If your dog does not like being left alone, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you eight common reasons why they do it and what you can do to get it to stop.

It is actually possible that there is a combination of causes at play. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.

Reasons why your dog does not like being left alone

Below are eight common causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

Separation anxiety

The cause could be that it has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it shows signs of being anxious when you are leaving it by doing things such as crying or pacing. 

Encouraging the behavior

The reason why your dog has been doing it could also be that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. If you tend to give it things that it wants such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it acts differently when you’re leaving it, it will likely behave that way more in order to get more rewards. 

An issue with the room it stays in

The cause could also be that there is an issue with the room that it normally stays in. This would be more likely if it only seems to have issues when you leave it in a certain room. The room might be too hot, cold, cramped or noisy.

Hunger

The cause might also be that it is hungry. This would be more likely if it does not have any issues when you leave it alone after being fed. In this case, it might help to try to feed it before leaving it instead of after.

Boredom

The reason why it does it could also be that it is bored or under-stimulated. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when it has not been able to get exercise and if it tends to do it less after getting exercise. It would help to ensure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.

Fear

The cause could also be that something has been making it fearful while you are away. This would be more likely if your dog has started doing it suddenly or if it has been doing it more in specific situations such as when being left with another pet. 

It needs to pee

The cause could also be that it needs to pee. This would be more likely if it does not have any issues when you let it go outside to pee before you leave it. 

Injury or illness

The reason why it has been doing it might also be that it is trying to let you know that it has an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly, if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured and if it has been behaving unusually in other ways as well. 

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

What else happened when it first started behaving that way

If your dog did not always beg to be pet, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since an event might have occurred that caused it to start. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as leaving it in a different room, feeding it at different times, injury or illness.

What is different when it does it

If it is ok with being left alone sometimes, it would help to consider what is different when it is not ok. For example, if it is ok when it has already been fed, it might be the case that it has issues with being left alone when it is hungry.

What to do about it

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not unless it is due to something such as needing to pee.

Limit reason why it might be anxious

It would also help to limit possible causes of being anxious when being left alone. Things to do would include feeding it, walking it and letting it pee before leaving it.

Ensure the room it stays in is appropriate

As mentioned above, there might be an issue with the room it stays in. It would help to ensure that the room it tends to stay in is not too hot or cold, not too bright or noisy. 

Get help

If you cannot figure out the reason why your dog has been doing it or it has been behaving very abnormally, it would help to take it to the vet for a checkup. By doing so, you should be able to rule out medical causes and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.

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