It has become fashionable to attribute all home-alone problems to separation anxiety. This is simply a wrong assumption. Dogs who are destructive, bark too much, escape , or relieve themselves in the house when they are left alone can do so for a number of different reasons.

Many dogs are simply bored, meaning they aren’t getting enough exercise, playtime, potty breaks, mental stimulation or social contact to meet their needs. Others have learned that misbehavior results in discipline when their owners are home, but not only does nothing bad happen in their absence, but foraging through trash is actually fun and it’s much more convenient to urinate in the dining room than to use the dog door to go outside!

If separation anxiety is the problem, your dog will be virtually panicked about being left alone. She will show her problem behavior on a regular basis, every time she’s left, not just some of the time as bored dogs tend to do.

The third most common reason for home alone problems is noise phobias . If your dog is afraid of thunder, fireworks, construction sounds or other loud, startling noises, she may react by trying to get away from the sounds, resulting in destructive behavior or attempts to escape. She may also howl or bark, or become so anxious she can’t control her bladder or bowels

Be very, very cautious about crating your dog to manage home alone problems. If the home alone problem is due to separation anxiety, thunder phobia, or other fear related problems, confining your dog will only increase his panic and likely result in him hurting himself trying to get out of the crate.

Our online course on Help For Home Alone Dogs will give you detailed information about how to go about solving this problem and easing your dog’s anxiety.