Separation Anxiety in Dogs: Symptoms and How to Modify the Behavior
Dogs who can't be left alone or whose destructive or disruptive behavior is caused by separation anxiety and isolation distress are not “misbehaving” – they need help.
Separation anxiety is a condition in which the dog becomes upset when separated from one or more humans with whom he has hyper-bonded. A dog with true separation anxiety experiences a severe panic attack when he is left alone. Escape attempts by a dog with separation anxiety can be extreme and may result in self-injury. Household destruction often occurs, especially around exit points like windows and doors. Some dogs have even jumped through windows in their desperate attempts to find their humans. Separation-related behaviors vary in intensity from one dog to the next. Milder forms of the behavior are more appropriately called “separation distress,” while the full-blown panic attack truly deserves the label “separation anxiety.