Jack Russell Terrier Separation Anxiety

by Abby Pycha
(Tumwater, WA)

Reader Question on Separation Anxiety Followed by Suggestion From Our Vet

My companion dog Roxy is a 2-year-old Jack Russell Terrier. She recently lost her dog sitter and is going through a lot of anxiety. This sitter was allowing Roxy to eat all kinds of food and was going against all training I was trying to do with this dog. The dog was very attached to his man but he has an adult child who is violent and I cannot let her stay with them. What can I do to help her out? I have been spoiling her and spending all my time with her and she is starting to get better but still, I'd appreciate any advice you could give me.

Thank you!

Abby Pycha

Suggestion From Our Veterinarian on Jack Russell Terrier Separation Anxiety

Hello Abby,

Treating anxiety in dogs can take some time, and the best way to go about it depends on the type of anxiety you are dealing with. You mentioned separation anxiety. In these cases, treatment involves teaching dogs to relax, rewarding them for doing so, and promoting a healthy rather than an overly dependent relationship with people. If Roxy does suffer from separation anxiety, spoiling her may actually be counterproductive. On the other hand, if she is simply anxious because of all of the changes she’s been through lately, giving her a lot of extra attention could be a good thing.

A veterinarian who specializes in behavior could help you get to the bottom of what is going on with Roxy. If your primary care veterinarian is not in a position to help, the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists has a listing of these specialists on their website.

In some cases, dogs need help remaining calm in order to be more receptive to behavioral modification. Owners report success using over the counter options like dog appeasing pheromone, nutritional supplements (e.g., Anxitane or sAME) and homeopathic preparations. Prescription medications may be needed in severe cases.

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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