First off, when you’re studying this, you’re most likely going by the excruciating strategy of coping with canine separation anxiousness. I understand how laborious that is. And I need you to know one factor: you’ll be able to beat it.
The method I am going to share right here incorporates items of recommendation you’ll hear different locations, but in addition few very distinctive issues that I stumbled upon that lastly beat separation anxiousness for good. In actual fact, I’ve shared this story with each canine trainers and veterinarians, and the response is all the time the identical: “You probably did what?! I’m telling my shoppers to strive that!”
Second, know that separation anxiousness will not be your fault. It’s additionally not your canine’s fault. Separation anxiousness is commonly the results of your canine’s atmosphere earlier than they got here to you. Or generally a canine develops separation anxiousness for no obvious cause or previous trauma. We merely don’t know all the causes. However there may be hope.
Meet Splash, my now 12 12 months previous Siberian Husky rescue. Splash got here to stay with us 10 years in the past after she was discovered questioning round in the mountains right here in Southern California. She had no tags or microchip. I don’t know her story.
Splash was a largely regular Siberian Husky. She preferred being round folks, however for the most half had no hassle being left alone in our house.
About 6 years after we adopted her, one thing modified. Oftentimes you hear about traumatic occasions that set off separation anxiousness, like a change in residing state of affairs or a transfer. However there was nothing like that.
Swiftly we’d come house to search out her panting with drool throughout the ground. That was the way it began, and it was mildly annoying however not but overly regarding. Then got here the destruction.
She’s a really agile canine, and began leaping up on counters and knock issues over.
Then, she tore by our new plantation shutters. Ka-ching, the payments began piling up.
We tried leaving her in our yard, considering that will decrease the harm inside the home. However she quickly realized to flee. She would scale our 6 foot concrete fence partitions and get out into the neighborhood. It acquired so dangerous that I needed to connect a GPS locator to her collar.
What Didn’t Work
I started doing my homework on what issues may assist calm an anxious canine with separation anxiousness.
First, I tried leaving her with issues to do. I put out toys, treats, and chews to maintain her busy. These didn’t work in any respect, as a result of as soon as her anxiousness kicked in, she misplaced all curiosity in enjoying and even her meals drive.
We tried exercising her vigorously earlier than leaving however that didn’t appear to have an impact.
We tried the calming wraps like the Thundershirt, and people didn’t work.
We tried pheromone primarily based diffusers. Didn’t work.
We tried coaching varied crates and kennels. We tried to heat her as much as them and make them a really constructive expertise. However all makes an attempt failed.
The Brief Lived Victory
After a visit to the vet, and my excessive frustration, my veterinarian at the time recommended remedy. Prozac, particularly. He warned me, nonetheless, that if this labored Splash would NEVER have the ability to cease taking the drug. This involved me, and I additionally had reservations about unwanted effects, however I was at my wits’ finish. I cherished my canine. I didn’t need her to change into a statistic, one other proprietor give up at a shelter. I was prepared to provide the remedy a shot.
At 2 days into her taking the remedy, I observed a change. She didn’t appear to care being away from us, or seeing us depart. In actual fact, she didn’t appear to care a lot about something in any respect.
After just a few extra days, and it turned clear that the remedy was having a relaxing impact. Nonetheless, I observed her conduct additionally started to vary. She misplaced her spunky character, and far of her former vitality. She slept extra, and was far much less curiosity in play or interacting with our household.
However… we had been lastly in a position to depart the home. We’d come house and he or she was simply nice. I thought we had lastly beat this. Or so I thought.
The First Piece of The Puzzle
Round this time, at the recommendation of a number of canine trainers I started to study the idea of desensitization. Right here’s the fundamental concept:
Earlier than you even depart your home, your canine is aware of what’s going to occur. Canine are extremely clever and simply decide up on the queues. Grabbing your keys. Placing in your sneakers. Getting dressed. These are all indicators you’re heading out the door.
For a canine with separation anxiousness, these indicators finally change into the triggers of the anxiousness itself. In different phrases, your canine begins to worry you grabbing the keys simply as a lot as you being gone.
The secret is to show them that these indicators DO NOT imply you’re leaving. It’s important to desensitize them to those behaviors.
For instance, you decide up your keys and put them in your pocket or purse, then go sit down on the sofa.
You set in your sneakers, and stroll over and sit down and pet your canine.
You stroll out the door, and shortly stroll again in and greet your pup.
Desensitization is a course of that takes many days and even weeks of labor and isn’t a one time factor.
Even earlier than I started her on remedy, I started to work on desensitization with Splash, and observed that she turned far much less anxious when I was leaving. It wasn’t a remedy by any means, nevertheless it started to assist.
The Anxiousness Returns… with Vengeance
After about 9 months on the remedy and desensitization, the indicators of separation anxiousness started to slowly re-emerge. The panting. The drooling. And slowly however absolutely, the destruction.
It started to wreak havoc on our household’s life once more. We couldn’t depart the home for lengthy with out her working herself right into a panic.
In the future, at the peak of our frustration, I was working from house and needed to take an extended telephone name. I was house alone with Splash and was involved she would start to panic if I disappeared into my workplace for an hour.
After the name, I opened the door anticipating the worst. However there she was at my ft, asleep proper by the door. Then all of sudden, it hit me!
I realized that if Splash believed I was house, she didn’t appear to care that she couldn’t see me. I realized that whereas I was in my workplace, she might hear my voice speaking on the telephone, and scent me beneath the door.
I requested myself, how can I make her really feel like I’m house even when I’m not?
On a whim, I determined to strive one thing loopy. I popped open a voice recorder on my laptop and recorded myself talking. Nothing specifically, I simply rambled off on something and every part, nearly like I was on a telephone name.
Then I purchased a easy previous style CD participant with a loop operate. Then I burned a CD with this 5 minute recording of myself talking.
The subsequent day was Tremendous Bowl Sunday, and my household had been invited to our buddy’s home for the afternoon. That is my probability to do this, I thought.
As we left the home, I walked out the door and hit play on the CD participant which I had positioned inside our storage, ensuring the repeat operate was set in order that it might loop my voice again and again. I additionally took a t-shirt I had wore the earlier day and positioned it proper outdoors the door so she might scent my scent. Nervously, we left for the occasion.
After about 2 hours, I couldn’t take the suspense. At halftime, I left the occasion and went house to verify on Splash. I opened the door anticipating the worst… however there she was asleep on the floor by the door! She barely observed me. IT WORKED!
Victory At Final… However Simply One Small Downside
In the present day, each time I stroll out of the home I hit play on that CD participant. I’ve been utilizing the identical 5 minute recording of my voice for over three years now.
I additionally nonetheless work on desensitization on occasion. Mainly, my aim is to by no means fall right into a routine the place we depart the home utilizing the identical indicators, alerting Splash to our leaving.
Whereas we had lastly beat the separation anxiousness, there was nonetheless one lingering problem: The unwanted effects of the remedy.
In the future I was working with a canine coach who was working with Splash on another issues not associated to anxiousness. He commented that she appeared a bit boring and unresponsive to coaching. I informed him about the Prozac, and he requested me whether or not or not I had tried CBD oil.
I had heard issues about CBD oil being good for anxiousness, however didn’t consider I would have the ability to take Splash off her remedy with out severe points.
After speaking with my vet, I determined to provide it a strive. I might all the time put her again on the drug, I thought.
I started giving her CBD, and caught to my typical course of. I would all the time play the CD when I left, and nonetheless labored on desensitization on occasion.
To my nice shock after a number of weeks off the remedy and taking CBD, she continued to haven’t any separation anxiousness.
However there was one additional benefit, my spunky husky returned! Now off the remedy, Splash started performing like her previous self earlier than the anxiousness points. She was smarter, extra playful, extra keen on interacting with our household, and much more trainable. I had my previous canine again!
RELATED: How CBD Oil Might Assist Your Dog’s Separation Anxiousness
My Lengthy Time period Answer
To today I nonetheless play the CD participant recording of my voice each time I depart the home. I additionally work on desensitization every now and then, possibly as soon as a month.
I don’t give her CBD oil every single day, however I will give it to her after we’re leaving for longer intervals of time, simply in case. (CBD oil can also be useful for different anxiousness points, it really works nice for Splash throughout 4th of July fireworks or thunderstorms).
It’s been three years now since she has proven any indicators of separation anxiousness. I have my canine again–and my life again!
My Recommendation for You
Know that the remedy for separation anxiousness is a course of that may possible contain many elements. Sadly, there won’t be one magic silver bullet, it could be a mixture of issues like what I revealed in my story.
In case you’re battling separation points along with your pup, I hope my story has given you some hope. My resolution is probably not the precise resolution in your canine, however I hope a few of the suggestions and tips will assist. Maintain at it, and by no means quit. Your canine is value it!
Has this recommendation helped you? Is there some other means I can assist? Be happy to achieve out to me at justin[at]homelifemedia.com