Help for a Jack Russell With Separation Anxiety

by Tony

In the past month or so, my Jack Russell Terrier (Max) has become extremely restless. When we first brought him home, he was a great dog, he is now 6-7 years old.

We brought a new dog home, she is a beagle, when he was maybe 5-6. Ever since then, in order to train her to use the bathroom outside, my parents would keep them in the kitchen with the door shut. Abby, the beagle is now potty trained, and besides a random pee or poop inside, they are very well trained to use the bathroom outside.

My mother is very stressed because she works all day, and some days when she comes home, she is in a bad mood. I clearly understand this. During many days, she says that the sound of their nails even, on the floor is too much to handle; so she locks them in the kitchen.

Up until this past month, putting them in the kitchen has not been a big problem at all, because for the most part, they were allowed to leave the kitchen and be with us, but lately, they have been being put in the kitchen as a "relief" from this so called stress my parents feel they are dealing with, having to do with the dog.

They are becoming very irritated, with just the simple fact that he sits and jumps at the door to get out of the kitchen. This morning, (YES, THIS MORNING, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THEY WERE LEFT IN THE KITCHEN FOR THE NIGHT, THAT'S NOT HOW IT SHOULD BE.) we woke up, and the door to exit the kitchen, was clawed, and bitten at, and there was shreds of the door all over the base, as well, the door frames, had been slightly chewed to the bathroom, the spare room, and the back door. this to me is a sign, a sign that they should NOT be locked in the kitchen.

Every spot where there were chew marks was on an exit to the kitchen. Max has become so stressed, once he is let out of the kitchen after being there for so long, it takes another 5 hours just to have him rest. My parents are talking about resorting to get rid of him, how can I stop my dog from being so stressed all the time :(I cannot afford to buy things at this moment, I love max, and I cannot believe my mother is being so ignorant, and letting her boyfriend brainwash her into getting rid of them, she once told me, blood runs thicker than water. Why will they not see that the issue can be resolved if they just let him out of that kitchen.

Vet Suggestion for treating Separation Anxiety

Hi Tony,

It does sound like Max is developing anxiety as a result of being penned up in the kitchen for long periods of time. Dogs are social animals and want to be part of the family. I am not surprised that he is developing behavioral problems as a result of being isolated from the normal goings on in the house.

While anti-anxiety medications, over the counter nutritional supplements (e.g.,), and dog appeasing pheromone can all help dogs with anxious behavior, they work best when the underlying cause is addressed at the same time. Therefore, I suspect these options won’t work too well in this case unless your mother is willing to change the way she is caring for her dogs. If she is not, they very well may be better off in another home.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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