If you leave your dog home alone for a while, you might be interested to know the tricks and tips for dealing with Fox Terrier separation anxiety. In that case, this article will help you to find out all the things you should know. Let’s find out!
Brief explanation of separation anxiety
Have you ever experienced a situation where you had to leave your pet dog alone for a considerable period? In such times when you return, you might have noticed the dog act weirdly.
This odd or unusual behavior is typically caused by separation anxiety, a common psychological condition dogs face when they do not have their family around. The way how dogs experience separation anxiety will differ based on the breed as well as the context.
Either way, it is not a pleasing experience for a pet dog or dog owner. Therefore if you own a dog, it is mandatory to understand what separation anxiety is in dogs, what causes it, what the symptoms are, and how to tackle this problem.
This article is specifically for Fox Terrier owners; if you have a Fox Terrier or have plans to get one, this article will guide you on understanding how to deal with Fox Terrier separation anxiety. Let’s commence understanding what separation anxiety is.
Dogs spontaneously build a strong connection with human families. However, some dogs can get overly attached to their owners, making them more vulnerable to separation anxiety.
In its most basic sense, separation anxiety is a condition that dogs undergo when they are overly attached to or depend on their family. As a result, when the family is not around, they get anxious and stressed out, which will be indicated through unusual and destructive behavior.
Fox Terriers are active, lovable dogs who bond quickly with the human family. With their personality and temperaments, Fox Terrier separation anxiety likely is an issue many Fox Terrier owners face.
However, there are effective mechanisms that you can follow to mitigate Fox Terrier separation anxiety. If you need to help your Fox Terrier grow out of separation anxiety, you must have a sound knowledge of what causes it in the first place and how to act accordingly.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Fox Terriers
How do you figure out whether your Fox Terrier is experiencing separation anxiety? You can sort this out by observing the behavior traits of the dog. Below you can find some of the typical signs that you may notice in Fox Terrier separation anxiety.
Since Fox Terriers are generally active and energetic dogs, there is a tendency where they could be vocal. However, they usually do not indicate excessive barking.
Dogs bark to display various emotions. Excessive and restless barking, usually followed by howling, is a common sign of separation anxiety. Separation anxiety easily triggers fear in your Fox Terrier, and they demonstrate it through constant barking.
- Destructive behavior
As pointed out already, you will notice strange behavior in your Fox Terrier if they are affected by separation anxiety. This could impact the dog in two ways; either the dog will act scared and nervous, if not destructively.
The stressful emotions caused by separation anxiety could sometimes make your Fox Terrier act in a destructive manner.
For instance, you will see your Fox Terrier ripping out clothes in your house, biting furniture, and digging holes everywhere in the garden.
- Inappropriate urination or defecation
Another sign of Fox Terrier separation anxiety is inappropriate urination or defecation. You might have potty trained your Fox Terrier, but if the dog constantly urinates and defecate where it shouldn’t, that might indicate the dog is experiencing separation anxiety.
- Pacing, restlessness, or agitation
You will notice pacing, restlessness, or agitation in your Fox Terrier for a couple of reasons, most commonly because of separation anxiety. If you see short episodes of given symptoms, it might not be something serious; most likely a way how the dog releases its excess energy.
However, if you see your Fox Terrier pace itself and act restlessly for a considerable time, you must be cautious as it could be a sign of separation anxiety.
Causes of Separation Anxiety in Fox Terriers
Any dog owner would like to spend as much time as possible with their pet dogs, but pragmatically speaking, no one can spend their time with their pets all day.
If you do not train your Fox Terrier from a young age for this situation, it will increase the chances that it may experience separation anxiety.
Let’s look at the common causes behind Fox Terrier separation anxiety.
- Lack of socialization
Socialization is a must for your Fox Terrier. This breed typically bonds fast with its owners; however, it will need constant training to socialize with others in general.
Fox Terriers are a little feisty; nonetheless, they are intelligent canines; hence training them to socialize is not a hectic process. Still, you have to maintain consistency.
If the Fox Terrier is well-socialized, it will know how to handle many situations independently without being stressed and overwhelmed.
If you do not allow your Fox Terrier to socialize, it will diminish the dog’s mental capacity; therefore, when the dog has left alone or when the family is not around, it will quickly develop separation anxiety because the dog has no clue how to deal with it.
- Changes in environment or routine
Dogs are routine animals; consequently, sudden changes in their familiar routine will often affect them massively.
As soon as you bring your Fox Terrier from a breeder/ shelter or if you have to move to a new home with your Fox Terrier, this may lead to separation anxiety.
Being dragged away from a familiar environment will significantly change your dog’s life; therefore, they might experience separation anxiety.
- Traumatic experiences
If your dog has gone through chaotic experiences, the past trauma can also cause separation anxiety. Dogs can develop fears and phobias for different reasons, and some can traumatize them.
On the other hand, if you have a rescue Fox Terrier such dogs are more prone to separation anxiety due to unpleasant experiences it had been through.
- Over-attachment to owner
It is good to show your love, care, and affection to your Fox Terrier. Regardless of breed, any pet dog craves human affection and deserves to grow up in a nurturing environment.
However, you must clearly understand that loving the dog is different from being clingy. Over-attaching to your Fox Terrier is unhealthy for the dog and yourself and can be a common cause of Fox Terrier separation anxiety.
You have to spend time with your Fox Terrier and show them love, but you also must train them how to spend their time alone. Otherwise, as said, the dog could become clingy to you.
Tips for Helping Fox Terriers with Separation Anxiety
In some cases, prior actions such as training and socialization can reduce the chances that your Fox Terrier may develop separation anxiety.
However, there could be unavoidable circumstances where your Fox Terrier experiences separation anxiety.
So it is always better to know what actions you can take to help your Fox Terrier to eliminate separation anxiety. Below mentioned, are some of the effective tips.
- Gradual desensitization
What exactly is gradual desensitization, and how does it help your Fox Terrier to tackle separation anxiety? Gradual desensitization is a systematic process where you gradually train your dog to get exposed to scary things.
As the name implies, this is a mechanism that you should follow step-by-step. You should always take your time with your Fox Terrier to desensitize because rushing could worsen things.
First, you have to make a plan and execute it one step at a time. The purpose of using gradual desensitization is to help your Fox Terrier to deal with the causes of separation anxiety.
It is crucial to know how much the dog can handle at once when you use this method to help them overcome separation anxiety.
Do not try to be too intense at once, but increase the extreme level with time, and your Fox Terrier will come to a point where it will figure out how to deal with the causes of separation anxiety without getting frustrated.
Counter-conditioning, sometimes known as reciprocal inhibition, is yet another behavior modification technique that addresses Fox Terrier separation anxiety. In this mechanism, what you attempt to do is change your Fox Terrier’s emotional response toward certain stimuli.
To elaborate, counter-conditioning changes your Fox Terrier’s stressful emotions with something positive, such as verbal praise or a high-value dog treat.
In other words, counter-conditioning is similar to using rewards to sustain the dog’s mental stability. So if your Fox Terrier acts anxious when you leave the house, every time you leave, you can use something that makes the dog feel happy, for example, one of its favorite toys.
The fear will gradually fade when the dog gets distracted by the reward. You can make counter-condition more productive by aligning it with gradual desensitization.
- Providing stimulating toys or activities
To eliminate Fox Terrier separation anxiety, you can provide the dog with stimulating toys or engage them in stimulating activities. Certain types of toys can enhance the mental stimulation of your Fox Terrier; consequently, it distracts the dog from anxious thoughts.
According to professionals, some of the best stimulating toys to help your dog grow out of separation anxiety include snuffle mats, lick mats, puzzle feeders, and kongs.
In addition to providing stimulating toys to your Fox Terrier, you can make them engage in various activities. Both physical and mental activities are pivotal for your dog’s well-being.
In this case, mentally stimulating activities can contribute a lot to overcoming separation anxiety. Activities that allow your Fox Terrier to stimulate its senses, use their instincts, and grow confidence are typically known as enrichment activities.
You can give the earlier-mentioned toys to your pet because the use of those toys functions as enrichment activities.
Besides, you can play small games such as hide and seek and sniff and find, which will further your Fox Terrier’s mental stimulation and benefit them in eliminating separation anxiety.
- Establishing a consistent routine
A consistent routine can benefit your Fox Terrier in multiple ways. Indeed, it is also a great mechanism that helps to overcome Fox Terrier separation anxiety.
You cannot teach your Fox Terrier to adhere to a routine overnight; it is usually time-consuming. However, the sooner you start and are more consistent, the dog will quickly adapt to a routine.
When the dog gets used to a routine, it will not be overly attached to you. The dog will learn to spend time with family and stay independent when needed. Therefore establishing a consistent routine is vital.
When to Seek Professional Help
The cases of separation anxiety in Fox Terriers may range from minor to severe. In the previous section, we discussed some fruitful ways to help your Fox Terrier mitigate separation anxiety.
Mild cases of separation anxiety can be quickly addressed through given mechanisms; however, there could be exceptions regarding major separation anxiety.
Suppose you take the possible actions to help your Fox Terrier with its separation anxiety; still, if the dog shows no progress getting better, then you must seek professional help. You should never jump to conclusions on your own if you are unsure about the situation.
Therefore if you feel something is odd, take your Fox Terrier to a certified professional. They will decide what actions to take.
As clearly pointed out above, if you see no progress in your Fox Terrier even after taking action to tackle separation anxiety, you must take the dog to a professional dog behaviorist or trainer.
Amidst your efforts, if the dog keeps showing symptoms of separation anxiety constantly, the best thing to do is to seek professional help.
Final thoughts of Fox Terrier separation anxiety
Separation anxiety is a common issue among many dogs, including Fox Terriers. Fox Terriers experience separation anxiety for several reasons, mainly over attachment to the owners and significant environmental changes.
There are many easy yet successful ways to help your Fox Terrier to overcome separation anxiety. Since this condition is overwhelming to both the dog and the dog owner, it is mandatory to take action to reduce the possibility that the dog may get affected by separation anxiety.
If you feel you can’t help the dog alone to overcome this condition, you can always seek help. Talk to a veterinarian or search online for professional dog trainers who will guide you on what to do.
Stay with us to find answers to your burning questions about four-legged furry friends.