Your dog may look happy when you return, but in truth if your dog is excitable, he may be experiencing mental anguish, which is not healthy.
Did you know that separation anxiety is the second most common reason dogs are euthanized or given up by their owners?
Separation anxiety can occur in any breed and at any age.
Dogs are pack animals and it is not natural for a dog to be left alone. Dogs can react to a lack of exercise and/or the stress of being separated from their "pack member(s)" by becoming upset, destructive, barking continuously, or eliminating in the house. The degrees can vary, and your dog may only do one, or perhaps all, of the behaviors. You may be mistaking the behaviors as "breed traits" when in reality it is mental anguish. You may see personality changes in your pet as well. He may become aggressive or shy. He may become depressed and can even make himself sick. She may begin to chew parts of her own body. Our neighbor's German Shepherd chewed on his tail so much that it had to be amputated. He had recently lost his favorite "pack member" and obviously didn't have another strong enough pack leader to take that place. My own rescued Schnauzer, perfect as she is, will occasionally dump out our garbage and spread it all through the house. This too, although it does not happen often, is separation anxiety because it only happens when we leave the house.
In order to stop our dogs from having separation anxiety, we first need to understand what is causing it. Two of the more common reasons this can occur are: (and the cause can be due to either or both of these)
Since it is not natural for a pack animal to be left alone, this can also occur in a submissive dog that does see you as the leader, but that is not completely secure within his pack or a dog that has not learned how to handle being alone.
Separation anxiety can be curable if you fulfill your dog's canine instincts.
Written by Dawn Littlefield, Littlefield Kennels; Edited by Dog Breed Info Center®
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