Separation Anxiety In Dogs: The next transition
Separation Anxiety in dogs is stressful for everyone.
After a board and train program to modify behavioral issues of separation anxiety, we feel he’s ready to go home, and has demonstrated that he can relax comfortably in his crate without anxiety or attempted escape while you leave the house. Finally.
But there is a catch.
He can perform well here. We have created a significant amount of structure and routine. We have disagreed with his behavior in the crate. And we have provided a lot of exercise and daily training.
One of the common triggers for Separation Anxiety is instability. Change. The fear that they will be left again. This is especially common for rescue dogs.
Expect a short regression with you go home. Expect that he will forget the rules apply and test everything.
We encourage you to run your own mini-boot camp at home. We also encourage you to add a drop-cam to your toolbox.
Arrival at home should include a potty break, long walk, and in the crate. Save all the affection and couch time for later. Prove to him from the beginning that the expectation for his behavior in the crate is exactly was it was here.
Supervise him closely. You must remain consistent with him. Use your ecollar correction to interrupt any pacing, whining, barking or attempted pushes against the door, sides, digging the pan, etc. At this stage, low-level is often sufficient, but do not hesitate to cap the behavior with a bigger correction. It’s for his own good, and yours.
Let him out of the crate ONLY when he is calm. That includes for potty breaks. Feed him in his crate.
When he goes outside, have a special yummy treat waiting for him in his crate when he returns. We want him to come inside anticipating going directly into his crate and finding something rewarding there. Every single time.
Do several intervals of putting him in his crate, getting him relaxed, and then letting him out before bedtime and through the course of the day/weekend. (Ideally you are taking him home and have the weekend to make the transition)
Plan to leave the ecollar on overnight. Be sure to move the box from side to side before bedtime. If you hear him pacing, whining, barking, digging, or attempting to push against the crate – give a moderate level correction from your bedroom. Say nothing. The crate is correcting him not you. And gosh darn it the same thing happens here that happened at The K9 Coach in the mind of the dog. (Be sure to rotate the collar the next morning)
Before you leave him alone – setup the scenario and just walk outside. So that you can correct him. Follow the same guidance listed in our Separation Anxiety Blog. Keep your first few outings short and return
You may want to also have a bark collar on him when you leave so that any vocalization will be corrected and a reminder to stay calm.
With consistency to the way we have taught the dog and you – the transition should be short and effective.