Canine separation anxiety: common in large breeds
You know the situation, you live it. You have a small dog that will soon be a year old. He has grown physically at an exponential rate! From the perfect size full of cuddles to the big, loud teenager who loves to run, jump and chase. He is irritable and oblivious to his weight of 60 pounds or more while participating in outdoor play. All this is a good problem when nobody is home.
Although you choose to train boxes, this dog does most of his destruction when the beds are away during the day. He’s been chewing his way between the kennels and destroying clothes, shoes, and furniture all the time and he’s free and unattended. When the family returns, they find an overactive dog waiting for them, and the shattered house takes hours to clear the path of destruction.
This is a familiar sight to many dog owners. You bring your dog to the vet to find out why he’s behaving this way and diagnose your condition – separation anxiety. There are medications and behavioral training that will help. But is it really a medical condition ?
Mimetic separation anxiety versus true separation anxiety in dogs
Most of separation anxiety in dogs is actually separation anxiety. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMS, 2012) declared separation anxiety to be the most common behavioral diagnosis in dogs up to 40% of the time. Veterinarians often refer their clients to dog behavior specialists for treatment. How do we distinguish between simulated and actual separation anxiety? Can you tell me the difference ?
Separation anxiety looks similar in both scenarios. Mass destruction of clothing, furniture, litter, food, dogs, and household items, only when you are away. Something like “Who did all this ?!” “Is this you?” “What happened here?” “you are fine?” The next thing an owner does is clean everything while the dog often feels good about the owners returning, reassures and rests quietly and quietly nearby.
The second scenario is similar to the massive destruction of clothing, furniture, litter, dogs, and household supplies. Upon returning home, the first thing an owner does is to ignore the dog and assess the mess. The owner cleans calmly and calmly, and the dog may feel anxious or settle down, and he may find a special place to go in the supine position. There may also be urination or feces around the house or in the box or bed.
The owner is the leader of the group when there is genuine separation anxiety
The difference with the dog in the second scenario is several things that may seem similar at first glance. First, the owner is calm and assertive. Do not over-involve your dog before departure or upon return. So the dog is not hyperactive when interacting with the owner.
In the second scenario, the dog is making the same kind of mess but in a different way. The dog exhibits the same type of destructive behavior whenever the owner is removed from the environment, whether for a short or long period. The devastation continues. Every time the owner goes, destruction occurs.
The dog in this scenario also has different behaviors and symptoms than the dog in the first scenario. The dog is the second scenario that may bark continuously throughout the owner’s absence. Barking or whining with a high tone is common. Barking and groaning is prolonged and causes more discomfort to neighbors. Your dog may salivate excessively or yawn a lot.
The obvious difference in the second scenario is that your dog temporarily loses voluntary control of his bowel or bladder in the litter box or at home. Your dog may also eat feces. These behaviors and symptoms mentioned in Scenario 2 describe true anxiety about separation, as a dog’s fear of separation almost amounts to a phobia and greatly interferes with his psychological well-being and ability to cope on a daily basis.
Signs of real anxiety about separation in dogs
- Excessive salivation
- Excessive panting
- Excessive yawning
- Fecal incontinence in the home when the owner is absent (in a well-trained dog)
- Incontinence in the home when the owner is absent (in a well-trained dog)
- The dog’s inability to settle before the owner leaves or returns
- The dog may settle well when the owner returns and be calm and calm even if the owner does not engage the dog
A treatment for all dogs suffering from separation anxiety
If you decide that your dog might imitate separation anxiety, providing a more consistent routine with more exercise and mental simulations can help. Search for dog daycare centers in your area, or a local service like rover.com in Canada to find people in the community who can help with walking and caring for dogs when you are away. Learn how to set boundaries with your dog, but also see fun ways to enjoy bonding with your dog and build a bond of trust, as evident as you are your boss.
Exercise and mental stimulation is also important in real cases of separation anxiety. Large dog breeds can be very intelligent and need a lot of work because they usually have a lot of energy and stamina! Additionally, try to find toys that provide long-term enjoyment for your dog and help keep him occupied during your absence. Some of the large dog breeds they chew are aggressive, so finding a safe and long-lasting chew toy is great! You can also consider tackling puzzles for fun and mental simulations.