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Separation Anxiety in dogs

Does your dog begin to bark or display other distress behaviors quickly after you leave the house? Some dogs suffering from separation anxiety become uneasy when their owners leave them alone for short or long periods of time.

Commonly dog owners seek training for dogs that are disruptive or destructive when left alone. Their dogs might:

  • Excessively bark or howl

  • Destroy property

  • Scratch at doors or windows

  • Urinate or defecate in the house

  • Excessively salivate or pant

  • If crated, escape or harm himself

Some of these behaviors can indicate a lack of understanding boundaries or “rules” but can also be from anxiety. It is common to see these behaviors accompanied by shaking, excessive drooling or panic. Separation anxiety in dogs is triggered when an owner or care giver they’re

bonded with are separated from them. This can be seen when switching handlers, leaving a room, having the dog in a crate, or leaving the house.

Anxiety is the mind and body's reaction to stressful or unfamiliar situations. It's the

uneasiness or distress feeling before a significant event.

When seeking training for a dog with separation anxiety, the goal is to identify the dog’s underlying cause of anxiety. During training a dog is taught how to tolerate and feel more comfortable being alone. The dog is also taught how to properly respond to his stress instead of channeling it into disruptive, destructive or harmful behaviors. This is accomplished by reconditioning the dog to the experiences that provoke these behaviors without experiencing fear or anxiety.

Before stamping your dog with separation anxiety we must first rule out medical and other behavioral problems. First identity if your dogs urinating accidents are from urine incontinence from medical problems or medications. Other behavioral issues that can be ruled out are:

  • Submissive or excitement urination

  • Marking

  • Lack of house breaking

  • Lack of crate training

  • Common puppy chewing

  • Boredom

  • Barking caused by outside simulation/environment

Training programs vary depending on how extreme the behaviors caused by separation anxiety are. Separation anxiety in dogs can be managed and corrected with the right guidance and training. K9 Role Models has many years experience and have developed training techniques as well as routines to specifically help dogs with crate and separation anxiety.

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