LifestyleCommon dog breeds suffering from separation anxiety. Signs and management tips

Common dog breeds suffering from separation anxiety. Signs and management tips

Separation anxiety is a serious problem.
Separation anxiety is a serious problem.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Rick Sause

10:58 PM EST, January 19, 2024

Dogs naturally seek interaction with humans, particularly their caregivers. When this interaction is lacking, it can result in separation anxiety. This serious issue impacts not only the dog, but also any unlucky neighbours. A dog suffering from separation anxiety may start to bark, howl, or even cause damage around the house. So, how can this be addressed? Here are some tips.

Avoid these breeds if you're frequently away; they'll suffer more

Caroline Spencer, a behaviorist specializing in dog psychology, provided some insights in an interview with the Daily Mail. She revealed that certain breeds are more prone to separation anxiety. To understand why, we first need to comprehend separation anxiety itself. It is a behavioral disorder where a dog experiences severe distress when separated from its caregivers. Unable to deal with the anxiety, the dog might bark excessively, howl, destroy furniture, or even soil indoors.

According to Spencer, breeds more prone to separation anxiety include the Labrador, Cocker Spaniel, Jack Russel Terrier, Golden Retriever, Border Collie, Pointer, Dalmatian, German Shepherd and Chihuahua. These breeds are exceptionally friendly and sociable; they also need plenty of exercise (except for the Chihuahua) and attention. Failure to meet these needs can result in serious mental health issues, which may necessitate a consult with a behaviorist or even medical intervention.

Managing your dog's separation anxiety

From a young age, dogs should be taught that being home alone is not something to fear. However, this is not always easy, particularly if we adopt an adult dog. If your dog struggles adapting to your absence, try creating a daily routine. Assign specific times for feeding, play, and walks, but remember to adhere strictly to this schedule. The predictability and routine will make your dog feel more secure. It might also be helpful to consider obedience and independence training, which will involve close cooperation with a behaviorist.

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