Safe Departures for Separation Anxiety

(from All Things Dog Blog – Ask the Dog Trainer)

Dear Trainer:

We adopted our 10 year old Bichon 3 years ago, when his elderly owner became disabled. He settled in with us just fine immediately and became very attached to me. Shortly thereafter, he began whining incessantly upon my leaving, slobbering and licking the point of exit. We have returned to pools of slobber and scratched paint. He has even climbed a doggie gate in an effort to get to me.

Alix has a housemate, Toby, with whom he gets along well. However, only human companionship is soothing to his anxiety. Please help us teach Alix to calm himself so we may return without a distressed, slobber-sodden little dog.

Regards, Cathy


Dear Cathy:

Dogs, like people, are social animals. We like to be around each other. Some folks would go so far as to say, we have a built-in need for social interaction. There’s something in the core of our beings that says relationships are important for our survival.

It’s not terribly common, but some dogs have pretty upsetting behavior when left alone. In some cases, it’s triggered by the departure of a specific individual….

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