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Research Suggests 4 Types of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Updated: Oct 31

We've been so excited to see increased research into separation anxiety in the past few years, and love this update from our fabulous separation anxiety specialist, Alexandra Dilley.

You can learn more about Alexandra HERE!

According to a 2020 research paper, there are four primary "types" of separation anxiety. They looked at seven common symptoms or behaviors shown by dogs with separation anxiety, and found that common combinations yielded four primary groups.

GROUP 1: Dogs who are distressed by being separated from their person and try to escape to get to them.

GROUP 2: Dogs who are concerned or frightened about things outside the home, who get frustrated when unable to escape to deal with the problem

GROUP 3: Dogs who are also concerned or frightened about things outside the home, but don't try to escape and instead show anxiety.

GROUP 4: Dogs who are bored and frustrated when left alone (when all the fun is outside!)

So, what does this mean for training dogs with separation anxiety?

It means that each dog needs to be treated as an individual! Treatment options may differ based on the types of behaviors a particular dog is showing. This is why we highly recommend working with a skilled separation anxiety professional who can give you the specific help you need with your pup, versus attempting to use generalized advice.

You can schedule a virtual separation anxiety assessment today to get started.

Want to read the full research paper?

Luciana S. de Assis, Raquel Matos, Thomas W. Pike, Oliver H. P. Burman, Daniel S. Mills. Developing Diagnostic Frameworks in Veterinary Behavioral Medicine: Disambiguating Separation Related Problems in Dogs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 2020; 6 DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00499


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