Keep a Dog from Separation Anxiety

Edited by Rubilyn Valdez, Christine Cruz, Robbi, Lynn and 3 others



Keeping a dog from stress and anxiety can also be frustrating to the human care takers. Because there is no fixed formula or strategy to achieve this, it takes a lot of time and patience and a number of trials and errors to become successful. Unknown to many, dogs experience different stages of grief when their master leaves the house for a number of hours. They also undergo depression, and eventually exhibit behavioral changes if this issue is not addressed properly. Keep your dog happy even if you are away with these simple and practical tips.

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How to Leave Your Dog Alone in the House

  1. 1
    Take your dog for a short walk before you leave the house
    Although it is not known to many dog lovers, taking your dog outside for a short walk calms him down and can even set his mood. When your dog receives brief exercise at the start and before the end of their day, they immediately feel the need to rest. Thus, there is no opportunity for them to cry or bark all day, because a major portion of their energy is already exhausted from walking or running.
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  2. 2
    No talking, touching, or eye contact
    Dogs get the emotional attachment to their masters through touching or talking. Do not establish an eye contact if you want to instill discipline to your dog upon your arrival. Do the same thing when you are about to leave the house. Make sure that your dog does not feel any kind of regret or remorse that you are leaving him alone in the house. Dogs can easily pick up negative energy, just like they can respond to positive vibes.
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  3. 3
    A simple "goodbye" can help your dog condition himself
    When you leave the house, a dog undergoes five stages of grief until their owner returns. Reassure your dog that leaving him is temporary by saying a simple "goodbye". Remember, there is no need to touch him or create eye contact to reduce the tension.
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  4. 4
    Give him a treat or a stuffed toy
    It is nice to give your dog a simple treat like kibbles or a toy that he loves and that will make him comfortable. By leaving a toy, you can divert his attention so he can play instead of crying the whole time waiting for his master. You may also want to give him a blanket, or anything that he can sleep on to make him feel comfortable.
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  5. 5
    Leave the television on
    This might not be a good idea if you frequently leave the house, but it can be a helpful trick to give your dog an illusion that he has a companion. Just like humans, dogs become weary of silence, especially when they have no companions.
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  6. 6
    Condition your dog by leaving him for an increasing time duration
    Psychologically conditioning a dog takes time and a lot of repetition. Start by leaving the house for five minutes, then gradually increase the time to an hour. Repeat the cycle a couple of times until such time that you observe a positive change in your dog's behavior.
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  7. 7
    Don't forget to reward your dog for a job well done
    Giving your dog simple treats and making him feel loved and appreciated are just a few things that humans can do to keep them happy. Don't forget to pat them on the back or praise their efforts, both verbally and through actions.
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Dog's Five Stages of Grief

  • Denial. This is the preliminary stage of dog's grief, and happens immediately when you leave the house. He will try to convince himself that you are just outside the door watering the plants or you are off to the nearby grocery to buy him treats. However, after a few minutes, his mood will change into something more aggressive.
    Dog denial.jpg
  • Anger. Your dog finally realizes that you really did leave him. For how long, he does not know yet. Thus, he gets angry and frustrated. He starts to bark, cry, and destroys your sofa cushions and any other things that he sets his eyes on. During this stage, your dog feels betrayed and will fall into deep sadness.
    Dog anger.jpg
  • Bargaining. Your dog may think that if he stops crying, barking, or destroying things in the house, you will eventually return and will never leave again. This is the part when the dog bargains and tries to convince himself that by being a good dog, he will be rewarded accordingly. Then again, it is not that easy.
    Dog bargaining.jpg
  • Depression. After couple of hours and you have not yet returned home; your dog becomes depressed and feels that he wants to forever fall into a complete slumber. In this stage, he will consider that his master will not really be able to return for him and he will left alone forever.
    Dog depression.jpg
  • Acceptance. Your dog finally accepts that he is already a lone wolf and it is time to move on without the care of a human caretaker. Still, the question lies, "Who will feed me?"
    Dog acceptance.jpg
  • Bonus: Euphoria. When that time comes that your dog is finally used to being alone in his little corner of the house, the human will suddenly come home. You cannot imagine how much euphoria that brings to the dog, and that is why you will see him wagging his tail with so much happiness on his face, due to the excitement of seeing you again.
    Dog euphoria.jpg

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Article Info

Categories : Dogs

Recent edits by: mahalia jovita b. bugasto, Eng, Lynn

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