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Why does separation anxiety occur?

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Why does separation anxiety occur?

  • Being on their own or away from key members of the ‘pack’ some dogs find difficult, others may be bored due to a lack of stimulation
  • Historically, we have chosen and bred dogs that are quite dependent upon us and also interact very socially with us, which may have impacted on the condition. If a dog is excessively attached to one or more members of the household, they may struggle if they are not present. It has been stated that a dog living in a home with a single adult person is 2.5 times more likely to suffer from separation anxiety (Flannigan and Dodman 2001)
  • When dogs are alone, some harmless events or stimuli, such as a firework, clap of thunder or even the postman whistling, may be interpreted as scary and make them frightened. This could be when a specific individual leaves the area and not just when the house is empty. Whatever the causal factor, it is a problem that seems to increase in occurrence with the age of the dog


 Flannigan G. Dodman NH. Riskfactors and behaviors associated with separation anxiety in dogs. JAVMA 2001 Vol 219, No. 4, 460-466

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