Separation Anxiety
- A Medical Condition That Could Be Causing Your Dogs Bad Behavior

By Randy Jones

 

Behavior problems are at the top of the list of unhappy dog owners. Each year dogs are abandoned, put out of their adapted homes, or put to sleep because of bad behavior. Destructiveness, excessive vocalization, and house soiling are the most common signs of separation anxiety. These bad habits occur when the dog is separated from its owner.

Dogs are considered pack animals, so they prefer to be part of a group, and have a "pack leader" to follow and look up to. The dog's owner becomes the "pack leader" in the eyes of the dog, and when the leader isn't there to follow, the dog feels abandoned. This abandonment leads to anxiety and frustration which the dog has to deal with, the only way he knows how, what we call bad behavior.

Positive indications of separation anxiety are bad behavior primarily when your dog is left alone, he follows you everywhere you go, he becomes overexcited when you return home, he becomes excited or depressed when you prepare to leave home, or if he dislikes being alone out of doors.

Separation anxiety is not due to disobedience or lack of training. It is an instinctive behavior and should not be punished. The key to treating this problem is to gradually train or condition your dog to get used to your absence. When you leave home or return home make it a low key event.

Begin by leaving your dog alone at home for only a few minutes for the first few days or so. Then gradually lengthen your leaves in the weeks ahead. Also you should try to vary your leaves at different times of the day so as not to create a pattern or habit. To yelp ease his anxiety, you can leave your dog an article of clothing that has your scent on it.

Remember, you are attempting to break your dog's old habit of dependency on you, so you must develop new habits and condition your dog to accept them. It takes time, patience, and love, but in the end it is well worth the effort.


About The Author: Randy Jones and his partner Brent Jones have been in the pet industry for a long time. Recently they formed www.joncopets.com. On the site, customers can shop for the latest dog collars, dog clothes, pet supplies and more. Check them out at www.joncopets.com.