Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Calming Separation Anxiety

"Fearful dogs who are very insecure are more prone to separation anxiety. With these dogs, the dog becomes so afraid of being alone that he panics," writes Peggy O. Swager in her book "Rescue Your Dog from Fear: Tried-and-True Techniques to Help Your Dog Feel Secure."

"Dogs who panic will sometimes eliminate in the house while you are gone, even if you just put the dog outside. Some will tear holes in the couch or chew a favorite item such as a shoe. Some dogs are more silent sufferers and may pant and pace while the owner is gone. Punishing any unwanted behaviors can increase the anxiety the dogs has, making a separation anxiety event all the more likely the next time."

While specialized training may be needed for some dogs, Swager suggests that the confidence building techniques outlined in her book will help most dogs feel better about being left home alone. Owners should try to keep their arrivals and departures low-key and try to desensitize their pet to cues that signal the separation.

A separate DVD, "Separation Anxiety-A Weekend Technique," teaches owners an "I'll Be Back" technique that alleviates their dogs' fear.

Tried-and-True Techniques to Help Your Dog Feel Secure
by Peggy O. Swager
Lyons Press, 2015

Artwork: Anticipation
Separation Anxiety-A Weekend Technique (DVD)
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