My dog is anxious, what causes separation anxiety? Part 1

Dogs need to be properly conditioned to being left alone.  If not, separation anxiety can occur.

By Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Professional Blogger

Separation anxiety can sometimes happen when:

  • the dog has never or rarely been left alone
  • after going away to a boarding kennel or shelter
  • after a change in the family’s routine such as a new work schedule, moving to a new home, a new person living in the home, or a person leaving the home
  • after a long interval such as a vacation with you and your dog constantly together

 Giving a dog too much or the wrong type of attention can lead to such stress related behaviors

In some cases the constant attention and petting a dog receives when its owners are home make the stress worse when they are absent.  Examples include:

  • petting the dog too much for merely existing
  • allowing the dog to sleep in bed before behavior issues are resolved
  • petting and playing with the dog when they demand it
  • petting to calm the dog down when he is scared, stressed, angry, etc.
  • excitable greeting of the dog upon awakening or arriving home

These actions can make the dog too dependent and create neediness. This neediness cannot be fulfilled when the dog is alone. If the dog is experiencing stress when left alone, he will do things that he should not do. It is important to keep a balance, so that the dog does not feel as alone when you are gone.

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