This is one of the most common issues we work through with dogs. We see it all the time.
Separation anxiety is one of the most rewarding issues to solve – nothing is more gratifying than helping a dog gain the confidence to be alone and feel secure.
Separation Anxiety is one issue that typically will never solve itself. What happens is a dog learns to “cope” with the anxiety of being alone by doing something like chewing, whining, or pacing – and the owner always comes home.
Typical Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
- Paces or pants consistently while you are out of sight
- Destroys things while you are out of sight
- Whines or barks consistently while you are out of sight
- Cannot be confined, even if escaping causes bodily harm
- Urinates or defecates in house while out of sight
- Follows you from room to room when you are home
Typical Causes of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
- Left alone for very long periods of time consistently
- Home ALL the time or have not left puppy much from early age
- Taken away from the mother too soon (less than 7 weeks)
- Mother died at birth and puppy was raised by humans
- Very abrupt schedule changes in owner’s life
- Dog has spent a lot of time alone in his life then becomes rescued and it gets consistent attention from owners that it is not used to
- Over held as a puppy so it never learn independence
- Therefore, many dogs think their formula works:
Owner Leaves + I Get Anxiety + I Chew = Owner Comes Home
Because this formula “solves” the problem, they continue to do it over and over again. We have to break this vicious cycle and show your dog that we can use problem solving techniques to handle the situation another way. Once he realizes this, he will be free of this anxiety that is consuming him and so much happier.
Important to note, that just because your dog chews while you are gone, does not necessarily mean he has separation anxiety. Dogs also chew because they are bored, or they were allowed to form a habit of chewing from an early age.