Dealing With Bichon Frize Separation Anxiety

Because they are such social and affectionate dogs, the Bichon Frize tends to become overly attached to their owners and/or their environment. Sudden separations from their owners, such as when they go on vacation or when moving into a new home, can lead to the development of Bichon Frize separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety is a form of anxiety experienced by a dog or puppy, in this case a Bichon Frize, caused by separation from the significant care and influence of its owner or family environment. In addition to being separated from their owners and changes in their environment, Bichon Frize separation anxiety can also be triggered by loud noises associated with separation, such as explosions, booms, fireworks, or thunderstorms.

There are many ways that Bichon Frises manifest separation anxiety. One way is by constantly following you wherever you go. If he loses sight of you for even a few minutes, he becomes very restless, pacing the house frantically and whimpering. Some pups display aggressive behavior just to get your attention, such as growling, barking, or even biting. In his absence, the dog exhibits destructive behaviors such as chewing or gnawing on furniture and urinating or defecating in every part of the house, including your bed.

Crate training can help alleviate separation anxiety if done while your pup is still a puppy. In its absence, the crate or sleeping area for the dog becomes a place of sanctuary. Some dog owners even go so far as to place an old t-shirt or personal item that has their scent inside the crate to calm and relax their pooch.

After crate training, you encourage the development of independence in your Bichon puppy. This can be accomplished by teaching your pet to lie down and sleep in a dog mat or basket away from you and/or other members of your family. Give him toys to play with while you’re in another part of the house or away for a few hours. If you are concerned that your pup will take the toy and play with it in another part of the house, simply secure the toy to a fixed object such as a post or wall. A common piece of advice given by pet owners is that the toy should be given 10 to 20 minutes before leaving the house. This will not only distract your pup, but your pup will make a connection to your departure and a reward (i.e., the toy).

Never make departures or arrivals with such fanfare, as this will only compound any anxieties your dog is already experiencing.

Bichon Frize separation anxiety doesn’t have to stem from frustration and resentment between owner and pet. Through proper training and patience, you can help your dog deal with his fears and anxieties.

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