Hints for Separation Anxiety
I always come back
One technique that is a great thing to try is to give her a treat and have her get in her crate. Have the crate in your room or a place where you can close the door. Put her in his crate, walk out of the room and close the door. Wait five minutes and then return and let her out of the crate.
Try this a few times with each five minute interval. For the first three or so times, only have her in the crate for five minutes. After that, increase the interval to ten minutes and so on and so forth. This will teach her that you will always come back. Her anxiety is because she does not trust you or her situation enough to know that this will happen.
Do not go back in there and let her out if she is barking. She will just learn that this is the quickest way to get you to come back. I recommend doing this when your neighbors are not home or for short amount of times so it does not become annoying. But, doing this right immediately is the way to not let it become an issue.
Suki took one week to learn that barking got her nowhere – but this was because we were consistent. That is absolutely the key. In order for this to be successful, there has to be a routine. I suggest saying, “Kennel up” or “Get in your bed” every time he needs to go to her crate. Always do this with a treat. For the first few days,I recommend making the treats absolutely irresistible. Those peanut butter bones and bully sticks are great!
Make her space her and only hers
Many dog trainers will suggest the people never go into a dog’s crate. The crate door should always be open and they should view this as their own space. If they are tired or want to be alone, they can go to their crate and trust that no one will enter it. Liken it to a teenager’s room.
Make her space feel comfortable
There are a million ways to do this, but you can find a list of suggestions in our Crate Tricks article.
Be a strong alpha
One of the theories behind separation anxiety is that a dog believes he or she is alpha to his owner and he panics when he can’t see you to “protect you.” You can find a list of articles on how to become an Alpha in our How to Punish Without Violence article.
And, one rule of thumb is that a tired dog a good dog. Does anyone in your house run? Run with your dog – you will never find yourself in such good shape as when you are training a dog!
If no one runs, then get her some great off leash exercise.