“My Dog destroys household items”
“My Dog is destroying my sofa or bed”
“My Dog howls when left alone”
“Neighbours are complaining”
“Society is going to throw me out because of dog”
Separation Anxiety is not natural in dogs because in their natural habitat they never get separated from the pack.
Pack represents the power to a dog and getting separated from the pack means death to them.
In humans, it is pretty natural for us to get separated for work and other things so we must help dogs to understand that it is ok to get separated from the pack.
Now how to do that?
See, in dogs, they have a resting state which we need to trigger if we want to leave them behind four walls alone.
You can trigger the resting state by giving a long structured walk daily twice a day.
When you leave your dog behind four walls without being exercised properly which can help him naturally go under a resting state of mind, they feel excited.
When the energy of excitement in dogs doesn’t get any outlet because they are behind 4 walls, they feel trapped.
In old times when dogs used to feel trapped, they usually dug their way out which is not possible in today’s concrete households and that is why you will see scratch marks on doors and windows.
The excitement in the animal world is unstable energy when it gets blocked, it becomes anxiety which the dog releases by pacing, barking, or destroying the house.
Give proper exercise to your dog before leaving him for long hours.
Nurture Calmness more than often.
Don’t create the energy of uncertainty by feeling bad about leaving your dogs.
You will not see any anxiety in dogs in their natural habitat, but they start developing issues once they start getting influenced by us humans.
Let me tell you about one case of severe anxiety in a dog which we successfully corrected, by corrected I mean we helped the dog be calm when left alone.
He was very destructive and used to howl, scratch windows and doors, torn sofas and every mattress apart just to reach his human.
His human was consistently getting complaints from society about the nuisance her dog was creating.
She contacted me and we started working on him immediately..
The first thing we did was asked the human to follow OhMyDog Parenting Model for 7 days and after that, we started helping the dog to understand that alone means good, alone means calmness.
How did we do that?
But first why OhMyDog Parenting Model, because OPM can help any dog become more calm and confident, and we needed that. OPM is a must for every dog parent to implement on their dog to prevent any behavioral issues or to help their dog become balanced again.
So after Implementing OPM, we started the second stage of the training.
Now, understand this, the more the dog is insecure, the higher will be the level of separation anxiety.
What we need to do is to create a safe environment for him at home but you will say that my home is already safe for him, yeah you know this but your dog doesn’t believe the same.
For him separation from the pack means death, it means he is not capable of handling the situations on his own, so we are going to change this.
As I mentioned before, following our parenting model is a must for every dog parent.
Now, let’s begin the second phase.
Our Motive is to change insecurity which is the cause of separation anxiety into calmness and confidence.
You can do these by following these simple steps:
1. Create A Place For Your Dog
By this I mean your dog should have his own place, his own bed, maybe a corner in the house, or a crate, there should be something which we can use to create an association of calmness.
So make a permanent place for your dog, it is going to help him immensely in becoming calmer.
2. Start Leashing Your Dog
For some people leashing the dog means cruel, but trust me that is not right. The dog is insecure, that is why he or she is getting anxious, make your dog habitual of being leashed inside the house.
Start leashing your dog when you are at home so that you can correct it by saying NO calmly with confidence (don’t get frustrated) whenever the dog becomes unstable.
Increase the duration of leash time, dog must remain on leash 1-2hrs daily in his place.
3. Start Training His Mind That The Pack(You) Will Be Back:
So your dog is leashed at his place, without saying anything or giving eye contact, go out of the house, shut the door, and come back immediately.
Do this 4-5 times every day, and every day starts increasing the duration, every dog is different so you have to experiment with your dog and keep on practicing this step.
This will create an association in the dog’s mind that the pack goes out and comes back as well.
This is exactly the same strategy that we used to help many dogs suffering from separation anxiety.
Please be consistent.