You go to take one of your dogs outside to train, but both dogs rush to the door, excited at the prospect of going out. As you hold one back and open up the door, both dogs end up bolting outside, nearly knocking you over! You finally catch one of your dogs and put him in the house, only to hear him jumping up at the door and barking.
Or maybe you’re at an agility trial and it’s time for your dog’s run. As you open the crate and clip the leash onto the lucky dog, your other dog stands up and starts whining. When you are walking away, the whining quickly escalates into barking.
When your dog is frustrated that you are working with another dog, we say he’s suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out). Symptoms of FOMO include barking, whining, scratching at the door or kennel, inability to settle, and other frustration behaviors.
Occasionally people aren’t sure if their dog has FOMO or separation anxiety. These are two very different problems. Separation anxiety is rooted in fear and/or anxiety and can get quite serious. Dogs with SA often panic, sometimes for the entire time they are left alone. They will often destroy furniture, walls, and doors with their frantic attempts to escape, even to the point of hurting themselves. It’s common for dogs suffering from SA to urinate and defecate while they are left alone. Many dogs with SA do not calm down until the owner returns.
On the other hand, dogs with FOMO usually settle down once they can no longer hear you. Watching you walk away or hearing you work another dog is the hardest part for your dog with FOMO, but once you are out of eyesight and earshot, these dogs will calm down.
If you have a dog who suffers from FOMO, there are things we can do! Join me during this webinar as we explore different ways to help your dog learn to wait for his or her turn!