Dog Behavior Problems Caused by Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is one of the leading causes of dog behavior problems. The condition is characterized a general anxiety, nervousness, or sadness that occurs in dogs when they are left alone for long periods of time. The consequences of this are extremely detrimental to dogs and behavior problems displayed by a dog are typically very annoying and troublesome for dog owners.

Constant Chewing

One of the most common side-effects of separation anxiety is chewing. Most dogs are avid chewers by nature, but separation anxiety adds a whole new reason for chewing. Because this condition causes generalized anxiety in dogs, dogs will attempt to find some way of working off their excessive level of anxiety, and many of them do this by chewing.

When dogs begin chewing as a result of separation anxiety, their destructive behavior often becomes intolerable to humans because it usually involves more than just dog toys. Furniture, shoes, clothes, books, remotes, cell phones and DVDs are only some of the likely recipients of such behavior.

Barking and Yelping

A dog's main means of communication is barking, but when separation anxiety takes hold of a dog, the barking often turns into yelping or crying. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event, but rather it is a constant cry for attention.

What this means is that a dog with separation anxiety may bark or yelp for hours on end. While this is obviously disruptive to a dog owner, it is an honest display of how truly affected a dog is by separation anxiety.

Pacing and Restlessness

Another common dog behavior problem of separation anxiety is pacing and restlessness. Many dogs that are afflicted with this condition find themselves to be bored and at a loss of what to do with their anxiety. Often this can disrupt the sleeping habits of a dog and cause them to continuously pace around the house. The problem is that when they begin displaying this type of behavior, many of the other behaviors associated with separation anxiety begin to surface, like chewing.

Urinating and Defecating

When a dog has already been potty-trained, one of the most elusive signs of separation anxiety is the desire to urinate or defecate inside the house. This should not be confused with unwillingness to potty outdoors, but rather this is one of the ways that a dog is trying to communicate the need for attention. It is simply a behavioral problem that dogs display when they are lacking in human companionship.

Ultimately, most dogs know that urinating and defecating in the house in not allowed; however, they also realize that doing so will most definitely get your attention. When this type of behavioral problem arises, a dog owner should always remember that this behavior is not permanent, as long as the issue of separation anxiety can be corrected.