Owning a Labrador is an exciting experience but you can occasionally face some problems with it, managing your schedule and taking some time out of it for your dog can be difficult because of our modern busy lives. All the dog owners want to spend more time with their dogs and I’m sure none of them wants to leave their dog alone for a long period of time because come on who wants to see that anxious look in their dog’s eyes.
So, how exactly does your dog behave when he is alone? Does he happily chew on a bone until you return? Does he lie on the balcony or by the door waiting for you till the evening, and bark his throat out when he listens to the doorbell? Do your neighbors greet you with complaints about your dogs when you return because he was barking throughout the day while you were gone and your neighbors might need a hearing-impaired machine now? Some more indications that he is suffering from separation anxiety are the following:
- He has destroyed your shoes.
- Legs of the chair, the corner of the table are chewed and windows are scratched when you were not with him.
- He is drooling, panting, and salivating more than he used to.
- Having indoor accidents.
- He is trying to escape the house.
- Defecating and urinating in the house even if he is house trained.
- Agitation comes into play as soon as you start getting ready to leave the house.
They normally do not do these things when you spend time with him and this behavior is not problematic if done once in a blue moon. However, if you encounter your dog doing all these things or even some of these things every day then there is a high chance that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety.
It can get a little out of control so you need to look into this before you leave him for this very reason and all his anxiety will become his reality.
What causes separation anxiety
It is still difficult for veterinarians to find out why some dogs feel anxious when kept alone while others do not but still knowing the possible causes can help. Now when you have noticed the signs that your dog is trying to show you of his separation anxiety, you should know what causes this anxiety it will help you in treating it.
1. Change of ownership
If the dog used to live with someone and suddenly he starts living with someone else, this change in his ownership will be really difficult for him to adjust and accept. He will obviously miss his old owners and will have some difficult time trusting the new owners. He may think that if the old owners left him, these new ones will leave him too. He will find no point in trusting the new owners.
2. Moving from shelter to a home
Most dogs who used to live in a shelter but are now adopted by a family have more chances to feel anxious when separated from family than the dogs who have lived with the same family for years. This sudden change in the place of living can turn their world upside down which can result in this type of anxiety.
3. Change in the family routine
A sudden change in the schedule or routine of the family can be abrupt for the dog. He will not be able to adjust to it anytime soon. Staying away of a family member can be one of the reasons. For instance, if your kid is gone for his college in some other city, this will affect your dog a lot and can lead to separation anxiety.
4. Losing a family member
Like it is will be difficult for all of us to live without our loved ones, this applies to dogs too.
5. Being left for the first time
When a dog is accustomed to being with people, being alone for the first time can be really hurtful for them. Lonesome will eventually lead to causing separation anxiety.
Here are some things, you can try
1. Less attention
Make your comings and goings low key, do not give him a lot of attention when you leave the house or when you arrive. Don’t try to animate the hellos and goodbyes, if you will make a fuss about it then he will pick up this emotion and remember it. Just say hello and keep him aside so that he can calm himself. The over-excitement of your dog when you come and go is problematic in some cases.
2. Train him to be alone
A situation where you can’t leave your dog alone isn’t good for you and your dog as well. If your dog gets anxious as soon as you start getting ready to leave the house then he needs to face this fear. You need to start leaving him alone in the house, initially for a short period of time and later you can increase this time duration for a longer time. Leave him for a few minutes in the initial days and you can come back after a few minutes to check on him before he loses his calm. With time go for a longer duration and he will adapt to it slowly.
3. Workout can be an option
A dog with a lot of energy will definitely make chaos. You need to make sure that he is exercising for at least 45 minutes a day, he will get tired by this workout routine and will probably sleep the day off while you are gone. Smart move, right?
4. Crate training
Crate training your dog will have a lot of benefits. There will be fewer accidents in your house when your dog will treat his crate as a safer place rather than a coop.