Separation Anxiety and the new family dog

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 5:24 PM PDT
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Here at Dog Training by PJ the adolescence class has students 18 weeks to 10 months old. The dogs are learning simple skills which will make them appropriate to be around the house and in public.

One owner here says she got her dog as a result of now working home. PJ Wangsness says while that’s not an uncommon scenario these days, what will soon become more common is dog owners will head back to work, and the dog could suffer from separation anxiety

“So, this dog has had someone around 10 to 12 months. Probably all day most likely. I have a buddy, an end all be all,” says Wangsness.

Wangsness says before going back to work full time, check and see if the dog will have an issue with being alone.

She suggests leaving for an hour. Then two hours. If the dog destroys property, cries constantly, tries to escape, the dog is going to have to deal with being alone for longer periods of time.

“So, it might be leaving the dog with something to do,” says Wangsness. “That might be a bully stick, or a bobble toy with food in there. So, they have to work to get their food out. Something to give the dog a food stimulus that says do this, don’t worry about me,” she says.

There is no one size fits all she says. The dog may need medication, doggie day care a couple of time a week may be the solution. Another dog companion may do the trick, or a trainer may need to make a house call to help the dog during this drastic change in circumstance.

What she does say it not the solution? Crating all day.

PJ says it is important to remember if the dog is expressing himself, after being alone by tearing up the furniture, the shades, or urinating on the carpet, it is not because he is angry with the owner. It is the dog’s attempt to escape and get back to the owner.

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