In looking for a treatment for canine separation anxiety that is safe for your dog, one alternative that you may not have considered is a form of acupuncture. Acupuncture, an ancient medical art, is both precise and non- distaling. This means that the bones and joints are not stimulated until the point of actual Feeling. This lets your dog know that they are being addressed and does not induce the so called punishment or punishment response.
For anyone else that is using a clicker to train their dog, they may have seen the conjunction of the word ‘Centered.‘ This is a specific type of acupuncture that takes place on the outside of the meridian points. The type of acupuncture that is used for this type of treatment is called Traditional Chinese Medicine.
For anyone else that is wanting their dog to learn to not be afraid of noises like fireworks, there are a number of things that you can actually do in order to alleviate their fear. This is done by actually marking the event that causes the dog stress with a click and treating. This way when the dog is in the middle of something that they are fearful of, for instance the fireworks, you can actually click and treat. After a while, it should click and treat when the dog is in the middle of the situation and not when they are already in it.
There are a number of things that you can do in order to help your dog get over their fears.
- Sound Therapy. Canines love to hear their own voices, so this could be worth trying. Essentially you would play audio of yourself and your home on a CD, create a peaceful and soothing environment, and then gradually increase the volume as your dog’s behavior slowly deteriorates. This is a process that should take a couple of weeks. Remember that this is a treatment that needs to take at least 10 to 14 weeks.
- Exercise. Do you have an active dog? If so, you may want to consider getting them a couple of days of extra walking or even starting them on an agility course. This will help them wear off some of their energy and nervousness. The anxious behavior will be reduced from the exercise and from being outside in new and exciting environments.
- Observe. Just like with humans, dogs are creatures of habit. Anytime they do something, or a type of behavior that is out of the ordinary, you will need to observe and figure out why. If they kept missing you and whimpers every time you went away, you will want to take them to the vet, right?
- Change. Another huge reason that your dog has anxiety, particularly when you leave them, is that they have become used to it. Before you leave, they are tired, the same tired they were when you left, and they will associate your absence with you not being there. You need to go through the motion of exiting the house calmly so that this doesn’t happen. If you have always gone out in a similar way to them before leaving them, they will know this is the time to expect you to leave, so they will not become anxious.
- Obedience. Simply showing obedience is a great way to resolve any anxiety issues with separation. Teaching your dog to sit and stay, or even starting a training program that gradually gets more difficult, can help your dog cope.
- Trick Training. The basis for this approach is that very young pups may engage in licking and nipping because they are teething. The confidence that they gain from this simple activity builds their confidence, and noticing that you are OK with it lets them know that they are not alone. Don’t overexcite if they start whining, as they are reacting to their need to be rescued. This is not a whining dog; they are just bored. You can easily turn the table on them: slather a towel, maybe even a dog sweater on them, and play the “They’re the abandoned dog, or what ever got away” card. They’ll never know the difference.
- Leave. The first step is starting with a short absences, say, a minute or so. Gradually increase the time as the dog gets used to it. The minute they start whining or barking, you can be like Lucy and take them back to the ‘vier’ (as they say of the pack).
- Locate and Keep. This is another step that teaches the dog that crating (as in a dog carrier) is a great place to be. The idea here is to assert your alpha role, telling the dog that someone else is in charge of the pack.