Diagnostic criteria for separation anxiety in the dog

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 1991 Mar;21(2):247-55. doi: 10.1016/s0195-5616(91)50030-9.


Many social species, including dogs, exhibit distress responses when separated from attachment figures. Companion dogs with separation anxiety typically eliminate, vocalize, or engage in destructive behavior when left alone. The ability to differentiate separation anxiety from other behavior problems with the same presenting complaint is essential before embarking on a treatment plan. The behavior of the dog before, during, and after separation must be determined. Comparison of the unique behavioral profiles of each of the possible differentials will lead to an accurate diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety*
  • Behavior, Animal*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / psychology
  • Dogs
  • Human-Animal Bond*