It seems to me that easing out of lockdown is as difficult if not more difficult than when we initially were locked down. Especially for our dogs.
What is separation anxiety in dogs? In it’s simplest form it is when your dog feels uncomfortable, anxious when left alone or sometimes even when not left alone but when they are without the human they are closest too.
I would like to reassure you that separation anxiety is nothing to be feared, it is just a state of mind that your dog might get into, but it will soon pass and the good news; there are many things we can do to help our dogs with this feeling state and reduce the chances of it happening in the first place.
All our dogs are Relaxed and Responsive by nature and there are 4 guiding principles that will help you help your dog experience that lovely place more of the time. Sometimes I refer to that place as home. When your dog is “home” they will naturally be relaxed and responsive and not feel any anxiety.
The four guiding principles are around:
Greeting your dog after separation
It is worth noting than when we understand all 4 principles our dogs have the best chance of experiencing home more of the time.
For now, we will focus on greeting your dog after separation to help dogs that might be suffering from separation anxiety as we ease out of lockdown.
When we reunite with our dogs the kindest way to do this is counter intuitive for most of us. It’s the opposite of how we humans greet our friends and family. Trust me tho your dog will thank you for it.
Every time you leave your dog and then reunite with your dog, it’s important that no pressure is put upon them. By that I mean, when you leave don’t make any fuss, don’t speak to them, don’t make eye contact with them, just leave calmly and confidently. When you return, delay your greeting, let them see you, hear you and smell you. Let them check you out but don’t engage with them, make eye contact or chat to them until you are sure they are calm, relaxed and responsive. The excitement of your departure and arrival will naturally take them away from their lovely natural feeling state. There is nothing you need to do to get them back there. By taking the pressure off and reuniting in this way it will be enough. They will naturally fall back to being relaxed and responsive.
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Peaceful paws always