How to Leave a Dog with Separation Anxiety Alone is Not the Correct Question to be Asking
As you may or may not know, dog separation anxiety is a debilitating condition that likely causes some disruptive behavior in your pup. He’s not upset with you, he’s basically having panic attacks that are truly terrifying. If you’d like to learn more about separation anxiety, I’d recommend you read these FAQs to answer some of your questions. If you’re here because you are looking for an answer to the question “how to leave a dog with separation anxiety alone” then read on to learn why this actually is not the correct question to be asking.
Leaving Your Dog Alone Is Not The Answer
I have met countless dog owners who are great dog parents, love their pup, but at the same time are very misinformed and thus make poor choices. A common myth surrounding separation anxiety is that by somehow ignoring your dog, or by forcing them to be alone for long periods of time, they simply will get used to it, and the disruptive behavior will stop. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
As we have mentioned before in previous blogs, separation anxiety is not a rational fear, at least not to us. For a moment, pretend you are terrified of snakes. To help you get over this fear, someone you love tricks you into walking into a room filled with snakes and locks the door. They leave you there for several hours with no word, snakes crawling all over you. What would you do to get out? Yell? Try to kick and smash the door? Scratch at anything you could to escape? This is how your pup feels when you leave home, and just like you would not get over your fear of snakes, leaving them for hours on end will not help them get over their fear of alone time.
Suspending Absences Is More Possible Than Ever
Let’s be honest, the world has essentially changed overnight. For better or for worse, many people are at home for the foreseeable future. Although this situation is not ideal for most, and we hope everything returns to “normal” at some level in near future, it is the perfect time to help your dog make progress with his separation anxiety.
A true separation anxiety case will not display the same disruptive behavior when you are home because they are not panicked. So, if you were recently struggling with your pup barking when you were gone, having accidents in the home, or scratching at the door and the behavior has suddenly stopped because you are home now, there’s a good chance your dog is impacted by separation anxiety. The good news is now that you are home, you can help your dog overcome this behavior!
How Separation Anxiety Training Works
As I mentioned before, suspending absences is critical in the separation anxiety training process. If you really want to learn how to leave a dog with separation anxiety alone then you must commit to suspending absences. Unfortunately there is no shortcut, which we discussed at length in last month’s blog.
In it’s simplest form, separation anxiety training comes in the form of several small wins. These wins are how long your dog can be away from you before they begin to show signs of distress. At first, this will look like you leaving you home for just a handful of seconds, and in time building up to being able to leave for short periods of time. You are teaching our pup that you will always return, and helping them build up their understanding that being alone is safe. While this training occurs, suspending absences is very important to ensure your dog never feels panicked.
CSATS Are Always Ready To Help
We offer two types of training options. The first is a self-paced online course called Mission Possible. This course is designed to help guide you through the ins and outs of dog separation anxiety training and is a great way to learn more about the condition in general. CSATs even moderate this interactive course, so they are always there to lend a helping hand and answer questions.
We also offer personalized one on one remote training programs with your own dedicated CSAT. We feel this is the most effective path to helping your dog overcome the disruptive behavior associated with separation anxiety. To learn more about both options, click here.
How to Leave A Dog With Separation Anxiety Alone - Contact Us!
As dog owners ourselves, many of whom have had dogs impacted by separation anxiety, we know what you are going through. Know that you are not alone, and there is hope! As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us, or leave a comment! Make sure to follow us on Facebook to join the conversation, we can’t wait to hear from you!