It is not bad behavior it is anxiety

You are leaving your house and your dog comes after you barking or moving its tail. You may think that he/she is being cute and is just sad you are leaving. There is no reason to worry, right? After a whole day outside in the job you finally get home and see the pillow has been destroyed. Your dog comes running happily towards you and pees.  He/she is just happy to see me. There is no problem; you start thinking. You may be wrong. Your best friend may be suffering from anxiety and you don’t know it.    sch-anx                                                                There are many thoughts surrounding mental illness, most of them are because of lack of information. Some may say anxiety isn´t even real so how can a dog have it? Others that is just in your head, when in reality the brain is an organ and just as any other one it can get sick or malfunction. Along with other supporting evidence and studies are the brain scans (which are attached as media to this article). If a human brain can get sick (I am using the word sick to emphasize that is an organ and is not all in the mind)  then why would a dog’s be  different.  According to the information provided by the pets insurances, it is estimated that in the United States 15-30% of dogs suffer from anxiety. The most common is separation anxiety. Only 44% are treated.  (To see the complete chart please go to It must be established that having the exact number is extremely hard since some may confuse anxiety with fear or misbehavior.

A brain scan of a person with an anxiety disorder. 

Some may ask what anxiety for dogs is and what are the signs? According to petmd anxiety is the anticipation of future dangers from unknown or imagined origins that result in normal body reactions (known as physiologic reactions) associated with fear. Meanwhile fear is a natural reaction to an instant or near danger or what they perceived as danger.  There are signs your best friend may have anxiety such as displacements behaviors as:

  • yawning when not tired
  • licking chops without the presence of food
  • sudden scratching when not itchy
  • sudden biting at paws or other body part
  • sudden sniffing the ground or other object
  • wet dog shake when not wet or dirty


Other signs are urinating or defecating, tail in-between legs, hiding, etc.  This may vary from dog to dog. Since each dog is different some may present a sign more than other.                                                                                                                                                                            There are breeds more susceptible than others. Gladly, the miniature schnauzer isn’t one but this doesn’t mean this breed is exempt. The breeds that are more prone are Labrador, German Sheppard, Airedale, Weimaraners and Springs Spaniels.                                         If you think your furry best friend may have anxiety it is important to take him to the veterinarian to be sure it is not another problem since sadly they can’t talk and explain what is happening to them.                                                                                                                                   Don’t be scared if your dog has anxiety there are many ways to help, some include medication. Next week a whole article will be dedicated to solutions and helping your dog. Next is a story of a fellow schnauzer lover whose dog, Shasta, have anxiety.                                       This schnauzer lover agreed to go as her Instagram name: oftheeverking. She and her husband had a schnauzer that would tear up books and other things if they let her loose. If the Shasta was put in her crate she will do a mess inside the crate. Soon she realized her baby was very anxious when she heard noises she couldn’t investigate. Their solution was creative, simple and smart. The couple installed a doggie door where she could come and go as she pleased whether or not they were at home. The anxious behavior stopped.


It is amazing how a simple solution can sometimes be the answer. It is important as an owner to understand your dog and know their needs. Sometimes medication may be needed and in others a simple new installment can be the answer. As mention before, each dog is different but all amazing.


Here are some links for more information and a video of petmd.  VIDEO

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