Caissie Canine Instruction: Separation Anxiety
Updated: Oct 12
We begin this week’s “RUFF TAILS” featuring a beautiful 10 month old Labrador Retriever named Marlin.
My parents nicknamed me “Marlinspike Hall” from Tintin comics. Since my parents recently moved, my new hobby is running away with their paint brush.
AND of course I love it because they chase me around the house!!!!! HEE HEE.
Welcome to Doggie Dialogue:
What is separation anxiety in dogs?
It is when your dog/dogs become upset because of the separation from you, their guardian.
Some dogs are very disruptive or destructive when left alone. Some dogs may urinate, bark, howl, chew or try to escape. Escape attempts by dogs with separation anxiety are often extreme.
The household can be destroyed at the “exit” points of the home, like windows and doors,
as they are desperate to “get out” to find you.
This can result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut paws or damaged toenails.
Some dogs can “sense” when your getting ready to leave and can get depressed.
Some dogs even try to prevent you from leaving. Right when you leave the distress behaviour will start, with barking included.
When you return home ,your dog with separation anxiety, will act as it’s been YEARS since he/she has seen you.
The goal to help relieve this behaviour is to resolve the underlying anxiety, by teaching him to enjoy or at least tolerate being left alone.
Some of our clients have used a food stuffed puzzle or a KONG stuffed with treats as a “special toy” when they go out to run errands.
We recommend to pick up this “special toy” immediately when you get home. This way your dog can associate this high-quality treat and toy is only his/her’s when they are home alone. This technique will only work if your dog has “mild” separation anxiety.
PLEASE make sure you can TRUST your dog with a toy, unsupervised, and alone before leaving the house.
We can NOT trust our dogs at home alone, unsupervised, with a toy or food stuffed puzzle, due to the strength of their jaws and the ability to rip everything to shreds.
We strongly feel the best remedy for our dogs and many dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, to keep them safe, is to use a Vari Kennel.
The Vari Kennel becomes a “safe haven “or “den” for your dog to relax, be safe, and comfortable. The Vari Kennel should be big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in. We recommend to put nothing in the kennel, no blankets, pillows, or toys, especially unsupervised, for the ultimate safety.
Remember, what works for one dog, may not work for another dog. Each dog is uniquely different with their own quirks and behaviours.
When is comes to separation anxiety in dogs, it is important to stay patient and consistent. Feel free to email Paul at anytime for continuous, and on-going training with this challenging behaviour.