It is a known fact that in many cases for all beings at old age comes the so-called “second childhood”. Something similar happens in case of the old dogs as well.
Just like puppies, they might disobey the rules. This doesn’t happen because they don’t understand them, but because they are simply unable to follow them. One of the most common problems that have been recognized at older dogs is separation anxiety. This means that the animal gets anxious when the owner is preparing to leave, and after he or she has left the animals gets destructive.
In case the animal got used to a routine, it is very difficult for them to adapt to new ones. If they have some health problems, they might get even more anxious especially when they are far from their owner.
There are some ways to help the animal cope with these problems. For example you shouldn’t make a big deal about leaving or coming home. Another good idea will be to teach the animal to relax. In case you can get it to relax at a “sit” command, most likely he will be able to relax for longer periods of time when you are gone as well.
There are some departure cues that the dogs learn really fast. For example in case you have an alarm to wake up on working days, the dog will know that once the alarm goes off, you will start preparing to leave. You could change your routines to help the animal.
For example you could pick up the car keys and sit on the couch, or dress up like you are going to work, but stay at home. This can be easily done on a Saturday or Sunday.
At the beginning, start with short departures. Find out how much time it takes for the dog to get anxious. It might be 10 seconds, so at first leave for only 10 seconds. In case the dog is calm when you return, you should reward it. Then increase the time period but make sure that you return before the animal gets anxious. This training might take months so make sure that you are patient about it.
Make the animal associate your departure with something pleasant. For example offer him a treat as you leave. This will keep the pet busy for a while and it will take his mind off from your departure. Anxiety grows with time, so in case you can achieve for the dog not to get anxious before you leave, chances are that he will remain calm the entire period.
The environment is also important regarding the anxiety of the dog. There are some that are calmer if they can see the outside world, while others get anxious because of this. Some like to be left outside, while others prefer inside the house. It is important to find the right environment for the dog because this might reduce the anxiety that he feels which is advantageous for both of you.