Separation Anxiety In Dogs: What Causes It?
Separation anxiety in dogs is not completely understood. How to prevent separation anxiety in dogs is common in both multi-pet and single-pet households,and is discussed here.
It may be more common in animals who have been abused or who have lived in many homes. Dogs who have not had regular social interaction with people or other animals, particularly as puppies, may be at risk.
Separation anxiety is most common in the following situations:
#1 A dog who is rarely left alone or who has been relegated to a basement, garage, or yard because they were not properly integrated into their first household.
#2 Dogs removed too soon (before 8 weeks of age) or too late from their mother and littermates (after 14 weeks).
#3 After a vacation during which the owner and dog were always together.
#4 Following a traumatic occurrence, time spent in a shelter or boarding kennel, or an event that was really terrifying for your dog.
#5 When the owner’s work schedule changes, a dog who has never had a problem before may develop separation anxiety.
#6 A dog who is getting on in years.
Has the family’s routine or structure changed in any way?
#1 A student who is about to enter college or boarding school.
#2 There will be a shift in work schedules.
#3 The family has relocated to a new location.
#4 A new person or pet enters the household.
#5 Dogs who have been abandoned during critical stages of their growth.
#6 The amount of time spent in the veterinarian clinic.
Separation anxiety is a panic reaction, not an attempt by the dog to “spite” its owners, according to experts.
It’s vital to understand that the damage and house soiling that frequently accompany separation anxiety are not the dog’s attempt to punish or seek revenge on its owner for being left alone, but rather a panic response.
It’s important to remember that dogs are herd creatures. It’s only natural that they want to be around others all of the time. Most adult dogs (12-16 months old, depending on breed) can be left alone for 8 hours or even longer if they have access to a yard to relieve themselves.
They may be dissatisfied or bored, but they do not pose a significant threat to their owners’ property.
A dog who suffers from separation anxiety is unique
Is your dog anxious when you go to the door to leave and tries to leave with you? Do you manage to get outside and close the door, but your dog’s whining and clawing can still be heard on the inside?
Such circumstances make you and your dog upset, and you never know what you’ll discover when you return. Do you become enraged with your dog when you arrive home to discover your house in disarray, causing it to become even more enraged?
If that’s the case, the cycle will continue until you’re ready to give your dog away.
Separation anxiety is characterised by signs of distress that appear exclusively when your dog is apart from you. When your dog thinks you’re about to go, he or she becomes anxious.
If you lock your dog in a room and shut the door behind you, you can demonstrate it. You should explore for another underlying problem if your dog is anxious and unhappy all of the time.
Whether or not the owner is kind and attentive has little effect on separation anxiety. Two dogs of the same breed living with the same owner can have drastically different personalities.
While one dog will whine, pace, and bark, the other will lie down and sleep.
It could be due to brain chemistry, like many other human habits. Stress could trigger the disease in a dog that is genetically predisposed to it. Separation anxiety is more common in certain breeds than in others.
To assist you pinpoint the problem, conduct some research on the breed(s) of your dog. Separation anxiety is a hereditary trait in some breeds. Typically, they’re referred to as:
#2 German Shepherds
#4 Springer Spaniels
Separation anxiety is common in dogs in what behaviourist Larry Lachman refers to as a “triangled” situation, in which a dog is used as an emotional replacement for another family member.
Excessive attention and stroking that are frequent in these relationships can lead to overdependence, which can make it difficult for a dog to cope with the departure and/or absence of its particular person.
Even if they are not in a problematic relationship, dogs might develop anxiety reactions as a result of people lavishing too much attention on them, such as continual petting and rubbing, incessant conversation, or excessive lap time.
This results in a hyper-needy dog who is unable to entertain itself or even tolerate being alone.
It’s critical for owners of dogs with separation anxiety to recognise that the improper behaviour their dog is displaying is due to anxiety, not anger or a desire to ‘get back’ at the owner.
Condemning or punishing the dog will only cause it to become confused, anxious, and behave badly. When videotaping dogs whose owners had punished them for disruptive conduct, it was discovered that the dogs’ anxiety level rises soon before the owner returns home.
In these circumstances, behaviourists believe the dog’s troublesome behaviour stems from its fear of being left alone, rather than its fear of the punishment it will receive when the owner returns.
When Separation Anxiety Isn’t the Problem!
Tearing the drywall, eating the baseboards, and raiding the cupboards aren’t always signs of separation anxiety; they’re just bad behaviour or your dog having a good time when you’re not around to fix it.
Some dogs have discovered that they can have a lot of fun when their owners are gone, just like teenagers who have a secret party when their parents are away for the weekend.
Set up a video camera and observe how your dog acts while you are away to figure out what is really going on. Does your dog have a pleased expression on his face, with an open, relaxed mouth and a calm body?
Is your dog tense, anxious, disturbed, or angry?
If you don’t have a video camera, you can leave and then return home silently to have a look around. It’s possible that all your dog needs is a little extra training and a few more toys.
Such tests will allow you to tell the difference between a healthy dog and one who has separation anxiety.
Additional Information And Statistics
If a dog’s separation anxiety continues into adulthood, they have a disordered bond. We know that dogs have a greater prolactin level when they are under chronic stress.We know that dogs have a decreased prolactin level when they are stressed.
A dog suffering from prolonged stress is an entirely different creature. They may act in ways that are utterly inconsistent with their usual demeanour. It’s crucial to keep in mind that they aren’t acting this way on purpose to’spite’ you.
They’re behaving in ways that reflect their anxious mood.
When left unaddressed, separation anxiety has a negative impact on the dog-human bond. As a result of their destructive conduct, a greater number of dogs are surrendered to shelters or euthanized.
The welfare of pets suffering from separation anxiety is jeopardised. I’m sure none of you reading this would want to put your cat in such a dangerous scenario.