(Sept. 23, 2010) — Q. Hi Connie,
I was referred to you by a friend. I just moved to Hudson County and my Yorkie is having separation anxiety issues. I had a trainer come in and do various exercises and she was doing well, until recently she has gone back to her barking when I leave the house for work. I have stayed to listen and it seems that she stops after 5 minutes most is 15 minutes but I am sure my neighbors are not too happy with the barking. I don't know what else to do at this point. From training, to walking to tire her out to wearing my coat to bed to throw her off, and even sneaking out the house, it doesn't seem to work. Lately, I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I don't want to leave her because I don't want her disturbing the neighbors. Please help!!
A. Hi Kathy,
There are natural items that are helpful for S.A., such as:
• The D.A.P. Plug In, "Comfort Zone," that releases pheromones which calm dogs
• Bach (brand) Rescue Remedy or Vervain flower essence
• Valerian Root Extract
• Chamomile Tea
• Aromatherapy with essential oil of Lavender
• Body Wrapping
It is also important that your dog get exercise, and I'm not talking about a walk around the block. I mean Real romping, fetching, jumping, pulse-raising exercise!
Are you implementing obedience work in your daily routine?
A tired mind, and a tired body, go a long way to help a dog relax.
Are you providing mental stimulation with interactive toys?
I can do a private session with you to teach you some T-touch methods, using acupressure, that can help calm your dog (and you too!).
If all of the above doesn't help, then I would suggest you contact a vet who has experience with behavioral medicine. Sometimes a short term of medication can help a dog "over the hump" with S.A. but it takes compliance and a little patience for the meds to reach their effective levels.