The Pug is a smart, affectionate little member of the dog breed. Sometimes, however, a Pug's reliance on his owner for stability and companionship can result in a disorder known as separation anxiety. Anxiety in Pugs can be just as complicated as it is with humans. This type of disorder may range from mild to severe and can occur in pugs of any age.
Separation anxiety in Pugs can be difficult to overcome, but adequate training and plenty of love will help calm your dog's anxiety troubles. Here are a few great tips to help you deal with pug separation anxiety.
Identify Separation Anxiety
Pugs are often prone to anxiety disorders especially when left alone. A Pug with separation anxiety often acts out in many different ways. Some will whine, bark, chew, pace, and defecate to handle the extreme fear of being left alone. The pug may also get distressed and agitated when left behind.
If your dog exhibits some of this signs only when left alone, this could be a clear indication of separation anxiety. At this point, it's vital that you assert your role as a leader and stop your dog's separation anxiety before it starts.
Keep Things Low-Key With Your Pug
In order to make the Pug less anxious, your bond with him needs to be a bit stabilized. By embracing your Pug all day and constantly holding him, your dog will become nervous whenever you are not around to provide this kind of attention.
Avoid making a big deal out of your arrivals and departures. Engaging in long goodbyes with your pug will only elevate his anxiety level. Detach slowly and ignore any barking. You can also use safety words or actions every time you leave the house, to tell your Pug you'll be back. The dog will eventually learn to be self-reliant even on your absence.
Create A Safe Environment
If your Pug experiences extreme separation anxiety, he can be relieved by changing his environment. Have a safe room to leave your pug, where he will not get up to any destructive behavior. Create a comforting environment that will provide your Pug with a sense of companionship and warmth.
Pugs get bored when left alone so make sure the room contains busy toys for distraction and entertainment. You can also use the radio or TV as a safety cue. Put a dirty laundry in the room to provide your Pug with comfort and remember to confine him loosely rather than strictly.
Increase Exercise And Training
Separation anxiety is a panic disorder, which often comes with destructive behavior. A well-trained pug has confidence and hardly ever gets separation anxiety. If your pug has extra energy and is under-exercised, he will most likely embark on destructive behavior.
Provide the Pug with a lot of exercises so that he can reduce the anxiety levels. Engage in playful activities with your pug, which will improve his sense of security. Take your pug for long walks to provide him with adequate physical exercise. Don't let you pug run loose in the backyard as this is a lonely activity which will not be useful in dealing with separation anxiety.
If you can't deal with your pug's separation anxiety using the above methods, you may consider getting another dog for companionship. Pugs are very sociable dogs and introducing a companion to your pug may well solve his problems. You may also consider crate training a pug and find out whether it lessens or increases you Pug's anxiety.
Sometimes seeking professional help is a prudent thing to do, as you can get a fair and objective approach towards pug separation anxiety.
Behavior modification in dogs takes time. It is quite tricky for your pug to unlearn his fear response to your departures. Encourage your Pug to be independent and never punish him for being destructive in your absence. Punishing your pug by hitting him or shouting at him for behaviors associated with separation anxiety, can worsen the situation and multiply his anxiety levels. Patience is a virtue when dealing with pug separation anxiety.
Owning a pug is a huge but rewarding responsibility, especially if you take the time to understand your Pug's needs. If your pug has true separation anxiety, a comprehensive method will help you to effectively stop pug separation anxiety and strengthen your relationship with the dog.