The Nature of the Beast
Separation anxiety isn’t just a doggie disorder; it’s an instinctual canine behavior in the animal, dogs have a complete social network, much like humans. The good news is doggie separation anxiety can be cured with a little education on the nature of the beast and a simple play date with other dogs.
Dogs by Design are Pack Animals.
Dogs are genetically designed with the need to function among other dogs. When you isolate a dog they feel anxiety and panic. When a dog is displaced or removed from a pack in the wild they will find another mate and create another family. These traits are passed down to our domestic pooches. They naturally want to be in a pack with other dogs (and humans for that matter). Throughout the transformation of a wolf into a domestic dog, humans have become a natural balance in the packs hierarchy. Hopefully you are the Alpha but sometimes the title does go to the dog…lol. This is why a stay at home dog is so happy to see you when you come home after work each day. Simply being home lifts their anxiety immediately. To them they are a part of your pack and they crave the connectedness of your company.
As Scooby would say “Ruh-Roh”
When you leave a dog home alone during the day they can become overly lonely, and this can lead to doggie depression, and other forms of separation anxiety. Hence the dog that eats your couch, digs or chews, barks nonstop, or does other “out of character” deeds while they are home alone are not bad dogs, they are acting out because being isolated is not in their nature.
Three Simple Solutions
Arranging a play date is the best and healthiest way to help elevate separation anxiety in your dog. Not only does it cure “Bad Dog” syndrome it actually stimulates a healthier dog. Here are Three Solutions; my favorite is a doggie daycare. This gives your dog a social environment when you cannot be present and eliminates any social anxiety the dog may develop from being home alone on a consistent basis. If a Doggie Daycare is not available in your area or not a financial option then try a dog walker. Having someone to walk your dog while you are at work is a good way to break the day up for your pooch and gives them relief from being lonely. Lastly, a great activity for both you and your dog would be to find a local dog park. This gets you both social. Win-win !