Thursday, August 3, 2017

Separation Anxiety-2nd dog

One of my recent separation anxiety clients asked me a common question during our initial call, “Will getting a second dog help?”

My heart swells with appreciation for guardians whose dogs display separation-related anxiety.

There’s a technical difference between separation anxiety, when the dog is anxious when not in the presence of a specific person; and isolation anxiety, when the dog is anxious when left alone without any person. Either way, the dog is experiencing anxiety similar to a panic attack. For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to use the term “separation-related anxiety” to refer to both.

These folks are some of the most caring, compassionate and committed dog guardians I’ve ever worked with.

They’re usually frustrated because they love their dog to the moon and back, but they also feel trapped in their own home because every time they leave, their dog displays one or more of any number of separation-related behaviors including continued and progressive vocalization, serious damage to the home, and even self-mutilation.

These guardians are heartbroken and often nearly at their wit’s end.

By the time they find a certified separation anxiety trainer, they’ve also read and/or received some pretty ineffective and often downright harmful advice on how to help their beloved dog.
It’s no wonder that they’re ready to reach for a solution that’s seemingly as simple as adding a second dog. In reality, it’s not simple or easy. So when clients ask the second-dog question, I offer the two most repeated words in dog training: “It depends.”

Here’s a hypothetical human analogy: If your spouse or significant other passed away and you were feeling terribly anxious while home alone, would any other unknown person relieve your anxiety? Bringing a new dog into your home would be like asking a stranger to hang out in your home to relieve your anxiety. I’d venture a guess that even good friends might not alleviate your anxiety. One or two of your friends (you know, the ones you love but who seem to find a way to get on your last nerve) might even exacerbate your anxiety.  Read the entire article

> Like Us on Facebook
Follow on Twitter

No comments: