started barking, whining, and shaking. Like a good mother, I had to show him tough love and not reward the behavior by opening the door, but it is difficult. When I leave the house I am very matter of fact, grab my stuff and leave. I’m just hoping that this is a phase and that he will adjust soon. I am making sure that I leave the house for at least a half hour every day now to make my leaving a normal thing. I am ignoring him when I first get home until he is calm. I just want him not to panic.

Any of my dog loving friends have any advice? Have you had to deal with separation anxiety?

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About Danielle Beranek

Life can get away from you when being young, married, and still fairly fresh out of college. Taking on a pet, student loans, going back to school, and soon a new house is enough to leave ones head spinning. For me, life is crazy, but only on the outside.
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One Response to Tuesday Tails: Separation Anxiety

  1. amelleablelife says:

    Sounds like you’re doing what you need to – especially in avoiding the panic. One of my dogs also had severe separation anxiety, and one great tip I would add for you is to leave a Kong, or other puzzle treat with really delicious fillings. This does a number of things: 1) makes your dog associate you leaving with something really awesome 2) Keeps their brain (and mouth) busy for 20 minutes during the most stressful time (you leaving) and 3) Distracts from the “trauma” of literally watching you leave. It’s really just building on making positive associations where there are currently negative ones.
    For other advice I highly recommend reading Patricia McConnell’s short book “I’ll be home soon!”, there’s some great explanations and strategies in there!

    Like

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