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Distancing Yourself from Separation Anxiety

Important!  Please read!  Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety.  If your dog happens to be one of them, I’m sure you know how frustrating it can be for them and you.  During this time, if you’re at home with your dog, I’m sure both of you are enjoying the extra time together.  I want you to enjoy your time together but there is also a reality to face when you go back to work.  Separation anxiety DOES NOT go away; it is managed.  Please do not allow your dog to cling to your side all day long.  Use this time to teach him/her to entertain themselves while you are “busy” with other things.  Puzzle toys, kongs stuffed with goodies, and chews are a great way to keep your dog busy and get their mind focused on something other than where you are.
Give attention on your terms, not theirs.  This one is hard for many people but if your dog comes up wanting attention try to redirect their attention to one of their toys.  If you don’t want the attention and end up touching them, talking to them, or even looking at them you are giving attention even if you’re not meaning to by saying “no” or pushing them away.  Work on leaving your dog at home for small periods of time.  You don’t have to leave your property for this.  Start with 5 minutes outside where your dog can’t see you.
Wait for any barking to stop and then go back in.  If your dog is jumping all over you, ignore your dog.  Do not give ANY attention until he/she walks away.  Repeat this and slowly increase the time.  Destructive behaviors usually happen within the first 30 minutes after you leave.  Once you’re at 30 minutes you should notice a tremendous improvement.  All I’m saying is now is the perfect time to work on ways to manage your dog’s anxiety to make the abrupt transition back to work a smooth and less frustrating process.
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