How to deal with Separation Anxiety among Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs
A most common problem some dog owners have is dog separation anxiety. Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may bark when you leave the house, this is annoying and at the low end of the anxiety scale but, if allowed to continue your precious pet might begin to destroy your home, messing everywhere or incessantly barking hour after hour.
Sources of Dog Separation Anxiety
Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a pack animal. He feels an attachment to you, the alpha leader, and when you leave the house he may become agitated. There is no real reason for this agitation except for the actions you take in leaving the house.
Going through the same routine each morning and giving him attention before you leave the house reinforces a daily separation anxiety which your King Charles Cavalier Spaniel may end up not being able to control.
Reducing Dog Separation Anxiety
There are various ways of reducing the anxiety your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may feel as you leave the house. These are some simple ways to make the parting easier.
Change your routine – Does your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel get upset when the alarm clock sounds? Then he has associated this with your departure. Set your alarm for different times. Dress earlier. Have breakfast at different times. Put the car keys on the bench and leave them for a while. Making little variations will relieve the pressure.
Don’t reinforce it – Petting your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel before leaving and upon returning home may add to his anxiety. Reduce separation anxiety between your comings and goings by removing the departure association. Don’t pet him before you leave and don’t fall into the trap of giving in to his sad noises. Upon your return ignore him for 10-15 minutes. This association can be practiced while you are in the house by putting him in a separate room and leaving him, returning from time to time.
Building up to longer times – Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s separation anxiety can be treated by changing his expectations of how long your absence will be. If he’s anxious as you walk out the door, try leaving the house for shorter periods, go just for a few seconds and return. When he sees you return quickly you can begin to leave for a little longer the next time and so on.
You’re Not Being Mean
Reduced dog separation anxiety is good for the health, both physical and mental of your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Solutions to anxiety are not cruel to your dog. They can help your dog to be relaxed in the knowledge that you will return home, are in charge of affairs and that there is no reason for him to feel stressed.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with severe and prolonged anxiety problems need the problem addressed as soon as possible. Teach him not to associate your comings and goings with the pack order and his survival. He will be a happier, more loving dog.