Do springer spaniels get separation anxiety? Yes, springer spaniels can suffer from separation anxiety. They love their family and ordinarily want to be close to them when their owners are home. This can make for some problems when their family leaves them home alone.
Below is some information about separation anxiety and how to deal with it if your springer begins to show signs of this condition.
What Is Separation Anxiety?
In dogs, separation anxiety is a disorder in which your dog displays unease, anguish, and distress when they are apart from their owner. This anxiety can occur when you leave your springer home alone for long periods of time but even for short periods if your spaniel is not acclimated slowly to alone time.
Separation anxiety can also happen if you take your pup to the groomer’s or veterinarian for a procedure and leave them there to pick up later. They can be fearful and scared, just as small children can have anxiety on their first day of school.
Why Do Springer Spaniels Get Separation Anxiety?
Springer spaniels are a breed that is more prone to separation anxiety. This condition sometimes will cause your pup to become anxious and even panic when you leave your home, and they find themselves alone. This situation eventually becomes stressful for both owner and spaniel alike.
Below are some causes of separation anxiety
- Sometimes, the reason may be genetic, stemming from improper breeding and your pup’s parents.
- This can start with puppies when they are very attached to you. Acclimating them slowly to being alone for very short periods of time is best.
- An undiagnosed medical problem can cause separation anxiety.
- A change in schedule may be the cause of separation anxiety. If your work schedule has changed, there is a new baby or pet in the house, a death, or someone has gone off to school or college, it may trigger this condition. Anything that may “upset the apple cart” and cause a disruption can manifest with anxiety.
Signs and Symptoms of Separation Anxiety
- If your pup is drooling or panting heavily and it resembles a panic attack.
- If your spaniel is housebroken and you are suddenly coming home to messes in the house. Any dog may have an occasional accident, but if it becomes a routine, they’re trying to tell you something.
- If your pup is circling or pacing constantly and just can’t settle. This is anxious behavior.
- If your springer is whining, howling, or barking when you are leaving the house, this is a sign. Also, if neighbors complain that your pup has been noisy during the day, check it out.
- If you come home formwork and pillows are chewed, or rugs are ripped, this is another sign of separation anxiety. Now, it may just be an occasional lapse, where your pup is bored and gets ahold of something forbidden. However, if this is happening more frequently, on a larger scale, you must step in.
When destructive behavior gets out of hand, this is your spaniel’s way of showing they are absolutely frantic and panicked when you leave.
They can scratch doorways and doors as a means to escape, injuring themselves in the process. This is out of control behavior, and your pup just can’t help it. They are seriously terrified, and this is how they exhibit it.
Dealing With Separation Anxiety
When dealing with separation anxiety, the best course of action is to prevent it from the beginning.
As a puppy, your springer spaniel should never even have the complete run of the house. They should always either be crated or have a room with a baby gate. They should have a bed, blanket, toys, food, and water in their crate or space.
When puppies are given full run of your home, they can be overwhelmed, and this is when trouble happens, from messes to accidents.
When you first begin leaving your spaniel puppy, do so for short periods of time.
Below are more tips to prevent or help with separation anxiety
- No grand exit: When your spaniel is a puppy, don’t make a grand exit with long goodbyes when you are leaving. If you stay calm and just leave, it will be no big deal. Dogs do not have a significant concept of time. The same goes for returning home. Put your things away and then greet them. Save the big shows for when your pup is well-behaved and does good things. This way, they won’t associate all this big excitement with you leaving and them being left alone.
- Exercise: Make sure your spaniel gets plenty of exercise, preferably before you are leaving and upon your return. This will help them expend some of that pent up energy before and after while tiring them out.
- Entertainment: There are so many new dog toys on the market. Make sure your springer has some toys to keep them busy while you’re away. Many toys can be filled with treats, which will take time to retrieve out of their toy.
- Seek help: If separation anxiety symptoms become a disruption in everyone’s life and you find it too much to handle on your own, do not hesitate to contact your spaniel’s veterinarian. They will be able to help with ideas and suggestions for coping. Sometimes medications or holistic medicines are needed just to get your pup over the hurdle.
Do springer spaniels get separation anxiety? Yes, they can, but not all do, and prevention is the key to avoiding separation anxiety in your springer spaniel. Stop the anxiety before it begins with time and patience.
If your pup shows signs, never scold or yell. They can’t help how they feel, and it is very real to them.
Think about if there have been any changes in your household if this anxiety occurs suddenly. Consult your veterinarian if needed. An easily treated medical condition could cause anxiety.
Hopefully, separation anxiety won’t be a problem for your springer spaniel. Remember the signs and keep them busy, exercised, healthy, and loved.