Updated: Mar 6, 2021
Preparing For or Fixing Separation Anxiety
We trainers often refer to this as separation anxiety (SA) and it is defined by an unwanted behaviour that only happens when the dog is being or is separated from its owner. This behaviour can cause distress for the dog and owner and sometimes cause rifts with neighbors. Some indicators that your dog isn't happy being left alone are things like:
Other less frequent signs (that can be more easily missed) include:
Trembling, whining or pacing
While we have spent a year at home due to COVID restrictions and lock downs or perhaps you have maybe been back and forth to the office, or you where lucky enough to get a new dog or puppy and haven't yet had to leave them for any length of time.
Prevention is better then cure!
Spend some time now (before our return to normal) to determine if your dog or puppy is comfortable being left alone. This is something very different to being left at night or in the kitchen when you are in the next room. This is an entirely different exercise or game to tackle the issue of SA. Even if your dog was fine before all this madness, if your routine has changed and any family member has been home more then usual, i would highly recommend doing this separation test.
Research suggests that 8 out of 10 of dogs will find it hard to cope when left alone, but half of these won't show any obvious signs, so it can be very easy for owners to miss. The good news though is that SA is preventable and treatable and by playing the Spy game you can see what your puppy/dog is up to