Separation Anxiety is when a dog is afraid of being separated from you - the owner, a family member, or even another dog in the household.
Some of the signs that indicate that your dog may be experiencing Separation Anxiety may include: urinating, defecating while you are around, pacing, pawing, barking, digging, chewing - just to name a few.
Behaviourist Adem Fehmi shows us four games to help build your dog’s confidence and independence so they can cope whilst being left alone.
Even if your dog doesn’t experience separation anxiety these games can prove really useful by enriching your dog’s day.
Remember to appropriately exercise your dog before leaving them. Just a short walk may be sufficient.
High energy dogs may need to drain more energy. Too much energy could make your dog anxious when left alone.
What to do if your dog is anxious
The Chase Game
Throw the ball for your dog to chase.
The Find It Game
Throw some tasty treats in the garden or in the park for your dogs to find - make sure they see your hand as you throw.
While they are searching for their treats, go some distance off and call their names, turning this game into a RECALL game, then give them a treat when they come to you.
The Memory Game
While walking your dog, drop a treat or toy then, after continuing for a distance, release your dog to retrieve it. It’s important to choose a lure that your dog values.
The Two Treat Game
Show your dog a treat (it must be in your dog’s eye-line) and throw it some distance off, let them run to find it.
Now add recall into the game by saying the word COME as they come back to you, and give them another treat. Make a game of it and repeat it as many times as you wish.
Pro tip – always hold the collar first before giving the treat.
The trick with all these games is to make sure the sessions are FUN for your dog.