Changes in a dog's life or intense attachment to their owner, can cause them to be fearful and anxious every time their owner is away. Cane corsos are so devoted to their masters, they often experience separation anxiety when left home alone.
If your cane corso urinates or defecates in the house, destroys household items, barks for hours straight or becomes an escape artist when you leave him alone at home, he could have separation anxiety. All of these destructive or annoying habits are the result of your pet's nervous reaction to being left home alone. What you need to remember is that your dog is a pack animal, and when you (his pack) leave him alone, it causes him a lot of stress. When he loses control of his anxiety is when things get destroyed. He's never doing it to upset you.
Some dogs are so independent that they don't mind being left home alone for multiple hours each day. cane corsos are not one of these breeds. Despite their intimidating size, they're extremely affectionate, eager to please and devoted to their owners. Many cane corsos get separation anxiety solely because they miss their owner and want to be with him every hour of the day. Others may suffer from separation anxiety for different reasons. If your pet was abandoned by his previous owner, it is likely that he struggles with separation anxiety because he doesn't want to be abandoned again. Cane corsos, like most dogs, can also develop anxiety when one of their pack members, such as a member of your family, moves out of the house or if another family pet dies. Changes in your routine, altering the hours your pet was used to being left alone, can cause him to become anxious and fear that you may not come back.
Most cases of separation anxiety in the cane corso breed can be alleviated through daily conditioning treatments. Cane corsos were bred to control livestock and are more athletic and playful than most large breeds. Exercise your pup vigorously before you leave the house. Leave him with plenty of water and one of his favorite treats or toys. The exercise lets him relax while you're away and the treat or toy helps him think of you leaving as a positive experience. Ease into leaving for multiple hours at a time. Go outside for just five minutes, then stay outside for ten minutes, then longer and longer until you can leave for a full day without any destruction or barking. Avoid saying goodbye before you leave the house, and don't greet your dog when you first come home. You need to teach your cane corso that you leaving is not a big deal.
If working with your dog at home isn't helping, or if your dog is causing harm to himself by trying to escape the house while you're gone, you'll want to consult with your veterinarian about options for severe cases of separation anxiety. Your vet may prescribe your cane corso anxiety medication, such as clomipromine hydrochloride or fluoxetine hydrochloride, to help him tolerate being away from you and ease him into the training process. If you don't want to take the pharmaceutical route, your vet may suggest the use of a Dog Appeasing Pheromone (D.A.P.) diffuser. This diffuser plugs into the wall and releases synthetic pheromones to calm the dog. Herbal remedies and flower essences may also help ease your pet's anxiety when combined with conditioning treatments.
Courtney McCaffrey graduated from the College of Charleston in 2008 with a B.A. in media studies. She has served as an editor for Blooming Twig Books and the MADA Writing Services publishing company. She is now a writer on various outdoor sports such as snowboarding, skiing, surfing and bodysurfing.