Humans need to understand that being alone is not natural for dogs, therefore when we leave our dogs home alone; most of them will suffer from separation anxiety periodically. Your dog can become destructive, barking constantly or urinating in the house. When left alone we humans often mistakenly tend to think that this is just behavioral problems due our breed’s traits.
Changes in Personality
When your dog shows changes in their personality it is usually due to mental anguish, which may cause them to become aggressive or extremely shy. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety can also make themselves sick, some dogs will chew at their body, refuse to eat or lie listless around the house.
When humans fail to show their dog, the humans are the leader of the pack, dogs will instinctively think of themselves as the leader. In a pack of dogs, the leader is allowed to leave; the followers never leave the leader. In a dogs mind if he is the leader and you are the followers, when you leave them alone they will suffer mentally, because one or all of their pack has left them behind. After your dog accepts you as pack leader, separation anxiety will no longer be a problem.
Lack of Exercise
Dogs left alone without getting sufficient daily exercise will have a buildup of energy, which will show in a multitude of behavioral problems. When your dog has built-up energy and you leave them alone, in their minds anything goes, therefore they become destructive. The buildup energy can be alleviated by simply giving your dog a sufficient amount of exercise daily. If you live in an apartment or condo, your dog should be taken for a walk before you leave for work each morning and for extended walk in the evening.
If you live in a home with a safe fenced, shaped area your dog will be much happier when they are allowed to stay outdoors while you are away from home. Owners should always make sure the dog has a sufficient amount of water and a favorite toy in a shaded area. On extremely warm days; you may want to keep your dog inside while you are away. Dogs seem to suffer less separation anxiety when left outdoors, where they can romp and play.
Discourage Bad Behavior
When you leave the house and you hear your dog whining do not go back inside, just ignore the bad behavior. When owners go back into the house consoling their dog, the dog accepts this as a reward; therefore the whining will become a habit.
You can practice leaving the house for a few minutes and upon your arrival ignore the dog for a few minutes while taking off your coats and putting things away; you can then pet the dog and give them a hug or a treat on occasion. After a few times off practicing this procedure your dog will be fine when you leave the house.
This article provided by dog containment systems expert Susan Wright. Dr. Wright, DVM and her staff in effort to educate people on the proper care of their dogs.