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Much research by the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Sciences suggests that pet owners who have a dog with separation anxiety are most likely to get rid of their furry friend. If you have an older dog with separation anxiety, you may think that this is your only option, especially when you’re trying to train your dog. The good news is that older dogs can be properly crate trained. Here is everything that you need to know about separation anxiety, and how you can train your older dogs.
What Exactly Is Separation Anxiety?
Most pet owners have heard of separation anxiety at some point. Separation anxiety is a common condition that causes dogs to behave in rather unusual ways.
There are many treatments for separation anxiety in dogs, from prescription medication to therapy. If you suspect that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, you should visit a vet sooner rather than later. A vet will be able to recommend some great treatments. The vet may even diagnose your older dog with another medical condition during the visit.
By taking your dog to the vet immediately, you’ll be ensuring that your dog is in great health.
What Are The Signs Of Separation Anxiety In Dogs?
As a dog owner, you may not be aware of the signs of separation anxiety. Do dogs with separation anxiety bark a lot? Will extremely anxious dogs have accidents in the house? These are a couple of questions that you may be asking yourself. The following are the most common symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs.
Many pups with separation engage in extremely destructive acts such as chewing on furniture or digging holes in the yard.
If your dog has separation anxiety, it may urinate and/or defecate in the house whenever you go away. Pups who are experiencing really severe separation anxiety may even consume their own excrement.
Pups who are suffering from separation anxiety are likely to bark, whine, or growl a lot.
Some dogs with this condition may cope by running away from home. Since dogs with separation anxiety may run away, it’s a good idea to get the best GPS dog fence.
Do you notice any of these signs in your older dog? If you answered this question with a “yes,” you may want to take your dog to the vet.
What Can Cause This Condition In Dogs?
When it comes to this condition in dogs, there are many situations that can cause this severe condition. Here are the most common causes of this condition in dogs.
A Big Move
We all know that moving is a major event for pet owners, but dogs can also be affected by a big move. Many dogs simply don’t do well with a change of scenery, and some of them may even develop this condition.
If dog owners abruptly change their schedule, a dog may experience separation anxiety. For instance, if a dog owner usually works from home but suddenly spends eight hours in the office, a dog may become anxious when he/she is away. Even if a dog owner suddenly walks or feeds a dog at a different time, a dog could suffer from this condition.
Guardian Or Family Changes
When a new pet owner adopts a dog, a dog could suffer from severe separation anxiety, especially if it has been abandoned. The reality is that an abandoned dog may not be comfortable with the new dog owner. Over the course of a few months, most dogs do become comfortable with the new owners.
How To Train A Senior Dog With This Condition
Now that you know everything about this condition in dogs, it’s time to train your older furry friend. Be sure to follow these steps when crate training your senior dog.
Step 1: Set Up The Crate In Your Dog’s Favorite Spot
The first thing that you should do is set up the crate in your dog’s favorite spot. If your dog enjoys spending time in the family, you should place the crate there. Does your dog spend a lot of time in the kitchen? Maybe set up the crate in the kitchen.
Step 2: Slowly Introduce Your Dog To The Crate
Once you’ve properly set up the crate, you’ll want to gradually introduce the crate to your senior dog.
One way you can do this is by encouraging your dog to sniff the crate. You can also entice your dog to the crate by placing toys and treats inside of it.
During the training process, many dog owners will name the crate. You can call it “crate,” “bed,” or even “den.”
Step 3: Lure Your Dog Inside The Crate
When your dog becomes really used to the crate, you’ll want to encourage your furry friend to go inside of the crate.
Many pet owners use treats or toys to lure their dogs inside the crate.
Whenever your dog goes inside the crate, be sure to give it a lot of praises and hugs.
Pro Tip: Avoid forcing your dog inside the crate. You want your dog to associate the crate with a positive place.
Step 4: Close The Crate Door
Once your dog is securely inside the crate, you’ll want to lock the crate door.
After locking the crate door, go to another room for a few minutes. You can even talk to your dog while you’re in the other room. By doing so, your dog will know that it isn’t alone.
If your dog is adjusting really well to the crate, you can gradually increase the time that you spend in another area of the house.
Don’t forget to give your dog a lot of treats during the crate training process.
Tips For Training A Senior Dog
Here are some great tips when you’re crate training your older dog.
- Always be patient. Since your dog isn’t a puppy, crate training an older dog may take a little bit longer. You definitely want to avoid yelling at your dog
- Give your many breaks by letting it run around outside within an enclosed wireless dog fence. Just make sure that your dog doesn’t actually jump over the fence
- Make sure that your dog stays hydrated throughout the day
- Walk your dog on a daily basis so that it will be in a good mood during the crate training
- Hire an experienced dog therapist for help
- The crating process training process will be much smoother if you use the best dog crate. Most dogs will appreciate an extremely spacious crate.
When you have an older dog with separation anxiety, you may think that crate training your furry friend is virtually impossible. The good news is that many dog owners have crate trained an older dog, so it’s definitely possible.
If you follow the steps above, you’re likely to have a positive crate training experience. Just make sure to avoid forcing your dog into the crate. If you notice that your dog is resistant to crate training, maybe try another day.
During the crate training process, you should be persistent yet gentle. Giving your dog lots of positive reinforcement is always a great idea. You want your dog to associate the crate with a positive experience .
If you notice that your dog seems sick, don’t hesitate to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Many older dogs have medical conditions, and these conditions may make crate training even harder without the proper medication.
While you’re at the vet, you can even ask the vet for any crate training tips. A vet may be able to give you specific tips for your specific breed.
During the crate training process, you should never give up. Your older dog just needs a lot of patience. Don’t forget to walk it daily and give it lots of water when you’re doing separation anxiety crate training.
It may also help if the crate is extremely comfortable with extra padding, toys, and treats, especially if your dog exhibits extreme stress. Be sure that the crate is located in a comfortable area of the house if you want to crate train older dogs. If your dog doesn’t like the family room, you should place the crate there.
One last tip: You can also hire an experienced dog therapist for help. These professionals know exactly how to train your unique breed, and they especially know how to train an older dog. You can also get many tips from these professionals and you can ask them many questions throughout the process. You won’t regret it.
Is it possible to crate train an older dog?
While crate training an older dog may not be easy, it’s definitely possible. The most important thing that you need to have is patience because it will probably take longer to crate train an older dog than a puppy.
For specific tips about how to train an older dog, be sure to ask an experienced vet. A vet may be able to prescribe medication to make the entire crate training process much easier.
Should you crate a dog with separation anxiety?
If your older pup has dog separation anxiety, you can still train it with a few simple steps.
One way to make the crate training process a little easier is to get prescription medication from an experienced vet. By giving your dog prescription medication, it will probably be much calmer during the crate training.
How do you train an older dog with separation anxiety?
When it comes to crate training an older dog with separation anxiety, you just need to follow a few simple steps.
After setting up the crate in your dog’s favorite spot, you’ll want to slowly introduce your dog to the crate.
The best way to do this is by placing tasty dog treats and a fun toy inside the crate. Encourage your dog to go inside the crate with soothing words. When it goes inside the crate, be sure to give it a lot of praise.
Avoid pushing your dog into the crate because then it will have a negative experience.
How long does it take to crate train a dog with separation anxiety?
Generally speaking, crate training a dog with separation anxiety should take a few months. Depending on the specific breed, it could take longer to get a dog used to a crate.
An experienced vet will be able to tell you exactly how long it may take to train your specific dog. If your dog has any medical conditions along with separation anxiety, it may take longer to train it.