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  • Writer's pictureMecca Curtice, CCDT, CTDI

Separation Anxiety: Separation Distress

What is Separation Distress? A dog who panics when left alone. I have come across dog's that I have found will actually harm themselves. Trying to escape and panicking while being left alone.

There are three level's, mild, moderate and severe.

What does it look like?

It can manifest as:

• Destructive Behavior

• Urinating/Defecating

• Excessive Vocalization

• Excessive Drooling

• Attempts to escape confinement

Severe cases can involve injury. I have seen dogs that has busted down crates. They have scratched at doors until their paws were hurt and some cases much worse.

You may have found yourself in a situation, where your dog is going into panic. Your dog is watching your every move that you make. Your dog knows you get up, get dressed, brush your teeth, do a few things before you head out. Then you pick up your keys.

You may wonder why does this happen? Why is my dog panicking?

There can be many reasons as to why your dog suddenly started having this problem.

There can be a change in schedule or even a move to a new home. Maybe an unhealthy attachment to the owner. Pain, illness, trauma or genetics. That is why every detail is important.

I have worked with dogs, that did not do well in a crate. I found out by putting them into a much larger crate like one for outside use, they had no problem with it. There is more room in there. This was safe and could be used for a short period of time. Dogs should never be in crates for a long period of time.

If you find yourself facing a problem with your dog having separation distress, don't wait too long to get help.

I recommend Desensitization and Counterconditioning, a training plan to help you with your dog. Every dog is different and each situation so it takes being consistent and being positive.

Everyone wants to have a happy, healthy relationship with their dog. Never over look a behavior change. A simple thing like moving to a new place can have an affect on a dog.

Mecca Curtice, CCDT, CTDI

Behavior Specialist

Sheboygan, WI.

© 2020 Mecca Curtice, Mecca's All Breed Dog Training, LLC.

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