Separation Anxiety In Puppies

Separation anxiety in puppies: While we all want our puppy to become dependent on us when we are at home, this is not always ideal for him while we are away working or out shopping. Making them reliant on you for company, as well as play, is really about making a rod for your own back. Giving them all of your time, when they demand it, is not going to let them become independent souls. They have to learn to amuse themselves, when you are not around, or how will they cope when left alone for longer periods than normal, for example when you are out working or on an errand?

Like all dogs, puppies need plenty of toys to entertain them to use up some of their boundless energy. So begin with the ones that will withstand countless chewing. The choice in the marketplace is amazing, so there is no excuse for not keeping them occupied while you are away.

The Kong is an ideal toy and can be stuffed with some of the puppy’s favorite food (like kibble or small tasty treats) that can keep them entertained for a considerable time. You can also try chew sticks, either hide or hard plastic. Always make sure they are safe to use, while you are away, and will not come to pieces with constant chewing.

To begin the process of leaving him alone try and confine him to a crate for a short while and keep checking his progress periodically from another room. You can try this experiment from as many rooms as possible to see if he responds the same from all of them. If he has a problem with one particular room, try and find out why. For example, is he exposed to more noise in the room or is there more light than normal falling into his crate?

Once you have established where he feels calm and is not threatened by any external influence, then you can begin to reward him for being well behaved while confined to his crate. The next step is to decide where you puppy will eventually live while you are away from the family home. If you allocate him a certain room, either in or out of your home, then make sure you familiarize your puppy with his new playroom. Confining your pup as if you were away from home, while still at home, will give you the opportunity to monitor his behavior during this important time in his life.

The idea is to educate your puppy into not associating his confinement with your absence, but instead he will always look forward to the time he spends in his playroom with his special toys. Remember if your puppy is fully occupied chewing on his chew toy, he will probably not miss you as much.

Sometimes music or voices can have calming effect on them and can help to cover any outside noise. Leave a radio on with the volume just loud enough to be reassuring. Remember dogs have an acute sense of hearing so don’t overdo it. All my dogs, over the years, have appreciated the radio at some time in their lives and it also helps to get your puppy adjusted to not having you around all the time. Whether they like one particular piece of music or program you will have to research that thoroughly.

Any animal left alone for long periods, without any human contact, will be prone to separation anxiety. It is up to you to train your puppy in the art of being self-sufficient when you are not around. Giving them plenty to occupy their minds, while left alone, is an important step in preventing them succumbing to this common situation.

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