Cocker Spaniel Separation Anxiety

Cocker Spaniel AnxietyMost dog experts warn potential pet owners that the intensity of Cocker Spaniel separation anxiety can be greater than those experienced by other breeds.  The problem is worsened when the dog is left alone to its own company for long stretches of time.  Thus, people with lifestyles requiring less time spent at home must seriously consider the merits and demerits of having a Cocker Spaniel for a pet, if only because separation anxiety is a real problem with the breed.

How It Is Defined

As is the case with other dog breeds, separation anxiety is neither a way for the dog to be vengeful when they’re not receiving their owner’s attention nor is it the dog’s way of expressing its love as such.  It is, instead, a panic disorder in dogs similar in many aspects to the anxiety disorders experienced by humans.

Keep in mind that not all dogs – or all Cocker Spaniels, if somebody is nitpicking – will suffer from separation anxiety.  There are risk factors that make for higher levels of separation anxiety in Cocker Spaniels including early weaning from the mother, history of abuse and neglect, and even exposure to sudden changes in the household.  In the case of Cocker Spaniel separation anxiety, the breed is generally agreed to be predisposed to the condition as well.

How It Is Diagnosed

First and foremost, we must warn readers that the symptoms of separation anxiety are also related to medical conditions common in dogs.  You want the veterinarian to rule out underlying health issues that many be causing the inappropriate whining, barking and urinating in your Cocker Spaniel.  If your pet is pronounced healthy, then separation anxiety is the most likely diagnosis.

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You must be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Chewing, chomping and tearing at the household items from the furniture and small crunchy appliances to the clothes and shoes
  • Scratching on the doors and windows whenever you start preparations to go out of the house
  • Urinating or defecating on the floor, furniture and even on the crate
  • Licking and chewing in an excessive manner on the parts of the body including the skin and coat
  • Refusing to engage in any activity like playing, eating and drinking, which can be a sign of depression.
  • Whining, barking and howling for long periods of time after you have left the house.

While the destructive behaviours associated with Cocker Spaniel separation anxiety such as chewing and barking will last for an hour after you have left the house, the whining can go for hours and hours.

How It Can Be Treated

Don’t slide into your own despair since separation anxiety can be treated with a few relatively simple steps.

  • Consult the vet. Your dog may be prescribed the appropriate anti-anxiety medication to control the symptoms.
  • Ask a professional dog trainer for ways to cope with the symptoms. You will be taught techniques like making the separation as easy as possible on the dog; ensuring that the dog has sufficient amounts of chew toys and food for the day; and even spending more time to make up for your absences.

In conclusion, nobody said that successfully addressing Cocker Spaniel separation anxiety is easy.  But with plenty of patience, it is possible.

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