Why your dog howling when left alone ? Dogs don’t have the best time when they’re at home. Imagine spending a whole day without a loved one you can play with and chat with. Our furry friends are stressed, bored, or scared. That is why they bark and weep when you’re away.
You may think this is normal since the way they usually communicate. However, your neighbors may be complaining about the noise of your dog.
While separation anxiety is the most frequently cited reason the dog howls when left at home, There are other reasons. Over-excited, territorial, or even pain and medical issues can trigger your dog to bark.
Change Your Morning Routine :
Dogs are one of the most curious and attentive animals. They observe your day-to-day routine before you begin walking towards the door. They know you have to shower, eat, take your keys, and then go out the door. Watching you do this will create anxiety that they leave and start to panic.
Begin by making minor adjustments to your routine. Try changing the menu a little, such as eating your breakfast first before showering. Getting up earlier to have a 10-minute time-out with your dog is also possible. Make minor adjustments until your dog doesn’t see the routine as a trigger.
Start small, and then gradually move up the ladder.
It could be time-consuming. However, you must perform this in the interest of your dog’s well-being! To accomplish this:
- Go out the door quickly, then return to the inside.
- Allow your dog to calm down before going outside again.
- Make sure your dog doesn’t snort or cry as you walk out.
- Begin to increase the duration of time outside of your home. You can leave for five minutes and return for a few minutes. The time should be random and gradually increase until they can stand in a quiet space for longer without yelling.
Dog Howling When Left Alone :
Certain dogs are afflicted with separation anxiety. They bark when you go away as they yell for your return. They get so stressed out that they constantly scream in response to your absence of you.
The majority of dogs with separation anxiety breeds are the ones who are very close to their owners, for example, Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, Jack Russell border collies, terriers, and toy Poodles.
If you find yourself leaving and your dog is howling, it can be a sign that your dog has separation anxiety. Excessive howling could be a sign of a medical issue. Therefore, take your dog to the veterinarian to check it out and confirm that it’s not an injury or illness making him cry.
What to Do if Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety :
It’s not surprising that dogs aren’t fond of being left alone. They’re social creatures, for sure. Certain dogs may complain and cry whenever we go away, while others sleep and wait for our return, while others may tear up pillows to have fun during our absence. What can you do to tell if you’re dealing with separation anxiety? And the best way to make our dogs more relaxed when we’re away from home?
Is separation anxiety a problem?
Expert in separation anxiety Melana DeMartini, CTC, defines separation anxiety as “the equivalent of a full-blown panic attack in a being due to the anxiety and fear of being left alone.” These panic attacks are often seen in dogs in the form of:
* Excessive whining, barking, and vocalizing
* Involuntary urination and bowel defecation
* Escape attempts
There are numerous common misconceptions surrounding the above symptoms. My clients have heard that “my dog poops on my floor when I leave him alone out of spite.” This type of behavior is not voluntary. The dog isn’t going to choose to cause an accident. It’s the consequence of anxiety and fear. Knowing that your dog is suffering from extreme stress can help you react with compassion and understanding.
The milder form of separation anxiety is called isolation distress. Isolation distress refers to the displeasure of being on your own, whereas separation anxiety can attach it to a specific person to whom the dog is connected. If your dog is fine when they’re with somebody, they likely suffer from isolation anxiety. Suffer from. If your dog is anxious whenever you leave, you’re likely suffering from separation anxiety.
Dogs can learn to enjoy being on their own :
The good news is that clinical separation anxiety is uncommon. If you’ve confirmed that your dog doesn’t suffer from severe separation anxiety but simply barks or whines in the absence of anyone else, and you want to teach your dog independence, follow these steps to teach your dog how to have some freedom:
Step 1: Management – Prevent Panic .
Like always, we’ll need to begin with some sort of management. Reduce your dog’s time on his own by enlisting dog walkers, neighbors, family members, friends, and daycares to take care of your dog when you go to work or the supermarket. We must reduce the anxiety pets experience as they learn to relax and enjoy their time independently.
Step 2: Create a Safe Space .
Create a secure area for your pet. It could be a comfortable space or a crate where your dog feels the most relaxed. Make sure you establish a positive relationship with the space by regularly offering them food, toys, chews, bones, and cuddles when they’re in the crate. Make sure there’s nothing to be found in this area – i.e., no food items that are dangerous to chew.
Step 3: Counter-Condition Departure Cues .
Your dog may already be screaming in terror when you put on your shoes and grab your keys for your car or put on your jacket. Dogs are extremely adept at recognizing patterns. Since your dog already has an adverse association with the behaviors we exhibit, We must work hard to change these indicators of our departure.
- Many times throughout the day:
- Take your keys, throw in a few treats in the air and place your keys back in their place
- Put on your shoes, throw a few treats in the air then remove your shoes
- put on your jacket and toss a few snacks, then remove your jacket
- As time passes, your dog will stop in a panic when you do these actions, which will enable you to proceed to step 4.
- Step 4: Practice Short Departures .
The most vocalizing occurs at the moment of departure. Some puppies even settle after a few hours of crying. Therefore, we’ll put in the most training during the first few minutes that we are away. This is the way to do it:
- Make a tasty Kong and Topple Toy by mixing in your dog’s favorite recipe.
- Put the toy in a secure area with your pet.
- Say, “Be right back.”
- Disappear for 3-5 seconds.
- Return, grab the toy you stuffed with, and let your pet out of their secure space.
- Repeat Steps 2-5 while slowly (and quite gradually) increasing the length of time you disappear.
In this exercise, we’re training our dogs:
- We’ll always come back.
- Our absence is always paired with something tasty.
- Our return to the show isn’t particularly thrilling (in fact, it will lead to the close of their delicious toy).
You may ask, “what happens when my dog finishes the stuffed toy?” We’ve observed that with sufficient repetitions of the activity in small intervals, the dog’s anxiety is reduced, and after they’re done with their toy, they rest until you return. The moment you leave is the most difficult part. If we can counter-condition for the first five minutes, we will see more success for an hour or 3 hours so long as our dog knows (through repeating) that we will always return!
If you’re trying to change your dog’s routine but it isn’t showing any significant improvement, The next step is to seek professional assistance. Get veterinary help immediately when your dog’s fear of separation is serious. Discuss with your vet the behavior of your dog. In many instances, they will recommend medications as well as behavior modification.
A dog with a high level of anxiety cannot be taught new skills. Medical therapy can “take the edge off” and allow you to communicate with your dog much more easily. The purpose of medical therapy is to aid in behavior changes. The goal of medical therapy is to provide a temporary boost to the process of training.
There could be a board-certified vet behaviorist in your area who could assist. They can even provide phone consultations if they aren’t close.
It’s recommended to seek help from a dog trainer or animal behaviorist. They have experience with dogs similar to yours and are capable of providing valuable insights. Keep in mind to be perseverant and constant throughout the entire process. It could take a while, but your dog’s eventually improving.