Dedicated Dog Training conducted a puppy separation anxiety workshop in Manhasset, Long Island, which involved a mixed breed puppy who was approximately five (5) months of age. This puppy (we’ll refer to as, Dave), recently (about a week) was adopted from the North Shore Animal League in Port Washington and placed with a wonderful family. Dave, was very fortunate to land in such a loving home in Manhasset. After meeting the puppy and speaking to the owner (which we’ll refer to as Mary) we began to look deeper into the severity of the puppy’s separation anxiety.
Barking, Self Mutilation and Puppy Separation Anxiety
A conversation revealed that Dave has barked incessantly when crated. We also learned that during one of Dave’s episodes he took a pause here and there, but it was not longer than a minute before he resumed with his incessant barking. Further dialogue with Mary, revealed that he once barked for forty-one (41) minutes straight with the exception of a few short intermissions. In addition to barking, there was blood observed in Dave’s crate and small bite marks on his paws; this is termed, self-mutilation.
Puppy Separation Anxiety and Stress
With Mary about to start a new job & the severity of this puppy’s separation anxiety it didn’t leave much time for her to try to desentize her pup to the crate and staying alone. The stress of beginning a new job and having acquired a puppy with this very sad phobia can really take a toll on a person and family. What do you do if you’re in Mary’s situation?
First thing you should do is to enlist the help of a family member or neighbor in your absence. This option is not always possible; however, luckily, this was an option for Mary. If this is doable, turns should be taken with the pup. This will not help Dave directly with his anxiety. What you’re aiming for by taking turns with family or friends is to get your puppy housebroken as soon as possible. Often, the crate augments the severity of the symptoms of puppy separation anxiety. Many times, the removal of the crate reduces the severity of the anxiety in puppies. Let’s hope so!
If you do not have as much help that you’d need of family and friends to potty train your dog, you may consider enlisting the help of a dog sitter or day camp. However, this can be a bit expensive.
Puppy separation Anxiety (SA) is a huge problem and is much better off prevented from the onset than trying to find a cure down the road. In Mary and Dave’s case, this really wasn’t much of an option, as they have just acquired him. If you’re considering getting a puppy or have just acquired a pup, here are some tips on how to prevent separation anxiety in puppies.
Puppy Separation Anxiety and Shelters and Rescues
Separation Anxiety in puppies and dogs is so prevalent it is one of the main reasons dogs and puppies end up in shelters. Imagine, how difficult it can be, especially, if you have:
- need to work
- can’t always be home
- reside close to neighbors (apartment)
- to constantly worry about your dog self-mutilating
- getting evicted
- losing your neighbor’s friendship & coming home to irate family members
Separation Anxiety in puppies and dogs often create a really stressful environment due to worrying, frustration, and anxiety for all, human and canine.
How to Prevent or Mitigate the Effects of Separation Anxiety in Puppies
Not always will a puppy or dog acquire separation anxiety in their life. In order to be successful in helping your dog or puppy it is important to learn a few very key points about dog separation anxiety.
For Mary and Dave, we made a few suggestions and placed them on a behavior modification program in hopes of reducing and maybe eliminating some of the Separation Anxiety in their puppy. Our Nassau and Sufflok County puppy separation anxiety workshop can help you to lessen or stop the onset of separation anxiety in your canine.