Goldendoodles are incredibly affectionate and loving dogs, but they may become too attached to their owners, which can result in separation anxiety.
Do Goldendoodles Get Separation Anxiety?
Yes, Goldendoodles can develop separation anxiety. However, as the owner, you can influence your Goldendoodle’s separation anxiety, alleviate symptoms, and potentially prevent them from developing altogether by implementing proper training techniques.
After extensively researching Goldendoodles, I have gathered enough information to determine if this breed is prone to separation anxiety. My research has indicated that although separation anxiety is common with Goldendoodles, this is a psychological condition that can be prevented, or at the very least, alleviated.
What is Goldendoodle Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is psychological stress that dogs can sometimes experience when they are away from their owners or their homes.
Dogs are known for developing in-depth relationships with their owners, which can often result in an irrational attachment that ends up causing them anxiety.
With that said, not all dogs experience separation anxiety. This is generally a psychological condition that develops incidentally, but it is also much more apparent in certain dog breeds.
Goldendoodles and Doodles in particular are known for becoming very attached to their owners, resulting in separation anxiety.
Luckily, if your Goldendoodle has separation anxiety, you have a lot of different options for treating and alleviating the symptoms.
In this article, I am going to go in-depth on how to identify separation anxiety in your Goldendoodle, and what you can do to prevent it.
Why Do Goldendoodles Develop Separation Anxiety?
It’s important to understand that all dogs are prone to developing separation anxiety. Dogs are naturally social and loving animals that can be quite sensitive to changes in their environment.
Goldendoodles are a particularly family-oriented and owner-dependent breed. A dog with these personality traits is much more likely to experience separation anxiety if precautions are not taken early on. More on this later.
These are some of the most common reasons that a Goldendoodle may develop separation anxiety.
Fear of Abandonment
When you leave your home and say bye to your beloved Goldendoodle, your pup can’t distinguish the difference between you going to work for the day and abandoning it.
If your Goldendoodle had better communication skills, you could ensure your dog that you will be back soon and that there is nothing to worry about.
Unfortunately, this is not the case.
You need to consider that every time you leave the house, your Goldendoodle is most likely thinking that you are gone for good. In extreme cases, some Goldendoodles can’t even handle being in a different room from their owners.
Residence & Owner Changes
Goldendoodles will not respond well to significant changes in their lives, and understandably so.
If you have recently moved into a new residence, your pup’s separation anxiety may be due to the change in environment.
In addition, if you adopted a Goldendoodle from a shelter, anxiety in general should be expected.
Your new pup may have a hard time transitioning to its new owner, which is a very common reason for separation anxiety.
Dogs are used to being part of a pack due to their wolf ancestry. This implies that the idea of community and staying close to others is ingrained in their DNA.
Although we successfully domesticated dogs, we have not changed their natural instincts. Your Goldendoodle may be less intimidating than a wolf, but it is still programmed to think like one in so many ways.
When you introduce your Goldendoodle into your home, it may develop separation anxiety simply because it’s so used to being around other members of a pack.
You want to develop the same feeling of community that your Goldendoodle is used to by making your pup feel right at home with you by its side.
If you bought your Goldendoodle and have been with it ] since day one, this may not apply to your pup. However, if your Goldendoodle has a history prior to entering your home, don’t disregard potential past traumas as being a reason for separation anxiety.
Shelter dogs, regardless of their breed, often have separation anxiety when getting acquainted with a new owner due to previous experiences.
Is Goldendoodle Separation Anxiety Really a Problem?
There’s a stark difference between a Goldendoodle that is experiencing separation anxiety and a pup that simply misses its owner. Virtually every dog would much rather have their owner by their side than at work.
With that said, it’s perfectly natural for a dog to express some form of manageable worrying about their owner when they are away from home.
The main difference between casual worrying and separation anxiety is the level of distress that your Goldendoodle experiences when you are gone.
Separation anxiety can take a huge toll on a dog’s psychological health, and you will likely notice it very quickly if the symptoms are severe. If your Goldendoodle is experiencing legitimate separation anxiety that is interfering with its happiness and well-being, then it’s absolutely a problem.
New pet owners quickly discover that taking care of a dog is almost on par with taking care of a child.
There are complex emotions that need to be addressed and needs that need to be met for a dog to be happy.
That is why training your Goldendoodle to cope with its separation anxiety or taking measures to prevent it from developing in the first place, should be an essential part of your dog training.
Symptoms of Goldendoodle Separation Anxiety
To understand when separation anxiety actually becomes a problem, you need to know which symptoms to watch out for so that you can take action and case study your pup.
Keep in mind that you should ideally be watching out for more than one symptom when determining if your Goldendoodle has separation anxiety.
Whining & Whimpering
If your Goldendoodle is whining and whimpering, it may be trying to vocalize its worrying to you.
You should not immediately correlate any whining and whimpering with separation anxiety, as this is still normal behavior from a dog that wants a treat or to go to the park.
Instead, observe whether the behavior happens when you are about to leave the house or when you return home.
In addition, make sure that your pup is not just happy to see you when you get home, as there is a difference between cries of joy and legitimate whining and whimpering.
Although we classify separation anxiety as a psychological condition, it can often manifest itself physically in the body. An extreme symptom of separation anxiety is if your Goldendoodle is trembling or shaking as a response to your being away.
This can sometimes be a tough one to spot when you are away from home, which is why I recommend having someone observe your pup when you leave the house.
If you are coming home to a home that has been torn apart, this may be a sign of separation anxiety. Goldendoodles will often cause destruction at home as a form of protest against their owners leaving the house if they are legitimately experiencing separation anxiety.
Your pup may be doing this to send you a message, or it could be using destruction as a coping mechanism for its anxiety.
Urinating and Defecating
Did you potty train your Goldendoodle properly but it still seems to leave a number 1 or 2 on the floor whenever you leave the house? Your Goldendoodle may be doing this out of fear, not to spite you.
When your pup experiences severe separation anxiety, a natural response to its fear may be to leave one on your carpet.
Barking & Howling
Goldendoodles are known for letting out the occasional bark and howl, but it should not be a common theme in the house.
Barking and howling is another technique that Goldendoodles use to express their discontent with you leaving them alone.
If the barking and howling only becomes noticeable when you leave the house, then this may be a sign of separation anxiety.
So long as your Goldendoodle is not agoraphobic, it may try to escape the house when it’s feeling under stress due to separation anxiety.
Dogs that are worried about being left alone may look for escape routes, and they will use them if they can.
If your home is secured, this could just result in some damage around the house. However, if the house has any vulnerable openings, your Goldendoodle may take advantage of them to escape.
How to Prevent & Alleviate Goldendoodle Separation Anxiety
No owner wants to see their beloved Goldendoodle go through separation anxiety.
This can be a truly traumatic experience for a dog, and it will inhibit its happiness, especially if it’s not treated and addressed.
I find prevention is much more effective than alleviating symptoms that have already become apparent.
However, taking measures to reduce or eliminate your Goldendoodle’s separation anxiety is highly recommended, regardless of when symptoms started. Try the following methods to prevent or alleviate your Goldendoodle’s separation anxiety.
Although this may seem like a counter-intuitive approach for combating separation anxiety, it is hands down one of the most effective.
Crate training your Goldendoodle, while they are a puppy, is a great way to encourage them to feel comfortable alone and to reinforce the idea of their crate (ultimately your home) as a safe place.
Exercise is beneficial to your Goldendoodle in so many ways. Spending time outside and staying active will encourage physical and mental health, much like it does in humans.
Make sure that you are taking your Goldendoodle out at least 2 times per day for 30-minute walks. If you have the time to spend more time outside, that is preferable.
Goldendoodles are very affectionate dogs that love to display their love for their owners. You need to reciprocate that love and affection to your Goldendoodle to build trust and a strong connection.
You can then use affection as a
Leave & Return
Your Goldendoodle is going to feel much more comfortable with the idea of you leaving the house if it’s reassured that you are going to come back.
That is why you should practice leaving and returning as a training strategy with your Goldendoodle. Reinforce the idea that when you leave the house, you will return.
Goldendoodles love having toys around the house. This is a great way to keep your pup happy when you are around, and it’s also an approach to keep your Goldendoodle entertained when you are not.
Keeping the mind active is one of the best ways to prevent worrying and anxiety.
Play Before Leaving
Don’t turn leaving the house into an anguishing experience for your Goldendoodle. Before you head out, squeeze in another quick play session with your pup, as this will make your absence more manageable.
Talk to a Vet
If your Goldendoodle is experiencing severe separation anxiety that you are having a hard time dealing with on your own, I would encourage you to seek help from a veterinarian.
Separation anxiety can be extremely taxing for you and your Goldendoodle. A veterinarian will give you personalized advice on how to cope with the anxiety and will either provide better tactics or prescribe medication.
- Yes, Goldendoodles can develop separation anxiety.
- As the owner, you can influence your Goldendoodle’s separation anxiety, alleviate symptoms, and potentially prevent them from developing altogether.
- Use the following tactics to help your Goldendoodle cope with separation anxiety: crate training, exercise, affection, leave & return, toys, and play before leaving.
- If you are having a hard time managing your Goldendoodle’s separation anxiety on your own, consider seeing a veterinarian for personalized advice and assistance.