If your neighbor has ever told you that your dog is too noisy when he is left at home alone, do not panic because you are not alone! This is a common problem that dog owners face because their canine companions suffer from separation anxiety. This is not an isolated incident, but rather a worldwide problem for people who keep dogs as pets.
Most people seem to have their own ideas about how to solve this problem, but it is best to seek the advice of a professional trainer or online dog supply company. Still others turn to the internet looking for the answers they need to curb their dog’s bad habits.
Choose the most suitable way to train your dog to stay at home quietly without disrupting the neighbors. By controlling these problems early on, your dog will be happier and healthier, mentally and physically.
Mess and Noise
The most common problem among dogs that cannot properly deal with separation is the mess and noise they create while home alone. Not only will they howl, bark and whine for their owners, some dogs will urinate and defecate inside the home, or chew on objects they know that they shouldn’t, such as the owner’s shoes or other personal belongings.
Anxious dogs that are left alone will also damage other items around the home such as sofas, pillows, toys, and even trash! Some dogs may use their claws to dig and scratch at the doors and doorways, or destroy the legs of furniture when left alone or separated from their guardians. When you leave your dog at home, you may return to find your house has been turned into a mess.
Perhaps you will not be able to punish your dog due to injuries such as broken teeth, bleeding paws, damaged nails or other injuries. Also, your neighbors will likely complain about the noises coming from your home or apartment. No matter how weak or strong the barking or whining is, your dog will has probably disturbed someone, if not several, nearby.
As we all know, dogs have very sharp hearing, so any noise can trigger barking and growling as they attempt to protect their territory. Dogs that are bored or lonely will bark and howl to express depression and unhappiness when left alone in the house. Then you have to take some methods to help your furry friend feel at ease when stay alone.
Separation Anxiety in Dogs
There is no direct evidence that explains exactly why dogs are so prone to developing separation anxiety. However, dog owners report this happens most frequently when dramatic changes occur, triggering the disorder. For example, a dog that has lost his original owner and has been adopted by a new guardian might experience separation anxiety.
Owners also notice separation anxiety when dogs are ill or depressed after a sudden change in environments, such as moving to a new home, the arrival of a child, or the adoption of another pet. Dogs are much more sensitive than humans, making something as minor as moving to a new residence leave your canine companion feeling lost and upset.
Separation anxiety in dogs has been known to lead to house breaking problems and destructive issues. To prevent such issues from happening with your pooch, you will need to discover the reasons he is upset and try to meet his needs head on. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you to solve this problem correctly.
How can I make my dog be quiet while I am gone?
While you may not be able to completely put your dog at ease each time you leave the home, there are some things that you can do that will teach him to be less noisy and anxious. Once your dog trusts you, and believes that you will return home, you may see these issues improve greatly or disappear completely. There are also training courses to help your dog understand you will be home soon.
It’s Time to Change Some Habits for Your Dog
Here are some of the ways you can help your dog adjust to the idea that he must stay home alone at times. Each of these four tips can greatly minimize separation anxiety over time, helping you and your dog develop the trust needed for a healthy relationship. These won’t make the problem stop instantly, but over time you will start to see a big difference in your pet. The most important thing to remember is ‘Be Consistent’.
#1 – Say Goodbye to Your Dog Every Time You Leave the Home
Dogs are much smarter than most people give them credit for being. It is very likely that your dog knows when it is time for you to leave. Whether this is because of his internal clock or the fact that he has learned your habits, it isn’t likely that you are sneaky enough to slip out the door unnoticed.
As soon as he realizes that you are preparing to leave, what does he do? While he doesn’t know that you are looking at him with guilty eyes, dogs are very sensitive and can tell that you are upset. This, in turn, leaves him feeling upset as well, which is not a good idea. He doesn’t understand your words or know what is going on.
Never try to be sneaky with an anxious dog, quietly gathering your shoes, keys and briefcase. You must train him so that he always knows what to expect by saying the word ‘goodbye’ firmly, and in a calm and loving voice. Keep your expression happy and carefree in order to help alleviate your dog’s worries and fears.
Avoid bidding farewell to your dog in long sentences or he will not understand. One word commands are ideal for training, and by repeating this action every time you leave the home, he will learn it and know what to expect. When you return, you can also teach him the word ‘hello’.
#2 – Keep the Environment ‘Normal” for Your Dog While You are Away
If you prefer noise all the time, or are a bit of a couch potato, keeping the television on from morning until night, you should go ahead and leave it on for your dog also. If you think your dog is barking and making noise while you are away because he is hearing voices or noises from outside, you might want to leave a radio or television on low.
If you are a music buff, and the stereo is always belting out your favorite tunes, leave them on to comfort your pooch and make him feel secure. Perhaps your dog is being ornery and destructive because the silence is so boring. Every dog owner has different habits; find the ones that you can continue while you are away to ease your dog’s anxiety and worries.
Aside from noise, you should also decide whether to keep the curtains and shades drawn or closed. This may help by muffling the sounds coming from outdoors or the other apartments, and reduce your dog’s visual stimulation. If you only draw the shades while you are gone, perhaps leaving them open when you leave will make your dog feel better about your absence.
These types of small changes help by giving your dog an aural appearance of your presence. It is likely that your neighbor will appreciate the classical music coming from your apartment so much more than your whining, crying and barking dog. With a little work, you should be able to find out which things make your dog more comfortable while you are away.
#3 – Teach Your Dog How to Pass the Time while You’re Away
Once you have properly trained your dog, he might actually enjoy being at home alone, for a little while anyway. Here is an easy method used by dog owners to make leaving more accepted by their pets. You will need to purchase some safety approved dog toys that your canine companion will love to play with. The only time your dog will be allowed to play with these ‘special toys’ is while you are away from home.
For example, you can choose a flavorful beef-basted knotted rawhide bone and rub it between your palms several times. Then, this special toy will not only offer some tasty chewing fun due to its beef flavor, but will also have your scent. To a dog, this can make your leaving not so bad. If your dog seems uninterested in the toys, keep looking for other toys until you find the ones that make him the happiest.
For dogs with severe separation anxiety, these toys will not be enough to distract them entirely. If you have followed all of the advice in steps one, two and three, and your dog is still very much anxious about your departures, you will need some expert advice from a professional trainer.
#4 – Learn to Control Your Dog as if He were Your Child
If the biggest problem is that your dog barks every time you leave, your dog will be easy to train and control. You can easily begin to develop an association of being alone with good things, such as offering a delicious treat or or funny toy during your departure each time.
However, if it is obvious that your dog is still suffering from separation anxiety after a reasonable amount of time has passed, do seek the advice of a trusted veterinarian.