How To Help Your Australian Labradoodle Manage Separation Anxiety
An Australian labradoodle is a crossbreed between a Labrador retriever and a poodle. These dogs have an extremely friendly personality, with a playful and active nature. But this breed is also intelligent and alert. An Australian labradoodle will quickly learn new commands, as well as new tricks. They are excellent with children and other animals. Labradoodles are generally quiet, calm, and docile. They will bark or make loud noises only when they feel threatened. They can be great escape artists when they are bored, stressed or anxious.
Stress and Separation Anxiety Issues
Australian labradoodles can have an issue with stress and separation anxiety. If you think your dog might have these kinds of issues, it is important to talk with others about these problems. The best way to deal with stress and anxiety is to be a proactive owner and give your dog consistent, loving attention. It is also very important to help the dog when they show signs of these behaviors for an extended period. Failure to act or seek solutions could become problematic.
What Do You Need To Do?
There are several things you can do to help your Australian labradoodle with his separation anxiety. Some of these tricks are universal for all dogs, but with the Australian labradoodle they are very effective.
If you want your dog to feel safe and secure, he has to know you are there for him. If your Australian labradoodle isn’t acting like themselves, pacing around the house, refusing to eat or drink, and showing signs of hiding from the family, these are red flags that something is not right. In these times, you don’t want to go off and leave them alone. Make sure their environment is clean, that there were no recent additions to their environment made, and check their bodily functions after they use the bathroom. Loose or excessively hard stool could be a sign they are sick.
If you have been neglecting your Australian labradoodle because of an increase in workload or of issues in your personal life have been preventing you from maintaining a contestant schedule with them, it could be a sign of separation anxiety. When looking at separation anxieties, it isn’t always when you leave the house, it could be when you ignore them as well.
Keep the dog’s routine as normal as possible. Your dog needs consistency in his life. Make sure the dog is getting exercise and playtime. Exercise and playtime will help him keep their mind focused and happy. A lot of Australian labradoodles are not social animals, so make sure you spend time with them outside of the house. It is important to take them on daily walks or play dates with other dogs. This can help with their socialization and stress levels.
Common Sources of Stress in Dogs
If you notice your Australian labradoodle is acting out of character, you should be proactive and try to find out what might cause this behavior. Common causes of stress include being left alone for extended periods of time or having no exercise or playtime. If you notice your Australian labradoodle is showing signs of pain or discomfort, examine his paws, legs, and back. If your Australian labradoodle is getting up in age, health issues with their joints could be a major cause of stress.
Uncomfortable Sleeping Conditions
As your dog ages, their physical needs may change. If they do, consider getting them a newer, more comfortable bed that will support their joints. A calming bed is a brilliant choice for dogs of all ages. The Calming Dog bed offers a wide variety of sizes, colors, and comfort levels. If your dog loves to stretch out, then an extra large bed may do the trick.
As your Australian labradoodle sleeps, watch their breathing patterns and how often they wake up at night. If they are favoring the couch or desiring to be higher off the ground, consider raising their bed off the floor. The comfort level your Australian labradoodle experiences when sleeping will go a long way towards their overall health and well-being.
Chewing and Other Nervous Behaviors
Dogs love to chew on things. Chewing is a natural way for them to care for their teeth and burn off excess energy. Giving your Australian labradoodle some Calming Zen Chews or a ball with cheese stuffed in it is a great treat they will enjoy. However, if they are chewing on their paws, excessively licking themselves or doing destructive chewing on items they know they shouldn’t have, then this is a classic sign of stress.
Digging is another common behavior with dogs. However, if you notice your dog is constantly digging around the yard, chewing on their nails, licking their paws excessively, or focusing on their paws more than normal, this could be a sign of anxiety. When your Australian labradoodle focuses on these behaviors after you bring it to their attention and try to pull them away, it’s because they are trying to deal with something they’re worried or anxious about.
Many dogs will lick their paws when they are anxious. You can prevent this by cleaning their feet often and using an anti-bacterial soap. Dogs that are overly excited may want to chew on their own legs versus a toy.
Dealing With Separation Anxiety in Your Australian Labradoodle
The term imprinting is when something looks at something else and forms an emotional connection or bond with it. Human babies will do this with their mother just as the Australian labradoodle will do it with their owners. Dogs will look towards humans as their sole source of support. Unlike cats, who are more self-reliant and will survive on their own without human intervention. Dogs aren't as fortunate and the Australian Labradoodle will display greater signs of being stressed or anxious when their owners are not present.
Unlike most dogs, the Australian Labradoodle has a unique way of communications with their owner. Labradoodles will use their eyes as well as increased facial expressions when they communicate. The majority of Australian Labradoodles will not bark when they see their owner or when they sense trouble. Creating a bond with your dog and really understanding their emotional depth will go a long way in helping them deal with stress.
What Should I Do To Prevent Labradoodle Separation Anxiety?
Dogs that exhibit separation anxiety can become destructive or aggressive. If they are not treated early, they may develop behavioral issues, including destructive chewing or biting their owners. To prevent separation anxiety, you must first attend to your Australian labradoodles basic needs. This includes keeping them in their proper place, providing them with adequate food, and giving them a comfortable environment in which they can relax and be themselves.
You can also be wary of your own actions; for example, if you are going through a stressful time or if you are anxious about something it can rub off on your dog as well. Keeping your environment in check, your emotions in check, and ensuring your dog has access to mental stimulation when they need it will be the foundation to tackle separation anxiety.
In addition, dealing with separation anxiety with your Australian labradoodle will require patience, understanding, and lots of love. If you are able to keep your dog's mind at ease, then it will make it easier for them to keep theirs. The best thing to do is to try to remove your dog from any situations that may be causing anxiety. The Australian labradoodle is a wonderful dog, but they do have a few issues that require some special attention.
Labradoodles are known to be a very social breed that enjoys spending time with other dogs. This means when they are separated from their owner for a long period of time they will feel anxious. A way to help with this is to give them a companion. A companion will allow them to have someone to play with or interact with throughout the day. Try to find a similar breed of dog to adopt if this is a solution that appeals to you. Don't get a dog that will suffer from the same separation issues as the other.
Remove the Fear Your Australian Labradoodle Experiences When You Leave
As a dog, it is impossible to understand or comprehend that you are simply walking to the mail box to grab the mail or going into the garage for a minute. As a dog, their minds work on a different level than humans do and as such, it is important to think like a dog when dealing with stress, anxiety and other issues.
Training, repetition, and association are going to be the three keys and tools dog owners can use to help deal with these issues. When training your Australian labradoodle, do it as early as possible. Learned behaviors are imprinted on the brain early on in life. If fear and punishment are all your dog knows from birth, then everything that comes next will be associated from that memory.
This is why shelter dogs or abused animals have such a hard time coping with stress and anxiety. If a dog was abused early on, they may have a fear response that may fuel their desire to be close to their owners. An example of this will be withholding food and water until they did a violent act or learning to eat as little as possible to ensure the food lasts a few days.
As a dog owner, it is very difficult to know what is going on in the mind of your dog. We may look at them and think everything is fine but deep down every action they make is just a learned behavior to ensure they are not beaten.
Understanding Your Australian Labradoodle and Their Past
The past is a major factor of future behaviors. Stress can be a learned behavior or reaction from the simplest events from puppy-hood. One example would be children chasing after the dog and hitting or poking it with a stick. In the mind of the child this is harmless fun. In the mind of the Australian labradoodle it is a living nightmare.
Another common issue with stress can be going out to the bathroom. In some situations, owners may leave their dogs outside twenty four hours a day seven days a week. This can be through blistering hot sun, freezing cold weather and everything in between. When allowed in a new home the fear of being returned to that environment can be terrifying. This can result in urinating or pooping on the floor. This isn't done because they are bad, it is done due to stress and traumatic events.
Separation anxiety can be disguising a lot of different layers of fear in your Australian labradoodle. Simply believing they want to be around you for love and attention may not be the issue. Learning about their past or recalling specific events can go a long way in removing and fixing these triggers.
A recent poll conducted by petMD showed about 90% of dogs that suffer from separation anxiety had some type of traumatic event occur in their past. One of the best ways to deal with this issue is to slowly expose your Australian labradoodle to the new environment as they become more comfortable. The goal behind this is to rebuild association with your Australian labradoodle. If their past had them frightened of leaving the house, show them that leaving the house can have positive outcomes. If your dog has fear of the leash consider another way to move them around.
A good option is a calming blanket. A calming blanket is a blanket you can wrap your Australian labradoodle up with, so they feel safe and secure. If the blanket is really large, consider cutting it up into smaller sections and using the pieces in different actions with your dog. An example would be to wrap the calming blanket around your dog's waist, so it is secure but they can still walk and move. Another option you can do with the blanket is to lay on the floor with your dog and both of you wrap yourselves up in the blanket for some bonding time. If you allow your dog on the couch, you can also have them lay with their head on your lap as you both wrap yourselves up and watch television. Finding a way to bond using this blanket is a great way to spend time together.
As they get to know the new environment, they will begin to trust you and eventually your home. Try to avoid putting them in a crate if at all possible. Crates can be associated with punishment even in the kindest of environments. If you have to put your Australian labradoodle in a crate for an extended period of time, take whatever time beforehand to get them used to it. This can mean placing them in the crate and leaving the door open, placing comfort items in the crate or starting out with the largest crate possible before moving down to a smaller size.
Association is the bond between you and your dog. When you give them a treat or play with them, they are associating with you. When they associate with you they are getting a feeling of love, protection and security. It is through this association that they will learn to feel comfortable. Exercise, play and mental stimulation will also be beneficial when dealing with this issue.
Stress, Anxiety, Separation Anxiety and the past all play a huge role in the lifespan of your Australian labradoodle. As a dog owner, the love for our animals can't be quantified or explained in words. When we see our beloved animals are in pain the only thing that we are thinking about is how we can make them feel better.
It's our instinct to want to make them feel comfortable and give them the best care we can. We're not going to lie, we're all pretty selfish when it comes to our pets. We've all been there before. You love your dog so much, you want to spend all of your time with him/her, but then there's school, work, friends, family, chores...you know the drill. The trick is to find the perfect balance and give your friends as much time as you can and integrate them into your life as much as possible.
The most important thing to remember is that every Australian labradoodle is an individual and what works for one Australian labradoodle may not work for another. For example, two dogs that don't play well together may cause stress within the family due to this issue. One of them loves to bark, the other likes to play tug-o-war. They don't get along because they're not compatible. Many dogs will get along fine when they’re home together with their owners, but when they go out, they're on different wavelengths. If we try to force them to be together when we're out, they’ll both end up unhappy. Dogs need a lot of attention, love, and time to be happy and to thrive, but there are times when we just don't have the energy or time to devote to our dogs and that's okay. Just like us, dogs have needs and some of those needs may include lots of play time and exercise.