There are many reasons why a dog may not like being left alone, including not being properly socialized to a crate as a puppy, being left too long without the ability to eliminate outside, or just being lonely.
Being unhappy when left alone is a common problem in dogs, and it can get worse if left untreated. It can be upsetting for a dog owner and it is a major reason for dogs being rehomed. For this reason, it's important to make the best efforts to prevent it from developing, and if the problem has already arisen to address it with the help of a professional.
Provide your dog with somewhere safe to be when you are not at home, e.g. a dog bed, a room or even a crate if your dog has been properly socialized to being kenneled.
Plug in an Adaptil Diffuser in the room where your dog will spend their time alone. Adaptil should be continued for at least 30 days after your dog has learned to calmly spend time on their own. Replace the refill every 30 days, as required. An Adaptil Collar is an ideal alternative for dogs that have access to a large area or who must remain outdoors when home alone.
Reward your dog for demonstrating relaxed behaviours.
Ensure your dog has had enough exercise and has been outside to eliminate before being left home alone.
Leave your dog a fun toy or food puzzle to keep him occupied as you depart.
Keep your departures and returns calm and quiet.
If your dog is destructive or eliminates while you are gone never punish them. This can increase their distress.
Separation distress is an extreme behavioural response a dog shows when they are unable to cope with being home alone. It can sometimes be severe enough to cause injury to the dog or significant damage to the dog's environment. Common signs include:
Separation distress can be a severe problem. If you suspect your dog is suffering from separation distress, or the above steps do not help your dog feel more at ease when spending time alone, contact your veterinarian or veterinary behaviourist.