Dogs with separation anxiety may become destructive when home alone. This is a symptom of the dog’s anxiety. Similar to how some people may chew their nails when anxious, some dogs may chew at the carpet or walls. I help my dog with separation anxiety by doing desensitization and counter-conditioning exercises. I start with very very short periods of alone time (seconds), and pair it with very high priority rewards. Then, I very slowly build up my dog’s confidence and tolerance level, from that starting point of success.
Separation Anxiety In Dogs - Dogtime
In her excellent book, Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals, Dr. Karen Overall defines separation anxiety as, “A condition in which animals exhibit symptoms of anxiety or excessive distress when they are left alone.” The most common separation anxiety symptoms in dogs include destructive behavior, house soiling, and excessive vocalization. Many dogs with this challenging behavior also refuse to eat or drink when left alone, don’t tolerate crating, pant and salivate excessively when distressed, and go to great lengths to try to escape from confinement, with apparent total disregard for injury to themselves or damage to their surroundings.
Separation Anxiety in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis ..
One of the most common complaints of pet parents is that their dogs are disruptive or destructive when left alone. Their dogs might urinate, defecate, bark, howl, chew, dig or try to escape. Although these problems often indicate that a dog needs to be taught polite house manners, they can also be symptoms of distress. When a dog’s problems are accompanied by other distress behaviors, such as drooling and showing anxiety when his pet parents prepare to leave the house, they aren’t evidence that the dog isn’t house trained or doesn’t know which toys are his to chew. Instead, they are indications that the dog has separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset because of separation from their guardians, the people they’re attached to. Escape attempts by dogs with separation anxiety are often extreme and can result in self-injury and household destruction, especially around exit points like windows and doors.
Dog Fear and Anxiety - How to Calm an Anxious Dog | petMD