Separation anxiety in Cavapoos is quite common because of there innate yearning to always be with their owners.
One of the most common complaints among Cavapoo owners is their dog’s disruptive or destructive behavior when left alone in the house.
Their dog might howl, chew, dig, run around frantically, urinate, and try to escape when they are not there with them.
Sometimes, this is just an indication that the dog needs more training.
However, many times, a Cavapoo’s unruly behavior may be accompanied by other things, like drooling and trembling whenever you get ready to leave the house.
When this happens, it may be an indication that your Cavapoo is showing signs of separation anxiety. Separation anxiety in Cavapoos is quite common.
Cavapoos are extremely social dogs and leaving them alone for long periods of time really test their endurance.
You may have noticed your Cavapoo get agitated, anxious, or even depressed as soon as you get ready to leave the house or when you have already left.
They may even try to stop you from leaving. And once you come back home, the little one acts as though they haven't seen you in years.
Separation anxiety can be really hard on your pet. Let’s talk about what it really is, where it stems from, and how you can deal with it effectively to calm your Cavapoo’s nerves.
What is Separation Anxiety in Cavapoos?
Cavapoos are loving and affectionate dogs. They are great companion dogs that love being with their owners.
They like being part of a pack and enjoy having company around them. Being part of a family is important to them and they love spending as much time as they can around other people or animals.
They are not a very demanding dog. Cavapoos are content with doing pretty much anything, whether it is running around playing fetch, or just lounging on the couch near their owner.
All of this also contributes to one significant aspect of their personality and that is that Cavapoos can be clingy and prefer being close to their guardians as much as possible.
This makes it very common for Cavapoos to suffer from separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is a common chronic canine disorder. 8 out of 10 dogs suffer from some degree of separation anxiety, according to the RSPCA.
It happens when the dog is left alone at home or any other place without the presence of its owner.
As a consequence of separation anxiety, the dog may start acting agitated or nervous when they see tell-tale signs of their owner preparing to leave the house, like putting your shoes on or grabbing your car keys.
Once the person has left, the Cavapoo can resort to all sorts of unruly behavior or show signs of being depressed and sad.
Sadly, many dogs seem to internalize their anxiety and don’t show physical and outward signs of separation anxiety even though they are suffering from it. Just because your dog isn't showing signs of separation anxiety does not mean they don't suffer from it.
This is why it is important to make sure that your Cavapoo does not feel depressed and alone each time you leave them alone. Noticing a dog's body language when they are alone compared to their usual behavior is usually a great way to find out if something is wrong.
It is important not to let your Cavapoo’s anxiety go unaddressed. If left unchecked for too long, your dog’s anxiety can turn into a disorder.
Leaving it untreated would lead the dog to form other types of behavioral issues as well.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Cavapoos
Every dog has different ways of experiencing and dealing with separation anxiety.
Your Cavapoo may show signs of distress by barking or howling while some other Cavapoos may engage in destructive behavior by chewing or tearing up the furniture around the house.
It is important to know the different ways separation anxiety in your Cavapoo can manifest. Below are a few signs and symptoms your Cavapoo may exhibit as a result of their separation anxiety.
Chewing and Destruction of Objects
Some Cavapoos engage in destructive behavior to deal with their separation anxiety when they are alone. This destructive behavior only occurs when they are left alone at home.
They act out of anxiety and distress, or even sometimes boredom.
Examples of destructive behavior include chewing up furniture, destroying walls, scratching at the door, tearing up clothes, and digging around.
This could be a big problem especially if you are renting your space. This behavior should be addressed as soon as you notice it.
Attempting to Escape
A Cavapoo with separation anxiety may try to escape from your house as soon as you leave in an attempt to reunite with their owner.
Your Cavapoo might run around and try to find outlets through which they can run away and get to you. The dog may do this in the form of chewing through doors or windows.
This is less than ideal because your puppy can get easily injured as a result of this behavior.
Persistent Barking and Howling in Distress
This is probably the most common way dogs show distress stemming from separation anxiety. It is very easy to recognize as you will not be able to miss it and your neighbors will also let you know.
If you hear your dog incessantly barking, howling, or whining when you leave the house, this could point towards separation anxiety.
This kind of persistent barking or howling only gets triggered when your Cavapoo is being left alone and not otherwise.
This is not only distressing for your dog but also for you as the Cavapoo parent as no one likes hearing their dog in such distress.
Fast pacing is another symptom of separation anxiety.
It is not as outward or clear as barking or chewing up furniture but one that should be taken seriously when it happens. Your dog may start trembling or shaking when you are about to leave the house.
They frantically pace up and down the house and do not sit still for one moment.
They will run from room to room and window to window. They exhaust themselves and they will start to pant heavily after a while.
Urinating and Defecating
This is not that common but in extreme cases of anxiety disorders, your dog may defecate or urinate as a result of experiencing separation anxiety.
If your fully potty trained dog starts to pee or poop in the house when you are away, first check with the Vet if there is an underlying medical condition like a UTI.
If the Vet gives the all clear then this can be a sign of separation anxiety.
Many Cavapoos suffer silently instead of showing their anxiety. It is very hard to spot separation anxiety in such a dog when they are not showing any visible symptoms.
Your Cavapoo may not be howling, digging, pacing around, or scratching every possible surface. But that does not mean they do not get depressed when you leave the house.
A good way to keep a check on your pet and whether they suffer from separation anxiety is to compare their behavior in front of you versus when they are alone.
Their body language when they are alone would help in establishing whether or not they suffer from any sort of anxiety. The use of a camera to monitor them when you are not at home will help you to see what they are up to and how they behave.
Causes of Separation Anxiety in Cavapoos
There is no specific answer as to why a certain dog develops separation anxiety.
The underlying reason differs from dog to dog and their experiences and circumstances.
Separation anxiety is much more prevalent in Cavapoos that have been adopted from shelters as compared to those who have always lived in a safe home. Dogs adopted from a shelter may experience dramatic changes throughout their lifetime which can cause them to develop anxiety disorders.
Some potential reasons for your Cavapoo’s separation anxiety are listed below.
Move to a New House
Moving to a completely new home can be challenging for a dog.
It can serve as a reason for their separation anxiety. It is unsettling for a new puppy to be taken from its mother and placed in a completely new environment.
Some pups handle it a lot better than others.
Change in Ownership or Guardianship
Dogs, in general, become very attached to their owner. Getting separated from them is not easy for them.
Separation from their previous owners and being given to a shelter or new parents can trigger the development of separation anxiety in some dogs.
Sudden Change in Schedule
Just like human beings, dogs are also creatures of habit.
An abrupt change in their routine in terms of how long they can be left alone could cause them to develop separation anxiety.
Absence of a Family Member
Your Cavapoo may develop separation anxiety if they experience the absence of a family member that they are used to being around.
Maybe your kid has left for college or there has been a death in the family, a sudden “disappearance” can make the dog distressed and sad and they may not want to be left alone.
How to Deal With Your Cavapoo’s Separation Anxiety
Witnessing your dog suffer from separation anxiety is not fun for any Cavapoo parent.
However, there are ways you can tackle this situation and help your dog deal with their loneliness better.
The main reason why your Cavapoo suffers from separation anxiety is because they are frightened and feel unsafe.
So, the first step you can take towards solving this issue is by making them feel safe and comforted which is where a crate comes in.
Dogs see crates as dens and if trained correctly, they associate them as their 'safe' place.
When distressed, your Cavapoo needs to know that they can remove themselves from the situation and find peace and rest in their crates.
Make sure your dog associates his crate with wonderful things by giving him chew toys and other fun stuff inside the crate.
Dogs love to exercise in any form.
To care for your dog's well-being, take your dog for a long walk or tire them out by involving them in any sort of fun activity, such as playing and running around, before you leave them alone.
A tired dog will not act up as much as a puppy that still needs to get rid of built up energy so make sure your dog wants to have a nice nap when you are gone.
Provide Some Background Noise
To prevent your dog from feeling alone, leave some type of background noise on.
Either leave the TV or radio on.
My dogs do not suffer from separation anxiety but I still leave the radio on when I go to work because the house is so quiet and the silence is deafening.
Medication should only be used as a last resort.
If all other methods fail, consult your vet for what is the best course of action to take.
Preventing Separation Anxiety in Your Cavapoo
Separation anxiety is much easier to prevent than it is to stop.
You should try and prevent your Cavapoo from developing any sort of anxiety as soon as you bring them home by giving them the optimal home environment and proper training.
Cavapoos are adorable and it might be hard for you to stay away from yours. However, you must teach your pup to spend some time by themselves from a young age and from the time that they come into your home.
Make a point of leaving your pup alone. You can be in the next room and listen out for them.
Slowly increase the time spent alone so that your pup becomes used to not having your company for a few hours. This will also make them more confident.
Crate training can really come in handy here.
It is very important that when you leave your dog alone for some time and reunite with them that you stay calm and act like being left alone was no big deal.
As much as you’d want to shower your Cavapoo with hugs and kisses before leaving for somewhere, this behavior can easily backfire. The same is true for when you come back home and immediately get excited to see your puppy.
Avoid doing that as it may result in your dog feeling like there is something wrong with being left alone.
The key thing to remember here is to start with baby steps and gradually build up to your goal.
How Long Can You Safely Leave Your Cavapoo Alone?
Many Cavapoo owners wonder how long can they safely leave their puppy alone.
This is difficult to answer because it totally depends on your pup's confidence, level of training and your circumstances.
If your puppy is not yet fully potty trained then they cannot be left alone for long. Someone needs to be around to take them outside or else they will learn to do it in the house which you do not want.
Similarly, if you are used to working from home but are now required to go to work at an office, your dog may not be used to living without you for 8-10 hours and that can result in separation anxiety.
Everyone's situation is different but there are options available.
You can also use the services of a dog walker or ask a friend to come and check up on your pup and let them spend time playing with it. Your puppy might be too young to go for a walk but at least they can be checked up on when you are not there.
Just make sure if you do use a dog walker that you research them very well as they will need access to your home.
Cavapoos are sensitive dogs who can get deeply attached to their owners. However, they are also very intelligent which means you can train them to not suffer from separation anxiety.
Nobody likes seeing their adorable pet tremble or shiver out of stress.
Dealing with your Cavapoo’s issues as soon as you notice them and giving them the best training possible will avoid any future trouble for you and your pup.
FAQs about Separation Anxiety in Cavapoos
Do all Cavapoos have separation anxiety?
Not all Cavapoos suffer from this but this mix breed does prefer to be with his humans so they are more prone to having it.
Do Cavapoos like being left alone?
It is not wrong to leave your Cavapoo alone for a few hours but they love company so if you are going to be away for the whole day try and plan for someone to check up on them after a few hours.
How can I help my Cavapoo with separation anxiety?
You will need to train them to feel safe when you are not around as mentioned earlier in this article.
Some people have found that having a second dog helped. Dogs are pack animals and generally do not enjoy being on there own.