Some dogs experience separation anxiety when left alone although it can come in many forms. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety may become stressed, nervous and insecure, and as a result may bark, chew, whine, howl, dig, cry, defecate, urinate, salivate, scratch at the door or become hyper– active. It can be a chronic problem, or can be prompted by a house move, shift in schedule, divorce or other lifestyle change. It is a problem that is not specific to any particular breed.
Separation anxiety is frequently triggered by a long period of constant togetherness followed by an abrupt,enforced separation. A typical scenario is a dog acquired by someone during an extended work break. The dog is with the owner, the pack leader, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and, when the break ends, is suddenly confronted with daily 8– 10 hours absences. Separation anxiety subsequently ensues. Another common display would be the development of separation anxiety following boarding or re-homing. Whether from a shelter or rescue group, dogs re-homed in adolescence or older are at greater risk of suffering separation anxiety than puppies. This is probably because it is more difficult for these dogs to accept changes in their routine and environment. They cling to their new pack leader and panic when that leader leaves home to go out about his or her daily business.