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February 2023

Dog separation anxiety – how long does it take for him to destroy your house?

Sunday, January 9, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-destroyingIs it separation anxiety or just boredom?  How do you tell if your dog has separation anxiety? First of all, if your dog is stuck by your side all the time while your home , this includes sleeping times and any destruction that you find occurs within the first 20 minutes after you leave the house, then you probably have a case of separation anxiety. You would be able to tell if you have a video camera turned on during a short period of time. The dog will literately tear your house apart. My dog did everything from dragging a roll of toilet paper down the steps from the second floor to knocking over all the plants and taking all of the foam out of the cushions on the couch, chewing them up and scattering them around the entire living room!  He did this everyday!  If your dog can spend the night in his dog crate and doesn’t mind being separated from you while you are doing your thing at home, then it’s probably not separation anxiety but rather boredom and is usually limited to chewing and barking.

Some things that you could do is try to make your arrivals and departures very low key. Do things like pick out your keys and get prepared to leave but don’t actually leave. Do this several times a day until your dog does not associate your behavior with something that is negative.   Interact with your dog on your terms not his. Pet him, give him treats etc. when you want, not him. Give your dog more exercise and have lots of dog toys around for him to play with during the day. You can crate your dog but you must do this early on when he is a puppy and not later because he will think that he is being punished. You may also consider taking your dog to doggie daycare. Good luck, take it from me, this is not a pleasant experience.

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