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Separation anxiety is the dread or fear that your dog experiences when you or someone that they are attached to leaves them. So a typical instance of this might be when you go to work in the morning, the dog might get tense or anxious. Typically this anxiety produces negative behavior in the animal. It may howl or bark, urinate or defecate in the house, start to chew things or bite itself. Obviously this is not good for the dogs state of mind or your home. So what can be done about separation anxiety in dogs ? Separation anxiety prevention should begin at birth. A puppy that is not allowed to wean off it's mother could display separation anxiety in later life. It should be weaned off and relatively independent by around the eight week period so don't get a puppy that is younger than this. Training for separation anxiety in dogs can start as soon as you bring the puppy home. To begin with, don't make a bid deal of the separation when you leave it at night or on odd occasions. Put it in it's basket and walk away. It will get used to the fact that you are not always there. If you make it clear to the puppy that you will not always be there then it will get used to it and will probably not suffer from separation anxiety when it gets older. It might not be as straightforward to train a grown dog to not suffer from separation anxiety. Often grown dogs may have come from a shelter, the pound or have been given to you by the previous owner. If it has spent anytime in a shelter or pound it may have been neglected before this. This may lead to insecurities and anxiety. It may have also been deprived of affection whilst in the shelter too which may add to it's insecurity. If it has been given to you by the previous owner there is generally a good reason why they have done this. It may be that there were family problems, a divorce, money problems or that the person had to leave the country. As a dog is a social animal and needs the support that a family gives to it, it is also aware when there are problems in the family. This can trigger emotional problems that could result in displaying separation anxiety at some point. The way to train a grown dog for separation anxiety is to take the softly softly approach. Practice leaving your pet. Start off with just a short separation, say a minute or so. Close the door to indicate that you have left. Wait a minute and then come back in. Don't make a fuss of the dog when you leave or come back. Do this repeatedly, gradually increasing the length of time that you are away from the dog. If you sense that the dog is beginning to get anxious then go back to a separation time period when it

was content. Continue this process until the dog is not displaying any signs of anxiety. Other strategies include keeping the dog busy while you are away. So you could fill a toy with peanut butter or cheese spread and give it to your pet. This will keep it so busy trying to get at the tasty treats in the toy that it does not consider the issue of separation.

Visit for more ideas on understanding dog body language. The site has articles and advice on caring for your dog, health issues related to dogs and a review of a popular dog behavior training course.

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==== ==== This is a really informative website on the topic od American Bulldog Obedience Training. ==== ====

American Bulldog Separation Anxiety  

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