There are many causes of dog separation anxiety.  about ten percent of all canines will develop symptoms during some period of their life. While some cases of canine anxiety are mild, others can be become far more severe.  Separation Anxiety is one of the main reasons that dogs get returned to the shelter.

1) Dogs are Pack Members

Dogs are pack animals and you and your family are their pack. Dogs are descendants of wolves. Wolves are very social animals and are unable to hunt and survive without their pack.  Dogs want to spend all of their time with you. This is can be pronounced in certain breeds, or in dogs that spend most of their time with their pack, and are rarely left alone.

2) Changing your Daily Routine or Location

Some dogs exhibit symptoms of separation anxiety when their normal routine is change.  One example:  When a couple goes on vacation and leaves the dog with another family member, the dog may develop separation anxiety.  Another example is where a dog spends a huge amount of time with the pack, then has to go back to a routine where they are left alone for periods of time.

3) A Difficult Puppyhood

The first 8 weeks of a puppies life are the most important in terms of social skill development . When a dog is taken from it’s mother too early, it doesn’t get the chance to learn manners properly. Puppies that are removed from their mother and siblings too early are more likely to develop separation anxiety and barking problems. Puppies shouldn’t leave their litter before 8 weeks of age.

4) Rescue Shelters and Past Owners

If a dog has come from a shelter or rescue, they are more likely to have had a traumatic past.   The very experience of having one pack leave you, then being adopted by another, is stressful to dogs.   It will take a little bit of time for a new dog to trust you as the pack leader.  They may also be more sensitive to you leaving, because they fear being abandoned again.

5) Certain Dog Breeds

Some breeds are more likely to develop canine anxiety than others .   If you own a pure bred dog, you can talk to the breeder about anxiety issues in the dogs genealogy. Mixed breeds get separation anxiety more than purebreds, but more shelter dogs are mixed, so this could be the reason.

Does your dog have separation anxiety?  Separation anxiety is a serious problem, and won’t go away on it’s own. In fact, it often gets much worse.  Are you looking for a Dog Separation Anxiety Solution?