Whining, howling, howling, barking, the neighbors are already complaining and when you come home Fido has torn up the sofa and chewed up the remote control, scratched the doors and, to make matters worse, left a puddle or even a pile in the apartment. A dog that behaves like this in the absence of its people suffers from massive separation stress: it cannot remain alone. This situation is a disaster for every dog owner and even more so for the dog.
But why is it that some dogs cannot stay alone?
Dogs are highly social animals that can build close ties to other living beings – especially their caregivers. Separation stress is the flip side of attachment: it is an emotional reaction to the loss of social support by the attachment partner (s).
A dog suffering from separation stress usually begins by calling its people back, and most of the time it is unsuccessful. Either because the person does not hear the dog at all, because he has left the house or because the dog owner has heard or read that he must never go back to the dog if it whines and whines. The dog therefore experiences that his behavior does not help him to feel better again: stress and frustration arise and are associated with this, as already mentioned, such as persistent barking, the destruction of the home furnishings, etc.
The severity of the stress response that causes separation from caregivers differs from dog to dog. Some dogs show little sign of stress when their person leaves the room and after a short irritation they quickly deal with something else or go to sleep.
Other dogs never take their eyes off their humans and follow them out of fear of being abandoned everywhere. These dogs immediately show a strong stress response if they are unable to follow humans.
There also appears to be a link between the strength of the stress response and sensitivity to noise. In order to help dogs suffering from separation stress, a well-structured and often lengthy training is necessary, which is why you should work with a puppy from the start so that it can endure separation times in a relaxed manner. If you decide to give a second-hand dog a new home, you should first of all assume that this dog cannot remain alone and take the appropriate measures.
Dogs suffering from separation stress urgently need help. Contact a competent trainer who will show you how to make separation times easier for your dog.