Treating Noise Anxiety In Dogs - Dogtime

There is no "one size fits all" approach for treating separation anxiety, as each dog differs in her level of anxiety and response to treatment. In general, treatment involves desensitizing and counter-conditioning the dog to being left alone, making the experience of departures less intense, and increasing her feelings of enjoyment and relaxation when alone. Other common practices include increasing and mental stimulation to help the dog settle. The times of leaving and coming back are made less emotional and exciting to prevent the dog from getting worked up. The environment the is left in also is adjusted for the dog's comfort, which in many cases means a area that's open rather than closed in, as many dogs panic over the feeling of being enclosed. Training for independence, such as by teaching stays on a mat, also helps to build a dog's confidence when her owner is absent.

• How dog trainers can make the treatment of separation anxiety in dogs a specialized business.

Current treatments range from human anti-anxiety pills such as Xanax and tranquilizers that sedate dogs for many hours, but don't necessarily calm them, to behavioral treatments. Those include confining the dog to a small room or portable kennel, or trying to desensitize dogs by repeatedly exposing them to increasingly loud noise.

Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs and Calming Destructive Behavior

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Separation Anxiety in Dogs - Causes and Treatment - Fun Paw Care

Behavioral modification exercises aim to increase the dog’s relaxed and independent behavior by rewarding it, while decreasing and ignoring attention-seeking and anxious behaviors. Independence can be fostered by teaching the dog to go to its bed and wait calmly before it receives a treat. Length of time the dog waits quietly on its bed can be gradually increased until the owner is able to leave the room briefly and come back. Any clingy or attention-seeking behavior should be completely ignored or redirected by giving the dog a command to sit or lie down and wait calmly. The dog also needs to be desensitized to typical “departure cues” so that they do not increase anxiety. Departure cues are routines the owner follows immediately prior to leaving, such as picking up the keys and purse, putting on shoes, and opening and shutting the front door. These departure cues normally signal to the dog that the owner is about to leave. However, when these steps are performed at random times throughout the day independent of the owner leaving, the dog’s anxious association with them is lessened. These examples are just a small sample of the types of behavioral exercises available to help with separation anxiety. Your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist can provide a more comprehensive and step-by-step approach.

using pressure to treat your dog's separation anxiety - ThunderShirt