The Great Pyrenees is a great dog that loves his owners, and sometimes this love can cause something called “separation anxiety.” So, you may be wondering, “Can Great Pyrenees get separation anxiety?”
You probably won’t deal a lot with separation anxiety, though your Great Pyrenees may get bored if he’s stays home alone for too long without anything else to do. Note that dogs are complex creatures and there is no dog exactly the same, so that doesn’t mean you won’t ever get separation anxiety. Educate yourself on the signs and find out how to prevent and fix it. If you want to learn more, I suggest you keep reading.
What Is Separation Anxiety In Dogs?
So, before we get into the signs of separation anxiety. I would like to clarify what separation anxiety actually means first.
Separation anxiety (also referred to as SA) in dogs is a behavior issue where the dog cannot mentally handle being away from his owner and thus is often destructive when his owner is away.
Separation anxiety isn’t just when your dog whines when you leave; it’s when your dog is completely destructive and panics before you even open the front door.
So, what are all the signs of separation anxiety in dogs? Let’s find out.
Signs Of Separation Anxiety In Dogs
Now, what are the signs of separation anxiety in dogs? Generally speaking, these are the signs you should be watching out for.
- Anxious behaviors like whining, pacing, and trembling when you’re gone or as you prepare to leave.
- Excessive barking or howling when you’re gone.
- Being destructive when you’re gone (i.e. tearing up shoes, digging holes in couches)
- Making a lot of accidents in the house (urination and defecation)
- Excessive salivation, drooling, and panting
- Desperate or prolonged attempts to escape confinement
How To Fix Separation Anxiety In Dogs
Now, we know the signs of separation anxiety in dogs, but how do we fix it?
Well, unfortunately, there is no known cure for separation anxiety, but with persistence and dedication, you can eventually lessen the severity of it.
So, how do you fix separation anxiety in dogs? Let’s look at a few tips and tricks.
Exercise Your Dog
While exercise can’t cure SA, it can certainly help treat it. Why, you ask? A tired and well-exercised dog will more likely be able to rest while you’re away than a dog hasn’t been exercised much and still has a a lot of energy. And of course, exercise is needed for his overall well-being.
This is especially true with larger dogs like the Great Pyrenees, so while he may not want to exercise a lot, make sure he has at least some.
Crate Train Your Dog
The crate is your dog’s second best friend (hopefully followed by you of course) as it can offer a safe and comfortable place to relax when things get out of hand.
So, as you would probably think, crate training is essential to treating separation anxiety.
Don’t Allow Your Dog To Be Too Clingy
Lastly, while I understand that you may feel bad for your dog, never encourage too much clinginess.
Instead, promote more independent behavior so that eventually, when you leave your home, your Pyr won’t feel so bad about you leaving.
To do this, you must first teach your dog to sit and stay. These two commands are essential for teaching your dog to be more independent and are handy in everyday life.
Second, take your dog to a room and tell him to stay and sit beside them for a few minutes. Then, next time you do it, slowly move away from your dog and stay away from him for longer periods of time and do the same next time until the point that you have left the room completely. Then, try shutting the door.
This can help your dog to slowly get used to being alone and show him that there’s nothing to worry about when you’re gone.
When Is Separation Anxiety Most Likely To Occur?
So, a question you may be asking is, “When is separation anxiety most likely to occur?”
While all dogs can get separation anxiety, separation generally starts when the dog is a puppy. This makes sense saying that dogs learn most of their behavior when they’re young rather when they’re older.
So, if you’re just getting a puppy, be extra careful about what you do around him as it may effect his behavior as he grows older and may even cause him to develop separation anxiety.
What Causes Separation Anxiety In Dogs?
As I just said, your behavior may actually influence your dog’s behavior, especially when he’s younger. But, there are more causes as well.
Another reason why your puppy or dog may have separation anxiety is that they had a traumatizing separation from another person or their mother and don’t want that to happen again, so you become their “new mom,” so to speak.
That traumatic separation could have been that they were shunned and dumped somewhere, or that they were simply relocated to a new home. While moving to a new home isn’t necessarily like dumping a dog in human eyes, there isn’t much difference for them.
The fact is, dogs don’t know as much as people do, so while we know nothing will happen to them if they’re being moved to a new home, they may think differently as they probably don’t know who you are and where you’re taking them.
Can You Prevent Separation Anxiety And If So, How?
Unfortunately, you can’t always prevent SA, but you can try to do so by promoting independent behavior and exercising your dog more.
As I mentioned earlier, exercise can help get all the energy your dog and allow him to rest while you’re away, helping prevent separation anxiety in turn.
And, of course, promoting independent behavior will prevent him from being clingy and being anxious and destructive when you’re away.
So, can Great Pyrenees get separation anxiety? Usually no, but you learned the causes and treatment of SA along with how to prevent it in case your Pyr ever does develop this behavior issue.
Do you have a Pyr? If so, does it have separation anxiety, or is it more independent? Let us know in the comment section below!
Featured Image By Cindy Sloan Western on Facebook