Do Cavapoos Have Separation Anxiety?

Coming home from work and finding your dog has destroyed your brand new pillow, urinated on your new rug, or scratched on solid wood doors in an attempt to escape may all be signs of canine separation anxiety.

While often chalked up to bad behavior or a lack of training, destructive behavior, including barking non-stop, chewing, digging, defecating, howling, and urinating, may all be signs of distress. 

These types of behaviors particularly when accompanied by anxious behavior or drooling as you are about to leave the house implicate separation anxiety more than a behavior issue.

Do Cavapoos Have Separation Anxiety

What Is Canine Separation Anxiety?

This is a chronic behavioral disorder that takes place when a dog is left alone without their pet parent or a family member. 

Do Cavapoos Have Separation Anxiety?

Cavapoos are successfully bred to be wonderful companion dogs, however, this does not mean that a Cavapoo owner will always be able to bring the dog with them wherever they go.

Some Cavapoos will undoubtedly suffer from separation anxiety as this is a chronic canine disorder that is not particular to any specific breed or mixed breed.

Not necessarily all exemplars of Cavapoo will, but Cavapoos do have a reputation for being susceptible to separation anxiety.

What Triggers Separation Anxiety?

The trigger is when the person or persons the dog is attached to prepare to leave or leave the house. It is enough for a dog to recognize the signs that the owner or family is about to depart such as putting on shoes, a coat, or getting a briefcase, umbrella or keys.

A dog becomes upset and consequently destructive or badly behaved when pet parents or family leave. Dogs may even engage in extreme attempts at escape that result in injury and property damage when they involve doors or windows.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

These are characteristic behaviors of canines suffering from separation anxiety

1.) Barking or Howling: This is a typical behavior if the dog continues incessantly while left alone. It may disturb the neighbors as well.

Cavapoos Barking or Howling

2.) Chewing and Digging: Young dogs chew due to teething, but if your pooch hones in on chewing furniture, door frames, or even window sills, it’s probably separation anxiety.

Likewise, it’s true if your dog is trying to dig his way out under a door. These are dangerous behaviors as injury can occur in the form of broken teeth, damaged nails, and cuts and abrasions.

3.) Coprophagia: Dogs defecate and then proceed to eat their excrement. This behavior happens only when left alone and never in the presence of their owner.

4.) Defecating or Urinating: If your dog does not appear to be potty trained and does his business while you’re at home, continuing when you leave is most likely a training problem. If your dog eliminates only when you are gone, this, too, may implicate separation anxiety.

5.) Escape Artist: If your dog goes out of his way to escape only when you are absent.

6.) PacingDogs will repeat movements in a specific pattern, often circles, or back and forth, and do not do so when a pet parent is present.

7.) Trembling: Your dog may begin to shake or tremble forcefully.

Cavapoo abandoned

Why Does a Dog Suffer Separation Anxiety?

There is no evidence that there is one specific cause for the development of separation anxiety, and there may be more than one source that can contribute to this disorder.

Undoubtedly, it would appear that shelter rescues have a higher percentage of separation anxiety cases.

This may be due to the loss of an owner or family, but there are several causes felt to contribute to the development of the disorder.

1.) Abandonment: The dog was abandoned or surrendered to a shelter. When placed with a new family, this may trigger separation anxiety that the process will repeat itself.

2.) Absence of a Family Member:  If a family member suddenly disappears due to death or to moving away for work or school, this can trigger the disorder.

3.) Residence Change: If you move to a new unfamiliar home, this can contribute to the development of anxiety.

4.) Schedule Change: Many people got puppies during the Covid pandemic while they were working from home. A sudden return to work can trigger separation anxiety as the pup has always had you around and about.

Cavapoo Residence Change

Medical Issues

Before deciding that your pooch is suffering from separation anxiety, visit your veterinarian to rule out canine incontinence due to medical issues.

Your pooch may be urinating because of a medical issue. These might include a urinary tract infection, diabetes, bladder stones, kidney disease, or others.

If there is a medical issue at the root of the problem, a behavioral modification will not obtain the desired results.

Medications can likewise cause soiling, so check with your vet if your dog soils quite a bit before deciding that this is caused by separation anxiety.

Behavioral Issues Unrelated to Separation Anxiety

Several behavioral issues do not only indicate separation anxiety but may be linked to other behavioral problems.

1.) Boredom: Dogs require stimulation mentally. When dogs are left alone, they may become destructive merely out of boredom. These dogs will not appear to be anxious when you leave the house.

2.) Excessive Barking, Howling, or Yapping: A dog in a house that hears environmental noise from an unfamiliar source or sees something unfamiliar from a window, may express himself vocally. This will happen whether the owner is at home or not.

3.) Insufficient House Training: Dogs that urinate occasionally in the house may not be fully trained. House training may have integrated punishment that has caused a dog to fear elimination in the presence of an owner, so he waits until the owner leaves.

4.) Juvenile Destructive Behavior: Typical of young dogs in their juvenile period is destructive digging and chewing.

5.) Marking: Male dogs particularly, and some females, leave or spray small amounts of urine on vertical surfaces to mark their territory with their scent.

What Can I Do If My Cavapoo Has Separation Anxiety?

If your Cavapoo has a milder case of separation anxiety, behavioral modification of counter conditioning may relieve the problem or at least reduce it to some extent.

This requires associating the feared activity with something extremely pleasurable. In time your pup will associate that when he is left alone, something good happens. 

This can be done by offering your dog a favorite toy, treat, or a puzzle toy with food in it that requires some time to complete just as you are leaving the house.

An example of this might be a Kong toy filled with a favorite treat or even frozen so removing food requires more time after you leave. Remove the toy upon your return so it’s only used as a treat when you leave.

Other actions that may aid in dealing with separation anxiety include

1.) Calm when Leaving your Home: Avoid fussing over your dog because you are leaving. In this way, you are reducing tell-tale signs that you are about to make an imminent departure.

2.) Canine Camera: While a webcam or video camera will not resolve the disorder, it will give you a bird’s eye view of how your dog behaves while you are out. It will help you in assessing your dog’s separation anxiety and how to best confront it.

3.) Exercise: A nice long walk before you go to work may tire out your pup before you leave.

4.) Noise in the Background: Consider leaving on a television or radio for company.

5.) A Pet Sitter, Dog Walker, or Family Member: Some company or several visits during the day may assist. Also, consider a doggy daycare or taking your pooch to a dog sitter’s home.

6.) Crating: While a crate can represent a safe haven for some dogs when left alone, it can add to stress and anxiety in others.

When crating a dog while you are present look for signs of stress like panting, drooling, persistent barking, or attempts to escape, look for an alternative, perhaps even confining your dog to a room with a baby gate.

If your Cavapoo suffers from a severe case of separation anxiety, your pup will not merely need behavior modification but desensitization.

This will require time so that your pooch can gradually get accustomed to being alone. This is accomplished by leaving your pup alone for lots of short separations that do not trigger anxiety.

Gradually the length of the separations will need to increase in duration. This type of behavioral modification will require a daily commitment and may take several months.

In Conclusion

Cavapoos, just like any breed or mixed breed canine can suffer from separation anxiety. This disorder is not specific to one or more breeds.

Do not punish or scold your dog as this may only worsen the fear and anxiety that the pooch already feels. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist if you want your dog evaluated to see if a medication can help.

Never administer pharmaceuticals to your dog unless prescribed by your veterinarian. Above all, be patient. If your Cavapoo suffers from separation anxiety, he or she will need all the support and love you can give.

Susan R Elliston
I have over 11 years of experience as a vet working with a wonderful variety of species of innocent and lovely animals. Whilst I still work two days a week for a local practice, I realized that I could help more people by sharing my knowledge and experience with my readers.

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