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How to help a dog with separation anxiety?

This is a discussion on How to help a dog with separation anxiety? within the Dog Training and Behaviour forums, part of the Dog Forums category; I think my beagle dog has separation anxiety. Would you please give me some advice or tips to lower his separation anxiety. I hate seeing him sad when I leave but I have to work and his dog kennel is ... How to help a dog with separation anxiety?


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How to help a dog with separation anxiety?

 
Alex Zh
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Direct Link 04-14-2013, 08:50 PM  
I think my beagle dog has separation anxiety. Would you please give me some advice or tips to lower his separation anxiety. I hate seeing him sad when I leave but I have to work and his dog kennel is where I have to keep him otherwise he’ll break everything inside the house.

Thank you,
Alex.
 
Dog.L
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Direct Link 04-14-2013, 08:58 PM  
An adult dog with separation anxiety is a tough situation and there are next to no options to correct it once it starts.You just have to do the best you can to protect the dog and your home when you leave. Couple of ideas for you. that you might try though. (1) being as how it is a lone beagle, I think a companion dog is perfect. Beagles are more ‘pack’ oriented than any other breed of dog. They hunt in packs and think with one brain – this trait has never been bred out of them. So a companion dog is probably a good option. I don’t mean a dog to reproduce with (as in ‘mate’), just a doggy friend, preferably another beagle. Beagles just operate so very differently than other dogs so if you are considering another friend, another beagle would be ideal. Seriously, a singleton beagle is a miserable animal as you know. (2) Get a ‘busy ball’ and learn to be creative with stuffing it with treats, peanut butter, spray cheese, frozen things, etc. Kongs are mostly used which is a brand name, but there are other varieties. I just call them all a ‘busy ball’. It keeps them occupied for a while. They work very well with beagles because they are so very food driven and so can distract them from their isolation for a fair amount of time.


I do have a message for others although it is way too late for this to be of much help with your adult dog. The key to not having separation anxiety in adulthood is proper crate training in puppy-hood. Having a den (often even more than one den) is a natural canine instinct and preferred behavior. Puppies just come from a litter + mom which is the perfect ‘den’ time and is learned for life thus we should immediately build on that natural safety instinct and not ‘unlearn’ our dogs from it. If a kennel is always open and available for a dog and it is his ‘home’. then he seldom will mind at all when you use it to close him up when you are away. If kennels are trained like this is his personal sanctum – ideal safest most comfortable place on earth for him – a place he can go voluntarily when he wants some peace and quiet – a place where no other distraction or animal is allowed – the place where he can release his most special treat, INSTEAD of trained like this is your jail cell when I abandon you, then separation anxiety never or only very rarely ever occurs. There are a few other things you can do to help a puppy to avoid separation anxiety for life, but proper kennel training is the main one.


One last item since I’m on the subject, proper kennel training is NEVER a part of potty training! Never teach a dog this is where I am going to lock you up until you have to wallow in your excrement forever until I decide you can get out of this sewer. Using a kennel that way (plus as the jail cell mentioned above) ensures hatred of the kennel and later separation anxiety and always using the house as the toilet.


Proper kennel training = house breaking success AND separation HAPPINESS. It is a WIN WIN! I would bet that if people understood and did proper kennel training, the average dog population in shelters would instantly be reduced by 50%. Two of the biggest reasons dogs are put in shelters is because of separation anxiety and potty issues.


Good luck
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