At Puggeroomie we are now seeing a huge increase in separation anxiety since owners and their dogs have shared a lot of time together in National Lockdown.
The majority of times, our adorable ‘roomies’ tend to settle in the good company of our four dogs. We often find that our ‘roomies’ are very happy just enjoying a good furry friend to snuggle with on their staycation. However, on occasion, our ‘roomies’ may need hooman contact. Steve or myself will then throughout the night to stay close by to them for that extra reassurance.
With our Kobe, Rosie, Poldark and Demelza we have always encouraged what we call ‘quiet time’ a little routine that enables all dogs to sleep and settle without us there. This can be while we are food shopping, getting a costa drive thru, catching up with our parents or going to bed of an evening etc.
We highly recommend that now we are easing out from our lockdown routines that you start to slowly introduce 'quiet time' too!
Dogs in the wild are pack animals it is in their nature to enjoy spending time as part of group rather than alone. This natural instinct is still there, meaning domesticated dogs can develop separation anxiety as a result of spending too much time with their owners and believing that every time you leave the room you are essentially leaving them forever. By introducing periods of prolonged separation and encouraging dogs to have some independence as a puppy or as an adult, this will make life a lot easier when it comes to going shopping, to work or heading out to places where dogs are not allowed.
How dogs react to being left alone is I feel dependant on their breed and upbringing. I do know that it is largely a result from how they are raised and their early puppy experiences.
Although it may be tempting to spend a lot of time together, sharing a bed, cuddling and being constantly close, by adopting this routine it will eventually lead to more anxieties later down the line. Separation anxiety can be displayed in several ways such as barking, crying, whining, chewing, toileting indoors or general destructiveness.
*Please note the following comments are based on my opinion as a professional home boarder running a five star at higher standard licence. I am not qualified in specialist behaviour/obedience.