Does your dog get anxious when you’re about to leave the house? Your dog may start to bark, whine or destroy things in your home. How do you stop this?
a. give your dog attention before you step out of the house?
b. feel guilty for leaving the dog on its own and so decide to make a lot of fuss as you’re just about to leave the house?
c. do the same daily routine as you’re about to leave? For example does your dog become stressed whenever you grab your coat or keys for instance?
d. you make sure you let your dog know that you are going out and will be back later?
e. touch and talk to your dog when he’s barking and showing signs of stress?
Firstly, you should never award your dog for unwanted behaviour. Award your dog by touching, giving it a treat or talk to your dog when their behaviour is how you want it to be.
You should not give attention to your dog when you’re about to leave the house. Do not make eye contact or say anything – this will only encourage your dog to become restless and stressed. When you do give attention to your dog, it will associate this attention to you leaving the house.
Try and change the routine you always tend to do when you’re about to leave the house and train your dog to learn to accept certain actions that will trigger stress and anxiety in your dog.
How do you do this?
Firstly, do not give any indication to your dog that you’re about to leave the house and try to come up with a different routine so your dog won’t associate the usual actions to you leaving. Remember that patience and consistency is needed when training your dog.
You will need to train your dog to stay in a particular area, such as his crate. Make this area as pleasant and relaxing as possible and train your dog to learn to stay in it when you want it to.
If for example as soon as your grab your keys your dog gets up – go and sit down. Repeat this action as many time as needed until your dog eventually remains seated. Your aim is to train your dog to accept these actions and not to react. It can take a lot of persistence but keep at it and you will help your dog in the long run!
Also, always ensure that your dog is getting the exercise it needs. Taking your dog for a walk before you get out of the house can help the situation and your dog will be less likely to want to go out again shortly after.
We would love to hear your experiences! Please share in the comments below.