Separation anxiety is a common problem with dogs, and it’s easy to understand why. After all, dogs love spending all of their time with their human companions, often snuggled up right next to you. Some dogs handle separation better than others, and if your dog is struggling, our dog separation anxiety training in Norman can help to alleviate this problem.
10 Signs Your Dog May Have Separation Anxiety
Anxiety can manifest in many ways and dogs with separation anxiety tend to exhibit unpleasant or destructive behaviors. Here are just a few examples of what your dog might showcase if he or she suffers from separation anxiety.
- Damaging Behavior: Affected dogs may resort to gnawing on furniture, door frames, or window ledges, excavating around doors and windows, or ruining household objects. This often happens soon after the owner departs.
- Persistent Vocalizing: A key indicator is continuous and unusually toned barking, howling, or whining during the owner’s absence, differing from their usual barking.
- Restless Movement: Dogs with this anxiety might exhibit repetitive pacing in a set pattern when alone.
- Indoor Elimination: Even house-trained dogs might involuntarily urinate or defecate inside the home when separated from their owners, despite normally being well-mannered. Addressing this may require additional potty training during sessions. Crate training can be a part of this strategy, providing a sense of security for the dog while alone.
- Escape Attempts: Dogs trying to break free from a confined space when left alone could exhibit symptoms of separation anxiety. These escape efforts can lead to injuries like broken teeth, injured paws, and damaged claws.
- Coprophagia: In extreme situations, dogs might defecate and consume their feces, which is a sign of high anxiety levels.
- Excessive Drooling or Panting: These are signs of distress in dogs, often seen in cases of anxiety.
- Altered Eating Patterns: Dogs suffering from separation anxiety might skip meals or refuse treats when their owner isn’t around.
- Overdependence: Such dogs often show an increased level of attachment, following their owners constantly and showing signs of distress when the owner shows signs of leaving.
- Exaggerated Greetings: Upon the owner’s return, these dogs may greet them with unusually high enthusiasm, far more intense than their standard greeting behavior.
Why Does Your Dog Have Anxiety?
While most dogs aren’t thrilled when their humans leave the house, dogs that display the aforementioned symptoms are truly suffering. But why are some dogs more anxious than others? There are many reasons why anxiety develops in dogs, including:
- Disruptions in Daily Life: Shifts in their usual routine or living environment, like a family member moving out, relocating homes, or changes in the owner’s work schedule, can lead to separation anxiety in dogs. Dogs accustomed to constant human presence may develop separation anxiety if suddenly left alone for extended periods.
- Age-Related Anxiety: Senior dogs can develop separation anxiety, often due to cognitive decline or confusion that comes with aging.
- Health-Related Anxiety: On occasion, separation anxiety may be linked to a medical condition. Pain or illness can heighten a dog’s anxiety, particularly when they are left alone. Here, addressing the health issue might resolve the anxiety without the need for behavioral training.
- Loss of a Key Family Member: Dogs may develop separation anxiety following the loss or departure of a close human companion, particularly if that person was their primary caregiver.
- Inadequate Socialization and Training: Dogs that haven’t been sufficiently socialized or taught to be comfortable alone are prone to exhibit symptoms of separation anxiety.
- Traumatic Experiences: Events such as getting lost or time spent in a shelter can be distressing for dogs, potentially leading to separation anxiety.
- Hereditary Factors: Certain dog breeds or individuals may have a natural tendency towards anxiety, including separation anxiety. With experience in over 130 dog breeds, we understand the distinct personality traits that come with various breeds.
- Excessive Attachment: Dogs not encouraged to develop independence, or those rewarded for clingy behavior, may show signs of separation anxiety.
- Early Separation From Family: Puppies weaned off too early from their mothers and siblings, or dogs that have undergone multiple rehoming or shelter experiences, are at a higher risk of developing separation anxiety.
How Dog Training Can Help
Effective dog training in Norman is key in tackling separation anxiety, helping dogs learn to stay calm and content when alone. While various online videos offer tips and tricks, dealing with separation anxiety often requires the expertise of a professional dog behaviorist who can personally assess your dog and your family’s specific circumstances.
Each dog’s experience with anxiety is unique, necessitating tailored solutions. At Tip Top K9, we send a professional dog trainer to visit your home, discuss the ongoing issues, interact with your dog to understand their temperament, and then craft a specialized training program. This plan will focus not only on separation anxiety but also on any other behavioral adjustments needed, as well as general obedience skills.
Our training options include diverse techniques, and you have the choice of at-home training sessions or enrolling in our intensive dog boot camp in Norman. The boot camp offers an immersive environment where dogs stay with a trainer 24/7 for several weeks (essentially a dog board and train in Norman), ideal for dogs facing more serious behavioral challenges.
Our trainers will recommend the most suitable program for your dog and family based on the situation. In some cases, treatment may need to involve training and a trip to your veterinarian for medication or perhaps the use of supplements such as Rescue Remedy or CBD.
Remember, our expertise extends beyond separation anxiety. Whether it’s a dog that jumps on guests, ignores recall commands, or pulls on the leash, we’re equipped to address these behaviors effectively. Our approach includes dog behavior training in Norman for both the dog and the owners, ensuring you’re equipped to reinforce positive behaviors after the lessons.
Moreover, our training support extends beyond the initial sessions. Many of our packages include lifetime group dog training classes in Norman, providing an excellent opportunity for ongoing refinement of obedience skills, energy release, and social interaction for your dog with other canines.
Book Your First Training Session
At Tip Top K9, we provide expert dog separation anxiety training in Norman, Moore and the surrounding areas. If you need someone to help calm your anxious pooch, please click on the Schedule Lesson tab and fill out our contact form. We will get in touch with you as quickly as possible to schedule your $1 introductory lesson.