Your dog is will be loving having you at home all the time. But what happens when you return to work?

He or she may adjust back to your old normal routine without a problem, but there is a chance they won’t.

Dogs love having us around, they rely on us for comfort, security and play and with many of us confined to our homes, our dogs have got used to us being there. It may be a shock that your dog will struggle to cope with when we return to work.

Separation distress can cause a dog to damage sofas, doorways and windows frames in their attempts to re-establish contact with us. Your dog may bark and howl leading neighbour complaints; he may soil in the house and be unable to eat or drink; some dogs self-harm.

The good news is we can start to prepare our dogs now so that when we do go back to work your dog will accept and cope with the change without issue.
There are several steps is this process. Please make sure you complete all of them even if your dog shows no signs of distress.

Step 1. ‘Departure Cues’:

These are all the things you do when preparing to go to work e.g. applying makeup, putting on a tie, packing a bag or briefcase, putting on shoes, jackets etc, picking up car keys, checking the back door is locked etc. The best thing is to write them all down so you remember to do all them. 

The objective of this exercise is to make your departure preparations of no consequence to your dog.

  • Start to get ready as though you were going to work. If, at any point, your dog starts to show signs of anxiety do something you would never do if you were going to work, e.g., sit down and read a book, empty the dishwasher, do some hoovering – it doesn’t matter what it is but do it until your dog relaxes again.
  • Now start again from the beginning.
  • Keep these sessions short and repeat throughout the day.

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