Dogs are man's best friend, and for many of us, they've become family members as well. Unfortunately, not all families share the same level of love and affection for their furry friends, which can lead to some pretty severe cases of separation anxiety. Luckily, there are a number of ways to help your dog overcome their fear of being away from you.
Separation anxiety is a common problem in dogs and can make them restless, destructive, and anxious when left alone. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to curing separation anxiety, many treatment methods use exposure therapy, which uses gradual exposure to the dog's fear object – in this case, the person leaving – until the dog becomes comfortable with the situation.
One type of separation anxiety training that uses a positive reinforcement technique called "clicker training" is thought to be especially effective. With clicker training, a dog gets rewarded every time it performs the desired behavior, such as sitting or laying down. When used alongside other forms of therapy like exposure therapy, clicker training can be an extremely helpful tool in treating separation anxiety.
There are a number of other methods that can be used to treat separation anxiety in dogs, including desensitization and counterconditioning, systematic desensitization, and operant conditioning. The most important thing is to find a treatment plan that works for your dog and fits into your daily routine.