Assessing how to deal with separation anxiety requires a solid understanding of the dog, relationship between dog and owner and environments that promote stress.
Consider the reasons why your dog is destructive, excessively vocal or self-mutilating in your absence... can the behaviour be squashed with new routines, a better-balanced relationship or a different outlook on the cause or compounding factors? If we understand the behaviour, we can change the behaviour.
Ten Factors that may cause or compound separation anxiety in dogs
- Pre-disposition: Some breeds, such as the Basset Hound, do not like to be left alone and will only settle in the company of others, whether human or other animal. Additionally, many highly social breeds are more easily roused when companionship is continuously denied.
- Dependency: The dog/puppy was never taught that it is normal to be left alone for periods of time several times a day.
- Dependency: The dog is spoiled and not conditioned to accept appropriate rules and routines. As a result, the dog demands the right to attention on their terms.
- Dependency: The dog is wholly human-orientated, thus lacks the social skills to be outside of human company.
- Dependency: The dog believes himself to be low ranking with a deep responsibility to stay closer to their leader and are stressed when they "go missing".
- Unchannelled Energy: The dog lacks the proper amount of proper physical exercise, and releases displaced energy out of stress and/or boredom
- Unchannelled Energy: The dog lacks the proper amount of mental stimulation, and releases displaced energy out of stress and/or boredom.
- Fear: The dog feels alone and vulnerable. Nervous & phobic dogs are primary candidates in that sudden sounds (i.e. thunder, fireworks or a car back-firing) may trigger and/or heighten the anxiety.
- Frustration: The dog is denied access to self-fulfilling rewards (such as chasing the squirrel spotted from the window), thus takes out the frustration on items that are perceived obstacles.
- Fun: chewing, barking, moving human belongings, et. al. is fun!
Assessing separation anxiety requires a solid understanding of the dog, relationship between dog and owner and environments that promote stress. Royvon Dog Training Schools offers such tutoring services at the school or in the home to consult with the owner and put together a programme that addresses the problem at its source.
A stressed dog is not a happy dog and separation anxiety can be managed safely and harmoniously.