Goldendoodles are fantastic cuddle buddies. Incredibly affectionate, they exist for nothing more than to receive and share the love. And it’s why they easily get upset when you’re away from them for a very long time. But, do Goldendoodles have separation anxiety?
Yes, Goldendoodles are prone to separation anxiety because they attach easily. But, every individual dog is different. So, your dog may not necessarily go nuts when they miss you.
Still, if you’re regularly coming home to dog poop in the house, scratched surfaces, and chewed furniture, it may indicate that your dog is regularly having a hard time dealing with your absence.
But, how do you know for sure your Goldendoodle has separation anxiety? And if she does, what can you do to make the situation better for her? Why don’t we find out?
what is separation anxiety in dogs?
Separation anxiety is a descriptive term for a range of behavioral traits in dogs after their guardians leave them at home for an extended period.
The condition is a serious one. And very often, the dog goes into panic mode. She may exhibit extreme levels of distress immediately before her guardian leaves home.
She may also engage in destructive habits as a coping mechanism after you’ve left.
Reactions will most likely vary from dog to dog. But, what’s noticeable is your dog acting like she’s going bonkers due to your absence.
In her booklet I’ll Be Home Soon, Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, draws similarities between separation anxiety in dogs and panic attacks.
So, take symptoms like dizziness, nausea, terror, chills, fear of losing control, and a sense of terror. And imagine that’s what your dog goes through when she experiences separation anxiety.
Is my goldendoodle Simply Clingy?
There’s a thin line between clinginess and separation anxiety in dogs. Still, the two aren’t necessarily the same. And you might want to know the difference so you know how to best manage your dog –especially if it’s a case of separation anxiety.
If your pup simply loves your company and follows you everywhere. Or loves to snuggle when you’re watching your favorite show. And sleep in your bed during the night, it may just be a mere case of clinginess.
Nonetheless, while a clingy Goldendoodle may not have separation anxiety, clinginess may progress to separation anxiety.
With clinginess, it’s a case of your Goldendoodle simply wanting to be around you all the time. And who can fault such an affectionate dog for wearing her heart on her sleeve?
More importantly, a mere case of clinginess means your dog won’t go into panic mode when she’s away from you!
On the other hand, separation anxiety will cause your Goldendoodle to go bananas anytime your absence is felt.
Here, your dog’s behavior is nothing more than calamitous. Whining, howling, or barking non-stop is common. She may chew on your carpets and upholstery. She may scratch on your doors, pee, and defecate indiscriminately.
do goldendoodles have separation anxiety?
The answer to the question, “Do Goldendoodles have separation anxiety?” is not a very straightforward one.
Dogs are likely to develop separation anxiety because they are pack animals. But, like us, every dog is an individual with his/her own history and unique makeup.
So, not all dogs will necessarily have separation anxiety. Even if they belong to a breed that’s prone to the disorder.
Goldendoodles, because they’re a crossbreed between the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, are easily predisposed to the condition.
Golden Retrievers are highly gregarious breeds that live to please people. While the dog is used for hunting wildfowl like grouse and partridge, it was predominantly bred to be a companion dog.
Likewise, Poodles are also a highly intelligent dog breed that was bred primarily for companionship. Plus, they’re a highly active and athletic breed. Thus, they thrive on plenty of exercise and love long walks.
As a result of all these, Goldendoodles are energetic dogs. Plus, they’re very affectionate and thrive by forming close-knitted bonds with their owners and guardians.
It doesn’t mean every Goldendoodle will develop separation anxiety at some point in her life, though.
What it means, though, is that because of their temperament, Goldendoodles are generally prone to developing separation anxiety.
what Causes separation anxiety in goldendoodles?
We know Goldendoodles sometimes experience separation anxiety because of the tight bond they have with the guardians.
However, this behavioral trait isn’t necessarily an ingrained feature in Goldendoodles. So, simply because you have a Goldendoodle doesn’t mean she has or is going to have separation anxiety.
Your Goldendoodle may experience separation anxiety because of her history – especially if you adopted her. Or because of certain circumstances including;
Past Traumatic events
It occurs mostly with dogs adopted from a shelter. If the dog was heavily abused by its former owner, chances are that the trauma experienced is probably going to give way to separation anxiety in the long run.
It may take a long time to establish any form of close-knitted bond with you.
But, once the attachment has been firmly established, the consequences of the trauma she’s experienced might begin to present themselves in the form of separation anxiety.
If you’ve just adopted your Goldendoodle, you might want to keep an eye for any irregular behaviors. The signs may take a while to show, nonetheless.
If you’ve just changed apartments or houses, it can induce separation anxiety in your Goldendoodle.
Just like it is for us, change can sometimes be difficult for our furry friends. New smells, a different environment, and an unfamiliar setup could stress your dog out.
She may be scared you’d never return. Or that your prolonged absence means you’ve abandoned her in unfamiliar territory.
changes in your schedule
If you work from home, then your Goldendoodle is used to seeing you from dusk till dawn.
Supposing you now change jobs and have to be in an office from morning till evening, it can cause your pup to experience separation anxiety.
She cannot readily understand what’s happening and that might cause her to panic and worry that she’s losing you.
Nearing the end of their lives, Goldendoodles start to get sick regularly. Losing her eyesight or hearing means the world is going to start feeling unfamiliar to her.
She’ll, thus, begin to draw even closer to you. And any sign of your absence may cause a negative reaction.
Lack of physical activity
If you’re not exercising your dog in the mornings, then she’s going to have plenty of energy to misbehave you when you eventually leave for work.
Goldendoodles are energetic dogs. You, therefore, want to make sure you give your dog a walk for at least half an hour each morning before leaving for work.
That way, she’s just too tired to even miss you when you’re away. Sometimes, unexpended energy is enough to get your dog into destructive behaviors when she misses you.
what are some signs of separation anxiety in goldendoodles?
Your dog exhibiting the following signs doesn’t necessarily mean she has separation anxiety. A few isolated events here and there may be because of bad/inadequate training.
It may also be because she’s anxious due to a specific triggering situation.
However, if she exhibits multiple of these signs recurrently, then it may be a case of separation anxiety. Of course, if you’re away. you might not always know what your dog has been up to.
Setting up cameras around the house may be a good way to monitor your dog’s behavior when you’re away. That way, you can know for sure if your Goldendoodle is having an extremely hard time without you around.
Still, if you’re coming home to these, then it may strongly indicate your Goldendoodle has separation anxiety.
- Scratched/chewed upholstery
- Scratched door surfaces
- Pee/Poop in the house even though your dog is housebroken
- Eating her poop
- Excessive drooling
- Aggressive behavior
For most dog owners, coming home to these signs can be highly frustrating. Not only do they cause damage, dogs that exhibit these signs may also cause injury to themselves – especially where they forcefully try to break through windows and doors.
Regrettably, the signs listed above are part of the main reasons why guardians part ways with their dogs according to a finding in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.
But, the problem is not beyond repairs. And with dedication, you can effectively put an end to the cycle.
what should i do if my goldendoodle has separation anxiety?
You must understand that dogs aren’t like us. For us, it’s a way of life to occasionally or even permanently part ways with people we are so bonded to.
Think moving to college, moving away from your parents to start life, or even going through a breakup. These may not be easy experiences by any means. But, at least for us, they are conscious decisions we know we have to make.
Dogs, on the other hand, know no other way of life other than to be with their pack/loved ones 24/7. They cannot fathom breaking ties with those they love – even if momentarily.
Thus, the way to help your dog is by helping her ease away from her natural desire of constantly wanting to be with her pack members to embracing a more unnatural lifestyle of being okay without them.
Do not make a fuss about your arrivals/departures
If your “goodbyes” before you leave and “hellos” when you get back home are supercharged with emotion, then your energy is going to rub off on your dog.
This phenomenon is a purely psychological thing. For if you make your arrivals a big deal, your dog is going to associate your arrivals with feelings of extreme excitement, making your departure a lot difficult to take in.
If you also make leaving the house a big deal, with sad goodbyes and negative energy, your dog is going to get the wrong message and respond by becoming hyperactive after you leave.
Make sure to always be calm, confident, and a tad indifferent when leaving or coming back home. That way, your dog doesn’t see your departures, especially, as big deals.
Desensitize your pup
If your dog has separation anxiety, then your departure is a cue or trigger for stress and anxiety.
You, therefore, want to teach your dog that separation is okay and has its benefits.
Teach your dog to stay at one particular place for a few minutes, preferably 5 minutes. Leave the scene during this period and return immediately after.
When you return, reward your dog with her favorite treat and repeat the exercise; this time going away for about 10 minutes. Let your dog stay at that same spot and reward her upon your arrival.
Continue doing this while widening the time interval and treating your dog to her favorite snacks upon each return.
By doing this, your dog begins to cease associating your absence with distress; rather she learns that separation is okay and even rewarding.
Exercise your dog
Find time to walk your dog or play fetch each morning before you leave.
Goldendoodles are energetic dogs. So, it’s important to get out all the pent-up energy before leaving them behind.
A dog that’s too exhausted will have little time to engage in destructive behavior behind your back.
In very severe cases, you might want to resort to using medication in treating your Goldendoodle.
Antidepressants like clomipramine and fluoxetine are very good options. Benzodiazepine is also an excellent medication that can help your dog cope with disorders like separation anxiety.
It’s important, though, to consult your vet before putting your pup on any of these drugs.
Goldendoodles are incredible pets to own. Their affable nature means you two are easily going to be joined at the hip.
But, this also means times spent away from you are likely to be horrible periods for her. Thankfully, separation anxiety is not a problem you cannot solve.
If your schedule has changed or you’ve moved to a new home/environment, it may take some time before she adapts to the situation. Otherwise, conditioning her to embrace separation or even providing enough daily exercise may be all it takes to get her to get used to your absence.