Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Separation Anxiety is probably the most common behavioral problem in dogs. And, not only does it cause your Miniature Schnauzer emotional distress..... it will drive you crazy too.
Dogs that panic and become stressed out when left alone are suffering from separation anxiety and usually display all sorts of unwanted behaviors like: barking, howling, and whining. In more severe cases, the behaviors can be even destructive like: chewing and destroying shoes, furniture, rugs, or worse yet, urinating or defecating in the home, when left alone.
It is therefore important to recognize the signs that your Miniature Schnauzer is having a problem being left alone so you can come up with the best solution to put an end to it. Through behavior modification and the help of some calming aids, your Schnauzer will begin to accept the fact that he will be alone for a while, but that you are coming back. In fact, he may begin to enjoy his alone time.
Causes of Canine Separation Anxiety
You can probably link your Miniature Schnauzer’s anxiety to one or more of the following:
- wasn’t properly socialized as a pup
- a newly adopted dog
- a previously abused dog
- change in your work schedule
- change in your household ~ a new baby
- change of residence ~ moved to a new home
- any type of change in your dog’s normal routine
- dogs with limited vision or blind dogs
It is important for you, the owner, to understand that your Miniature Schnauzer is not being destructive intentionally. So please DON’T return home and scold or punish your Miniature Schnauzer for the destruction. That will only make your Miniature Schnauzer more anxious and fearful of you, and you don't want that.
So what’s an owner to do?
The first thing you need to do is find out the underlying cause of the dog anxiety. Once that is determined, you can begin to resolve the issue.
If possible, it would be great if you could set up a pet cam so you can actually see exactly what your Miniature Schnauzer is doing while you’re away. This will help you determine if your Miniature Schnauzer is truly suffering from separation anxiety because of your absence or if your Miniature Schnauzer's acting out due to boredom.
If your Miniature Schnauzer begins bad behaviors the moment you leave the home with barking, whining, etc.. and then proceeds to even more destructive behaviors, your Miniature Schnauzer probably does suffer from dog separation anxiety.
If however, your Miniature Schnauzer roams around the house, takes a nap, gets up, stares out the window barking at passers-by, and eventually begins chewing on furniture, shoes, etc... you’re probably dealing with a bored dog.
Tip for Bored Dogs: A quick fix to help a bored dog is to leave some fun puzzle games and treats like these interactive toys: Puzzle Toys for Small Dogs or the TreatStik Interactive Dog Toy which will help keep him busy and entertained when he is left alone.
TreatStik Interactive Toy
TreatStik is a fun interactive toy for small dogs that will have your Miniature Schnauzer rewarding himself and entertained for hours!
Hide A Squirrel
Plush interactive puzzle that will entertain you Mini Schnauzer as he tries to figure out just how to get to those pesky varmints.
Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions
The most effective approach to dealing with a dog that suffers with separation anxiety is through behavior modification and many have also had success with herbal treatments or anti-anxiety medication.
Depending on why your Miniature Schnauzer is acting out, one of the following suggestions just might solve your problem.
- Exercise - if you can take your Miniature Schnauzer on a brisk walk or engage him in some vigorous dog exercise or play before leaving your home, you may find that this will help tire your Miniature Schnauzer out, so he sleeps while you're gone.
- Special Treats - Just before leaving the house, give your Miniature Schnauzer some special treat that he only gets when you leave the house. Since these treats are only allowed while you're away from home, your Miniature Schnauzer will begin to associate being alone with a very special reward. Bully Stick Dog Treats are long lasting treats that should keep your Miniature Schnauzer entertained a long while or maybe leave your Miniature Schnauzer a KONG Goodie Bone Dog Toy filled with some yummy treats he has to work at getting out of the bone.
- Herbal Treatments - A holistic approach includes wholesome nutritious foods, plenty of exercise, a secure home environment, and many dog owners also benefit by adding a natural stress relief like Rescue Remedy or PetCalm.
Another easy-to-use calming aid is Comfort Zone W/D.A.P. Diffuser. It simulates natural calming pheromones that help soothe dogs especially in stressful situations and can reduce or completely stop stress-related behavior including: barking, whimpering and whining, chewing, urination and defecation. It actually reduces or eliminates separation anxiety and calms dogs during thunderstorms and Fourth of July fireworks or when left home alone.
- Pet-Sitter - Consider hiring a petsitter or dog walker to help make the time you're away from home more bearable for your Miniature Schnauzer.
- Keep Calm Yourself - Dogs have a way of reading our emotions and actions. Upon departure, just give your Miniature Schnauzer a quick pat on the head and leave. Don't act upset about the fact that you are leaving him alone.
And stay calm when you return home, too. Don't make a big fuss or give your Miniature Schnauzer tons of kisses. This will only reinforce and enhance the downside of being left home alone. Just greet your Miniature Schnauzer calmly and then proceed with your normal routine (check the mail, change your clothes etc...) and after your Miniature Schnauzer calms down a bit, show him more attention or take him for a walk.
In the end, day after day, being left alone will naturally become part of your Miniature Schnauzer's routine. By implementing the above suggestions slowly, your Miniature Schnauzer will learn that being left alone is not a bad thing.
|Music Dogs Love CD|
A collection of calming music and soothing sounds for dogs.Over one hour of relaxing music mixed with soft nature sounds and short stories, creating a peaceful environment for dogs who are left alone. Exotic birds, children playing, soothing voices, and sonic sounds only dogs hear, are just a few of the effects that come in and out of this beautiful music to entertain your pet while you are gone.
|DVD For Dogs: While You Are Gone|
A collection of calming and soothing sounds from a walk through the woods: deer, ducks, geese, wolfs, prairie dogs, birds, horses, fish, butterflies, and more. There's also a virtual game of fetch.
These soft nature sounds, music, sonic sounds only dogs hear, and short stories create a peaceful environment for dogs who are left alone. Now you'll never have to leave your dog home alone again!
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