Dealing with Separation Anxiety

All dogs have separation anxiety to some degree, the Siberian Husky is no different. With Huskies specifically, they tend to gravitate towards others, preferring not to be left alone. If left by themselves in an easily destructible environment the results could be pretty bad. Many owners have described destroyed plants, furniture, clothing, anything that can be picked up or chewed is game. I myself have witnessed this at the cost of a couch, some bed pillows, and an old winter blanket. Granted, I’m sure most dogs of equal size or larger can, and will, be just as destructive. So, what’s the solution?

As you probably understand, not every single solution will work for your dog exactly as described, or maybe not even at all.

Desensitizing is the act of slowly weaning your dog off your presence by interrupting established patterns. When it comes to you and your daily patterns your dog will watch everything you do. Before you go to work you probably follow some sort of preparation pattern like putting on your pants, shoes, grabbing your keys, etc. Instead of following those steps and topping them off with a ‘good bye, boy!’ and closing the front door, you could grab your keys and just hang around for a bit before leaving. The key is to interrupt the pattern you’ve established in the dogs mind, that way it will be thrown off and won’t know when you’ll be leaving. Interrupt the pattern enough times and the dog won’t care when you leave any more.

Crate Training
Crates are basically dog cages. ¬†They may seem inhumane, I mean, we wouldn’t put our kids in cages, right? But in the case of Huskies they’re perfectly acceptable. The mindset of a Husky is that they enjoy resting in tight enclosed spaces, for some reason they associate that with comfort and safety. Getting a Husky a crate is like getting them their own personal crawlspace, they’ll love it. Be mindful though not to leave them in the crates for too long.

Leave the Dog in the Yard
This is the most obvious solution. Not the most successful though if the dog is very vocal and cries loud and long enough to disturb the neighbors.

Sensory Familiarity
Try leaving something of yours like an old t-shirt with your scent on it with the dog to calm its nerves.

Quick Tips
One thing that can get you some lead time is to use a KONG Classic KONG Dog Toy, Large, Red
stuffed with peanut butter to distract the dog long enough while you leave. Keep in mind that this is a short term solution and your Siberian Husky’s anxieties will most likely arise quickly after. Another possible option, but one that I haven’t tried yet, is getting the Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Treatment, Large, Solid Grey, it runs on the idea that the constant pressure provided by the wrapping will relieve anxiety.