Most of the time, people confuse dogs with separation anxiety and those with Velcro dog syndrome. It’s true that in both cases, the dogs don’t want to be away from their owners; however, there are several unique differences that you should know. Let’s first look at the symptoms that dogs exhibit when they have Velcro dog syndrome and separation anxiety:
Velcro Dog Syndrome Symptoms
If your dog always follows you around everywhere, then he’s most likely a Velcro dog. Here are some of the symptoms exhibited by dogs with Velcro dog syndrome:
· They follow you everywhere you go even to the bathroom or kitchen.
· They keep an eye on you or what you do all the time.
· They constantly want to be close to you.
· They always anticipate when you’re getting up.
· They always want to be where there’s action.
Separation Anxiety Symptoms
If your dog panics every time you go out of sight or leave the house, then he may be suffering from separation anxiety. The most common symptoms exhibited by dogs with separation anxiety include:
· They attempt to escape through any opening in the house (window, door etc.) whenever you leave.
· They pace around whenever you want to leave
· They drool and pant excessively
· They howl and bark excessively as you leave and thereafter
· They may also defecate or urinate when you are gone
· They show signs of anxiety when you leave
· They also show other inappropriate behaviors only when you’re not around i.e. destroying and chewing anything in sight such as household objects, doors, window seals etc.
Velcro Dog Syndrome vs. Separation Anxiety
As you can see from the symptoms above, these two behavioral disorders in dogs are completely different. However, if you’re not convinced yet, here’s something to always remember: A dog with separation anxiety gets anxious or panics when he’s away from you, while a Velcro dog simply wants to be close to you at all times while you’re at home. The latter only become clingy when you’re at home.
Dogs with separation anxiety tend to become Velcro dogs, but not all dogs with Velcro dog syndrome exhibit separation anxiety. A study in 2001 found out that dogs that are highly attached to their owners have a higher likelihood of developing separation anxiety. However, it doesn’t mean that this will always be the case.
I can authoritatively say that because there are several Velcro dogs out there that have never shown any symptoms of separation anxiety. They simply love your company so much that want to spend every minute they have with you.
What To Do When Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety or Velcro Dog Syndrome Becomes a Problem
Note that separation anxiety will never go away on its own if not dealt with properly. Therefore, if you suspect that your dog suffers from it, consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to help you modify the behavior. There are also several materials online you can read to help you understand this behavior and how to manage it better. Giving your pet something to do to keep him busy when you leave may also help.
On the other hand, if you feel uncomfortable with your Velcro dog’s behavior of following you around all the time, you can reinforce some independence in him through teaching his on the stay command, desensitizing him to your movements and adding more mental and physical activities to his routine.
I hope now you know the differences between Separation Anxiety and Velcro Dog Syndrome.