Our trainer has a special interest in separation anxiety as a result of her own personal experience. One of her dogs, Nacho, a siberian husky, had this behavioral problem. Nacho’s distress when left alone was “full blown” and he would bark non-stop, injure himself, break out of crates, vomit and defecate when confined in either a crate or room alone. When she first acquired Nacho in the early 90’s, Veronica successfully modified Nacho’s behavior problem. Nacho was, after several weeks of behavior modification, able to be confined calmly at her home.
Nacho later passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test and worked as a therapy dog at local nursing homes. Veronica’s success with Nacho led to colleagues referring similar cases to her. She has since successfully helped many owners address their own dog’s separation anxiety and is referred to by area veterinarians for this common behavioral problem.
A few facts about separation anxiety:
- This is a behavior problem that is particularly common in dogs that have been adopted from shelters and rescue groups.
- Not all barking and destructive behavior is “separation anxiety.” Dogs may bark, engage in destructive behavior or house soil for many different reasons.
- Every case of separation anxiety is unique. Some dogs cannot be crated at all as the confinement triggers even more panic. Other dogs are more calm in a crate. Some dogs have very severe problems while other dogs may show some milder signs.
- Many people who contact us with dogs that have separation anxiety have recently had a major change in their living situation or home that triggers the behavior. For example, they may have moved, implemented a home renovation or recently had a divorce.
Separation anxiety is potentially very serious. Dogs can be injured or worse if they are extremely anxious.