Tag archives: spiteful dog

The Spiteful Dog- A Separation Anxiety Myth

The Spiteful Dog- A Separation Anxiety Myth

Your dog is not spiteful. In fact, I would dare to say that NO dog is spiteful. But it’s hard not to feel like your dog is out to get you when you arrive home from a solo trip out of the house only to realize that your dog took his own one-way trip to Destruction Land in your absence. The poop and pee on the floor, the torn up furnishings and clothing, and your destroyed front door are all transmitting the “I showed them for leaving me home alone” vibe. However, A handout entitled, “Destructive Behavior in Dogs” written by Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Dr. Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D, for the Animal Humane Society, lists 12 reasons for destructive canine behavior and spite or revenge are not one of them.

In my experience, the reason most likely to give owners the impression that their dog is spiteful is a disorder called separation anxiety (SA). SA is a complex disorder often marked by a dog’s extreme social attachment to their owner. Though it is recognized as a common disorder in dogs, it is not always straight forward to diagnose. Interestingly, many of the dogs with the disorder are otherwise very ...