Monday, April 24, 2017

What to do if your dog stresses out when you leave

Dogs spend up to half an hour howling, barking and whining after their owner leaves them alone, canine behavior experts say, and for some pets, the torment lasts for hours.

Pet scientist Alice Potter says:
'The separation reaction is displayed soon after the departure of the owner, normally commencing within 30 minutes, and often within the first few minutes. 
'The most common behavioural signs of seperation-related behaviour are destructive behaviour often targeted at the door the owner leaves through, various types of vocalisations (howling, barking and whining), defecating and urinating. 
'Other less frequent signs include excessive salivation, self-mutilation, repetitive behaviour and vomiting.'
Here's what you can do. Repeat the steps below and reward your dog for being relaxed with toys, treats or praise. Once you’re sure your dog is happy, progress to the next step. The speed you progress depends on your dog.
1. Encourage your dog to go to their bed and stay there with you present for a short while. Reward them for remaining quietly in the bed. 
2. Ask your dog to stay in their bed as you move away, then return and reward. 
3. Move progressively further away for longer. The distance/time that you increase by on each occasion will depend on your dog. If your dog reacts or moves then don’t reward but go back to the previous stage. 
4. Start going out through the door before returning, then going out and shutting the door, then going out for longer periods of time, varying the length each time.
And, yes, they know when you're leaving. The read all the little signs.

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