The love of a pet is complete and unconditional and that is what causes pet owners to become deeply connected to their furry BFFs. They are there with you through good times and bad, both making you laugh and comforting you when you are feeling blue. But even the very best dogs can display less than optimal behavior at times. Pets are very instinctual so their behaviors always have a cause. For dogs, the number one cause of “naughty” or fearful behavior is anxiety.
Anxiety in dogs can come from a variety of sources such as loud noises, unfamiliar environments, thunderstorms and separation from their owners. In fact, separation anxiety is the number one cause of anxiety in dogs. Dog anxiety can manifest as shaking, panting, hiding, seeking comfort, barking, excessive licking and chewing, and even aggression.
If you’re looking for the perfect family pooch and you want to lessen your risk of having a dog prone to anxiety around children or you’re looking for research on your current dog to find the cause of his unusual behavior, here are 15 dog breeds that are prone to separation anxiety.
#1. Border Collies
Border Collies are extremely intelligent dogs with high energy levels, so leaving them home alone all day with no stimulation and no exercise can lead to destructive behavior and separation anxiety. They may jump or run around the house, knocking things over or breaking them. Make sure this dog breed has plenty of stimulation during the day if left alone.
#2. German Shepherds
German Shepherds are working dogs, doing anything from herding sheep to acting as seeing-eye dogs for the blind. The qualities that make them great at their jobs, loyalty and human companionship, can make them feel lonely or upset when they're left on their own.
#3. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise was bred to be the perfectly adorable friend of their human companions. When you picture a young girl carrying around a fluffy pup in a handbag, this is usually the first dog that comes to mind. These little divas are happiest when they are the center of attention so you can image how they feel when you go off to work and school and they have no one around to idolize them.
#4. Labrador Retriever
The ever-loyal and loving Labrador Retrievers are bred to be both working dogs and family dogs. They give their owners a ton of love and really become part of the family. They are also one of the most social breeds of dogs, so they don’t tend to do so well on their own. Being one of the most popular dog breeds in the world for families, why don’t you just get two so they can keep each other company while you’re away?
#5. Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russells have endless bouts of energy and need to be in a highly active home. Spending too much time alone encourages them to seek their own good time which can have a devastating effect on your shoes and breakables. Their restlessness can also lead to anxiety.
#6. German Shorthaired Pointers
The perfect hunting companion, this dog craves the great outdoors and spending too much time in a kennel or alone in the house will ultimately lead to boredom or anxiety. Like the other working dog breeds, they need human interaction and constant stimulation from their owners.
While all dogs originated from wolves who are pack animals, the adorable sausage shaped Dachshund seems to have retained more of its pack mentality than other dog breeds. This means that when you and your family, their pack, leaves the house for hours at a time they can be lonely or fearful. These pups do better in pairs and have been known to prefer sharing their home with other dachshunds the best.
Beagles are another pack-happy dog breed that does not do well at home. Being separated from their owners can cause excessive barking, destructive behavior and bathroom accidents. Beagles are great snugglers but often they need their owners nearby to feel secure.
#9. Australian Shepherds
You may be noticing a trend by now, dogs that are bred to help us work are also prone to separation anxiety. When your basic instinct is to constantly see what your human needs help with and your human is gone for 8 or more hours a day, what’s a very good boy to do? Often the answer is to bark, chew and destroy things in an effort to keep their minds busy and ease their anxiety.
Another hunting dog! Affectionately nicknamed “the velcro dog” these babies feel happiest and most at ease when they are right by your side. Literally, right by your side at all times. Anxiety comes to a head when they are left alone too often or for too long of a period of time.
#11. Cocker Spaniels
This sweet breed is lost and lonely without their human family members around. You might be surprised to find this smaller breed is used in hunting and therefore is bred to be an active, outdoor loving, work dog. Not all cockers are going to have separation anxiety issues but any dog left alone too often will start to worry if you will ever return.
These long haired cuties are easy to fall in love with and they fall in love with you as well, making them go a little zany if left alone often. Havaneses can develop separation anxiety of a chewing and barking nature.
#13. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
These noble-named cuties are known for being one of the most anxious dog breeds in general but that also makes them into adorable lapdogs. Non-stop barking is a common trait of these Spaniels when they are in a panicked state of anxiety. Consider adopting one of these talkative pups if you spend a lot of time at home in front of the TV!
#14. Toy Poodles
Much like the Bichon Frise, toy poodles are bred to be constant companions to their owners and they crave your total attention. If you leave one of these curly-q’s alone too long you’re in for trouble, probably in the form of excessive barking. Don’t let their size fool you, little dogs are the noisiest.
#15. Italian Greyhounds
Unlike their larger racing brothers, Italian greyhounds are smaller in size and love to cozy up to you in bed or snuggle in the sun spots. They are known for being full of energy and head over heels in love with their humans. Expect a mini tornado to rip through your house while you’re at work if your Italian Greyhound develops separation anxiety.
There are many ways to help ease or even cure separation anxiety in your dog which ranges from training techniques to natural medicines and therapies. The most important consideration when deciding to adopt any dog is making sure you have enough time to spend with your new friend.