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

Importance of Year-Round Flea Prevention for Dogs

Fleas, those tiny yet mighty pests, are more than just a nuisance for our furry friends. They can cause discomfort, allergic reactions, and even transmit diseases. While many dog owners may associate flea prevention with warmer months, the truth is that these...

How Many Treats Can I Feed My Dog?

We all give our dogs at least one meal a day, depending on their needs. But what about treats? Maybe you’ve wondered if you’re giving your pup too many, or maybe you’re worried you’re being mean and not giving them enough. Are there any guidelines on how many treats...

Dogs Make Happy Campers Happier

We all want to get away from the hustle, the bustle, the daily stress and the people, all those people! Camping allows us to see new sights, be alone, figure out stuff, bonds us as a family, creates life-long memories and reminds us how lucky we are to live in this...

A New Year, A New You, and A Better Life for Your Dog

New Year's resolutions for dog owners can help enhance the well-being of both the owner and their furry companion. Here are some resolutions that dog owners may consider: Increase Exercise Routine: Commit to more frequent and longer walks.Take your pup to dog daycare,...

To Test or Not to Test?

With advances in human medicine, we often see advances in animal medicine as well, which is great, because we want the best for our furry (or scaly or feathered) companions. One interesting capability that has grown in popularity over the last decade is pet DNA...

How Does Your Dog Halloween?

Halloween kicks off the holiday season, breaking ten months of peaceful calm and quiet. How your dog handles the holidays is mostly an inborn quality. You know your dog better than anyone else, so you know how they will react to changes in their routine. They will...

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...



Recent Blog Posts

How Many Treats Can I Feed My Dog?

How Many Treats Can I Feed My Dog?

How many dog treats do you tend to give your dog? Are you giving them too many, or not enough (at least in your pup’s opinion)? Learn about recommended amounts, as well as healthy treat ideas (plus a fun calculator to try)!

read more
Dogs Make Happy Campers Happier

Dogs Make Happy Campers Happier

We all want to get away from the hustle, and camping allows us to do just that. And camping with your dog can make it even better! Learn how to explore with your best buddy safely and easily.

read more