Help dog separation anxiety- simple tricks to cure it!

dog-separation-anxietySeparation anxiety is very common among dogs and also very stressful. It is believed that as much as 14% of dogs suffer from it. It is also one of the most misunderstood issues as people are trying to treat it in the same way as would have with a human being. Many people are failing to see the cause of separation anxiety. The answer to help separation anxiety in dogs  is simple. You have to show your dog that you are the packleader, let’s take a deeper look at separation anxiety, what it it, the symptoms of it what causes it  and how to cure it.

What is separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety is simply when a dog is getting very stressed and nervous when it is separated from its owners. This very often triggers a number of other stressful destructive behaviors; such as chewing, execissive barking, tearing up things, selfmutilation, peeing inside or trying to escape. Many of these issues are often mistaken to be cause of boredom or frustration when it is actually caused by distress.

The symptoms of separation anxiety

Here is a typical scenario of dog who suffers from separation anxiety. Lets call him Fido. Fido’s owner is soon about to leave and Fido feels it. He can not rest and is constantly walking around and whining. He is getting worried and nervous and he also start to drool. when his owner is about to leave he lies down on his bed, he is completely passive and does not even care about the delicious treat that was left for him. When the owner comes back, Fido is crazy with joy and is constantly jumping and running. Suddenly he turns his attention to the treat which is devored with lots of enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, the house is in a mess. Fido has ripped a hole in the sofa, several objects as well as food are all over the floor, there is also a sharp smell of urine. Fido never eliminates on the floor when he his with his folks but no he does. Fido suffers from a severe case of separation anxiety. There are various different symptoms of separation anxiety and often the behavior is very destructive. Often though, you can recognise it by the distress a dog shows before you leave the house.

What causes separation anxiety?

So why are dogs affected soo much when their owners leave them alone for a while. It does not seem to matter much if the dog is left for 5 minutes or 5 hours. The result is the same and so are the symptoms and the cause.

Well, the reason why a dog suffers from separation anxiety is that he considers himself to be the packleader. When a dog in a family considers himself to be the packleader then he feels responisble and protective to everyone in his “pack” that is you and the rest of your family.

Soo when you and the family leave without him he is getting anxious because he can not see you and therefore not protect you. As the packleader it is his task to keep an eye on and protect everyone else.

The Cure: How to help dog separation anxiety

Once you have recognized the symptoms of separation anxiety  then you should ask yourself this question: Your dogs destructive behavior, does it continue when you are present or is it only when you leave your dog alone that it occurs?

Recognizing that the following behaviors are symptoms is a start. They are as wide ranging as they are distressing for the dog, but by treating them you are not treating the cause of the problem. First ask yourself the question; does the behavior stop when you return? If so then I suggest that you’re being away is actually connected to the cause. Lets take a look at a few of the key symptoms.

  • Chewing –releases an endorphin. This is similar to the the endorfin released when a human being is chewing gum in an attempt to stay calm.
  • Barking, whining – this is a call for you to return to the pack, this is like you were calling your children if you could not find thiem
  • Escaping when you are not there – often very destructive, this can be extreme and sometimes even dangerous. Your dog is looking for you. People are often told that the dog needs more exercise when doing this but this does not solve the problem
  • Digging and destroying – this is all connected to stressful and anxious behavior.
  • self-mutilation – excessive licking and chewing oneself. Excessive drooling is also a sign of stress. These are signs that are often mistaken for being medical conditions but  all of them are stress related
  • Toileting – if your dog is toilet trained but starts  toileting inside this might very well be stressrelated as well. If this only happens when you are away it is very likely that is caused by separation anxiety.

Now, while you can get advice on how to treat all these symptoms it is far better to treat the root of the problem. If you do this then you will not only get rid of all the destructive behavior but also get a dog who is calm, at ease and free from separation anxiety. What you really need to do is to establish yourself as the packleader. In the wild dogs does not wander off on their own and once you have established yourself as your dog’s leader your dog will not have a problem with you coming and leaving as you please.

So the real cure of the problem with separation anxiety is to establish yourself as the packleader. To learn how to do this I propose you go to Doggy Dans site and follow his simple 5 step program on how to become become the Packleader

Here is the link to Doggy Dan’s Site

Comments 6

  • I m so curiously what is going wrong in our household. I thought I would demonstrate to our dog that me and my wife are the pack leader to the dog. Or should it be just one person? That would be a surprise to me. Anyway, I hope I can fix the problem (barking) with the Doggy Dan. I always felt I should learn explicitly more about handling a dog. Because a dog in the house should be fun and just a good relationship and not something you have to worry about. Thank you for the knowledge and for showing a way out of the problem.

    • I wish you the best of luck and I am very confident that you can solve this problem with the help of Doggy Dan. If I can be of any further help, just write to me and I will do whatever I can.
      Kindest regards,

  • I had no idea the percentage of dogs suffering with anxiety issues was as high as 14% that is a shock.

    Anxiety is a massive problem for humans and there seems to be very little progress sorting these problems out. We’ve a few in our family suffering from anxiety yet how do you sort these problems out for a dog..

    It sounds like the main issue is being left alone where the anxiety increases but establishing yourself as the packleader sounds a very sensible thought out idea. As you say, concentrate on the route of the problem.

    I’ve learnt something else today, thanks,

    • True, anxiety is big problem not just for dogs but also for humans. Finding the root of the problem is really the key to solving it. If you just cure the symptoms of anxiety then other problems might occur instead, this is true for dogs just as it is for humans.

  • Dogs are just like children in so many ways , both experience and act similar in many ways. Interesting how dogs develop separation anxiety just like many children, very good information to know why your dog is behaving the way it does when you leave it home alone.

    Why do you think some dogs experience separation anxiety and others do not?

    • I think the dogs who suffers from separation anxiety lacks strong leadership. If dog considers itself to be the packleader it will feel responible for everyone in the pack (the owner and his/her family) and wants to protect them. If the family leaves without the dog, the dog gets anxious because he can no longer see them and therefore protect them. When the owner is the packleader the dog does not care if he comes and goes. In the wild only the Alpha male and Alpha female will wonder off on their own, not the other dogs.

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