Dog Separation Anxiety – Problems, Causes & Solutions

Dog Separation Anxiety
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Dog Separation Anxiety is when a dog is so attached to the owner that it feels extremely stressed out. This happens specifically when the owner leaves it alone. We cover the subject below with some solutions. We recommend you do not use a bark collar to resolve your dog’s separation anxiety issues.

Indicators of Dog Separation Anxiety:

You will notice this problem if your dog goes nuts when they notice you are getting ready to leave the house. Goes nuts, in the case, doesn’t mean whimpering a little. In this case, we’re talking about a full-blown melt down.

If your dog only barks when you are away from home. Or, if your dog barks for long stretches of time when you are away. And at a similar tone and then pauses slightly like they are waiting for a response before continuing to bark again. Many times, the bark ends with a high pitch as if posing the question, “Where did my owner go?”

Another tell-tale sign of separation anxiety is when you return home after time away to see problems. These are problems you don’t experience when you are home with your dog, such as soiled floors or damaged furniture.

What Causes Dog Separation Anxiety?

Dog with Christmas Tree

There are many potential causes for a dog’s separation anxiety, but the most common is that the dog is always used to being around people and is being left alone for the first time.

In a like manner, if the dog is going from one owner to another, there is a chance that they may miss the original owner and not know how to properly deal with the situation.

Similarly, to changing the owner, if there is a change of environment such as a child going off to school or the loss of a family member, it can have a big effect on the dog.

Another possible cause is when a dog first comes to a new owner’s home from the shelter. It is a dramatic change in the dog’s life style.

Some Solutions for Dog Separation Anxiety:

Give your dog a special treat each time you leave (like a puzzle toy stuffed with peanut butter). But, only give him this treat when you’re gone and take it away when you get home.

Make your comings and goings low-key without a lot of greeting. Ignore your pup for the first few minutes after you get home. While this may seem cruel, you are showing the dog that it is not dependent upon the owner.

Find a way to occupy your dog’s time while you are away. A toy, maybe some music, an old shirt or shoe so they are not stressing over you “the owner” at every moment when you’re out.

There are some who recommend drugs as a treatment for dog separation anxiety, but we’re not big believers in that. We feel it masks the symptoms of the underlying cause. But, if you are so inclined, a vet’s advice is the best way to go.

Final Thoughts:

Barking Dogs - Most Expressive Breeds

Ultimately, the answer to dog separation anxiety is to give your dog self confidence that they are ok when they are alone. They need to feel their basic needs are taken care of such as:

    • Sufficient Food and Water
    • Being taken out for potty time or at a minimum having a specific place to relieve themselves in the house – a disposable paper pad for example.
    • Someone will be home for them eventually to care for them

I hope this article helps you resolve your dog separation anxiety issues and maybe determine that you don’t really have a desperate issue at all.

We wish you and you pup the best and hope you will enjoy some of the Athenas Pets Dog Training Products on your journey.

Steve Larrivee

Steve Larrivee

As a dog lover since his youth, Steve Co-Founded Athenas Pets with his son Kevin to promote dog training to the masses. Athenas Pets, focuses on training products and providing the "know-how" so the average dog owner can train their dog like a pro.

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