Dogs with separation
anxiety exhibit behavior problems when they’re
left alone. Typically,
they’ll have a dramatic anxiety response within a
short time (20–45 minutes)
after their owners leave them. The most
common of these behaviors
Digging, chewing, and
scratching at doors or windows in an attempt to
escape and reunite with
Howling, barking, and
crying in an attempt to get their owners to return.
Urination and defecation
(even with housetrained dogs) as a result of
Why Do Dogs Suffer from
We don’t fully understand
why some dogs suffer from separation anxiety
and, under similar
circumstances, others don’t. It’s important to realize,
however, that the
destruction and house soiling that often occur with
separation anxiety are not
the dog’s attempt to punish or seek revenge
on his owner for leaving
him alone. In reality, they are part of a panic
Following a long interval,
such as a vacation, during which the owner
and dog are constantly
After a traumatic event
(from the dog’s point of view), such as a period
of time spent at a shelter
or boarding kennel.
After a change in the
family’s routine or structure (such as a child
leaving for college, a
change in work schedule, a move to a new
home, or a new pet or
person in the home)
How Do I Know If My Dog Has
Because there are many
reasons for the behaviors associated with
separation anxiety, it’s
essential to correctly diagnose the reason for
the behavior before
proceeding with treatment. If most, or all, of the
following statements are
true about your dog, he may have a separation
The behavior occurs
exclusively or primarily when he’s left alone.
He follows you from room to
room whenever you’re home.
He displays effusive,
frantic greeting behaviors.
The behavior always occurs
when he’s left alone, whether for a short or
long period of time.
He reacts with excitement,
depression, or anxiety to your preparations
to leave the house.
He dislikes spending time
outdoors by himself.