Thursday, September 09, 2010

Separation Anciety - a common Insecurity in Canines

A few days ago a friend who fosters rescue dogs called to ask me what she could do about a dog with separation anxiety.

This dog has settled into her household nicely, but it goes into panic mode when it can't find any of the resident humans.

Dog trainers will tell you that one important step is to be very casual about leaving and coming back. Don't make a big deal about telling the dog you won't be gone long or telling it to behave while you're away. And don't make a fuss over it when you get back.

That's good advice to show the dog that it's no big deal. But when a panicked dog is clawing holes in your doors and walls to try to get to you, you need a little more help.

I knew a dog once who, when locked in a room for safety while his person left for an hour, completely destroyed the bottom 2 feet of a hollow core door... Seriously, the bottom of the door was no longer there.

So the problem is not trivial.

If you are caring for a dog like this, use FeelBach's "Home Alone" remedy.

Begin giving it to the dog 3 or 4 times a day - and then, of course, do as the trainers suggest. Leave for only a few minutes at a time at first to reassure the dog that yes, you WILL be coming back. Never call attention to the fact that you're leaving or returning.

Then gradually be gone for longer periods until that poor frightened pup realizes that he or she has not been abandoned forever.
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