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Separation Anxiety Triggers

Paul Thrasher  |  Apr 30th 2010


If something like showering and changing was triggering anxiety in my dog, I would try showering, changing and then feeding something special. Do that with any trigger. Randomly put on your shoes, get some food, feed and then take them off. Pick up you keys, feed, put them down. But you might also want to try putting your pet in the pen, walking out of the room for 2 seconds, coming back, letting her out and having a party. But back to the shower scenario: If you go shower, change and come out and find she’s hiding, I wouldn’t try to coax her out – I’d just ignore her (while having something she likes nearby – depends on what it is, could be a ball, could be a tug, could be food), and start playing with the toy (or whatever) while acting like she’s not there. When she starts to get interested, and comes to you, I would probably do the whole “HEY! How are you – didn’t know you were there!) sort of thing. That way you are not fostering the hiding/fear kind of behavior – since I would think that paying her loads of attention for hiding is just reinforcing that type of behavior.