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By Jon Wedemeyer
April 21, 2023

Separation anxiety can be a serious problem in pet dogs that are left alone for long periods of time, and even in those that are only left for only short periods of time. The good news is that we can successfully treat separation anxiety and get your dog back to healthier behavior when being left alone.

Separation Anxiety (SA) can present in different forms and in varying degrees of severity. From the dog that barks incessantly and wanders the home pacing, to the dog that barks or whines, while pining at the window looking for its caretaker to return, to dogs that exhibit destructive behavior. As I said, some of these cases can be mild, while other cases can be very extreme, to the point that some of these poor dogs will actually destroy furniture, doors, door-jams and even chew entirely through sheet-rock and paneled walls in order to get out!

The root cause of SA will vary from case to case. Sometimes a dog is afraid of not being in control, of not being able to "guard" its human family-member, we call this "guarding" and it is totally different than SA that is caused by abandonment issues, or simple fear of being alone.

But SA can be treated and the behavior extinguished! In much the same way you teach a dog to stay, you can treat SA and teach your dog to accept a prolonged period of time that you will be away. The length of treatment time will of course vary from dog to dog, but the treatment methods are very sound and work very well.

If your dog has SA issues when left alone, please don't hesitate to contact me for a consultation. You and your dog to not have to live with this very sad, but very treatable condition.