There are so many dogs out there who suffer from separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is a mental illness in our dogs. Any dog, any age can get it and it can be in different levels as well. Mild, medium, severe. With many of the cases I work with in the charity I provide free behaviour work for, the dogs suffer from some level of separation anxiety. The following can occur and are good signs as to what level the dog is suffering from.
When you go out and your dog is howling, barking, whimpering and your neighbours complain..you of course won't know this unless your neighbours tell you so!
Your dog might follow you around everywhere - stick to you almost, this is a clear sign of anxiety. If your puppy is doing this however, then remember this is a puppy behaviour as well so dont just assume they are sticking to you!
When you go out for a while, and you give your dog a treat or bone, and they DON'T eat it. They only wait till you get home then eat that treat and feel relaxed enough to eat it.
Remember your dog knows the treat is a precious resource to it, so the fact your dog won't eat it whilst you are out can tell us very quickly how stressed they are.
Another clear behaviour that can occur is they will like to collect personal items and chew them potentially. Again, this can also be a puppy behaviour so be careful not to just assume the worst if they are doing this.
If your dog or puppy is doing any of this behaviour its best to speak to a professional or email us for more information to help you get this under control. In extreme cases of anxiety, your vet along with your behaviourist may want to use medication to calm the dog down. In my cases, I only go along the path of medication if it is extreme. The medication usually cannot be used long term unless your vet decides this is best so it is only a band aid fix, with separation anxiety you need to get to the root of the problem.
Separation anxiety can usually be fixed, however remember we are dealing with a living being, so it can't just be fixed overnight and is a very fragile process in making it better and getting your dog well balanced from this illness.