How to recognise your dog has separation related anxiety

There are more than a million dogs in this country suffering from separation related anxiety and their owners are not aware their dog has the condition.

A dog will start barking, chew up your furniture, urinate and leave a mess every day when you leave them alone.

At first owners may think their dog is mischievous or has a destructive nature. Some owners blame it on the breed of dog or the breeder they bought their puppy from.

If a dog is showing any of the above behaviour it is important to teach them it is fine for them to be on their own.

Here, we have listed a few ideas to help give a dog confidence and reduce their stress levels:

•    Build up a consistent, calm but predictable routine with your dog

•    Always give him plenty of praise and attention with a small treat for his good behaviour

•    If a dog starts barking for attention then ignore him

•    Do not punish your dog as it will harm the relationship you have built up with him. You may scare him

•    If your dog looks guilty do not be angry with him, it means he recognises he has done wrong

•    Start to leave your dog for a little while and increase the length of time until your dog realises you will always come back

•    Give your dog a rubber toy or something to play with while you are away