Article 4

If you have a dog that barks excessively when you are gone or perhaps chews on furnishings or even urinates in the house when you are away, anxiety might be the problem. At Tip Top K9, we offer dog separation anxiety training in Gilbert that can address these issues and help your dog feel more comfortable when their family is away.


 Understanding Dog Separation Anxiety

Dog separation anxiety is a common issue that many pet owners face, marked by distressing behaviors exhibited by dogs when left alone. This condition not only affects the well-being of the dog but can also disrupt the household and the bond between the dog and its owner. Recognizing the causes and signs of separation anxiety is the first step towards helping your furry friend overcome this challenge.


Causes of Dog Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety in dogs can stem from various factors, often rooted in the dog’s temperament, past experiences, or changes in their environment or routine. Here are some common causes:


  1. Change in Ownership or Environment: Dogs that have been rehomed or have experienced shelter stays may develop separation anxiety due to the loss of a significant attachment figure or the stress of adapting to a new environment.
  2. Alteration in Routine: Dogs are creatures of habit. A sudden change in their daily routine, such as a change in the owner’s work schedule, can trigger anxiety.
  3. Lack of Training: Dogs that have not been taught to be alone may become overly dependent on their human companions, leading to anxiety when those companions are absent. Dog separation anxiety training in Gilbert can address this issue.
  4. Traumatic Events: Experiences like a scary incident when left alone, or a drastic change following a move, loss of a family member, or another pet can lead to separation anxiety.
  5. Breed Disposition: While any dog can develop separation anxiety, some breeds are more prone to anxiety disorders due to their genetic makeup and temperament.


Signs of Dog Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can manifest in various ways, and the intensity of these behaviors can vary from one dog to another. Common signs include:


  1. Destructive Behavior: This may involve chewing on furniture, doors, or window sills, scratching at doors or walls, and other behaviors that result in property damage.
  2. Excessive Barking or Howling: Constant vocalization, such as barking, howling, or whining, in the absence of the owner, is a common sign of distress associated with separation anxiety.
  3. Pacing: Some dogs exhibit repetitive or restless pacing in a fixed pattern when left alone.
  4. Escaping Attempts: Dogs with severe separation anxiety might attempt to escape from an area where they are confined, risking injury in the process.
  5. Excessive Drooling, Panting, or Salivating: These signs of stress can appear when the dog is about to be left alone or immediately after the owner’s departure.
  6. Urination and Defecation: Even if house-trained, a dog may urinate or defecate in the house when separated from its owner, indicating distress rather than a lapse in house manners. In severe cases, some dogs will eat their feces due to separation anxiety.


Addressing Dog Separation Anxiety

Recognizing the signs of separation anxiety is crucial for taking the necessary steps to help your dog. Early intervention can prevent the condition from worsening, and our expert trainers can help. Here’s a look at some of the strategies we might use.


Basic Obedience Training – Basic commands like sit, stay, come, and down introduce structure and predictability into a dog’s life, which can significantly reduce anxiety by providing clear expectations. Successfully learning and performing commands can boost a dog’s confidence, making them less prone to anxiety in stressful situations. We will provide this as part of our dog training in Gilbert.


Crate Training – Crate training teaches a dog to see their crate as a safe and comfortable space where they can retreat when feeling anxious or overwhelmed. This can be particularly helpful for dogs with separation anxiety. Remember, dogs used to live in caves, and the crate can be seen as a cozy, cave-like environment. A crate also can prevent a dog from engaging in destructive behaviors or hurting themselves when left alone.


Counter-Conditioning – This is a helpful training strategy we often employ during dog training classes in Gilbert. Counter-conditioning changes the dog’s emotional response to a feared or anxiety-inducing stimulus by associating the presence of the stimulus with something positive, such as their favorite treats or toys. This helps the dog learn that something good happens when the feared stimulus is present, which can reduce or eliminate the anxiety response over time.


Habituation – This involves exposing the dog to the source of its anxiety in such a low-intensity or frequent manner that the dog learns to no longer respond to it. Over time, the dog becomes accustomed to the stimulus and no longer perceives it as a threat, reducing the anxiety response.


Controlled Socialization – For dogs with anxiety related to unfamiliar people or other animals, controlled socialization exercises can help. These involve carefully introducing the dog to new people or animals in a controlled, positive manner to build confidence and reduce fear-based reactions.


These are just a few techniques we might try as part of our dog separation anxiety training in Gilbert. We also typically recommend that families provide plenty of exercise and play for their dogs on a daily basis.


Expending excess energy can go a long way toward reducing anxiety and decreasing unwanted behaviors such as excessive barking, chewing on furniture, scratching and other destructive actions. Using a puzzle toy or playing fetch as well as a couple of daily walks is ideal to help release some energy and keep your dog calm.


Tip Top K9: Why Select Our Team?

At Tip Top K9, we specialize in helping dogs with serious behavioral issues. Whether you have a dog with separation anxiety or perhaps you need dog training for aggressive dogs in Gilbert, we can help. We have worked successfully with dogs that were so anxious they needed medication as well as dogs with aggression issues so severe that they were in danger of being euthanized or surrendered to a shelter.


Additionally, we are the highest-rated dog training company in the United States. Over the last 15 years, we have accumulated more than 7,500 5-star reviews from happy clients. We also have worked with more than 130 breeds and boast a 99.3% success rate with our proven dog training methods. In addition to providing obedience dog training in Gilbert, we serve Chandler, Mesa, Tempe and the surrounding area.


Begin Your Journey Now

Should you find yourself facing challenges with your dog’s anxiety and behavior, Tip Top K9 invites you to reach out to us for specialized dog separation anxiety training in Gilbert. Your initial session is only $1 and encompasses a comprehensive consultation with our seasoned dog training professionals. Our thorough dog behavior training in Gilbert is designed to turn an anxious or aggressive dog into a more content and well-adjusted pet.