All dogs get stressed from time to time. But separation anxiety is most common in certain breeds of dogs for a variety of reasons – from intelligence and subsequent boredom, to genetic makeup. Here is a list of breeds that tend to be more prone to separation anxiety
German Shepherds have been, and are still used for many different tasks from tending sheep to police K-9 support. Unfortunately, the breed has seen a decline in health in recent years, including in their temperament. This, coupled with their high intelligence, means separation anxiety is seen quite often in German Shepherds.
Like other active herding breeds, the Australian Shepherd seems to have a higher instance of separation anxiety than other breeds. They never seem to run out of energy, are very creative and in fact were bred to work. A lack of activity makes them bored and anxious, as does being away from their people for long periods of time.
One of the bigger surprises on our list is the Labrador Retriever, the most popular family dog breed in the United States. Despite how common mellow labs are, their intelligence and recent decline in health and temperament like the German Shepherd make them more susceptible to separation anxiety. Plan to teach your Lab tricks and keep him active if you don’t want to see just how much destruction he can do when he’s bored.
The Vizsla was bred for hunting alongside their owners for long periods of time. As such, the Vizsla does not do well when left alone for long periods of time. These ‘Velcro dogs’ and are very active, so too much time alone and/or sedentary time will greatly increase the risk of severe separation anxiety.
Called the Einsteins of the dog world, Border Collies have an intelligence and a desire to work that borders on OCD. Because of their high energy and intelligence, Border Collies need a lot of mental stimulation to prevent them from getting very bored. This boredom will turn into separation anxiety very quickly – so be ready to keep a Border Collie busy with dog sports, regular training, lots of activities and exercise.
Originally bred to be a hunting dog, the Cocker Spaniel needs a lot of quality time with its family. Like other breeds, the Cocker’s popularity has led to poor breeding practices that have introduced health and temperament issues. These issues, and the Cocker’s need to be with its family, can lead to severe separation anxiety.
The Bichon Frise is a companion dog, and does not do well when left alone for long periods of time. The Bichon Frise’s loneliness often transitions into separation anxiety, and separation anxiety into many problematic behaviors.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Like the Bichon Frise, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has been bred primarily as a companion dog. Like the Bichon Frise and other companion dogs, the Cavalier loves to be in your lap and at your feet at all times. As such, alone time often results in separation anxiety for a Cavalier.
Jack Russell Terrier
Plain and simply, the Jack Russell Terrier has been bred to be active and needs a full-time coach to keep busy. Without a flurry of constructive activities and a human to guide them, the Jack Russell will often experience separation anxiety and turn to destructive entertainment.
Separation anxiety can not only be a real problem for owners, who return home to find belongings destroyed, ‘messes’ scattered on the floor, barking complaints from neighbors and more; it can be a real problem for the dogs who endure the anxiety brought on by their owner’s absence and exacerbated by the hyperactive neurons in their brain.