AFFECTION-THE DRUG FOR DOGS

Heart pounding…

Panting…

Shaking…

Pacing…

Vocalizing…

Separation Anxiety

It is just as uncomfortable and incapacitating for our dogs as it appears to be, and too many owners are creating this problem without even realizing it by having their dog become dependant on affection.  If your dog exhibits separation anxiety, it is clearly not able to relax on it’s own in a healthy and functional way.

When a dog is given unending and unearned affection, they become addicted to the feeling that it gives to them and become unable to function without it.  It mirrors the effect of pleasure inducing drugs that people turn to for that “quick fix” to feel good.  When the owner leaves the home, this “drug” that makes them feel safe and able to cope is suddenly taken away, and the dog enters into a spiral of withdrawal.

Stop the cycle.

The best thing you can do for your dog is to limit affection and introduce a strict routine including non-negotiable structure.  Slowly but surely, the dog become able to relax away from you a little bit at a time.  Train the Place command, practice structured walks, crate train your dog (decrease the space the dog has to roam around and pace, waiting for you to return), and have them sleep in a separate room from you at night.

You may have a long road ahead of you, but it’s all about baby steps.  Don’t rush it, be patient, and appreciate tiny leaps towards big changes.

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