Will my dog get separation anxiety when I go back to work after lockdown?

Will my dog get separation anxiety when I go back to work after lockdown? by Anna Hope

#topquestions that are flying in to my inbox recently with the worries we have alongside the Coronavirus Pandemic that is hitting us all hard.

Firstly, I don't want to simply bring some info to your attention that will hopefully help you.

Why should we be worried?

Simply put, being alone is a skill that puppies and dogs NEED to LEARN.

They aren’t born with the ability to be alone, in fact, they come away from their Mother and littermates, they’ve never known what it’s like to be alone.

It isn’t simple for all dogs and if they were sensitive and cautious as puppies, they may be a little hesitant to be left alone.

It’s a super important skill and it needs to be practised as much as possible and from day 1 of having your puppy.

We all want those happy dogs that snooze on the sofa or happily chill by themselves when we art out at work or off for dinner.

Having this skill underdeveloped may lead to issues with separation and being alone and a huge majority of the behaviour work I do is centred around Separation issues. These aren’t a simple and quick fix.

In the modern climate of lockdown and with us all being confined to our homes, this is when we need to adapt the way we train but always ensuring we still train.

What can we do about it?

Yep, we can’t control the isolation limitations we have in place but we can still do some things to help our puppies develop that ‘being alone’ skill.

A few suggestions for you:

  1. We can encourage them to settle away from us – especially when we are relaxing at home.
  2. Encourage them some time alone in the garden if you have one, if not, try to use a long lead and give them some ‘sniff’ time on walks with no instructions.
  3. Feed them away from you daily, ideally from Kongs (or similar) and in the garden is fun!
  4. Don’t allow them to accompany you to the bathroom…we know they love us but we need some privacy!
  5. Try to encourage them to be alone in another room whilst you wander around doing jobs.
  6. Don’t allow them to follow you everywhere!
  7. Be kind to them if they’re struggling. Don’t put them in their crate if they whine, don’t punish them for a natural behaviour but instead realise that they’re just not ready and go back a couple of steps.

What you can do now…

Grab access to my FREE 7 Day Puppy Master Plan which will give you everything you need to help your puppy. 100% done for you training plans that I’ll send straight to your inbox so you can cover everything at home. Just spend around 10 minutes a day doing them and you’ll all soon see how fun it is.

We’ll be working on:

How to socialise in lockdown.

How to being your training when in lockdown.

The best ways to help avoid separation issues popping up.

How we can help our puppies become confident and ready for the real world (when limitations are lifted) and help to avoid things such as reactivity.

How to prepare them for the vets or the groomers.

Grab it now as it won’t be available for free forever and make sure your puppy is on the right track whilst we all cope with what’s going on in the world. Yes – Sign me up! (click the link)