Stopping Retriever Separation Anxiety

Stopping retriever separation anxiety can be tricky. It is quite a common occurrence in dogs, especially among retrievers. They are very social dogs and would spend every minute of every day with their human companions if they could and tend to become bored, anxious and lonely when left alone for long periods of time.

Stopping Retriever Separation AnxietyRetrievers are very much routine dogs so any change in living conditions might trigger anxious behavior. A confident dog that is sure of his place is much less likely to display separation anxiety symptoms.

Stopping Retriever Separation Anxiety by Accurately Identifying It

How does one know if a dog is suffering from separation anxiety? These are just some of the signs that might show up:

  • Destructive behavior when you are not at home. A normally well behaved dog who chews up your furniture, digs up the garden and generally causes havoc when you are not around might be having separation issues.
  • Over the top behavior when you return. If your dog acts like he hasn’t seen you for the last six months when you come back from a 10 minutes trip to the garage, assume separation anxiety.
  • Excessive whining, howling and barking. If your dog generates a lot of noise as soon as you leave and doesn’t settle, he is probably anxious.
  • Frantic behavior when he senses you are about to leave. If your dog goes crazy when you pick up your keys or move towards the door, he can’t cope with separation.
  • Escaping. Many dogs will find a way to get out of the house in an attempt to find you.
  • Depression and lethargy. Some dogs go into a general decline when they are anxious.
  • Obsessive and inappropriate behavior. Constant licking, circling, urinating and defecating in the house are warning signs.
  • Neediness. Your dog might exhibit anxiety by following you around and constantly getting under foot when you are at home.

Stopping Retriever Separation Anxiety by Asking the Right Questions

Your answers to the following questions will give you some clues to the solutions.

  • Does your dog get enough exercise? Excess energy needs an outlet. Retrievers are high energy dogs that need sufficient exercise.
  • Does he have enough mental stimulation? A bored dog is not a happy dog. Consistent training and challenges, as well as interesting toys and games, will benefit an anxious dog.
  • Does he spend too much time on his own? A dog is a big responsibility. If you work long hours away from home, be realistic about your expectations for stopping retriever separation anxiety without doing something to remedy this. Consider getting a dog walker or neighbour to interact with your pet for you. Doggy day care is another option.
  • Does your dog know his place? If your pet thinks he is the alpha leader in the home he will be stressed every time you leave because you will be out of his control. If this is the case, start reversing the situation by taking charge. Don’t make a fuss when leaving and entering the home by ignoring your dog for about 10 minutes.

If you have a problem with your dog, it is worth looking at it from every angle. Reassess your relationship with your pet as well as any contributing conduct on your part in finding solutions to stopping retriever separation anxiety.