Is your canine friend showing signs of separation anxiety in dogs? This type of destructive dog behavior can make life an absolute nightmare for a dog owner.It’s a sad fact this is behavior is the second most common reason for people to give up their dogs or even have them put to sleep.
You can avoid a sad ending for your dog by learning the signs of this problem, and finding out what you should do about it.
Signs Of Separation Anxiety In Dogs
The severity of bad behavior can vary widely in dogs with separation anxiety. A dog with a mild case may pace around, pant, and over-groom himself.
A dog with a more severe case may bark frantically for hours, driving the neighbors crazy. He may display destructive dog behavior, tearing up whatever he can get a hold of. Your dog may urinate or defecate inappropriately in the house. He may go so far as to mutilate himself by chewing on his own tail, yanking out fur, and licking himself until he bleeds.
If you dread coming home because you don’t know what kind of mess is awaiting you, it’s time to take action to solve this problem.
Is Separation Anxiety Really The Problem, Or Is It Simply A Bored Dog?
Is your dog is bored, or does he really have a separation anxiety problem? Here’s how you can tell:
- Destructive dog behavior occurs only when you leave him alone.If he’s keeping himself occupied by destroying your house, he’ll do it anytime, not just when he’s by himself.
- Your dog is “hyperattached” to you.Not only does he follow you all over the house, but he wants you to hold him all the time. This is flattering for the owner, but it’s not healthy for your dog to be this attached to you.
- He’s learned what you do when you leave, and he starts getting distressed before you go.
- He begins destructive behavior within 30 minutes of your leaving home.
- He tries to destroy barriers, like a door. A dog may go after the door he last saw you go out of.
- Your dog barks in repeated, high-pitched yips. This is reminiscent of a puppy’s distress call when he or she is separated from mom.
Your dog may not do all of these things, but if your dog is showing some of these behaviors, this shows his problem is not boredom.
Suggestions For Working With Dogs With Separation Anxiety
You may be surprised to learn that separation anxiety in canines is related to dominance issues. In a wild dog pack, the leader can leave. The others, however, never go away from the leader on their own.
If your dog thinks he’s the alpha dog, or pack leader, he’ll get very upset if you leave him, since you’re not supposed to do that.In his mind, he’s repsonsible for his pack members, and he thinks something might happen to you if you go away. Many times, once you establish yourself as the pack leader, the separation anxiety goes away.
Your dog needs lots of exercise to use up all that energy he has. You should take your dog for a brisk walk twice a day. You need to understand that your dog instinctively knows that the pack leader goes first. He should be walking next to you or behind you, so that he’s following you, the pack leader. Allowing him to pull ahead of you on his leash is telling him that he’s the alpha male, not you.
So there you have it; now you can see how easy it is to inadvertently train your dog to do exactly what you don’t want him to do. You can avoid this by finding a dog training course that focuses on teaching you how dogs think. Once you understand how your dog’s mind works, separation anxiety in dogs is much easier to deal with.
If you’re dealing with the problem of separation anxiety in dogs, visit No More Bad Dogs to learn more about a dog training resource that will help to solve your problem.
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