What can I do to help relieve my dog’s separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety is one of the most stressful experiences for dog owners, especially for people living in condos or apartments. Your dog barks (annoying neighbors) urinates (even if they just got walked) and they can eat or dig at everything. Today we will go over several ways to solve this problem .

De-sense training:

Dogs know when you are leaving and that is what triggers the fear. Putting on shoes, getting your keys, turning off the television are all daily reminders you are leaving. This technique teaches you to eliminate those signs. When you are in your home pick up your keys but don’t leave. Sit down watch TV shaking your keys or do your daily chores with the keys . Reinforce your dog anytime he is not concerned you are leaving . The same works with your shoes or purse. Reducing the stress of leaving will make your dog much more calm and comfortable . This takes time and patience but worth it.


Make leaving time as positive as the time when you are home. Anytime you leave give your dog an amazing toy/ treat. Something they only get when you leave. A frozen kong toy with peanut butter is great, this is redirection . This allows your dog to focus on positive treats instead of the negative leaving.

Eliminate distractions

If your dog barks at noise, people walking in the halls, or cars driving by set your dog up for success. Crate training is great if your dog is crate trained. Leaving the television on can also be comfortable if you watch a lot of television when you are home, it also can drown out outside noise and if your dog barks it drowns out that as well. Put your curtains down so outside observations don’t trigger barking.

All these solutions are positive reinforcement training. Apply all or just one to your specific dog needs.

If behavioral issues can’t be resolved even with an experienced animal trainer there are medical solutions as well. Calming sprays, calming jackets and calming medications.

I treat everything behaviorally before medically. So have patience with this problem and be dedicated.



How do I stop my dog from barking when we leave?

Barking is such a frustrating behavior. For your specific problem you will need a lot patience and positive reinforcement. Find a day where you have nothing to do so you can work on this. Bring treats or reinforcement with you and place your dogs in the crate. Reinforce them in the crate for short time then let them out. Remember you are reinforcing quiet calm behavior only. Also don’t open the crate till they calm you don’t want them reinforced or struggle to get out. This is where the patience comes in . Small approximations are the next step. Repeat increasing your time slowly every time. You want to make the crate desirable and safe place. Never scold your dogs and then use the crate. The crate is only positive. Personally, I would also do a simple train like sits and stays (whatever you want) then reinforce your dogs for those combined behaviors in the crate. Over time the crate will be their go to place and the barking will subside and be eliminated.

Now at night, if they bark, find out if they are in your room or near your room if the barking goes away. If it does start your dogs in your room and everyday move their bed or crate further and further away till you both seem comfortable with situation.

How do I get my dog to play fetch or drop objects?

Dogs are so smart. If you are not careful they end up training you. Your dog is just pushing his limits. If it is a behavior that you think is undesirable, then it is an easy fix. Bring a treat with you next time. When you throw the ball call your dog back after he retrieves it. If he runs past you ignore him. Dogs love attention so don’t give him any extra attention for exhibiting undesired behavior. When he returns show him your treat take the ball and give it to him. Now start over. Throw the ball again when your dog retrieves it call him back with the treat in your hand. If he comes right to you. Great say good boy and reinforce with the treat. Repeat till you have achieved your desired response.