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Training Exercises to help Separation Anxiety

One exercise that can help with separation anxiety and is fairly easy to execute is to practice sit-stay and down-stay commands using positive reinforcement. This gradually teaches your dog that he can remain calmly in one place while you’re elsewhere. You want to say the command, then move briefly out of your dog’s sight, gradually increasing the distance and time that you are away from your dog. On your return, use positive reinforcement by gently praising him or giving him a treat. These exercises can easily be incorporated into your normal routine, for instance when you get up to go into another room.

If you’re dealing with a fairly minor case of separation anxiety, there are several other things that you can do. First, try leaving your dog with an article of your clothing that has your scent on it. Also, keep all of your departures and arrivals low-key. In fact, experts recommended that you actually ignore your pet for the first few minutes when you arrive home, then calmly pet him. You can also establish a cue that you use every time you leave your dog on short absences. This can be a word or action, something like ‘be right back’ or the presentation of a chew toy, that should be used during practice sessions. However, avoid using this cue when you’ll be gone for longer periods of time.

Read more about separation anxiety.
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