How to deal with separation anxiety in dogs
There are a number of things you can do to help reduce your dog's separation anxiety behavior. These are things that can help prevent the problem as well as help modify the already existing anxiety behavior.
-Exercise your dog before you leave. A tired dog has less energy with wiich to be anxious and destructiive. Be sure to end the session about 20-30 minutes before you go so he can settle down.
- Five minutes before you leave, give him a food-stuffed Kong to take his mind of your immenent departure.
- Make your departures and returns completley calm and emotionless. No huggy kissy scenes. If he gets excited and jumps all over you when you return, ignore him. Turn your back and walk away. When he settles down, say hello and greet him calmly.
- Defuse the pieces of your departure routine by also doing them when you are not leaving. Pick up your car keys, and then sit down on the sofa, dress in your work clothes and then cook dinner, etc.
- Mix up your departure routine when you are leaving so your dog's anxiety doesn't build to a fever pitch. Eat breakfast before you take a shower or pick up the keys and put them in your pocket. Make the morning ritual as unpredictable as possible.
From The Whole Dog Journal