If your dog act distressed or gets destructive when everyone leaves the house, they’re probably suffering from separation anxiety – and dog training can help your furry friend learn how to cope.
When training a dog with separation anxiety, the goal is to help them gain confidence and feel secure enough to better tolerate being left alone. With moderate to severe cases, professional dog training is often essential. However, the following strategies may help make your pooch more comfortable when you’re away from home.
Get Your Dog Tired
Wear your dog out before you leave the house, and they may just sleep until you return. Going on a walk or playing a game of fetch could be an effective way to keep your four-legged friend from trying to escape, tearing things apart and displaying other destructive habits.
Start a Treat Routine
Giving your pooch a reward when you leave can help them feel more positive about being alone. Offer high-value treats, such as real bits of cheese or chicken – and avoid using the same dog training treats when you’re at home, as the idea is to associate your absence with something extra special.
Try Crate Training
A crate can help with separation anxiety – if, that is, your dog has learned that the crate is a safe, secure place to be. Try setting up a crate with a comfy blanket to make it enticing, never using it as a punishment, and your pooch may happily retreat to the spot when you’re away from home.
Puzzle toys with treat compartments can redirect your dog’s focus and keep them from being anxious about your departure. Bring one out when you go to leave, and your furry friend may be too busy trying to get the treats to get distressed – and by the time they succeed, they’ll likely be calm and relaxed.
Contact a Professional
For some pets, separation anxiety is severe. Addressing the problem may take more than the strategies listed above, and contacting a professional trainer can be the best approach.
Look for an expert with an extensive background in behavioral dog training and, more specifically, in helping canines with separation anxiety. In the greater southern California area, you’ll find that in the professional team at The Driven Dog.
We offer a range of specialized dog training programs, including board-and-train boot camps, and we have the knowledge and skills to help your furry family member remain calm when everyone is away from home. For more information on our approach to dog training for separation anxiety, contact our office in Long Beach, California, today.