Does Your Dog Have Separation Anxiety?

Our Houston dog trainer receives hundreds of inquiries every week from dog owners who are unsure how to handle their dog’s behavioral issues. From territorial marking, leash reactivity, human aggression, to excessive barking, our trainer here at Space City Dog Training has seen it all and tackled all types of behavioral problems from all type of different dogs.

dog being trainedWith all the behavioral issues we hear about, it always links back to some type of anxiety that causes these problems. Some issues, such as separation anxiety, is a major problem that can create extreme stress for dogs and their families if not corrected. Separation anxiety is when a dog experiences distress when being separated from someone, whether it’s the owner, a sibling, etc. The symptoms of separation anxiety can range from mild to severe.

There are numerous signs of separation anxiety that one could easily observe. Here are just a few signs that may prove that a dog is experiencing separation anxiety:

Excessive barking or whining: Barking is not always a sign of anxiety, but if it becomes excessive, it may be exactly that. Lots of dogs might bark a lot when they see another dog on the street, or they might whine a lot if they need to go to the bathroom. But if your dog is in the other room alone barking, whimpering, howling, or whining nonstop, they may be experiencing separation anxiety. The barking and whining can last up to a few minutes or even up to hours upon hours. Barking nonstop all day is not good for the dog’s well-being, plus the noise may be a problem for the family or nearby neighbors.

Excessive panting and drooling: We’re not talking about the panting and drooling your dog may do after a long walk in the summer. This is where your dog pants and drools while being separated, perhaps in another room or crate. Many times our Houston dog trainer has gotten separation anxiety cases where the dog is not being loud or not being destructive, but the owner will report coming home and finding a big puddle of drool in the dog’s crate. Dogs will pant when they are experiencing anxiety, and that could lead into excess drool.

Destruction: This is a common sign of any form of anxiety. Many dogs will be destructive because of boredom and anxiety. Separation anxiety may cause destructive habits, such as tearing up a bed in the crate, trying to chew their way out the gate of a plastic or metal crate, and sometimes destruction can come in the form of accidental or intentional self-harm from the dog. Dogs can hurt themselves if they’re constantly trying to bite or dig their way out of a metal crate. One of the toughest separation anxiety cases our Houston dog trainer experienced was a dog that would literally scratch themselves and rub up on the floor until they bled while they were separated from their owner. Containing them in the crate did not help, as the self-harm would just occur in a smaller space.

Separation anxiety is a very difficult behavioral problem, but it is something that can be overcome. A lot of confidence building, structure, and desensitization is necessary. Our in-home dog training programs can help your dog combat any separation anxiety that may be experiencing. We’ll show you as the owner how to implement structure and show your dog how to become more comfortable with separation, through training and confidence-building exercises.

Do you have a dog with a bad case of separation anxiety? Or do you have a new puppy and you want to ensure you can prevent separation anxiety from forming in the first place? Call our offices at 346.998.1212 and find out how Space City Dog Training can help you tackle separation anxiety!