Our pets mean the world to us and to see them suffering from separation anxiety can be painful for both of you and your pet. Poodles are a sensitive breed and are extremely loyal to their owners. Your dog relies on you to help him when he is anxious at home alone. Your veterinarian or professional dog trainer can help you can get a handle on this separation anxiety issue so your poodle can be enjoying time alone, rather than suffering from it.
Poodles often develop deep attachments to their owners and manifest symptoms of separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time. Separation anxiety in poodles is treated by resolving the underlying anxiety issues through training, exercise, positive reinforcement, and a healthy diet.
Worrying about your poodle’s anxiety can make the situation worse. Being proactive and trying some of these proven strategies may take time but with consistent effort, you could start seeing results in quick order.
How to Identify Separation Anxiety in Poodles
As dog owners, we are in tune with our pet’s normal behavior. So, when they are not feeling themselves, it is easy to tell. Using a home security camera or dog camera to keep an eye on them while you are away from home will give you insight into what happens when your pet is alone. It can also provide you with peace of mind to see when they are relaxing.
The camera I love and use for my dog is the petcube pet monitoring camera. This is a 1080p HD night vision camera that automatically alerts you if there are any behavioral problems at home, such as separation anxiety. Check out Amazon here for more information and the current price for this awesome, low-priced camera.
Below are the signs and causes of separation anxiety in poodles. Being aware of the signs of separation anxiety will enable you to be proactive and deal with any anxiety problems head on.
Signs of separation anxiety in poodles include:
- Excessive barking
- Excessive panting
- Whining or howling
- Using the bathroom in the house/coprophagia
- Tail tucked between legs
Causes of separation anxiety in poodles include:
- Nature of the breed of dog
- Changing schedule
- New home/pets/babies
- Poor diet
- Not enough exercise
- Not enough mental stimulation
A great behavioral training course can really help with your poodle’s anxiety. I found a fantastic training system called Brain Training for Dogs. I really liked the private member’s area where I am able to connect with other dog owners to get solutions to issues I had with his training. If you need any behavioral training at all for your dog, I would highly recommend this course! Check it out here
15 Easy Ways to Fix Separation Anxiety in Poodles
Separation anxiety is often the primary reason behind many uncontrolled and destructive behaviors that pet owners see in their dogs. Understanding how to fix separation anxiety in your poodle is essential in order to ensure your dog is calm and happy when you’re not home..
15 easy ways to fix separation anxiety in poodles include:
- Professional or Home Separation Anxiety Training
- Positive Reinforcement
- A Healthy Diet
- Plenty of Exercise
- Play Calming Music
- Engaging Toys for Prolonged Play
- Treat With CBD Oil
- Canine Aromatherapy
- Buy Comforting Clothing
- Properly Teaching Bark Control
- Avoid Crates if Possible
- Eliminate triggers in the Home
- Hire A Dog Walker or Pet Sitter
- Get Another Dog
- Groom Regularly
Read on to explore these remedies for separation anxiety further and learn how to put each into practice to help your poodle. Let’s go ahead and take each of these fifteen ways on right now:
1. Professional or Home Separation Anxiety Training
It is important to help your poodle with separation anxiety by providing the proper environment during the day. Many owners crate their poodles while they are gone.
Without proper training, however, placing your poodle in a crate or long periods of time can make this anxiety more severe. Separation anxiety in your dog can be overcome with patience, consistent instruction, and some good positive reinforcement.
Professional Poodle Training
Professional dog training for separation anxiety is excellent, but it can be hard to fit into your busy schedule and often be quite pricey. If it fits into your budget and schedule, a professional dog trainer can help you.
Most trainers will have you bring your dog to their facility for instruction. Training your poodle can be done one-on-one or in a group setting with other dogs and their owners.
Even if you go this route, that does not mean that as soon as you walk out of the door of the training facility, that your work is done. Continue to practice what you have both learned at home for the best results.
Training a Poodle At Home
When separation anxiety training your poodle at home, remember to be patient and stick with it. There are many benefits to training at home. It may take weeks, or even months to train your poodle, and successfully relieve his separation anxiety.
Triggers like the sound of keys, or the sight of you putting on your shoes can signal to them that you are leaving. When a dog is suffering from separation, anxiety realizes they are going to be left alone, the stress levels rise very quickly.
Desensitize your poodle to these anxiety triggers by:.
- Grabbing your keys at random times when you are not leaving the house will eventually train your anxious pet not to get worked up every time they hear keys.
- Putting your shoes or jacket on and walking around the house will be confusing to your pet at first. Poodles may show signs of stress for the first few times. However, poodles are intelligent and can be trained easily.
Training your pet on your own can be immensely rewarding for both of you. It will take diligence, time, and a ton of patience. It is hard to know where to start with your dog’s training.
A great behavioral training course can really help your poodle deal with separation anxiety. I found a fantastic video training system called Brain Training for Dogs. With this training, I was able to discover my dog’s fears and use the training system to help eliminate the triggers that caused his anxiety. This is an awesome program and crazy inexpensive! Check it out here to see more detailed information.
The Calming Yo-Yo Method Training
Yo-Yo training is gentle and is well received as a tool to calm separation anxiety in poodles, usually quite quickly. In this video below, the Yo-Yo method is demonstrated. This method uses a training clicker.
Teach your poodle the Yo-Yo dog training method by following these steps:
- Restrain your poodle with a leash, crate, or gate.
- Start by taking one step back from your dog,
- If your dog is calm, click the clicker, then return to them.
- Repeat by adding an extra step after every repetition.
- Continue this process 20-25 times. If he is still calm, repeat the same process, but this time, conceal yourself after each step.
The video below will give a more detailed look at this training method:
It is recommended not to use cues, commands, or treats when training the Yo-Yo method to your dog. This will train your poodle to be calm without you there as a trained instinct, not because he follows a command. You want it to become natural for your dog to feel comfortable when you leave. As a result, your dog will begin to understand that you always return.
2. Positive Reinforcement
Instead of punishing your poodle when he destroys things, give him praise for the good things he does. Cesar Milan, the famous dog trainer, recommends positive reinforcement as a useful training tool to encourage good behavior, and eliminate bad behavior.
Punishing your dog for bad behavior draws unneeded attention to the negative behavior and does not reinforce good behavior.
Using treats as incentives and rewards during training can be extremely helpful. Though, Cesar suggests weaning your dog off of the idea of being rewarded with food when they do something good once they have been trained. Instead, verbally praise him, and show him affection and attention.
Instill confidence in your dog by praising him after completing the challenges that you set for him. Give your dog something to work for, and something to be proud of. The more confidence your dog has, the happier he will be. The more comfortable he is, the less likely he will suffer significantly from separation anxiety.
Show Your Dog Positive Emotions
Our pets are highly sensitive to our emotions, poodles in particular. Their natural intuition and empathetic nature can sense when you feel nervous about leaving them, or sad that you will miss them.
Transference/countertransference of nervous feelings isn’t just something that happens between humans. Animals are sensitive to human emotions.
Don’t make a big deal out of leaving. Showing positive outward emotions and making goodbyes brief will lead to your poodle understanding that this isn’t the end of the world and that you will return soon. Likewise, when returning home, it is suggested to delay greeting your pet and tot one it down.
Though it is super challenging not to give him all of your love and show your excitement to see him when returning home, it is best not to have such a dramatic reunion immediately.
3. A Healthy Diet
It is now time to take a look at your Poodle’s diet. Ensuring that they are getting the proper nutrition will ensure that their body is fueled with the highest quality food. A poor diet can add to stress on your pet in the form of anxiety.
A study was done on dogs that had L-Tryptophan, and Alpha-Casozepine added into their diet. The study showed a substantial decrease in canine anxiety with the addition of this amino acid and dairy component. A diet that is high in protein is also said to affect your dog’s mood. Too much protein can inhibit the production of serotonin. Serotonin is known as the happy hormone.
To read more on how a dog’s diet affects their mood, click here.
I feed my dog high-quality food from Pet Plate. Pet Plate is a premium dog food subscription service that provides freshly cooked and pre-portioned meals, and snacks, completely customized for your dog. I really love the fact that Pet Plate delivers the highest quality meals to my door without me ever having to think about it! Check out Pet Plate here to find more information and see if Pet Plate is right for you and your pet.
4. Plenty of Exercise
Poodles need daily exercise for a healthy body and calmer disposition. Just as exercise helps the human body, dogs need to burn off energy, too. Poodles are hunting dogs, so they were bred to be quite active. As they age, they may not want to exercise as much as they did in their youth.
Adult standard poodles need up to 60 minutes of exercise per day, It is recommended to break exercise up into 2-3 sessions daily.
Exercise can be in the form of walks, running in the grass, or playing in the house. Mixing up the kind of activity you give them will keep their brains active, and prevent them from getting bored with a repetitious routine. Failure to properly exercise your poodle can result in anxiety and negative behavior.
I recently wrote this article on how to exercise a miniature poodle. In it, you’ll learn the best exercises to help keep your poodle calm.
5. Play Calming Music
Leaving something on for your dog that makes noise when you’re not there can help to comfort your poodle. In your absence, or even when you are home with them, some pet owners leave the television on for their dogs to entertain them. However, you should be aware that TV can be unpredictable and sounds such as doorbells or barking dogs could stir up your pet’s anxiety.
Believe it or not, playing calming music for your dog can help keep him calm, and soothe anxious feelings. Listening to relaxing music lowers the body’s stress hormone (cortisol) levels, allowing your dog to relax. Animal shelters have begun to play music for their pets that are waiting to be adopted to help keep them calm in their cages.
YouTube has a music video just for calming your Poodle, which will make him feel relaxed and anxiety-free:
6. Engaging Toys for Prolonged Play
Giving your pet brain game toys to play with, or big bones to chew while alone, can help distract attention from his normal anxious activities. Toys that get stuffed with treats are also an excellent way to keep them entertained.
Anxiety partly stems from your pet’s bordom He does not have thumbs to use the internet like we do when we get bored, so he finds other ways to entertain himself. Failure to provide your poodle with healthy ways to entertain themselves is asking for trouble. Dogs often find their way into the garbage can if they don’t have engaging toys.
I wrote this article on the best toys for poodles. In it, you’ll find exactly what toys can help with separation anxiety in your dog.
7. Treat With CBD Oil
CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant and can help humans and our beloved pets, with a wide range of health issues. This plant-derived oil has grown in popularity over the past decade, and for a good reason. We have realized how beneficial it can be to us.
CBD oil helps dogs with issues like:
- Pain relief
- Balances body systems
After a consultation with your veterinarian, you can decide if treating your poodle with all-natural dog-specific CBD oil is right for you. Your veterinarian may suggest, or prescribe a high-quality CBD oil, and explain how to administer it.
CBD for dogs comes in liquid form that you administer orally, or it also comes in the form of dog treats. Dosage is based on your dog’s weight. Be sure to give the appropriate amount of CBD to your pet. Side effects include drowsiness and dry mouth.
8. Canine Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic material, mainly plants and essential oils for health reasons. Dogs can benefit from aromatherapy products to help ease their stress and separation anxiety. While some aromatherapy can be beneficial, not all oils are safe for dogs.
Lavender is the most popular aromatherapy for relaxation and is safe for dogs. It is recommended to introduce aromatherapy to your pet slowly. Dried lavender is milder than the lavender essential oil, which is concentrated. Place a small amount of lavender near your pet’s favorite sleeping spot, and see how they react to it.
Once he has become used to aromatherapy, with no adverse reaction, you can begin to use it more often. Even a drop or two in their bath will be calming, and suitable for a healthy coat! I recommend organic essential oils, but there are plenty of artificial brands if you choose. Check the label to be sure.
9. Buy Comforting Clothing
Not all dogs enjoy wearing clothing, so the use of these items may first take some trial and error.
These items are designed to help pets during storms, fireworks, and separation anxiety:
Calming collars– There are a few different types of calming collars on the market. Some work with mild shocking, while some are more homeopathic approach with the use of essential oil aromatherapy like the ThunderEase Calming Anti Anxiety Pheromone Collar. It is soft and flexible rubber, similar to a flea collar style. Check this collar out on Amazon here.
Anxiety shirts– Shirts designed to comfort dogs with anxiety soothe them by giving them a hug like an effect. One of the leading brands is Thunderworks. They make the ThunderShirt for dogs, which swaddles your pet like a baby. Available in different colors and all sizes from under 7lbs to 110lbs. Check this shirt out on Amazon here.
10. Properly Teaching Bark Control
Controlling your poodle’s separation anxiety will involve training him not to bark the entire time he’s alone. Barking for hours can damage the throat, raise their blood pressure, and annoy the neighbors.
The Anti Barking Control Device, Ultrasonic Dog Bark Deterrent is a unit that you place in your home. It works on soundwaves and is a dog-friendly humane way to control excessive barking. When your dog starts barking, the device acknowledges it and lets out a high pitched noise that only your dog can hear. When this bark-high pitch noise reaction is repeated, your dog will learn to calm down. Check it out on Amazon here
It is suggested to use this device as a training tool only. To leave it on all the time is preventing your dog from barking at all. There are times when barking is good like his instinct is to protect his owner and home. If someone is approaching his owner’s property, dogs should bark to warn their owners of possible danger.
Other bark control devices come in the form of collars that sense when the dog is barking by the vibration of their throat. They can be worn by your pet when they are alone. The NPS No Shock Bark Collar lets out an ultrasonic sound that dogs do not like, so they stop barking. Check it out on Amazon here
11. Avoid Crates if Possible
Though you may have crate trained your dog, it is recommended that a separation anxiety-prone dog should not be locked in a crate when you leave. There are some good reasons to crate your dog but being sensitive to his anxiety may be a better course of action.
When dealing with an anxious dog’s behavior, crating can be more harmful than leaving simply leaving your dog out while you’re gone.
Crating will not prevent your poodle from the onset of separation anxiety, nor will it prevent other negative behaviors such as going to the bathroom in their crate. This can irritate his skin (or worse) if he is forced to lay in his own waste for hours on end.
Furthermore, if your dog has extreme anxiety, he could hurt himself trying to get out. Dogs do not understand anything besides the fact that they miss you, and they do not want to be in their crate.
Give Freedom With a Dog Door
If you have a fenced-in backyard and can trust your dog to be out there when you are not home, a dog door can give them a sense of freedom, and prevent them from feeling trapped in the house alone. An invisible perimeter fence and collar can provide extra assurance that they will still be there when their owner gets home.
Fresh air and a chance to go to the bathroom will be a refreshing change from napping and waiting for you to come back. poodles are simple creatures. Their yard is like their playground. Freedom to go outside through a dog door builds their confidence, ultimately making them happier animals.
Limit Access to Windows
Without making your dog feel like they are being punished, try blocking their view of the outside world with curtains, and large furniture in front of the windows. Limiting their view of the outside should reduce the constant need to look out the window for you.
When he realizes that he can’t sit there and anxiously stare out the window for 8 hours straight, working himself up, he will find something better to do. Taking a nap or getting some kibble will be a healthier activity than nervous watching for your car to pull in the driveway.
A nice bonus is that in doing this, you will have to clean your windows less often. We all know about dog drool art on our windows and sliding glass doors.
12. Eliminate triggers in the Home
Take a closer look at the rooms in your home. Go room by room, checking for things that annoy your dog. If there is a mirror that makes a shimmery reflection on the wall when the sun hits it just right, turn the object so that it doesn’t catch the light anymore.
Alarms or harsh, loud sounds can irritate dogs, causing stress and anxiety. Turning off signals, and replacing the battery in your smoke detectors eliminates some noise stress triggers. This step may seem extreme, but the treatment of separation anxiety can be a combination of remedies that work in harmony rather than just one quick working simple solution.
13. Hire A Dog Walker or Pet Sitter
Some pets do best with a dog walker or pet sitter. Having human interaction may not be as joyous as when their owner is around, but it can be comforting to him. This is good for dogs that are suffering from extreme cases of separation anxiety.
Hiring someone to spend time with your dog while you are away can be as easy as paying your neighbor kid to come over and let it out once or twice a day. Professional pet walkers and sitters can be found on websites like Rover, or at your local doggie daycare.
14. Get Another Dog
Having a furry friend to keep your poodle company can help distract him from obsessing over the fact that he misses you.
Is another pet the answer you are looking for? An animal companion for them to play with is a healthy way to enjoy their time without their owner.
Poodles get along best with other poodles and non-aggressive breeds. Cats can also make excellent companions for anxious poodles. If you do decide to get another pet to be their companion, a slow introduction is suggested. Bringing a new “baby” into the home without warning could induce an adverse reaction and even more stress for your pet.
15. Groom Regularly
You may already be familiar with how high maintenance poodles are. Between the frequent grooming of their hair and trimming their fast-growing nails, it can be a part-time job just keeping up with the maintenance of their appearance.
More than an appearance issue, trimming your pet’s nails and fur can help keep them comfortable. Being in physical pain can add to the stress. Every little thing that helps make your pet healthy and relaxed will help you get their separation anxiety under control.
Grooming is also a chance for your dog to release some stress by getting pampered. Treat him to a puppy massage at the groomers, or give him a gentle, long, loving massage at home. Massage helps humans relax, and it also helps animals.
Check out this article I recently wrote on grooming a poodle puppy. In it, you’ll learn how to properly groom your poodle at home.
Are All Poodles Prone to Separation Anxiety?
Poodles often develop deep attachments to their owners and manifest symptoms of separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time. Sometimes, this results in negative behaviors like having accidents in the house.
There are three types of Poodles:
They are each very loyal, and get quickly quite attached to their owner.
Extreme attachment is what can sometimes exacerbate their separation anxiety. Experts might say that is what the owners doing. But, it is challenging not to get extremely attached to our beloved pets. A healthy balance is what we strive for.
Poodles are also formal breeds of dogs that demand lots of attention and react negatively if they do not get it. They are also known for excessive barking when ignored or left alone.
How Can I Help My Poodle With Separation Anxiety?
Most dogs’ demeanor changes when their owner leaves them. Poodles are known to get separation anxiety. When my dog is struggling with something like separation anxiety, I will do anything to help him. Separation anxiety is not only pain and confusion that they are suffering from, but they tend to act out in ways that are destructive and harmful.
Dog’s nature is to be a pack animal, and its owner/family is their pack. They are used to being with you and following you wherever you go. When you leave them, they do not understand. It is up to you to help them calm their anxiety. Have patience with training them and getting them to change behaviors.
An anxious dog may also act out in ways that destroy your home and possessions. Even though chewed up shoes or spilled and strewn garbage is not the end of the world, the anxiety that is causing these behaviors can be harmful to your pooch. You may find that an anxious dog chews or scratches themselves.
What can be misleading signs that point to separation anxiety, you must first be able to rule out other sources for the symptoms you are noticing. A lack of exercise or a simple case of boredom can cause your dog to show signs of anxiety.
It may take time, patience, and trying several (if not all) of these methods to help soothe and correct your pet’s separation anxiety issue that they struggle with. Do not give up. Your persistence will pay off.
Poodles can be stubborn creatures, but if you train them with love and respect, they will respond positively because they are so intelligent, and are relatively easy to prepare