Separation anxiety in a Boxer

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Our question this week was:

Recently I adopted an eighteen-month-old Boxer from a breed specific rescue group. I was told that the dog suffered from a mild separation anxiety. True to fact he does indeed suffer from separation anxiety; however, mild is an understatement.

As of yet I don't have a story and I am very new to your site; therefore, you may have indeed discussed this disorder on various occasions. What I am most interested in learning is the outcome of this disorder. Can dogs successfully overcome the behaviors associated with SA? What is your opinion?

Thank you,

Jan Coyle – London, Ontario

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. I'm sorry to hear about the separation anxiety in your boxer. I think this is one of the most frustrating behavioral problems in dogs.

Your question is about the outcome – can dogs successfully overcome the behaviors?

Well, I think with a lot of work, patience and time, it can be successfully overcome. Often pharmaceutical treatment is also required. Do dogs every make a 100% complete recovery? To be honest, not in my experience. It seems to be something dogs and owners struggle with their entire lives.

I'm not a behaviorist and have less experience with this condition than does ..say Dr. Alice Moon Fanelli and Dr. Nicholas Dodman who are behaviorist. An article written by a behaviorist that might be helpful is "Separation Anxiety in Dogs".

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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