Separation anxiety in dogs - Part 1/2
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Separation anxiety in dogs - Part 1/2
There are many dogs that suffer from being alone. In this case, it stresses not only the dogs but also the holder. From the continuous whine or destructive behavior to panic attacks and urinating in the apartment, separation anxiety can cause many symptoms in dogs. In this two-part article series I want to show what exactly separation anxiety in dogs is, how it arises, what symptoms it causes in dogs and what you can do against it.
What is separation anxiety in dogs?
Separation anxiety in dogs is an inborn protective mechanism so that puppy and mother are not moving away so far from each other. Both the puppy and the mother dog feel this stress. This should minimize the risk of moving away.
Does a dog have separation anxiety, so there are two different approaches to identify the cause. The first approach is the relationship parents / puppy or human / dog. Here, the dog is existential afraid to lose the parent animal (owner). This behavior can also occur in adult dogs.
The second approach is exactly the opposite. The mother searches for the puppy. At this point it is important who has the responsibility in the pack (human or dog). These are usually dominant dogs who call the shots in the pack. Such separation anxiety is an oppressive fear of parental animal (dog) who loses the puppies (owner). The dog rages, barks and is restless because he is worried about his people. In exceptional cases, such dogs can attack their owner if these moved too far away from them.
Both approaches are based on the innate fear of loss between animal parents and puppies. But so that life with humans can be as relaxed as possible, every dog needs to learn to stay alone.
It is not always a separation anxiety when the dog does not want to stay alone. If the dog has, for example, lack of exercise, or is bored because he is not busy enough, it can come during the absence of the owner, to unwanted behavior. Here the problem is more due to an incorrect keeping of the dog.
How separation anxiety in dogs arise?
Separation anxiety in dogs is created or developed depending on the education and behavior of the owner and the light of experience of the dog, which inevitably have to do with the action of man. The following points can cause separation anxiety in dogs or encourage. These include for example:
- Leave: The dog is dismissed excessively and eventually encouraged with treats.
- Return: Excessive welcome greeting or greeting rituals and feed them treats or food.
- Too early separation from the mother.
- Too late separation from the mother, because the puppy has long been marked on them.
- Dogs from dog dealer who have been transported in the trunk of a car or have lived in a kennel, barn, etc. and had no contact with humans.
- Visits: dog may welcome guests as the first and is the center of attention.
- Too much coddling of the dog.
- A change of owner.
- Death of a family member or dog that lived in the family.
- Feed ritual: dog usually gets its food before the owner eats.
- Absence of a family member, upon moving the children, or divorce.
- Traumatic experiences, when the dog is alone. For example, Thunderstorm.
- Dog decides when playing, is always preceding (e.g. through the door) or seeking the "best" place on the sofa or even in bed without the permission of the humans (dominance behavior).
What are the signs of separation anxiety in dogs?
Frequent and typical signs of separation anxiety in dogs are as follows:
- The dogs are extremely affectionate and follow the owner everywhere. For example, in the bathroom, kitchen, basement or mailbox. They are restless when they are not successful because the owner e.g. has closed the door. They are only quiet when the owner is in their vicinity or in the field of view.
- If the owner wants to leave the house they react very excited and want to be taken along. This behavior begins by putting the shoes or jacket on, taking keys, packing the bag, etc. Some dogs are at the door and growl. In extreme cases, it may also happen that the dog is aggressive towards the owner and can bite.
- During the absence of the owner, the dogs often react with persistent barking, yelping, whining or howling, urinating or defecating in the house, with destructive behavior, such as scratching doors (often at the exits), chewing on shoes, furniture or wallpaper. Further it may occur salivation, tremors, paws sweating, dilated pupils, increased heart rate and restlessness by continuously running back and forth in the room. In general, these symptoms do not appear or only partially in the presence of the owner. Some of these symptoms do occur only individual some in a combination.
- Frenetic and wild welcoming when the owner is returning.
You have of course to consider some of the above points also differentiated. When a dog urinates in the home, it can also be a faulty housebreaking. If the dog is not properly busy and bored, he can also destroy objects in the house. Permanent barking can also mean a requirement of the dog's attention.
In the second part of this article series, you'll learn what you can do exactly against separation anxiety, so the dog loses his fears.
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