Few things can tear your heart apart more than the sound of a young dog crying as you’re getting ready to leave him alone in the house. How does he even know that you’re going out? Well, Bernese Mountain Dogs have absolutely nothing better to do all day than to watch you.
He knows your every move. Your Bernese Mountain Dog is a very smart and intuitive being, and he is usually aware of what you’re going to do, even before you know. So, when he hears that sound of your house keys jingling in your coat pocket, or when he sees you putting on your running shoes to go out for some exercise, he knows you’re about to leave him.
Welcome to the World of separation anxiety. As if this phenomenon weren’t difficult enough, researchers have recently found that several different forms of separation anxiety exist. One of the common types is learned behavior. Does this sound familiar? You’re getting ready to go out to the supermarket, so you put your Bernese Mountain Dog in his crate, put on your coat, and announce that you’ll be back in a little while.
Your Bernese Mountain Dog knows exactly what happens next. He’s memorized the words and motions that you use as you’re going out the door. He’s not at all happy. He knows that if he starts to cry, whimper, or bark, you’ll run back over to comfort him, offer treats, and you will give him plenty of attention. And try again to leave.
You hesitate outside the door, wondering if the neighbors are calling the police to investigate a possible animal abuse case, your Bernese Mountain Dog senses that you’re still lurking outside, and the barking get’s even louder.
Learned behavior is only one of the causes of separation anxiety. If your Bernese Mountain Dog is nervous or timid, has experienced changes in living arrangements, has a history of neglect, abuse, or abandonment, then separation anxiety should be considered very real and not something he’s learned to do to get your attention. He is afraid to be left alone.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are usually so thoroughly devoted to their human pack that becoming anxious when alone is a common reaction. Your best course of action is to be aware that it is, indeed, a possibility.
Your ultimate goal in easing separation anxiety is to instill confidence, independence, sociability in you Bernese Mountain Dog who understands that even though he’ll be alone for a while, he has the assurance that you’ll be returning.
If your Bernese Mountain Dog is nervous when you leave the room, reinforce the stay command with several short, fun, rewarding training sessions every day. Bring him into another room, tell him to stay, and leave him there for a few minutes. Walk back in, praise him, give him a treat.
Gradually extend the time that you’re away from your Bernese Mountain Dog. You can also give him a toy to play with while he’s away from you- something new or a tasty, stuffed, rubber bone to distract him and keep him occupied. When he starts to realize that being away from your side is not such a terrible thing, try this same process and leave the house.
Don’t make a fuss about leaving or returning. Your job is to simply ignore the Bernese Mountain Dog. If he’s typically in his crate when you leave, ask him to go into the crate, give him a toy or a treat, and casually walk out of the house. If there’s usually noise in the house when you are at home, leave the radio or television on to maintain the same atmosphere.
Another way to address separation anxiety is to alter your routine. Leave your car keys in the garage where the Bernese Mountain Dog won’t see or hear you pick them up. Wear a different jacket. Leave your purse at home. Change things up. Don’t acknowledge that you’re leaving. The less time your Bernese Mountain Dog has to work himself into a dither, the easier it will be to leave.
It’s not necessary to wait until you’re ready to leave before you offer that high-valued toy or treat. Try giving it to him, hang out in the house for a few minutes while he’s munching on his toy or stuffed bone. Don’t even say goodbye. When you return, again, no big deal, no fussing over your fur baby. You’re here, he is here, all good.
We always hope that the solution to a Bernese Mountain Dog separation anxiety will be uncomplicated, but sometimes, no matter how hard we try, it still doesn’t work. A professional Bernese Mountain Dog trainer who is familiar with this behavioral issue can be a valuable resource and help.
Also, there are anti-anxiety medications for extreme separation issues, so you can consult your veterinarian for recommendations. Below you can check a lot of information on how to deal with Bernese Mountain Dogs’ separation anxiety.
How To Deal With Bernese Mountain Dogs Separation Anxiety?
1. Find someone to take your Bernese Mountain Dog for a walk
If you have a spouse, partner, roommates, or anyone that can take your Bernese Mountain Dog for a walk, spend some time together, watching TV, exercising, or whatever it is that will be helpful. The Bernese Mountain Dog will get used to spending some time with another person besides you. And this should help you deal with the separation anxiety.
2. Don’t make a fuss about leaving or returning
Do not make a fuss about leaving for a job, leave your Bernese Mountain Dog in the crate, give him some chewing toy to keep him busy and entertained, and leave the house. When you are returning from work or outside, do not overreact, act normal, spend some time with your Bernese Mountain Dog, let him know that you are here and he is here and that everything is fine.
3. Leave your Bernese Mountain Dog in his favorite room
Whatever room your leave your Bernese Mountain Dog in you need to make that room a daily part of your life. You need to spend some time with your dog in that room. You can feed them, work from that room on some projects spend as much time as you can. Make this room Disneyland for your Bernese Mountain Dog.
4. Buy your Bernese Mountain Dog his favorite toy
You should buy a toy that will be your Bernese Mountain Dog favorite. You can buy a chewing toy with different flavors. This will keep the Bernese Mountain Dog busy and entertained when he is left alone.
5. Hide some treats across the house, and let your Bernese Mountain Dog search for it
Give your Bernese Mountain Dog new activities. Hide some treats around your house or yard. The Bernese Mountain Dog will need to use his nose to find the treat, try to do simple things that you can add into your daily routine with your Bernese Mountain Dog
6. Leave your Bernese Mountain Dog in his crate
If you are using a crate for your Bernese Mountain Dog, the crate training is mandatory, you should make his crate comfortable, lovely place, that he would like to use and spend some time in. Leave him toys, treats so that can keeps him busy.
7. Spend some time and give them your attention during the together time
Once you return from work, or outside, spend some time with your Bernese Mountain Dog. Praise him for being a good dog, give him his favorite treat, but do not overreact, you are home and he should acknowledge that this can happen again and you will return and pay attention to him, so it’s not a big deal.
I hope that this information on how to deal with Bernese Mountain Dogs’ separation anxiety was helpful.