Dog Training for Separation Anxiety - 8 Simple Steps

Dogs of any age and breed may develop separation anxiety, but with proper dog training, separation anxiety symptoms can be minimized or completely eradicated by following the right steps. Dedication, repetition and consistency are needed when training your dog, so be patient when trying these tips.

  1. While staying in the house, tell your dog to sit and stay.
  2. Move out of the dog's sight, and then gradually start going into another room for a short period of time before returning to your dog.
  3. Offer praise and treats to reward him for staying. Never punish your dog if he does not sit and stay during this training, just keep trying.
  4. Once comfortable with this, "practice" leaving your house by getting your keys, putting on your shoes, etc., but stay indoors at first.
  5. Gradually, start stepping outside, and then coming back in after a few seconds. Then a few minutes, and so on.
  6. Extend the time you are out of the house until the dog no longer becomes anxious when you begin getting ready to leave, and is comfortable being separate for longer periods of time.
  7. Keep these goodbyes short and calm, and don't fuss over your dog when leaving or entering the house.
  8. Consider anti-anxiety drugs from your vet while you work on separation anxiety training, especially if the training isn't making any progress to extreme behavior problems.