separation anxiety in cavoodles

Separation Anxiety in Cavoodles – 5 Helpful Tips for Owners

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Separation Anxiety in Cavoodles – What causes it?

cavoodle behaviour problems

The exact cause of Separation Anxiety in Cavoodles is not fully understood but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some dogs may be more prone to developing separation anxiety due to genetics, while others may develop it as a result of being raised in the stressful conditions associated with puppy farms, unscrupulous backyard breeders or pet shops. Sometimes being re-homed or separated from their owner will trigger separation anxiety.

cavoodle separation anxiety

Breeds like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, are more commonly affected by separation anxiety and it is one of the parent breeds of the Cavoodle. So it’s no wonder, that the Cavoodle is prone to suffering some separation anxiety when left alone. However, even within breeds, there can be a range of individual susceptibility to separation anxiety. Some Cavoodles are simply more clingy and others are a lot more vocal and inclined to whine and bark – both can be signs of separation anxiety. Genetics is just one of many factors that can contribute to the development of this behaviour problem.

cavoodle barking

How to tell if my Cavoodle has separation anxiety?

cavoodle behaviour

Separation Anxiety in Cavoodles often manifests as chewing, digging, barking, whining, pooping and peeing inside the house, and trying to escape when separated from their owner or left alone. Other symptoms can include excessive panting, drooling, shaking and restlessness when their owner prepares to leave. Try observing your Cavoodle’s behaviour when they are left alone; a security camera or baby cam can be useful for this. Consider if there are other possible causes for their behaviours:

Including:

  • lack of exercise
  • boredom
  • medical conditions
cavoodle problems

What to do if your Cavoodle has been diagnosed with separation anxiety?

what is separation anxiety in dogs

If you suspect your Cavoodle has separation anxiety, contact a veterinary dog behaviourist and rewards-based dog trainer to start implementing a training and behaviour plan.

 

 

Dealing with separation anxiety in Cavoodles

are cavoodles calm dogs

Here are some steps you can follow to treat Separation Anxiety in Cavoodles:

  1. Gradually increase your time away: Crate training is the first step in this process. You won’t initially be leaving the house, but by using a crate, your Cavoodle can be occupied with a passive calming activity and you can start by leaving the room and returning within a minute or so. This can help your dog get used to being alone and should help to decrease their anxiety. Small steps are key to success when resolving separation anxiety in Cavoodles.
  2. Sufficient exercise: Ensure your Cavoodle gets enough exercise and mental stimulation each day. Rest and exercise are both important to a Cavoodle’s wellness. Adult Cavoodles should have around 14 hours of sleep each day. Cavoodle puppies need 18-20 hours.
  3. Positive reinforcement training: Rewards-based training for calm behaviour will help to reduce hyperactivity and increase calmness.
  4. Counter-conditioning: Associate being alone with positive experiences. For example, give your Cavoodle a long-lasting tasty chew or stuffed Kong when you leave them.
  5. Create a quiet, safe environment: A comfortable, quiet and safe place such as a crate or their own room can help to calm an anxious Cavoodle. Particularly if this space is associated with passive calming activities like snuffle mats, chew treats etc.
  6. Separation anxiety medication: If training and behaviour modification has been attempted without success. Sometimes medication may be prescribed by a veterinarian to help cure separation anxiety in Cavoodles.
  7. Behaviourists and dog trainers: Separation anxiety benefits from training with a veterinary behaviourist or dog trainer who can create a customised training and behaviour plan for your Cavoodle.
  8. Pet sitters and dog walkers: If you need to leave your Cavoodle alone for 8 hours. Keep them inside your house and arrange for a dog sitter or dog walker to pop in and spend some time with them. This will break up the time that they spend alone and provide them with some mental and physical enrichment while you’re away.
  9. Doggy Daycare: If you need to leave your Cavoodle alone for long periods of time, consider enrolling them in a local doggy daycare. The best dog daycare centres will train your Cavoodle, walk them and allow them to have supervised play with other similar-sized dogs.
raising a cavoodle

Separation anxiety can take some time to improve. Never resort to aversive training methods which can increase aggression and anxiety. Be patient and consistent with treatment, and seek professional help when needed.

Environmental enrichment ideas for Separation Anxiety in Cavoodles:

dealing with cavoodle separation anxiety
  1. Interactive toys: There is a range of interactive toys available that will keep your Cavoodle occupied for hours. Treat-dispensing toys, food puzzle toys, stuffed Kongs and long-lasting chews can provide mental stimulation and help to occupy your dog when they are left alone.
  2. Training classes: There is a range of dog training classes that can broaden the options you have for mental enrichment at home. Obedience, tracking, agility, scent detection, rally o, fly ball etc all provide great mental and physical stimulation for Cavoodles with separation anxiety.
  3. Outdoor walks and dog parks: Regular walks and outdoor activities, such as bushwalking, swimming, trips to the beach or playing in the dog park, provide physical exercise and outlets for natural behaviours like sniffing, digging etc.
  4. Scent detection: Games like hide-and-seek with food, and letting your dog use their sense of smell to find toys or food that you’ve hidden around the garden or house can be super satisfying for Cavoodles.
  5. Socialisation: Positive experiences with people, animals, and new environments help Cavoodles with separation anxiety build optimism and confidence.
  6. Mental stimulation: Teach your Cavoodle some new tricks, play fetch, and tug, or join an obedience club for training classes. Keeping your dog’s mind active can help to stop separation anxiety.
cavoodles left alone

Positive training experiences during the formative periods of your Cavoodle’s life; birth to 8 weeks, puppyhood and adolescence are invaluable in preventing common behaviour problems like separation anxiety. Choose your Cavoodle breeder carefully, as any traumatic experiences from conception to 8 weeks of age can increase the likelihood of behaviour problems throughout the dog’s life and shorten its lifespan. By providing a variety of enrichment and training activities, your Cavoodle will enjoy the many health benefits of physical and mental enrichment.

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