You and your dog have a special bond. Your dog follows you around the house, watches everything you do, clings to you like glue, gives you the “please don’t leave me” look whenever you leave the house and try to leave with you, and is super excited and happy when you come home. But, when you come home, you find your front door mats have holes in them, your door has teeth marks, or there are other signs your dog has been destructive.
Your dog might have what is known as separation anxiety. This can start when your dog is a puppy, or could develop later. Separation anxiety is when your dog shows behavioural (stress) problems when left alone. You can help your puppy/adult dog overcome this with training. Separation anxiety is more than just boredom, it is actually the result of your dog feeling stressed and your dog feels anxious until you return home.
Your dog may exhibit behaviours such as excessive howling or barking, panting, pacing, destructive acts such as chewing furniture or other objects, scratching at your doors, having accidents in the house or even attempts to escape. This is not your dog misbehaving on purpose, this is your dog feeling stressed and anxious!
It is not clear why dogs develop separation anxiety. It is thought that shelter dogs, certain breeds, and smaller dogs could be more likely to develop it. Also, life changes could play a role.
There is no magic solution to stop separation anxiety but some suggestions are: