Using a crate to train your puppy is one of the easiest ways to housebreak a dog. Crate training works well because it ties in with the dog’s natural instincts of not eliminating where he or she sleeps. But what if you have a puppy with separation anxiety? Is crate training a Dog with Separation Anxiety a good training method? In this article I will tell you what I went through when I tried to crate train my rescue puppy.
What is Separation Anxiety in Dogs?
Separation anxiety is characterized by destructive behavior when a dog is left alone. This behavior can include excessive barking, howling, destroying household items, digging, chewing and sometimes urination. My dog would literally go into a panic whenever I had to leave. Even if I was go gone only a few minutes. When I come home, I’d find something chewed, or broken. At the time I didn’t even know what was wrong.
I began to search for what could be wrong, and I found out that most dogs with separation anxiety get frightened when left alone. Some dogs dig at a door or a window to try and escape and find their owner. Whenever you get ready to leave most dogs will pick up on signs. Whenever I grabbed my keys the sound would make my dog run to the door and try to go outside. It really scared me, because I stayed on a busy street. And when I returned my pup would run a round like a crazy. I found out that it’s also common for your dog to greet you with hyperactivity. Like, running, jumping, or barking are some of the . My dog would even follow me from room to room. I think it was because she didn’t want to get left again.
What Is The Best Way To Crate Train A Dog with Separation Anxiety
Whenever I would leave home and return, I would notice that she’d find a place to relieve herself. I accidently stumbled onto crate training one day while searching for ways stop my dog from going in the house. I was apprehensive about crate training at first. As mentioned earlier; a puppy with separation anxiety may urinate when he or she becomes afraid. When I decided to fully commit to crate training. It got me to thinking; should I deal with the separation anxiety first, or just go straight to crate training.
According to Cesar Millan from Cesarsway: When it comes to crate training a puppy that has separation anxiety; it is best to familiarize your dog with the crate. Feeding time should also be done inside the crate. And your dog should feel safe in the crate. I placed one of her favorite chew toys into the crate and went outside.
As soon as the door closed, she started to bark and whimper. Following advice that I got from a friend. I went back in, but I did not let her out, I didn’t not acknowledge her. As I ignored her it hurt me to my soul, but she stopped barking and whimpering. Then I let her out. I didn’t want her to think that every time she barked or cried; she’d get out.
Controlling Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety with Desensitizing Him or Her from Your Leaving Routine
I took her outside for a walk, where she relieved herself. We did this same routine everyday close to the same time for 4-weeks. I added small thing to this routine to; like, picking up my keys and walking outside, or grabbing my purse. I did this every day to desensitize her from me leaving. I learned that a dog with separation anxiety who is not use to your leaving routine is going to go nuts when your leave. Like I said before your dog is going to pick up on your routine. Your routine when leaving may be different than mine.
So, you need to watch what makes your dog go into a panic when you leave. Add it to your routine and make sure your dog notices it. Once you desensitize your dog to your leaving routine it’ll be easier to leave him or her in the crate longer. If you want tips on housebreaking your puppy read our article: Tips To Housebreaking Your Puppy: The Easy Way