Putting it bluntly, don’t leave food laying around.
Leftover food, treats, chews (pork chomps, bully sticks, pig ears, etc.), bones, antlers, hooves, well, you get the idea.
If your dog is not eating them, pick them up.
A small chew hiding in the toy basket. Pick it up. Your dog has NOT forgotten about it.
A small, old bone buried in the backyard. Pick it up. Your dog KNOWS it’s there. And, I guarantee, if another dog were to come in the yard, it would quickly find the buried bone.
The small piece of dog cookie hiding under the sofa. Yep. You guessed it. Pick it up. Your dog knows about it.
As you go about your house and yard picking up all of the treats and bones, watch your dog.
I’m willing to bet your dog is very concerned about what you are doing. Following you around, watching every piece you pick up.
Food is money. It’s security. It’s something to lord over others. It’s control. It’s position.
Think about it like this – If you work for a company, there are people in higher positions than you. They are your boss. They make more money. They are in charge. They make ALL of the big decisions. People who make less money (lower position in the company) don’t really mess with them.
Your dog has “money” hidden all over the place (some left out in the open that nobody messes with). Your dog has the money. Your dog is in charge. Your dog is the boss. Your dog is in charge of all the big decisions.
This is a huge problem.
In a family of dogs, this would equate to your dog being the parent, and you are one of your dog’s pups.
Stay with me here.
The parental figures in a dog family are often just that. The rest of the family is mostly made up of their offspring. The parents are in charge of bringing home the food (with the aid of other family members, but the parents control the hunt). The parents eat first (they need the best nutrition for breeding), then the others eat, in an order they have all determined to be the best for the family’s survival.
Moving on – If your dog views itself as your parent (in charge of the food), your dog is going to pitch a fit when you leave because you are viewed as NOT being in a position to run off on your own. You aren’t in a position to make a big decision like that. Only parents can go off alone.
Your dog is worried about you.
Your dog is doing everything within its power to help you find your way back home.
Tearing up the house trying to find a way out, to get you back home.
Barking and howling hoping you hear it and find your way back home (and you do).
Pooing and peeing trying to leave a scent for you to follow back home (and you do).
This is the reason for separation anxiety in about 80% of cases.
The first and, dare I say, the most important thing you can do is pick up the food, treats, chews and bones.
Go ahead. Start right now. Then come back and let me know how your dog responded to you picking up the food.
Live, Love, Bark,