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- Does your dog chew on the door and walls when left alone?
- Does he dig up your carpet, forget his housetraining, howl or bark when you are at work?
When you’re gone – how to tell if your dog is pining for you and what to do about it.
Dogs are sociable animals and want to be with their family. They love the company and interaction, and feeling happy and secure amongst the ones they love. However, we do not live in the perfect world, so your dog may sometimes have to be on its own. In my experience, some dogs are quite happy with this (my first dog was as he was a bit of a lover), and other dogs do not cope well with being apart from their family and get anxious, which can also lead to destructive behaviour.
Is your dog pining for you?
Dogs display their anxiety in different ways. Some dogs may bark, whilst others may chew the door or other objects in the room. You may even return to find your dog panting or salivating; these things all occur due to increased heart rate or activity. Urinating or defecating in the house can happen when you are not there; if this doesn’t happen when someone is around, it could signify that they are pi ing. These behaviours above could signify that your dog is anxious when left alone. If they do not occur when you are home, it is probably the case that it is anxiousness causing it.
What can you do about it?
Separation anxiety in dogs is one of the most common behaviours dog trainers ace. If your dog exhibits these symptoms, the first thing to do is reduce the time left and build it up. Make sure your dog has been walked and fed before you go out anywhere to be well-exercised and not hungry.
When preparing your dog to be left. Leave your dog where you would like them to be when you go out, and leave the room for five min tes. Do not greet them or make eye contact; do not make a big deal out of it. Then, build this time up so the dog realises you can come and go without fuss.
Once your dog copes with these absences, you can put your coat on and get your keys and anything else you would typically get before you leave. Leave the dog alone for a short period in the room and return without eye contact or attention.
These days, with modern technology, you can set up a camera and spy on your pet when you are out of the house to see what he gets up to and how long his anxious behaviour lasts. This means you can also quickly return home to him to comfort him and reassure him that all is well in his world.
As you gradually build up the time your dog is left alone, your dog will become more comfortable as it is not a long, intense period of separation. Over a few weeks, the behaviours should reduce, and you should find that your dog is happier with its own company. Remember, however. It would be best if you never left your dog alone in the house for an extended period. There are dog sitters and boarding kennels for those long absences, as your dog will need to be looked after. There’s no substitute for human company!
Finchley Dog Walker and Pet Sitting services can help if you need someone to call into your home during the day, walk your dog, and even offer a service to say hello, give him some cuddles, or let him out into the garden for a toil t break. This short period of human interaction can make all the difference to him being home alone all day.
Please also read our article on keeping your dog entertained while they are home alone.