Separation anxiety is something that every dog owner will likely have to go through at some point. And while it isn’t breed specific, there are some breeds that seem to be more prone to suffering from separation anxiety according to recent studies. Just as some breeds can be more likely to have stubborn temperaments or develop ailments like hip dysplasia, some seem to be prone to developing worse separation anxiety than others.
What Is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety in dogs is basically an extreme version of missing you, and it is often accompanied by destructive behaviors like chewing, urinating in the house, or even escape tactics like trying to break the door down or bolting out the yard through a minuscule hole in the fence. The exact cause of separation anxiety in dogs hasn’t been pinpointed, but if your dog is among the breeds that are very people-orientated or he is a rescue pup that has been through abandonment, then it makes sense that he will be anxious when you are away from him as, ultimately, how will he know when you are coming back?
If you are considering adopting a puppy, or you have a particular breed in mind that you want to add to your family, then there are separation anxiety tactics for dogs that you need to adhere to. There are six breeds, in particular, that are prone to separation anxiety and fear, as well as stress, and require mental stimulation or it could have behavioral issues, such as destructive behavior or similar behavior modification. Failing to plan is planning to fail, so make sure that you are fully prepared to deal with separation anxiety before you bring a new pet into the family.
Many dog owners all around the world hail Labradors as the best family pet. Their temperaments are usually docile and they are known for their strong familial bonds, especially with children. Due to the fact that they love nothing more than to be at their human’s side, a Labrador can often be prone to separation anxiety. They often start demonstrating signs of separation anxiety from a young age and due to their size, as they grow their behavior can become destructive when left alone.
This stunning breed of dog was originally bred for hunting purposes and they form such a strong bond with their owners that they are known as “Velcro dogs” that are permanently glued to your side. A Vizsla is a high-energy dog, so daily exercise is an absolute must, in order to prevent continuous whining and howling and power chewing that often happens when they are left on their own.
Pitbull and Staffordshire bull terriers have unfortunately been given a very unfair reputation as highly aggressive dogs due to owner exploitation. This is simply not true, as they are naturally very loving and human orientated and they are prone to severe separation anxiety when they are forced to be apart from their owners. It is true that they are powerful dogs and can be destructive when their separation anxiety causes them to act out, which is why many owners of this breed choose to crate them when they are left alone.
When you imagine a strong and noble German shepherd, you probably wouldn’t think that they would be prone to anxiety. In fact, they are one of the primary breeds that experiences separation anxiety due to their loyalty and pack mentality. They often see their humans as their pack leader (one of the many reasons they are frequently used as police dogs) and when they are left alone, they feel as if their whole world is falling apart.
These cute little lap dogs usually have big separation anxiety problems and issues with behavior as a result. The Bichon Frise was bred with the sole purpose of being a companion to its human counterpart, so while they are happy being snuggled up on their owner’s laps, panic sets in when they are left alone. Fortunately, there is only so much destruction a little dog can cause, but negative behavior associated with separation anxiety still needs to be dealt with, as they could cause themselves harm.
This herding breed is one of the most highly regarded working dogs today. They are always up for a challenge, they learn quickly and they never seem to run out of energy. Mental and physical stimulation is of prime importance when it comes to this specific breed because, should they get bored, they can become destructive and prone to separation anxiety. Border Collies see pet owners as their leaders, which is why many farmers are always seen with their loyal companion at their side and, ironically, this loyalty can also be their biggest shortcoming as they can’t cope with being left alone for extended periods of time—even short periods at first can prove to be a challenge.
How to Ease the Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Your Dog
Sometimes, a dog will have a valid reason for extreme bouts of separation anxiety. Either they have been abandoned in the past, they have been separated from their mother too young, or they simply just don’t like to be on their own, and the dog’s behavior is apparent. Sometimes, however, there is no explanation for it. Whatever the cause of your pup’s anxiety, you can take certain steps to minimize their “pain” by ensuring that they are well socialized, well exercised, and distracted with treats or toys. CBD oil is an effective, natural way to minimize symptoms of anxiety in dogs and many “destructive dog” parents have had excellent results from it.
Crate training can also be a good option for larger breeds, as can doggy daycare. If you feel that your dog’s separation anxiety tactics are getting out of hand, then it is time to start exploring your options and our advice would be to start giving your pup a daily dose of high quality, organic CBD oil to calm them and get them in the right frame of mind for further training that you can undertake to prevent anxiety related issues.
Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owner.