What do you do when you are adopting a dog with separation anxiety? You have to think about your lifestyle and how much time you have to put the work in. Many times it CAN be a very quick fix. Other times it is a long process.
Onyx is a 5-year-old labrador mix. Before her rescue, she was a breeding dog. She was adopted once before but returned. The owner was unable to handle her separation anxiety. Her current owners knew they were adopting a dog with separation anxiety. Someone is home most of the day so they didn’t think it would be an issue. However, her separation anxiety is so bad that she would freak out if someone is taking a shower. She had to know where everyone was at all times.
Today she was able to be completely separate from the entire family without being behind a physical barrier. Typically, separation anxiety manifests itself when a dog thinks they are in charge/your leader. It’s their job to keep you safe. They have anxiety, often to extreme levels, when they can’t see or be with you. The fact that they had only adopted her several days before tells me that they did not cause this “imbalance” in the relationship. My theory is that she has raised so many puppies throughout the years that her brain is programmed to constantly be on the lookout and caring for lives. She just transfers this to her new humans.
They were also able to leave the house without her having any issues. I had them do a few non-physical drills to help Onyx view them as her leaders. They are there to take care of her, not the other way around. By tweaking the relationship and how she views them, she can now relax.
She’s a sweet and wonderful dog. I hope the owners will continue practicing what I showed them so that they and Onyx can have a relaxing fun life together. You won’t need treats or painful collars to achieve this. If you need help or are adopting a dog with separation anxiety, please contact me!