• Dealing with Separation Anxiety After Lockdown

July 29, 2020

As the world returns to normal and we all begin to venture back to our offices and workplaces, your dog may go through a bit of separation anxiety when you're suddenly gone all day. Dog Trainer and Behaviorist Laura Ward offers some tips that you can implement today while you're still working from home to help make the transition easier on your pup when the time comes.

5 Quick Tips To Help With Doggy Separation Anxiety After Lockdown.

During this time of isolation, you may feel that you cannot work on separation issues with your dog.  However, it is possible to encourage independence.  This is particularly important for new puppy owners or dogs who may appear particularly at risk to developing separation issues. 

  1. You could ensure every day you leave your dog in an area of the house while you get on with other things. This could be the kitchen, their crate, the utility room - choose the area where you would tend to leave your dog if you were actually leaving.
  2. Ensure it is an area they are comfortable and relaxed.
  3. Leave them with a Kong, lick-it mat or snuffle mat. However, this is just for enrichment. The idea being they will also have some time alone where they need to self-settle once they have finished the activity,
  4. For dogs with separation issues or barrier frustration, make it easier initially by staying in sight, or ensuring you return before they have finished their toy. This can then be built on gradually.
  5. You could also try a short practice separation each day. Go through your usual leaving routine (e.g. for me it is 'in your bed', I give my dog a small treat, I say 'back soon' and then I leave). Take a book and sit in your car for 20 minutes. The leaving routine is important as it helps to increase predictability - your dog understands that it means he is being left, he was meant to be left and you will come back.

    Small things can make a big difference, and ensure it is not such a shock to our dogs when life 'returns to normal'.


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