Separation Anxiety

My dog Roxy hates it when she is left at home alone.

I don't have a set schedule and I leave the house at different times, so she never knows when to expect me to leave or how long I will be gone for. I don't think she has true separation anxiety, but she does become stressed once she realizes that I am leaving. When she notices, she will start to whine, bark, pace, follow me around the house, can't settle down, and sometimes she will sit inside her crate wants to tell me that she wants to come with me.

I try not to make a fuss about leaving or letting her know that I am leaving so that she isn't encouraged to act anxious and so that she doesn't get praise for being anxious. I think that it is important to remember that dogs are always looking at our reactions and it can be easy to rewarded a dog for incorrect behaviour. If she gets special attention every time she starts to act anxious, she will act anxious just to get that special attention.

I needed to find a way to reduce her stress and to make sure that she would be able to settle down when I was gone. I could never tell what room she was in or where she slept because when I do return home, she is always waiting for me at the door. I hoped she didn't stay at the door the whole time I was gone.

What happens while I am away?

Is she acting stressed when I leave because she is bored? scared? lonely?

Roxy appears to like to know what is going on. Even though she is a little dog, she thinks that she is a guard dog. She is a miniature pincher and that breed of dog is very protective and do tend to act like guard dogs. She always needs to know what is happening around the house. She wants to know who is home, who is in the yard, and she needs to approve of every guest. She jumps at every sound and is always on alert. She will also run to the window at every little sound.

It is important to know her personality well because by knowing that she likes to be a guard dog, I know that being a guard dog does not cause her stress. She enjoys guarding the house.