Dealing with Anxiety & Velcro-dogs
When a dog is always expecting lots of attention and affection, without having to do anything for it, they tend to show signs of severe anxiety. Some examples- cannot be separated from their human without crying, barking, pottying, tearing up doors, crates, pacing, panting, not eating, getting into their humans personal space to demand attention.
If we continue to give our dogs lots of unearned affection/attention, they will feel entitled to ask for more and more, and become stressed/anxious/frustrated when they do not get what they want when they want it.
When we stop their mindset about expecting and demanding affection whenever they please, we can greatly reduce their anxiety. We can do this by:
Cutting on unearned physical affection- practice NILIF- Nothing In Life Is Free so they can become more content and independent. Every treat/toy/food must be earned
Ignore them- we are teaching ourselves not to be anxious once separated from the dog, the dog will feed off of our anxiety as well
Down time- we are conditioning them to become more confident and trusting of us
Separation anxiety is a conditioned response. We have to learn to ignore the dog or this “obsession of togetherness” along with lots of spoiling and very little structure/leadership will lead to a load of anxiety related behaviors.
If we can exercise the discipline to give the dog some time alone, we can let the dog learn how to feel content without constant arousal or attention, so they will know how to be more independent and comfortable.