Why do dogs get separation anxiety?
Strictly speaking, most of them don’t, according to Petrina Firth, director of the company The Pet Coach and a specialist in the condition. She says she has only met one dog in her career with clinical separation anxiety – an over-attachment to one person. What people generally mean by the term in dogs – destructive behaviour, howling for hours, sometimes nipping ankles when the owner’s shoes are put on, lying down in front of the doorway – is “isolation distress”, generally laid down in puppyhood. Your dog doesn’t feel safe alone, and will do anything to avoid that amorphous feeling of peril. “They don’t come pre-programmed,” Firth explains. “When you go out to Marks & Spencer, they don’t know you’ll be back in an hour. It takes quite a lot of training from when they’re a young puppy to teach them that being on their own is OK, nothing bad happens. Nothing amazing is going to happen, but nothing bad.” More here.
I wish I knew what Murray was thinking, but I suspect that it goes along the lines of “I’m hungry, I’m hungry, I’m hungry… and repeat.”