Does my dog have separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety is an annoying problem for you and your dog.  Although it is important to make an distinction between dogs with real separation anxiety or dogs that have difficulty being home alone.

Causes of separation anxiety in dogs

Abandonment anxiety often occurs in dogs that have been relocated (several times) or have stayed in a shelter for a while. Separation anxiety can also occur in very dependent and insecure dogs.

Symptoms of seperation anxiety in dogs

  • Squeaking and barking when being alone at home
  • Extremely restless: running back and forth
  • Urinating or relieving
  • Over-enthusiasm when boss comes home

How can you detect separation anxiety?

You could put a camera in the house so you can see if your dog is showing the above symptoms while you're away from home.

Treatment of separation anxiety

Sometimes it helps to ignore the dog the first 5-10 minutes before leaving and coming home. In addition, it helps to leave the radio on or give an extra toy to the dog, this creates distractions. If you give the dog distractions, you can prevent or unlearn unwanted behavior. A dog is going to bark through boredom and bite things. If you give him a toy, he can play with it for hours and stimulate his senses in a positive way.                                                     

When you are only away for a short time, you can teach the dog to sit in his bench. If the dog knows that his bench is a safe, comfortable place and gets a toy/ cookie, he will stay calm for a while and thus do not break anything. Make sure that the dog's bench is large enough that it can stand, lie down and turn around.