Every time you leave your dog alone, it's a disaster!
What is he trying to make you understand? How do you deal with separation anxiety?
Explanations and advice.
- Read also: our advice for educating your dog
Why is the dog anxious?
When their mother can no longer breastfeed them or wants to be alone, she pushes her puppies away. In this way, they learn autonomy and detachment. When they find a new home, they will attach themselves to a family member whom they will consider to be their new mother. If the pup does not continue the work started by pushing him away at the appropriate times and teaching him to be alone, the puppy will develop a hyper attachment with all the worries of anxiety that come with it.
Risk factors for anxiety in dogs:
- The predisposition of certain breeds such as the Jack Russell and the Boxer.
- A puppy taken from its mother too soon.
- Dogs who have known several owners.
- Changes in the situation (moving, arrival of a child, return to work, etc.)
- Do not teach your puppy to be detached when he arrives in your home.
- Lack of stimulation.
Manifestation of anxiety in dogs
When you are away, you feel guilty about leaving your dog so you pet him, reassure him, make promises with smiles in his voice. Your dog says to himself: “My master seems very happy, but he leaves me, I do not understand! »Contrary to popular belief, a dog does not take revenge, but expresses a deep discomfort and that in the minutes which follow your departure.
- He can destroy.
- Bark, cry, howl at death.
- Do your business in your home.
- Self-mutilate by licking your paws until they bleed or by violently biting your tail.
- Refuse to eat or drink.
When you come back, your dog celebrates you. You say to yourself: "He's happy to see me!" ". In fact, he's telling you "You left me alone, I hope you won't do it again." If you pet him, he thinks you get it.
Helping your dog to overcome his anxiety
As soon as he arrives in your home, you need to teach your dog detachment, autonomy and frustration.
- Don't allow him whole house.
- Find him a place of his own, far from the doors and from which he will not spend his time watching you. If you do not have enough space, it is possible to use a safety barrier or an indoor cage (occasionally). Reducing a dog's space reassures him.
- Don't allow him to follow you everywhere.
- You should ask him for cuddles and games, not the other way around.
- Never let your dog bark for a yes or a no. A barking dog wants to dominate. You must be firm and never give in to it. Tell him no or ignore him. The training collar with lemongrass spray can give good results without violence.
- Simulate false starts. Put on your shoes, take your keys, go out for a minute and come back. Repeat this exercise several times to get your dog used to seeing you disappear, gradually increasing the length of your absence.
- For some very anxious breeds, choose to acquire two dogs or train your puppy to live with a cat or a bird so that it can better cope with its loneliness.
Before your departure :
- Take your dog out. He will be more relaxed.
- A few minutes before your departure, put it in its place and ignore it. No goodbye.
- Leave the radio to him.
- Use pheromones (identical to those released by their mother) that spread through the air through a diffuser inserted into a power outlet (your veterinarian can sell you one).
- Leave him games available. Make rolls so he's surprised every time. A ball that distributes croquettes is an excellent occupation.
When you come back :
- Ignore your dog.
- If he's done damage, don't scold him. Take him out and clean up without him seeing you.
Usually, separation anxiety goes away when your dog realizes that your departures are followed by your returns. You must give her time to get used to this ritual.
- Consult a behaviorist.
- In more serious cases such as dismemberment, your veterinarian may prescribe antidepressants until the situation improves.
- Use a collar to prevent your dog from worsening his injuries.
- Learn to relax, your dog feels all your emotions. Zen master who knows how to make the right decisions, calm and balanced dog. Concerned and emotional master, anxious dog who lacks benchmarks.
- If neither solution works,find a new family for your dog. Retirees often have the perfect profile because they are available. Although painful, this alternative should be considered.
To meditate : "You miss a being and everything is depopulated ”Lamartine