Separation anxiety is largely caused by a lack of routine. For most brand “new” rescued dogs or even a young puppy being brought into a new environment can cause stress. Whatever your new pups age is, when you bring him/her home it’s just that, new! So a routine needs to be set be you. For a new dog or puppy being left alone in a house or room causes stress and shutting any door creates anxiety. Training and socialization is a must and needs to be applied on the first day.
How does stress gets created for a new dog? Pushing a new dog back in order to shut a door creates stress. Many people leave their new dogs or pups in a room or outside when they leave, not knowing what to do? The process of leaving and lack of routine can create whining, pacing, barking and plain old destruction.
Sure, everyone needs to leave and that certainly will be the goal. However, for a new dog or puppy in your family the concept of being able to be alone should be taught to them by their owners! If your home is introduced correctly to your new dog, bad habits never occur.
Paws For A Minute® 5 Tips For New Dog Ownership: Reducing Separation Anxiety in dogs
1. Never shut a door on a dog. Rather socialize him to be behind a baby gate while you are home. That way you can correct any bad behaviors.
2. Use a leash to guide your dog to the gated or outdoor area for potty. This way you can isolate the word you want to use indicating the action. Such as, wait or potty. The leash allows you to guide not coax and creates eye contact form your dog to you.
3. Even if you plan to crate train your new dog, the baby gated area should be a pre-step to crating. Every new dog is different, due to age. So please realize that crating sometimes needs to be slowly initiated and may take a few days to initiate properly.
4. Gating is to be implemented slowly 20 minutes at a time. Maybe up to 4 or 5 times the first day. This ensures you that your dog respects the gate. If not, then crating may be essential. The key is to do this while your home, to instill a positive pattern. Make sure all of your dogs needs are met. Exercise, potty breaks are key. For 8 week- old pups, the gated area should be considered it’s play pen area and crate should be within the gated space. Other new dogs that are older, can be exercised and walked and have free time loose in your house for periods of time. It’s up to you to slowly increase the time between being loose in the house and gated.
5. Gating your dog is not intended to be a time out or punishment. It’s a great way to teach a new dog boundaries within your home.