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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Separation Anxiety, How Can I Help?

Wolfie just goes nuts when I leave the house.  He barks and attempts to destroy everything.  The neighbors tell me that they think there is a "possessed being" in my house.  Is this "separation anxiety" and what can I do about it?



Separation anxiety is one of the most difficult issues to resolve in a dog's behavior.  It is brought about because of prior experiences as shelter or abused dog or lack of leadership in the current environment.  Over the coming months I will be discussing this in more detail, but, for now, let's get going on one thing we can do.

Wolfie and other dogs are very attuned to the sounds around them.  If their territory (home) sounds like everything is fine, they will feel that it is fine.  The way that they come to this conclusion is based on the "white noise" they are processing.  If they hear you doing the laundry or opening the refrigerator, everything is fine, Mommy or Daddy are home, no big deal.  If they don't hear this, they begin to increase their adrenaline and wonder where the rest of the pack actually are. 

Many people leave the TV on for their dogs as "white noise" for their being home.  This could actually be a negative thing if the TV is not always on.  Wolfie learns "A=B".  If the TV is on, you are not here.  Oh my gosh, I have to react to you not being here!  I will bark and destroy! (Just for your information, this is bad.)

We have an interesting solution.  Record about 30 minutes of daily household activities you would normally perform.  About 10 minutes before you leave, turn on the recording.  From this point until you leave, be very quiet.  Now, leave the house while your continuous loop recording continues to play.  

Wolfie now is focused on your natural noises and has been be redirected from your departure and his need to initiate separation anxiety.

This is only one of several things you must implement to successfully resolve Wolfie's separation anxiety, but it is a start.  In the coming weeks, I will publish more articles that will assist you to resolve this problem.  For more information, please contact us at The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.


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