Just like humans, dogs can easily stress over big changes in their routine. Especially if the shift entails unexpected negative changes. There are situations your dogs don’t understand, such as suddenly being left alone or cutting short bonding time.
These changes can lead to separation anxiety and stress in Shiba Inus.
What causes separation anxiety in Shiba Inu?
A common complaint that fur parents have is that their dog gets destructive when alone. Aside from that, behavior issues such as urinating, defecating, barking, howling, chewing, and digging also often arise when their dogs are left alone.
Though these problems can mean that your Shiba Inu needs to be more training, it can also be symptoms of stress and anxiety.
When your Shiba is displaying behavioral problems when you are preparing to leave the house, especially when you know you’ve trained them well, they could be suffering from separation anxiety.
Symptoms of separation anxiety in Shiba Inu
There are several reasons that indicate why your Shiba Inu might be suffering from separation anxiety. Take note that this behavior can only be considered as symptoms of separation anxiety when they happen when your Shiba Inu is left alone. If they happen in the presence of their humans, then it might mean they need more training.
Urinating and Defecating
When your Shiba urinates or defecates when it is left alone or separated from its humans, it might be going through separation anxiety.
When your Shiba Inu is left alone, they might have a barking or howling tendency. You’d know this is caused by separation anxiety when it is persistent and is only triggered when your Shiba is left alone.
Chewing, Digging, and Destruction
Other common symptoms of separation anxiety in Shiba Inu are chewing and destroying household objects and digging at doors and doorways. These acts could result in injuries like broken teeth, cut, scraped paws, and damage nails.
Shiba Inus are escape artists by default and fueled with separation anxiety, they are more determined to escape the area they are confined to or if you’ve left them alone at home. Your Shiba will try to dig through your backyard and chew doors and windows. This could lead to injuries, such as broken teeth, cut front paws, and damaged nails.
Dealing with Separation Anxiety in Shiba Inu
One thing every dog owner should remember is that extreme punishments rarely work. In the case of separation anxiety, your approach should be to lessen your Shiba’s stress and not punish him with physical corrections. If you do, you are increasing its stress and worsen its condition.
Here are a few tips on how to handle your Shiba’s separation anxiety.
Shiba Inus are smart breeds. When they have separation anxiety, they’ll pick up on your routine before you leave home and feel anxious. Once they see you putting on your makeup, picking up your car keys, or putting on your shoes, they might start pacing, whining, or panting. They’ll stress and anxious about being left alone or thinking that you might never come back.
One way to handle this situation is to teach your Shiba that not all pre-departure cues lead to you leaving home. Perform your pre-departure cues, such as holding on to your car key or putting on your coat, without actually leaving home. Instead, sit down on the couch or watch TV.
This will reduce your Shiba anxiety and makes them think that your pre-departure routine won’t always lead to you leaving the house. Take note though that this is not a one-time method and has to be performed a few times a day.
Dog Daycare or Pet Sitter
Another situation that may cause separation anxiety in your Shiba is sudden changes in its schedule. This could happen if you, the dog owner, have a new or adjusted time shift at your work that would change you and your Shiba’s exercise, training, or bonding routine.
One approach to this is to enroll your Shiba in a dog daycare center so that, even if you are away, it has the companionship of fellow dogs and humans.
However, before enrolling your Shiba, make sure to check out the establishment first. Make sure that the center is clean, well-supervised by friendly and kind people, and suited for your dog.
Aside from a well-run dog daycare center, you can also opt for a qualified pet sitter. The pet sitter can walk your Shiba, play with him and keep accompany throughout the time you are away. Of course, make sure they are qualified, have good references, and most importantly, a dog-lover.
Leave and Come Home Quietly
When returning home and you see your Shiba all excited, ignore it until it is calm. Through this method, it teaches him not to anticipate your return the whole day. When leaving, leave your Shiba Inu with chew-safe food toys so that it has something interesting to do while you are away.