Labradors are known for their loyalty and love for humans. They are very affectionate towards humans, but they can get anxious when left alone or if they feel like someone else is watching them. A good way to handle this problem is to teach your dog that it’s okay to go out and play by yourself. You can even make sure there will always be another person around so that your dog doesn’t feel threatened by strangers.
The following tips will help you deal with your Labradors’ separation anxiety:
1) Teach Your Dog That It’s Okay To Go Out And Play By Yourself.
You can teach your dog that it’s okay to go outside and play by herself. She’ll probably still want to stay inside most of the time, but she won’t worry too much about it because other people are around her all the time.
2) Make Sure There Are Always Other People Around.
Make sure there are always other people around so that your dog doesn’t feel threatened by strangers. If you’re going to leave the house, make sure there are at least two people around who aren’t family members or neighbors. (And don’t forget to lock up!)
3) Keep The Door Open For Your Dog When She Comes Home.
If your dog is used to having the door locked every time you leave the house, then make sure you keep it unlocked so she can come in and out as she pleases.
4) Teach Your Dog To Sit And Wait Before Going Out The Door.
Have your dog sit and wait before going outside. This will give them a chance to calm down before they go outside to play. You can also ask them to stay inside for a few minutes. This will help them calm down a bit before they go outside.
If you consistently work on these tips, then your dog will have less separation anxiety. It might take several months, but it will be well worth it. The more you focus on these tips, the better your dog will handle being left alone.
Dogs with separation anxiety need a lot of attention and training. You need to teach them that it’s okay to be alone and not to worry about you leaving. This doesn’t mean you should be lax on the rules. All you need to do is train them a bit more than usual. Training will help your dog release any pent up energy and stress.
Your dog might also feel a little lonely when you’re away, so it’s important that you buy toys or games that can keep them occupied while you’re gone.
Labrador separation anxiety is common in these dogs. It’s because of their loyalty and affection towards humans. The Labrador is always ready to please humans, which is why they get anxious when they see that you are upset with them or unhappy in any way. If you have a Labrador with separation anxiety, make sure you give them a lot of love and attention on a regular basis. Do not scold or shout at them for bad behavior, as this will only make them more anxious.
The tips above should help you manage your dog’s anxiety so they can be less destructive while you’re away.
Do you have other tips on how to deal with separation anxiety in dogs?
If so, tell us about them below!
What Else Can I Do With My Dog Besides Obedience Training?
As you know, obedience training shouldn’t be the only thing you do with your dog. There are many other activities you can do to have fun and strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
Here are some suggestions:
Hiking: Most Labs love hiking, but some may need a little more encouragement at first. Try taking them on a short, easy hike where there are a lot of other people or dogs around. This way your dog can get used to being around other people and dogs at the same time. Over time you can try hiking further away from sources of distraction until your dog is comfortable enough to be on a trail alone with you.
Swimming: Most Labs love swimming and this is an excellent way to keep them active while spending quality time with them. If your dog doesn’t like swimming at first, don’t force them in the water. Try throwing toys or treats near the edge of the water to get them interested. Once they feel comfortable near the water, you can both go in together. Be aware that some Labs can’t swim.
If this is the case with your dog, keep a close eye on them while in the water and make sure you’re nearby just in case they need help.
Frisbee: Labs have great noses and love to use them. Get a friend to come along who has a dog that’s good at Frisbee, so your dog can get some tips. There are also special Frisbees designed for dogs. You can test your dog’s scent skills by hiding the Frisbee, telling your dog where it is, and then rewarding them when they find it.
Find The Toy: Just like with the Frisbee, get a friend with a dog to help and bring along a favorite plush toy your dog loves. Have your friend start off by hiding the toy while your dog watches. Then have your dog go and find it. The idea is to teach your dog how to seek out toys that are hidden by someone else.
Exercising Your Dog: There are several ways of exercising your dog without going to the park or taking them for a walk. A lot of Labs love playing fetch, so grab a few of their toys and see what they like the most. You can also try playing catch with a tennis ball. Running around a yard or field with your dog is another way of exercising them. Be sure to provide plenty of water for them during these activities.
Playdates: Setting up a play date with another dog is a great way of keeping your dog socialized and active. As well as getting exercise, your dog can learn how to behave when around other dogs by watching their actions and learning from them. If you don’t have any friends with dogs, try putting an ad in the local paper or just taking your dog to the park to see if any other dogs are there.
Holidays: Holidays can be hard for a dog that’s used to spending them indoors with their family. To keep your dog from getting depressed, it’s best that you try to follow as many of the same traditions that you did before your pet stopped displaying excited behavior. For example, if your family always put out a candy bowl on Halloween, then be sure to put one out for your dog. The goal is to keep them from becoming disheartened.
If a friend or family member is having a gathering and you know your dog will be made to stay outside, consider telling the host that you would prefer that they not be left out. While some people might frown upon bringing an animal inside, most people will make an exception if they know it’s what you want…and if things get uncomfortable you can always take the dog outside.
If you have a dog of your own, or know someone who does, here are some tips to keep them active and happy on Thanksgiving.
Dogs can get very excited when they see all the people in the family that they haven’t seen in a year. While this is usually just an innocent display of affection, it’s important that all the humans in your family know how to react to it. To prepare for this, have a family meeting and talk about how you should react if anyone (human or dog) gets to excited.
Make sure everyone knows that they should never approach an unknown dog without the owner’s consent. A lot of dogs look forward to the holiday season because they think it means playtime with all the new visitors they get to see. While this is usually harmless, there are some dogs out there that may become territorial or aggressive when visitors come around. If your dog is not well socialized, or has a history of reacting aggressively towards people, make sure that you supervise all interactions between your dog and the guests.
Another potential hazard is a dog being allergic to other dogs. If you know someone in this situation, it would be best to keep their dog away from your own. A lot of people put their dogs in another room when guests come over so they don’t have to worry about this. If you really want to make sure your dog is happy, offer to watch their pet while they’re visiting.
If you have a dog that you know gets anxious when people come to the door, you’ll want to prepare them for all the knocks they’ll be getting. Bring in a few friends that you know won’t overwhelm your pooch and let them in so your dog can get used to the idea of visitors arriving. It might also help to give them a treat when someone comes in so they realize that guest = good things happening.
If you want to give your dog a real holiday treat, try making them some pumpkin (or regular) bread. Not only is it fun to make together, it’s also good for them and can be filled with veggies if your pet doesn’t usually eat those.
If you have the time and supplies, why not bake your dog their own special bone shaped biscuit. It’ll keep them busy while all their guests come over.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to your dog on Thanksgiving is to keep them away from the oven. This goes without saying, but an overheated dog inside an oven is no laughing matter. Dogs can also get their legs or even entire bodies caught in oven doors, which could lead to burns and other types of trauma. So no matter what, keep the dog away from the oven.
If your dog is already acting anxious, there are a few ways you can entertain them to keep them busy while all the guests come in.
Feed them one of their favorite snacks. This will distract them and they’ll be focused on that instead.
Give them a chew toy or stuffed animal to play with.
Play with them. This one might not work if your dog is particularly anxious, or if you have a lot of people coming in, but if you can take five minutes to engage with your dog they’ll be less likely to notice all the new people. If a few guests start arriving while you’re playing with your dog, they shouldn’t even realize it.
If you’re set on letting your dog roam around the house when everyone is there, here are some tips to make sure they stay happy and busy.
If you have a spare room, or even just a corner where your dog can go, put down some blankets and their favorite toys. This way they’ll have a place to go if they need too.
Hide some of their favorite treats around the house somewhere where they can find them while everyone is visiting. This will keep them busy for awhile and they’ll be less likely to act out toward the guests.
Give them something to do. If your dog is used to getting long walks every day, then this might be the perfect time to take them. A tired dog is usually a good dog, and if they get worn out before all the activity starts they’ll be more likely to sleep through most of it.
There is also the option of simply crating or leashing your dog and keeping them in a single location away from all the activity. If this is something you find necessary, there are a few ways you can make this less obvious and less of a hassle. Try to position yourself so that when guests enter the house they won’t see the crate right away. If they enter through a hallway or other walkway, position the crate around a corner or in a room off to the side. This way they won’t immediately see it and your dog will be less likely to bark.
If you have a single story house, you can even position the crate somewhere upstairs as long as you’re able to lead your dog outside for bathroom breaks every couple of hours.
Sources & references used in this article:
- South Labrador Sea and the evolution of the North Atlantic (AS Laughton – Nature, 1971 – nature.com)
- Risk factors for separation anxiety in dogs (KD Brown – 2013 – getd.libs.uga.edu)
- Extent of oceanic crust in the Labrador Sea1 (SP Srivastava, WR Roest – Marine and Petroleum Geology, 1999 – Elsevier)
- Separation Anxiety in Dogs: Are We All Talking About the Same Cases? World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2007 (DMV Diane Frank – vin.com)