I got this from another forum and I think it is wonderful advice in case anyone is in this situation
Sarah said:Seperation Anxiety is the "ADD" of the dog world, best put. It is overdiagnosed and the solutions for it are all "quick fixes" that have no lasting effect.
What IS sepration anxiety? I believe its a term used to describe an owner problem, not a dog problem. Most people do not want to hear that. They want to think "my dog must have unusual anxiety, he needs "doggy prozac"-- because thats how we tend to solve every problem here in America, with medications.
A pit bull dog is a working breed. They are more active then other dogs. Romping around the backyard and leisurly strolls are simply not enough. These dogs need STRUCTURED exercise that provides mental stimulation as well.
Just for example, my one pit is very mild (as far as pits go) and requires what I consider minimum exercise. Every single morning I powerwalk/run him for about a mile in 35-45 minutes. On rainy days he walks the tread mill. During the summer, he swims each afternoon, and every night he gets "free run" to play fetch, go into the woods--whatever he wants.
This is a rescued dog who was labeled with "seperation anxiety" and "OCD". When I first got him we would leave the house and he would freak out, destroy everything in sight. He even escaped and tried to come after us once, jumping a high fence and shattering his kneecap. Whenever he is anxious he chews his feet until they are raw, or grooms the other dogs insistantly or even tries to groom ME!
I find that the ammount of structured exercise he recieves directly correlates with his anxieties and OCD behaviors. I have 2 broken toes right now so he hasnt been run this week, and he is beginning to chew himself again. Normally with his strict exercise routine, these problems are virtually eliminated altogether.
"A tired dog is a happy dog"
The best mental and physical exercise is an on-lead walk where the dog is expected to heal the entire time-- the nose should be in the air, not sniffing the ground. This is the "Cesar Millan" method so if you watch his show you will know what Im talking about. You should walk briskly enough that the dog has to focus on walking rather than his surroundings. A doggy pack weighed down with water bottles also helps.
So my suggestion is that when your dog's needs are being fullfilled, he will be more stable and content. A dog who understands his place in the pack will not need to feel anxious or fearful-- he will be content. It is very important for an insecure dog like this to establish a VERY strict routine, dogs have a very precise internal clock. I would feed, walk, crate, and play with him at the exact same times each day.
hope this helps, good luck