Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation Anxiety In Dogs
By Ron Swerdfiger

What is Separation Anxiety?

When you leave the house, it is nice to know that your dog goes to his favorite spot and sleeps peacefully until you return. However dogs suffering from separation anxiety are not so lucky. Separation anxiety can appear in dogs that have not been properly socialized, dogs that have been moved from one home to another and dogs that are naturally nervous.

Your dog is a social, pack animal who relies on the others (you) for individual protection and security. Dogs that lack confidence, due to socialization issues, understanding of expected behavior, or possible maltreatment in the past (adopted dogs), are more likely to exhibit behaviors related to separation anxiety

Essentially, when you leave to go to work, or even just to the corner store for five minutes, you dog becomes upset, stressed and confused. Dogs with separation anxiety can do everything from whining and barking, to ripping apart your couch and eating your duck feathered pillow.

How do I know if my dog has Separation Anxiety?

There is much debate over the cause of separation anxiety. some believe it is a lack of confidence that causes the dog to rely to much on their humans. In this case, you have to teach your dog to accept the fact that you are leaving, and it's going to be ok.

If you have a dog with separation anxiety, you will know. Dogs will usually exhibit a combination of the following:

- The behavior often occurs when the dog is left alone.
- The dog makes a Abig deal@ when his owner leaves, or comes home.
- Well left alone the dog will exhibit behavior which is not common to his normal behavior.
- The dog may not eat if the owner is not in the room
- The dog will follow his owner around constantly

What ever the cause is, here are some techniques for solving the problem.

What can be done?

Make your Departure and Arrival Routine

Make your dog realize that your departures and arrivals are nothing to get excited over. Usually the dog feels the greatest amount of anxiety shortly after you leave. Therefore you need to practice with your dog the