Stop Poodle Separation Anxiety
If you have been looking for a way to stop poodle separation anxiety, you have come to the right place.
Separation anxiety can be very stressful, not only to the dog, but to the owner too.
Stop Poodle Separation Anxiety in Its Tracks
The way in which you bring your dog up can impact on separation anxiety. There are a few reasons that it occurs but most of them have to do with your behaviors and reactions, and less to do with the dog.
- Alpha leader issues. If your poodle pup is confused about who the top dog in the family is, he may exhibit signs of separation anxiety. This does not necessarily mean that he is pining for your company, but rather that he is stressed because his ‘pack’ is out of sight and therefore out of his control. You need to reverse the roles and teach your dog who is boss. This is done by eating first, being the first to initiate and end play sessions, getting out the front door first and so on.
- Rewarding bad behaviour. Do you make an extra fuss of your dog when you are about to leave home and when you return? This only exacerbates the problem and shows him he has reason to be anxious. It also signals your departure and cues the stress response in the dog which then becomes a habit that you are inadvertently reinforcing every time. When you come home, it is best to ignore your poodle for at least 10 minutes before you greet him. This may seem hard and cruel, but it is ultimately kinder on the dog. Likewise, when you leave the house, don’t make a big fuss and say long goodbyes. Poodles are very sensitive to mood and if they sense that you are anxious about leaving, they will pick this up. If you are nonchalant about the whole thing they will take their cue from you and be more relaxed.
- Change your routine to stop poodle separation anxiety. If your poodle has come to associate your leaving with certain actions like you picking up your keys, it might be a good idea to change something. Try slipping out the back door or leaving at a different time. Mixing things up a bit like this might be enough to break the association and the habit.
- Leave and return. Another option is to leave the house, practising the above no-fuss routine, and coming back after a few minutes. Keep doing this at different times and then gradually extend the time you are away. This works especially well with a puppy because they can then gradually get used to you coming and going without anxiety.
- Holistic approach. Make sure your poodle has enough exercise, mental stimulation and play time when you are with him.
Whatever the cause of anxiety, you can make a difference by studying your relationship with your dog. Stop poodle separation anxiety by reassessing your role in the problem.