What IS Separation Anxiety?

What is Separation Anxiety?

Your puppy is brand spanking new. Before they came to you, they may never have been away from their mom or littermates. This may be the first time they’ve experienced the crate or a puppy pen, or any type of alone-time. 

You might be seeing signs of distress when you leave your puppy to step out for a few moments or even when you go out of sight to have a shower. 

Have you ever known anyone who experiences panic attacks? They will likely tell you that they feel they have no control over themselves when they are triggered. Dogs with separation anxiety experience symptoms of panic when they are separated from their primary attachment figure or are completely isolated. 

We want to prevent this from happening and if you’re already seeing the early signs, we want to get on this NOW as opposed to waiting until it is a full-blown…

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Separation Anxiety is a serious problem behaviour that is often diagnosed by Veterinarians and Trainers.

What does it look like?

  • vocalisations (whining, barking, howling)
  • destruction, especially at or near exits
  • panting, pacing
  • drooling
  • loss of control of bladder/bowels

(This is not an extensive list – simply the most common signs that we see.)

In fact, with puppies, we often only see vocalisations and panting in the beginning, but Separation Anxiety is a behaviour challenge that does not get better on its own – in fact, it’s almost guaranteed to get worse with time and without treatment. 

When we bring home a puppy and they exhibit these symptoms, we often mistake them for “puppy complaining” or “stubbornness” or some other construct. Let’s not label our puppy – let’s treat what we see with respect and give our puppy the help they need to have a future full of happy home-alone time.