The vast majority of dogs are able to adapt rather well to our way of life, but there are occasions when they may howl or bark when you leave or they are left alone, such as when we leave the house or when we go to another room. In a more serious form of this issue, they are capable of becoming destructive and chewing up furniture. One further bothersome issue is when a person urinates or defecates within the home, or when they compel themselves to lick or chew on their own skin. All of these manifestations are forms of separation anxiety.
What exactly is Separation anxiety?
A dog’s anguish from being separated from its owner is the root cause of this condition. It seems to be more prevalent in some breeds compared to others, and one possible cause is inadequate socialization when the dogs were younger. Dogs are packed animals by nature and do not want to be removed from their “pack,” which refers to their human companions.
The problem is more frequent in dogs who have been regularly re-homed or relocated to new owners when they were less than one year old. This is likely due to the fact that these animals sense a great deal of insecurity. When a person adopts a dog from a kennel and then discovers that the dog has destructive tendencies, they often take the unfortunate animal back to the kennel so that it may be placed with another family, which just serves to exacerbate the original issue.
Is there anything that can be done to aid my dog?
There is assistance available, but you must be prepared to invest a significant amount of time and energy in order to assist your dog in conquering his or her anxieties. The goal of the therapy, in a nutshell, is to progressively accustom your dog to spending longer and longer amounts of time by themselves. If the situation is very complex, your veterinarian may suggest that you and your dog meet with a trained dog behaviorist. Your veterinarian will be able to provide you with advice on the management of the issue. The majority of dogs are able to make progress over time with the help of some human guidance and effort.
There are medications that may be prescribed by your veterinarian to assist your dog in overcoming his nervousness. These pharmaceuticals have the potential to hasten the therapeutic effects of behavioral management.
Other Possible Reasons
In addition to separation anxiety, there are a number of additional causes that might cause your dog to get agitated or bark when you leave the house.
First and foremost, a lack of opportunities to socialize:
To begin, it is essential to have an understanding that dogs are social creatures who have developed the ability to coexist in groups and are dependent on the interactions of their fellow canine companions for their own health and happiness. Many dogs experience fear and anxiety whenever their owners leave them alone, which may be communicated via the behavior of excessive barking. This behavior is often an indication of underlying concerns, such as separation anxiety, boredom, fear or insecurity, territorial behavior, or attention-seeking behavior. In other cases, the underlying issue is attention-seeking behavior.
The Second Most Prevalent Explanation For Why Dogs Bark When They Leave Is That They Are Just Bored:
Dogs who are left alone for extended periods of time without any kind of stimulation or exercise may develop boredom and start barking either to get someone’s attention or to vent their irritation. If you leave your dog with toys, puzzles, and other things to do while you are gone, it may help alleviate the boredom that causes them to bark excessively and cut down on the amount of barking they do.
Fear is the third reason why dogs may bark when you leave:
This is particularly true in situations when they are in an area that is new to them. Dogs who are anxious or uncertain about their surroundings may bark either as a means of coping with their discomfort or to alert others to the fact that they are in difficulty. Techniques like desensitization and counter-conditioning may be beneficial in lowering fear and anxiety in dogs. So can creating a relaxing setting for them to rest in that is both comfortable and safe for them.
They are guarding their territory, which is number four:
Another reason why dogs may bark when left alone is because of their territorial tendency. This is particularly true if the dog believes that their area is being invaded or if they perceive that they are in danger from other animals or strangers in its surroundings. It may be helpful in reducing territorial behavior and excessive barking if you provide your dog a place where they can go to feel safe and comfortable and where they can escape to.
Another reason why dogs could bark when you leave is that they might do so in an attempt to attract attention to themselves:
Dogs who have been taught that barking would result in their owners returning or giving them attention may participate in this activity in order to achieve their goals. Ignoring your dog’s barking and only paying attention to them when they are quiet will, over time, help minimize the amount of barking they do.
How do I prevent my dog from barking every time I leave the house?
There is a good likelihood that your dog is attempting to prevent you from leaving the home if it constantly barks as you are getting ready to leave the house. It’s possible that your canine companion is feeling upset and anxious when you depart. In the event that this is the case, there are many different methods that you may use to educate your dog to refrain from barking while you are not present at your house.
Before you depart, check to see if your dog is in a relaxed state.
Try to Calm Them Down If your dog is howling, wailing, or pacing about as you walk away, then your pet is most likely feeling worried, upset, or terrified. Try to Calm Them Down. The first thing you should do to assist your beloved dog is to check and see whether or not it is experiencing any signs of worry as you prepare to depart.
You should make an effort to remain cool when you need to go; you shouldn’t make a big deal out of it or else your dog will think the end of the world is coming. Adopt a departing routine, whether it is putting on your shoes and jacket or some other ritual, so that your dog may psychologically prepare to be alone by seeing you go through the motions of leaving the house.
You might also try giving your dog a special treat before you leave, such as a dog bone or a toy that it can gnaw on. In this manner, the concept of leaving won’t be connected with feelings of unease and melancholy.
Desensitization and counterconditioning
These include progressively acclimating your dog to being left alone, which may help minimize your dog’s nervousness and barking. The procedure entails first leaving your dog alone for a little period of time and then progressively extending this period over the course of time.
It is of the utmost importance to make certain that your dog is both comfortable and secure during this process. You may also try to correlate your departure with pleasant events, such as rewarding your dog with a treat or a toy before you leave to keep them busy while you’re gone.
Give Your Dog Enough Physical and Mental Stimulation and Frequent Exercise:
Giving your dog plenty of physical and mental stimulation, including regular exercise, is crucial for his physical and mental health and may help lessen feelings of boredom and anxiety. You can keep your dog entertained and cognitively occupied while you’re gone by providing them with a variety of toys, puzzles, and interactive games to play with. Exercising your dog before you leave them alone will also help wear them out, which will increase the likelihood that they will sleep while you are gone.
Make Sure Your Dog Has a Secure and Comfortable Place to Sleep
While You’re Gone Provide your dog with a safe and comfortable place to sleep while you’re gone, such as a crate or a certain room in the house. Make sure the area is pleasant, that there is sufficient ventilation, and that there is enough supply of food, drink, and toys. Your dog may also feel more at ease if you leave behind an article of clothing or another personal object that has your fragrance on it.
Think about taking medication
It’s possible that your dog needs medicine to help them relax and cut down on their excessive barking if they have a severe case of separation anxiety or another behavioral problem. Antidepressants and drugs to treat anxiety may be included in the category of pharmaceuticals. Before administering any medicine to your dog, it is essential to discuss the matter with your pet’s veterinarian.