For new puppy owners, starting on a training program with your dog to reduce separation anxiety is critical to being able to leave your house feeling good that your dog won’t make a total mess. Dogs that do not get this early training are more likely to develop anxiety issues and chew everything that you do not want them to chew. Luckily, you are taking steps in the right direction to reduce your pets risk of developing separation anxiety by reading this article and taking steps to train your dog.
Understanding Separation Anxiety
To understand why dogs get separation anxiety you need to first understand dog culture. A dog’s view of the world is much different than our own. They can see through smell and love rolling in anything that is extra stinky. Aside from these behavior characteristics, dogs have a strong pack mentality. This genetic trigger to be a part of a pack is hard wired into their system. Within the pack there are alpha’s that guide the pack and are looked up to by the other dogs. The dogs use this pack leader as their north star in guiding them to food or keeping them safe.
When you adopt your new puppy you are taking responsibility of being the pack leader for your new dog. You are responsible for keeping them safe and providing them with meals – just as the pack leader in a dog’s pack would do. In this traditional dog pack, the alpha doesn’t have to leave for 8 hours a day to go to an office job. Can you see how this would throw your dog off? They look to you as the leader or alpha but then you take off and leave them for hours on end. If one year is equivalent to 7 dog years, you can see how the hours may seem much longer to them than to you!
Now that you can see it from how your dog sees it, the next step is to work with your dog on how to not get worked up about you leaving the house.
Training Your Dog To Handle Separation
For those with puppies, you have an advantage since your dog doesn’t know any different yet. Mature dogs can often be much harder to train when it comes to easing separation anxiety, hense the saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. While it isn’t impossible it will take more convincing and even some supplements, more on this in the next section.
With puppies, the training is very simple but needs to be done consistently. Start by leaving your home, with your puppy alone inside, for just a few seconds. When you come back in, do not acknowledge your puppy just continue to go about your business. Each day, extend the amount of time that you are away. Continue to not make a big deal about it by getting over excited to see them when you come back.
Showing extra affection or excitement will work against you when training to deal with separation anxiety. If you can hold back a bit than you dog will start to connect that you leaving and returning is a normal part of the day. If you show extra affection upon return, they may get even more anxious while you are away in anticipation of your return.
Using Supplements To Relieve Separation Anxiety
For older dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, you may want to try using supplements to relax them a bit. With the legalization of hemp products in 2018, pet parents now have access to pure hemp cbd oils that are extremely effective in reducing anxiety.
Already there are lots of studies that show CBD oils are able to reduce separation anxiety and also provide a laundry list of health benefits for dogs as well – ranging from anti-inflammatory to omega 3 fatty acids for skin and coat health.
If you are dealing with a dog that suffers from separation anxiety than CBD oil could be the product that gives your dog, and you, some relief! To shop our favorite products that reduce separation anxiety, please click here. Be sure to comment below on what methods work best for you.