Separation anxiety in dogs is a fairly common problem. But, what exactly is poodle separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety in poodles affects a dog when it becomes stressed when left alone with its owner. There’s more to it than occasional whining when you leave or some mischief while you’re out. Each year, thousands of dogs are abandoned because of this condition, and it is one of the main reasons owners get frustrated and give them up.
There are a number of things that can be done to help your poodle if it begins to have separation anxiety problems. The following article will teach you how to deal with your poodle’s separation anxiety in a way that will minimize your tension and give your pup a good quality of life.
What are the common tells of Poodle separation anxiety?
Poodle separation anxiety is easy to diagnose, and you will start to notice significant changes in your pet’s behavioral patterns if they have separation anxiety, these are some of the most commonly identifiable changes
Your poodle will begin to bark excessively than usual, at the sight of you leaving, he or she will start to drool too, they will start to bite your shoes or furniture upholstery to stop you from leaving them.
They won’t be able to follow proper eating habits and may overeat or nothing at all on specific times, they tend to sleep less than usual, get tired quickly, defecate where they usually won’t
Poodles have larger life spans than most other breeds of dogs, so ask around at the shelter for similar signs before adopting an older poodle
With more knowledge about their past, you can take better care of the new member of your family as the more aged poodles do have more cases of separation anxiety.
These symptoms of poodle separation anxiety may occur only when you leave your poodle alone in your lawn for a few minutes or when you’d leave them at home to go about your daily schedule.
These symptoms can manifest even when you have another dog because they tend to be more attached to you.
If ignored, over time, the condition gets even worse, they may start to experience separation anxiety over very slight suggestions that you may leave the house with more severe behavioural changes.
Why does Poodle separation anxiety occur in your pet poodle?
The reasons for a poodle to show symptoms of separation anxiety mostly depend on the dog itself
Listed below are some of the more commonly found reasons for your pet to suffer from poodle separation anxiety.
Strong Bonds with owner
Poodles are sensitive creatures and get attached to humans easily, which is mostly a good thing to look for in a domestic animal.
Though, in some cases, they tend to develop immensely deep attachments that can cause poodle separation anxiety issues in your pet.
When a poodle develops deeper attachments with its owner, even the temporary loss of the owner makes them very anxious and sad.
Traumatic events of the past
Poodles also develop separation anxiety due to any trauma of the past, be it living with an abusive owner or a malnourished upbringing.
They tend to get majorly affected by their ordeals, and it causes them to develop poodle separation anxiety.
When it comes to traumatized poodles, they may take longer times to establish new bonds, but when that they do form attachments, the symptoms start to present themselves along with it.
A rescued poodle or an adopted poodle may start to show these signs only after a significant period, and so you need to be on the lookout for the symptoms to ensure your poodle’s good health.
We give them inadequate attention.
Just like us humans poodles need their fair share of daily mental stimulus and boredom in your poodle can lead to similar symptoms as separation anxiety
Signs of apathy in your poodle may include things like chewing things, digging through trash, following you around, gaining weight, and digging in the ground or clawing at things
Suppose a poodle doesn’t live in an environment where they feel safe or lives in an abusive household. In that case, poodles tend to get hyperactive to protect their surroundings and develop anxious behavior; you may not be able to notice such changes.
Still, it’s better to be alert about the situation of your neighborhood and how your pet reacts to your arrival at home after a long day at work.
Poodle Separation Anxiety due to old age
With old age many other diseases start to appear in a dog, they lose control of their bladders, and it causes sudden separation anxiety.
Living in an all adult households
Poodles who only live around adults seem to develop symptoms of anxiety more often than the ones who live in a family with children as adults can’t always spend as much time as a child can with their pet.
Not enough exercise
If you don’t give your poodle the necessary exercise of the day they can get anxiety, they are like all dogs very active animals and need to exercise
Vets and dog trainers suggest a half-hour session of vigorous exercise and another hour or so of regular activity
While you are sleeping in the night, your pet poodle may be running around the house, and lack of that sleep will cause symptoms of separation anxiety to manifest.
It’s better to make sure your pet has enough exercise for the day to allow it a sound sleep in the night.
How to look out for poodle separation anxiety?
Listed below are some of the most commonly occurring symptoms of poodle separation anxiety
- Destruction of property
- Excessive vocalization when left alone
- Panting and pacing very easily
- Drooling too much
- Clawing and digging
- Sitting at the windows to look outside
This kind of behavior causes real problems for both the dog and the owner, and often leading to the dog being abandoned, left at a shelter, or euthanized.
Few tips to help cure poodle separation anxiety.
It takes a lot of patience to change the behavioral patterns of your pet poodle, and we should treat them with the utmost care, compassion, and the immense love that they so clearly deserve.
Don’t yell or punish your dog whenever they show symptoms of separation anxiety, and punishments will only amplify your poodle’s existing anxiety
Ask a friend or a trustworthy neighbor to look after your dog in your absence and take them on walks if needed.
It will take all the members of the house to help your poodle overcome their anxiety issues.
We advise that you contact an expert to help your pet get over poodle separation anxiety as it isn’t an easy task to undertake on your own with no real knowledge of mental disorders in poodles.
Can I cure poodle separation anxiety by myself?
It is doable but is an arduous undertaking for someone with a busy career as it takes a lot of time and effort to help your pet doggo get over such a case of bad mental health.
What are the symptoms of poodle separation anxiety?
Your poodle will start to show unusual behavioral patterns that are totally out of the ordinary like chewing everything, making excessive noises, having no bowel control, eyes darting side to side, etcetera.
Can I seek professional help for poodle separation anxiety?
We highly suggest that you seek a professional dog trainer recommended by a trusted vet near you. They should be able to help you as trained personnel who are very capable of fixing errors in your poodle’s behavior patterns.
Is poodle separation anxiety medication worth it?
Before putting your pet poodle under any medication, you should contact your trusted veterinarian, sometimes the drug may help, but it can have drastically adverse effects if given without any advisement.
How can I facilitate the speedy recovery of my poodle?
After contacting the professional trainers and vets, all you can do to facilitate your poodle’s recovery is to get them some comfort toys.
Be very careful not to shout at them or punish them under any circumstances as this will only worsen their condition further.
Procedural method to help with your pet’s poodle separation anxiety
Measure the limits of your poodle
In other words, you need to find out the extent of your poodle’s fears and anxiety, figure out what triggers poodle separation anxiety in your pet, and figure out their threshold.
Put your poodle in situations like these :
- Leave your poodle alone in the room.
- Leave your poodle with other dogs and gauge their reaction to the company.
- Put them in their crate.
- Leave your poodle alone in your lawn (of course only if the lawn is completely walled).
Monitor them in the situations listed above with either CCTV cameras or only by video calling using a pair of smartphones with one phone with you and the other setup near your pet, incidentally you can also use a baby monitor the same way.
Set a timer and note down the time after which your poodle starts to show signs of anxiety. Once you have the patterns, you have a better understanding of your dear pet.
You can start the work yourself by exposing them to a longer and longer time without you or jump start your work with a professional behaviourist.
Normalize longer duration of loneliness
Normalization of a phobia is a psychological technique used on both humans and animals to help them alter their behaviour for the better with low risk to their mental health.
The main idea behind this technique is to leave your poodle alone intentionally for a specific amount of time, preferably half of what you marked as their limit in the previous step.
And then slowly increase their time alone as the days pass, if you manage to make this exercise a routine of your poodle, they will soon realize they have the fear anymore.
Leave your pet alone, say goodbye, take your keys, exit the front door, and then return soon after, offer them treats, play with them, and praise them for being the best boy on the planet.
Repeat this for four or five times of the day with increasing time alone for your pet. For example, if you left them alone for two minutes in the first session, now expand it to three minutes, then four, and so on.
Do this exercise for a few days and then take a break and then continue to do so until you start to see some changes. If your poodles don’t react badly to the times of your absence, you can even have two sessions in a day.
Be on the lookout for symptoms of poodle separation anxiety if your poodle starts to fall back, you may need to shorten the alone time and first make them comfortable at that stage.
Make them less sensitive and somewhat numb to your leaving cues.
Poodles notice everything you do, and sometimes they are more acquainted with your daily habits than yourself and notice right away when you are about to leave the house. Their anxiety starts to build up, you changing into your work clothes, getting your backpack, wearing your shoes.
Any of these can trigger anxiety attacks in your poodle.
Try to act like you are going away, take your keys, put them back down, get in your overcoat, put it back on the coat-stand, and pretend like the things you usually only do when you leave are just a regular part of your day.
You might feel silly, but these activities will help your pet a great deal as they won’t be able to tell the cues apart from your usual mannerisms and won’t pay much attention to you when you leave the house.
It is a time-consuming process, but behavior training always is, and the results are still worth the effort when you get to see your poodle happier and more complete.
Poodle separation anxiety products that we found helpful
You can also help your pet with various toys that provide mental stimulation.
Some of the ones that we found to be helpful are listed below:
Squeaky toys like the ZippyPaws keep your poodle busy and make it a fun exercise for them.
A comfortable calming coat provided by the American Kennel Club is one of the most recommended products for poodle separation anxiety.
It’s easy to put on and machine washable.
As most of the exercises will require you to put your poodle in their crate, we recommend a pet bed for them.
Orthopaedic Dog Bed by furhaven is one of the better products available on amazon.
Poodle Separation anxiety can cause much distress for both the owners and their dogs and can sometimes lead to a decision to give up your lovely pet poodle.
Without appropriate help, the poodles may carry their behavioral problems to the next household.
Although there are numerous research papers by many different institutions, and the general opinion isn’t always shared, there are plenty of factors that may make your poodle more prone to the development of separation-related behavior problems.
One may be able to prevent the development of poodle separation anxiety, but if your pet does develop poodle separation anxiety, the problem may be controlled or fixed through a program of behavior modification administered by your self, only if you have diagnosed the mental disorder in its early stages with proper medication as advised by your trusted vet.
However, if the case is much severe with all the symptoms at their worse possible stages, seeking professional help is highly advised.
References And Resources For Further Reading
Sargisson, R. (2014, October 30). Canine separation anxiety: Strategies for treatment and management: VMRR. Retrieved August 11, 2020
A. (n.d.). Separation Anxiety. Retrieved August 11, 2020
Ogata, N. (2016, February 13). Separation anxiety in dogs: What progress has been made in our understanding of the most common behavioral problems in dogs? Retrieved August 11, 2020
McCrave, E. (2015, January 20). Diagnostic Criteria for Separation Anxiety in the Dog. Retrieved August 11, 2020
Tiira, K., Sulkama, S., & Lohi, H. (2016, December 12). Prevalence, comorbidity, and behavioral variation in canine anxiety. Retrieved August 11, 2020