Separation-related behaviour

Separation-related behaviour problems in dogs are categorised as unwanted behaviour that only occurs when the dog is separated from his/her owner.

The most common behavioural signs are:

  • destructive behaviour
  • various types of vocalisation
  • inappropriate elimination (toileting)

Other less frequent signs include:

  • excessive salivation
  • self-mutilation
  • repetitive behaviour
  • vomiting

One of the main differentiating features between separation-related behaviour and other behavioural disorders with similar signs is that the separation reaction is displayed soon after the departure of the owner, normally commencing within 30 minutes, and often within the first few minutes.

Treating separation-related behaviour

If your dog is showing these signs, you need to seek advice from your vet who should refer you to a clinical animal behaviourist.

Preventing separation-related behaviour

Check out our advice on how to teach your dog that it's alright to be left alone and prevent separation-related behaviour from occurring in the first place.

'Guidelines produced by Emily Blackwell, based upon research carried out by Emily Blackwell, John Bradshaw and Rachel Casey. Read more about our Expert Contributors'

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