Bark About! Blog

A puppy pile of dog information and stories

How to get your dog over separation anxiety

VIDEO: 3 Ways to Get Rid of Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Published March 8, 2019
| Comments: 0

You’re walking out the door to work, when your dog whines, whimpers, and howls at the sight of you leaving. You hope they’ll be OK and that your place won’t be torn apart by the time you get back. Sound familiar?

If you have a dog dealing with separation anxiety, this is a common situation, and it can take an emotional toll on you and your dog. Thankfully, it doesn’t need to stay that way.

Joel Beckman, an experienced dog trainer with a unique background training Killer Whales and other exotic animals, founded Beckman’s Dog Training based in Ramona, CA. He’s also a very popular dog trainer here at Camp Run-A-Mutt, and his successful positive approach to training dogs gives him hands-on insights to treating dogs with separation anxiety.

Joel explains there are three forms of separation anxiety: mild, moderate, and severe. Most dogs typically fall within the mild to moderate category: your dog may whine a little bit, bark, or scratch your doors. In rare cases, dogs with severe anxiety may try to jump through windows, tear up the house, and injure themselves.

Regardless of your dog’s anxiety level, there are three easy ways (what Joel calls “The Big Three”) to help rid your dog’s anxiety for good.

Give your dog chew toys

First, offer your dog chew toys. Why? “Dogs carry energy in the muscles of their head, down to their jaws, and if you give them something they like, they sit there, and they chew, and they lick, and it takes a lot of energy out of them,” Joel says.

But any old toy won’t work. To be effective, you should buy safe, reinforcing, and long-lasting ones. In the video, Joel shows the three best chew toys to buy.

“If you think about [your dog’s] separation anxiety, the greatest thing in the world just walked out the door (that’s you). Mom left, life isn’t worth living, so you have to be like, “Yeah, I left, [but] now you’re going to get the greatest thing ever in comparison.”

Exercise your dog before you leave

Walking your dog is always a healthy habit, but if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, Joel recommends walking them right before you leave. “Get some of that energy out.” It’s so much better than coming home to chewed drywall.

Gradually leave your dog for longer periods of time

The reason dogs can form separation anxiety in the first place, Joel says, boils down to “superstitious behavior,” or unwanted behaviors reinforced by accident.

For example, “Your puppy’s whining and you go to work, and then you walk in because you forgot your keys. And The puppy goes, “my whining got her home.” No, your whining didn’t get her home, you just happened to come back home, but you reinforce the whining.”

To reduce the possibility, Joel recommends different steps you can take to gradually leave your dog for longer periods of time.

Separation anxiety is challenging, but following Joel’s steps can help your dog lead a safer, healthier and happier life.

To learn more about Joel, visit his website Beckman’s Dog Training. He offers a variety of dog-training programs to fit people’s busy lifestyle & needs. You can also subscribe to Joel’s channel to learn more helpful tips for your dog.

Recent Blog Posts

Is Your Pup Feeling the Back to School Blues?

It’s not just the kids who get back-to-school blues. Our dogs may also feel the blues, just for different reasons. After a summer with their people, filled with trips and fun outings, staying at home alone for longer stretches can be a challenge. In this post, we’ll...

Doggone Hot! Keeping Your Pawsome Pooch Cool and Happy This Summer

The summer sun sizzles and the pavement turns into a frying pan. It's time to talk about our furry friends' favorite season: summer! While dogs adore outdoor adventures, it's crucial to keep them cool and comfortable during the dog days of summer. So, grab a popsicle...

Does My Dog Watch TV?

These days, in the competitive pet care industry, some dog boarding businesses offer TV in their overnight suites. Usually, DOGTV or Animal Planet are the chosen channels. This assumes your dog is going to watch TV in the first place, which is meant as a calming tool...

Tips for hiking with your pup

Now that the colder weather is subsiding and spring is in the air, many people are ready to get out of the house and start enjoying the outdoors again. One great way to do this with your furry companion is hiking!  Hiking with your dog allows for extended one on...

The Emerging Science of Dirt for Dogs

A lot of us don’t spend much time thinking about dirt. And if you have a dog, you may not like the idea of dirt and dogs together. It could mean dirty paws, which might mean a dirty house…and bath time. Admittedly, mopping up after your dirty dog doesn’t sound fun....

How Did Wolves Become Dogs?

Do you ever look at your pup, who’s looking back up at you, hoping for a treat, and wonder: How did you ever descend from wolves?  Yet it’s true. All dogs, big and small, share a common ancestry. For a long time, we thought dogs were descendants of the modern...

How to Prevent Your Dog From Being Destructive When Left Alone

Do you worry every time you leave your dog at home? Are you hoping you won’t have to buy cushions a third time? You’re not alone. Maybe you’ve tried everything you can think of, and your pup still chomps the minute you’re out the door.  We’ll cover some ideas...



Recent Blog Posts

Is Your Pup Feeling the Back to School Blues?

Is Your Pup Feeling the Back to School Blues?

Are your kids heading back to school? Or maybe you’re heading back to the office for work? Your pup may experience some “back-to-school blues.” Learn some tips on how to help your dog as they adjust to a new fall routine.

read more