Separation Anxiety – Rewarding Independence

If your dog follows you around the house and is not happy to be away from you, even if you haven’t left the house, he’s not ready to be left alone.  Leaving your pup alone when he doesn’t feel secure is highly likely to result in your pup suffering from separation anxiety.

Your pup must get used to being in a different room from you before he’s ready for you to leave him alone in the house.

Make a list of chores and the time it’ll take you to perform them.  Order them by shortest time first, e.g.

  • pick up the post – 30s
  • empty the washing machine – 1m
  • empty the dishwasher – 3m
  • put the washing out -5m
  • have a shower – 10m

Start with the shortest chore – pick up the post

  • scatter food in the furthest point of the kitchen
  • enter the hall
  • close the kitchen/hall door
  • pick up the post
  • return to the kitchen
  • pup is still eating

In this example we’ve given the pup a job to do – sniffing.  Sniffing produces serotonin which increases happiness.  The job that the pup was given lasted longer than the period of separation.

Slowly build up to the chores that last longer.  This will be even more successful if you’ve employed a routine that culminates in the pup falling asleep chewing a Kong.