Your dog tries to block you from leaving the house. As soon as you close the door, he howls and barks non-stop. When you return, not only are you bombarded with licking and being jumped on by a hyperactive dog, you notice that while you were gone he has ripped apart the carpet, scratched the paint off the door and urinated on the carpet. Your dog has a problem: separation anxiety.
Dogs have a special bond with their owners. Sometimes the bond between a dog and his owner becomes dependent, and leaving him for any amount of time can cause anger, confusion and anxiety. The stress of dealing with separation anxiety can be extreme, and the problem needs to be dealt with as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
What is separation anxiety?
Dog separation anxiety is when a dog has a very strong, dependent attachment to their owners. Separation anxiety can cause dogs to be destructive to themselves and the house and yard. Separation anxiety may cause a dog to bark, chew, destroy furniture, carpets and other extreme behavior.
It is important to determine if your dog is simply bored while you are gone, or if he has a case of separation anxiety. Dogs may be unhappy when you leave the home, but only dogs with separation anxiety will cause a problem.
What causes dog separation anxiety?
About 10% of puppies and dogs suffer from separation anxiety. It is not entirely known why dogs suffer from separation anxiety, but there are a few theories. Some causes of separation anxiety may include:
- Puppies who have been separated from their mothers too soon. When you leave the house, your dog will likely think he will never see you again, similar as to what happens when a dog is adopted.
- Shelter dogs. These dogs can be troubled. Sometimes separation anxiety may be from a previous abusive owner or being neglected in shelters.