Would therapy help my dog's destructive anxiety when he's left alone?
August 13, 2005 8:13 PM Subscribe
We love our dog, but his scratching is destructive - how can we help tame his anxiety at being left alone?
posted by deliriouscool to Pets & Animals (14 answers total)
Our beagle mix puppy is almost two, so I'm running out of time to blame this on "puppyhood." With people around, he's as generally well-behaved as a two year old dog might be, but if he's left alone in a place unfamiliar to him (i.e. not our house, but say my parents' house or my in-laws'), he will whine - then scratch at the carpet around the door by which we left, and even at the door itself. It doesn't happen every time we leave him, but it happens often enough that neither my husband nor I feels safe saying "sure, we can leave him here while we go out to dinner - it's only for a few hours." The other night at my parents' he was fine; tonight, he caused hundreds of dollars worth of damage, and sadly, it's not the first time.
He's generally a stellar dog, and we feel like we've done a decent job of socializing him and introducing him to strangers so he's not afraid of them - what can we do to help calm his fear of the unfamiliar when he's left by himself (or maybe that's fear of being left by himself among unfamiliar things)? Whatever came first, fear of the unfamiliar or fear of abandonment, this behavior is driving us nuts! And it's getting expensive too...