You may never want to leave your new Lab alone. But eventually you’re going to have to go to work, and your Lab will need to spend some time by themselves.
For many young Labs, being alone can be quite stressful. They may fear that you’re never coming back, and will begin to bark, yelp, and scratch. This fear, called separation anxiety, is quite common in puppies.
When you leave the room, your dog doesn’t know that you’ll come back. This can cause them to panic, leading to a range of anxiety symptoms. Here are some of the most common:
These symptoms can range in severity, with most puppies having at least a few of them.
As you try to comfort your Lab, there are some easy steps you can take to gradually lower their anxiety when you leave the house.
Start Off Slowly
One of the best ways of easing your Lab out of their separation anxiety is to leave them alone for short periods. They may start to howl and scratch, but they learn that you will be back soon.
It’s important that you stick to the scheduled time and not rush back into the room at the first sign of puppy distress. Your dog needs to learn that barking isn’t going to bring you back.
Slowly, you can increase the amount of time that you leave your Lab alone. Eventually, they’ll learn that you always come back, and that there’s no reason to get so worked up.
Also make sure that they are properly crate trained, as this will make it much easier for them to stay alone.
Give Them Less Attention Before You Leave
It may be hard to ignore your dog. But giving them a bit less attention before you leave actually makes it easier for your dog to cope with your absence. If you smother them in love one moment and are gone the next, they tend to get anxious.
Pick Up Your Keys But Don’t Leave
Labs are smart, and they will associate objects such as keys with you leaving. Pick up your keys but then stay in the house to break this association.
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