When it comes to dog breeds and anxiety, there are a number of reasons why your pup may be experiencing these tough emotions.
Whether it’s from previous abandonment or separation anxiety, or they struggle with being around large groups of people or loud noises, it’s important to understand how to identify anxiety in a dog so that it can be properly treated and attended to.
However, there are some dogs that are much more prone to experience anxiety. So which dog breeds are more prone to having anxiety, and what can be done to treat anxiety in a dog?
German Shepherds are well known for the role they play in the military and police force, and are a fiercely loyal breed. Despite their size, they are wonderful with children and make for a great family pet. However, they start to experience some anxiety when left alone for too long, or if they’re left in a space that is too small or constricting. German Shepherds do not thrive when living in small quarters, such as an apartment, and require frequent walks and outings to get their energy out in a constructive way.
Greyhounds are truly gentle giants, proving to be one of the most sweet and smart breeds out there. They thrive off of being around people, however, this is only the case if they have been around people from a young age. Greyhounds tend to develop anxiety if they were kennel raised and then introduced to humans later in their life. If they are not introduced to a domestic lifestyle early on, it is very difficult for them to overcome the anxiety that comes with this major transition.
Well-known for being affectionate and sweet, Cocker Spaniels are a lively breed that does very well with young children. Typically, a Cocker Spaniel will have anxiety around being left alone, and can sometimes lead to costly damages around their home. If left alone for too long, you may return home to find that your pup has left scratches on the windows, or perhaps tears in your curtains or furniture in an attempt to get out. Making sure someone can be with the dog frequently and take them out for walks is a great way to avoid any trouble.
Perhaps one of the most popular dog breeds out there, Labrador Retrievers are a classic American family pet. They’re loyal, patient and playful with little ones, and are known for being able to live a long and healthy life. However, they’re prone to experiencing separation anxiety. Much like Cocker Spaniels, this can manifest itself in some destructive ways. Understand that this dog breed has a lot of energy, and will require frequent walks and playdates. Bring along a ball or frisbee with you and walk to the park to give them some time and let them know you care.
While this breed is commonly known for its work ethic and talent with sheepherding, they’ve also proven to be wonderful family dogs. While they don’t typically mix well with other dogs or cats, they’re incredibly loyal to the humans in their life. However, Border Collies are naturally fearful and anxious. They have a keen ability to pick up on their surroundings, so if they sense that you are tense, or if they find themselves in a tense situation, you may see a negative reaction. You might consider creating a space for them and establishing it as a calm, safe area. This way, when they start to feel anxiety, they can go to their space and focus on being calm.
If smaller dogs are more your style, a Bichon Frise is a great way to go. They’ve very amiable, both with people and with other animals, and are very easy to love. When it comes to anxiety, the Bichon Frise is prone to experience separation anxiety if left alone for too long too often. You may also find that they deal with some fear aggression, which can instigate a lot of barking. While the fear aggression may be a bit more challenging to address, know that this is another breed that will need relatively consistent companionship in order to curb their anxiety.
Another wonderful option for those who like smaller breeds, the Toy Poodle is both incredibly intelligent and lovable. They’re easily trained, making it easy to house break them. They’re also ideal for someone living in a smaller home or apartment. When it comes to anxiety, you’ll find that your Toy Poodle may easily become restless, making it necessary to take them on frequent walks to get their energy out. This is another breed that shows it’s anxiety in destructive ways. You’ll want to keep this in mind.
A naturally silly dog, Havanese are built tough and very easy to train, not to mention they’re incredibly beautiful dogs. Known for their longer, smooth fur, a Havanese makes for a great companion. You may find that your Havanese will experience some separation anxiety when left alone often or for extended periods of time, typically if you’re away from them for more than a few hours. They’ll communicate their anxiety to you through barking or chewing on things, so you’ll want to make sure that, if you’re going to be away from them for a while, that you have someone who can tend to them and give them the attention they need.
For many, the Vizsla breed checks all the boxes. They’re playful yet gentle, good with people of all ages, and are very easy to train, making them an all-around great family dog. However, you will find that, when left alone for too long, your Vizsla may experience some separation anxiety. They are fiercely loyal to their people, and when left for too long without interaction, they will experience some serious struggles. Make sure you’re taking them on frequent walks and giving them the attention they need to thrive. If you work full time out of the home, this might not be the best dog breed for you.
King Charles Spaniel
Incredibly sweet and even-tempered, the King Charles Spaniel is the ideal lap dog. They love their time cuddling with their people, but also thrive in an environment where they can run and play and get all their energy out. However, when it comes to anxiety, a King Charles Spaniel is prone to experience some separation anxiety. Because they’re bred as a lap dog, they thrive off of companionship even more than many other breeds. Help them to fulfill their natural purpose by giving them lots of opportunities for cuddles and social interaction with the people in their lives.
Chihuahuas are sure to provide companionship and entertainment! With temperaments that range from sweet and docile to sassy and outspoken, Chihuahuas are a great breed for someone looking for a smaller dog to keep them company. Keep in mind though that Chihuahuas are prone to nervousness and anxiety. They show their discomfort by barking, or by shaking and tucking their tail between their legs. Keep an eye out for these tells to identify what is causing your dog to feel this way and brainstorm what you can do to avoid these things in the future.
Adopted or Rescued Dogs
While this is not a specific breed, adopted or rescued dogs are also prone to anxiety. It could be that they were neglected by a previous owner, perhaps were kept in a kennel for too long, or did not have adequate interaction with people before coming to you. Talk to the individual you’re adopting or rescuing your dog from to see what information they have about your dog’s past, and if there are any methods they’ve been using to coax the dog through the anxiety. Once you’ve identified some of your new pet’s triggers, do some research to see what you can do to help them recover from their anxiety. It may be a long road, but it will certainly be worth the effort!
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So if you find that your dog is experiencing some anxiety, don’t let yourself get too discouraged. Whether it’s their breed or a past experience that was out of your control, know that there are ways to help your dog through their anxiety and show them the love and care that they deserve. Make sure your furry friend is well equipped with everything they need. Here at Plush Paws Products, we make it a priority to keep the essentials on hand for your dog, from supplements to car seat covers. Check out our selection of items today!