- 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 that enjoy being part of a family. The interaction and company keeps them feeling happy and secure. There are times where your dog may have to be on their own and some dogs cope well with the separation. Other dogs pine for their owners and can even get anxious. Separation anxiety can play a huge part in your dog’s life, but you need to ask yourself if he needs more training, is he just bored, or could he actually be panic-stricken?
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 of 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 be a sign that they are pining. Any of these behaviours above could be a sign that your dog is anxious when left alone. If they do not occur when you are home, then 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 faced by dog trainers. If your dog is exhibiting these symptoms, the first thing to do is reduce the time the dog is left alone and then build it up. Make sure that before you go out anywhere that your dog has been walked and fed so that they are well-exercised and not hungry.
Leave your dog in the place where you would like them to be when you go out, and leave the room for five minutes. When you come back in do not greet them or make eye contact; do not make a big deal out of it. Then, build this time up so that the dog realises that you can come and go without any fuss.
Once your dog copes with these absences, you can then put your coat on, get your keys and anything else you would normally get before you leave. Just leave the dog for a short period in the room alone, and again return without eye contact or attention.
These days, with the use of modern technology, you can set up a camera and spy on your pet when you are out of the house to see what he really does get up to, and for how long his anxious behaviour lasts for. This means that 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, you should never leave your dog alone in the house for a long period of time. There are dog sitters, and boarding kennels for those long absences, as your dog will need to be looked after well. 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, to walk your dog and even just to offer a service to say hello, give him some cuddles, or to let him out into the garden for a toilet break. This short period of human interaction can make all the difference to him being home alone all day.