{This post may contain affiliate links. This means we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. We only recommend products that we believe will be of value to our followers. Click HERE to see our disclosure for details.}

Many dog owners think that when their dog misbehaves when left alone that the dog is acting out of spite.  They think that the dog is angry that they are not home but the reality is that it's not spite at all. Click through to learn how separation anxiety can be mistaken for spite in your dog and how you can help your dog cope with being left home alone.  #separationanxiety

It’s common for dog owners to share stories of their dogs when they get together.  You will hear them telling many stories of their cute, amazing and talented pets.  You’ll also hear the stories about the dog that got angry at his owners for leaving him home alone and became destructive.  But is the dog actually doing this out of anger or spite?  Most of the time, it is actually separation anxiety that is mistaken for spite.

Dogs don’t do things out of spite.

The truth is your dog doesn’t do things out of spite.  Dogs aren’t people. That’s not to say that dogs don’t have emotions, any dog owner knows that they do. But most dog owners will agree that dogs don’t plan things out, they live completely in the moment.

The only time to correct a dog for doing something wrong is when you catch him in the act. Taking the dog to the mess and showing him what he’s done doesn’t help.  Yelling or getting angry at the dog when you find the mess teaches him that finding a mess is bad. If you do this, the dog will learn that he needs to hide the messes that he makes, not stop making them.

If your dog has been leaving messes when you’re gone, it’s important to figure out what is going on.  Your dog isn’t telling you that he’s angry that you’re gone, he’s telling you that he is anxious and nervous when you aren’t there with him.  So, he’s actually suffering from separation anxiety that was mistaken for spite.

It could be separation anxiety.

Dogs need a leader.  That leader should be their owner.  They need someone who is going to be in charge and let them know what is expected of them.  This gives them a sense of security.  When they have a leader, they count on that leader to take care of them and keep them safe.

When dogs suffer from separation anxiety, we need to listen to what they are telling us.  They are saying that they are anxious when they are left alone and don’t have their leader with them to tell them what to do.  It’s our job to help them cope with this so that they don’t become stressed when we leave them alone.

Crate training can help.

Now that we understand why our dog is behaving this way, we can use our dog’s natural instincts to help him cope with the situation.  Crate training is an excellent way to help your dog deal with the anxiety of being left alone.  In the wild, wolves have a cave or a den.  A crate can become your dog’s den.  His private space where he can feel safe and secure. Just make sure that the crate is big enough for him to be able to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably.

Some people may think that confining a dog in a crate is cruel.  But to a dog, this is a safe and secure place.  He can relax in his crate and not have to worry about checking out every noise in the house.  He’s happy because he feels safe and he has no responsibilities while you are gone.

How to crate train your dog.

Once puppies are old enough to know the rules of the house, most of them no longer need a crate.  This is usually around a year old but it all depends on the dog, some dogs will need more time.  If your dog becomes destructive when left alone, though, he will be better off staying in his crate while you are out.

To crate train your dog, set up the crate in a room that the dog spends a lot of time in.  While the crate is set up, your dog can check it out and become comfortable with it.  Feed him in the crate and toss a toy in the crate for him to go in and get it.  Always keep the crate as a positive place for your dog.

You should not leave your dog in his crate for a long period of time.  He will need to be let out for a bathroom break and some exercise.  If you work long days, look into hiring a dog walker or have a friend come in to look after your dog.

When you begin crate training, only leave your dog in the crate for a few minutes and then gradually increase the time. Have a special treat` or toy that he only gets when he’s in his crate. Many people use a hollow rubber toy, such as a kong, with a bit of peanut butter or soft cheese inside. Use a happy tone to tell your dog it’s time to go to his “kennel,” and then put the toy in the crate for him.

In time, you will be able to leave him in the crate while you are gone out.  This will be great for both of you.  You won’t have to worry about your dog and he will be happy that he has no decisions to make on his own while you are out.

What else can you do?

In addition to the crate, you can use pheromones to help with your dog’s anxiety.  There are calming dog treats, plug ins and collars that use pheromones to help dogs cope with stressful situations.

Once your dog gets used to being crated, he can stay in his crate and you can leave him knowing that he is no longer stressed and anxious.

Related Article:  While Your Are Out…Leaving Your Dog Home Alone

Similar Posts