Ever noticed how some dogs express agitated behavior when confined in small spaces as they attempt to scratch their way out? While many may mistake this to be rooted in destructive behavior; most of the time, the dog is just simply experiencing separation anxiety from his pack and familiar surroundings.
When left in a crate a dog suffering from separation anxiety will attempt to get out of the crate by scratching and digging at the inside of the crate entrance, or chewing at the plastic shell of the crate, or grab the cage door with its incisors and try to pull it open, often causing themselves harm such as broken teeth and nails.
The best way to help your dog overcome its problems with separation anxiety is to pick up on it early on and help it adjust to your leadership and its new surroundings. If you simply ignore the problem and try to placate your dog every time it goes in one of its anxiety moods, you’re not correcting the problem but rather encouraging it.
Separation anxiety is a difficult behaviour to fix once it has been established. It is advisable to seek a qualified trainer who will go through the lengthy step-by-step desensitization process involved and initiate strong leadership skills instilling confidence in the dog.
You want a companion for life who is well adjusted and happy in your home, so don’t hesitate to approach a professional for help if you do develop problems with your dog.