Try this trainer's five equipment-free tips for easing your dog's separation anxiety

Dog with separation anxiety looking out the window
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If your dog pants, paces, trembles or engages in excessive vocalization or destructive behavior whenever you leave them on their own, you may be feeling at a loss as to what to do to ease their separation anxiety.

Thankfully, one of TikTok's most popular expert dog trainers is here to help your pup stay cool, calm, and collected when they’re apart from you, with five tips that are simple to put into practice and require no equipment. 

Learning how to reduce separation anxiety in dogs is a skill well worth mastering if your beloved bundle of fluff tends to become anxious and distressed when you’re not around. 

And while you could employ the services of a K9 behaviorist, we highly recommend checking out Antonio Diaz’s (opens in new tab) short video if you’re looking for simple and effective tips that require nothing other than time and patience.

Receiving more than 380,000 views and 16,000 likes, the 59-second clip has Diaz sharing the steps you can take at home to help manage separation anxiety. From consistency to desensitization, here’s what Diaz said:

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Diaz, who is the founder of Leader of the Pack (opens in new tab), a business that focuses on K9 obedience and behavior training, says counter-conditioning is one of the most important steps when it comes to easing separation anxiety, stating that:

“Right now, every time you put on shoes or clothes that indicate you’re leaving, the stress starts to build up for your dog and the anxiety starts to kick in,” he explains. 

“What you need to do is to counter-condition your dog so that when you put on shoes or clothes that indicate you’re leaving, you actually don’t go anywhere. The point is to teach them that the act of putting these things on, doesn’t actually mean that you’re leaving anymore.”

The comments on the post are full of dog owners sharing their personal stories of how hard it’s been for them to deal with their canine companion’s challenging behaviors when they try to leave them alone, with many expressing their thanks to Diaz for sharing his advice.

“You help me so much,” wrote one user, with another adding “Never heard anyone with such an awesome reservoir of detailed knowledge on how to handle and relate to dogs. Thank you so very much.”

Many netizens expressed their excitement to get started with Diaz’s steps, although there was also the odd hilarious comment, with one person asking “what are the tips to help me with my separation anxiety from my dog 😂”

While the comments section shows that Diaz’s advice has helped a lot of people, some users report no change in their dog’s behavior. If you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s worth seeking some help from a behaviorist and also considering that separation anxiety can take a long time to rectify. 

We recommend checking out “how do I know if I have a scared dog?” and “dog depression: A vet’s guide to symptoms, causes and treatment” if you suspect something else contributes to your dog’s behavior.  

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past two years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with one very mischievous Cocker Spaniel, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and attempting to set numerous world records for the longest ever FaceTime calls with her family back home in NZ.