Are you one of the many dog owners that consider your pet as one of the family? Do you celebrate his birthday as you would your children's? Do you ask yourself why your dog does not appreciate this & tears the floor while you are out? If this sounds familiar I am sure will find some answers in the following article.
When a dog has a behavioral problem it is important to remember that dogs do not think like us humans. Dogs are social animals that need exercise, mental stimulation & company to prevent boredom & loneliness. If you do not provide this it is possible that symptoms of separation anxiety will occur.
Here are some of the signs
- A dog suffering separation anxiety, boredom, or loneliness will often whine or whimper when they feel you may be getting ready to leave.
- It is not uncommon for a dog to shake or pace around when they sense your imminent departure.
- Some cases show dogs that have taken to chewing their paws, (similar to humans chewing their nails) in attempts to stop the anxiety.
- A dog's chewing often extends to objects
- Your pet may even scratch & dig at windows with the intent of trying to get to you.
- Continual howling or barking is another symptom that will often cause problems with neighbors.
- A dog that gets so excited he almost looses his mind & is jumping around frantically when you walk through the door is very likely to be showing signs of separation anxiety. Of course we want to have our dog come & greet us, that's all part of the joy of owning a dog & the companionship it brings, but this should be with a calm nudge & wag of the tail not bouncing off the walls.
All of these symptoms are very sad to see or hear about & it is important to address the issues with compassion & patience while trying to find a cure. Under no circumstances should any form of punishment be used. At the root of the problem it is usually that the dog feels abandoned & they are unsure if or when you are going to return. Dog's do not have any concept of time & needs to learn that you will be coming back soon and are not abandoning him forever.
It is a fact of life that dog owners have to come & go & the pet can not always go too. I do not believe however that a dog should be left alone for more than 3 or 4 hours, if you find that you need to do this on a regular basis then maybe you could look at getting a pet sitter. It's important that your dog gets used to accepting some time alone, the sooner they accept this the better is for them & the family.