Owning a popular mixed-breed dog like the Goldendoodle is a truly unique experience. Goldendoodles are brilliant dogs and are bred to be close with their human companions. This means they are naturally equipped with a wall of separation anxiety, and they're always ready to breakthrough. You may be wondering, "Is my Goldendoodle prone to anxiety?" In short, the answer is: yes.
Separation Anxiety in Goldendoodle Adults
Goldendoodle adults are bred with the idea of ownership in mind. They are pack animals, and one-half of their breed is explicitly bred for assisting humans – the golden retriever. Because of their desire to see you happy due to them helping you, Goldendoodle adults continuously crave your attention and affection.
While adorable in most instances, the thought of your dog having separation anxiety when you're gone may not sit well with you. Thankfully, the golden retriever side of the full grown Goldendoodle mixed-breed is highly trainable, so getting them into a routine isn't too much of a task, and they love the rewards that come along with training!
Reducing Anxiety in Goldendoodle Adults
It's common for owners to sleep with their full grown Goldendoodle at night, which is a big reason why they may not associate their crate with positivity. Training Goldendoodles to become more familiar and comfortable with their crate can reduce the anxiety of a full grown Goldendoodle quite quickly. There are a few ways you can train your pup to start having positive feelings towards their crate and their food time.
Goldendoodle adults (and puppies alike) love treats, and they are very food motivated. To begin, you'll want to start feeding them in their crate. Putting them in their crate during their favorite time will automatically lead them to associate their own space with positive reinforcement. When they're able to eat happily and alone, they'll start to learn that distractions, when you're not around, are a great thing, and that causes no need for worry.
Once your full grown Goldendoodle is familiar with eating their food in their crate, you should begin associating relaxing time and toy time with their crate as well. Also, placing peanut butter-filled toys in their crate will send a serotonin signal off in their brain, so when you have to leave and put them in their crate in the future, they'll automatically think positive thoughts. If you also give them treats as you're leaving, your full grown Goldendoodle will feel as if they're receiving a reward and will be happier with your departure.
Goldendoodle adults are elementary to train, and though it's best to start them much younger, it's not always possible. If you've adopted your pup at a later point in their life, fret not; they're still receptive to training.
Easing Full Grown Goldendoodle Anxiety with Exercise
Working alongside their owners may tire them out, but on days your full grown Goldendoodle isn't following you around your home or office, they'll experience separation anxiety more than ever. Incorporating daily exercise routines is healthy and will have them so tired they won't be able to think of you! As the rumor mill says, "a happy dog is a tired dog." Since Goldendoodle adults have a medium level of energy, this rings true for their breed.
Set aside time before work to play fetch with your Goldendoodle for 20 minutes or so. Doing this will allow them to sleep most of the morning and have no time to think about you as you're getting settled in your office away from home. Did you know the full grown Goldendoodle are quite active pups during their prime? Due to their fully grown nature, it's imperative to establish an exercise routine.
If you find yourself working long hours, you should invest in hiring a dog walker or someone who can come over for a few hours during the day. Full grown Goldendoodle dogs are wonderful companions, so maybe one of your family members would be happy to assist during days you're working late. Your pup will begin looking forward to that one person coming over and playing with them, and they'll become exhausted earlier in the night for bedtime.
Hyperactivity is just one of the ways you can tell a dog is anxious. There are a few other signs you'll need to watch out for as you familiarize yourself with their everyday routine. If they're frequently drooling, pacing, or panting, they may be a little anxious. Combine these actions during their crate routine, and you'll find yourself a dog experiencing the beginning stages of separation anxiety.
Desensitizing Your Full-Grown Goldendoodle
Goldendoodle adults are incredibly intuitive when it comes to their humans. They can sense small "getting ready" signs, signaling that you're leaving for work soon. Examples of this could be anything from picking up your keys to putting on your shoes. When this happens, full grown Goldendoodle begin to get a tad more anxious than usual, panting, knowing that they won't be going with you. Pay attention during this routine to see how they react so that you may prepare a practice to combat separation anxiety.
Instead of leaving this part of their routine, you should incorporate a "happy time" snack to get your full grown Goldendoodle excited as you begin leaving for work. This could be a puzzle toy with treats, peanut butter bones, or whatever they like. If you're going to start a new job, you'll want to begin desensitization days in advance. You can do this by putting on your shoes or work clothes, then sitting down at your desk or couch.
Doing so will allow your full grown Goldendoodle to be calmer during your normal activities. They won't always think you're leaving, and they won't pace or pant as much when you do. Reducing the stress of your full grown Goldendoodle is not only mentally healthy for them but physically healthy as well. Due to their incredible intelligence, we must be able to work with and around it.
Because of how intelligent full grown Goldendoodle are, they tend to build up their anxiety for a more extended period. Say they know you work five days a week. Their biological clock will begin building up stress knowing you're leaving soon. On your days off, get dressed and ready to take on the day, even if you're not going anywhere. After a few days or a couple of weeks, your full grown Goldendoodle will begin to relax when you're heading out for work.
Picking up keys is also a significant sign that you're about to leave the house. A great way to desensitize your full grown Goldendoodle is to pick up the keys and put them in your pocket, then sit down and relax. You can also incorporate them into other tasks at home throughout the day. Doing so will familiarize them with the sound, and they won't hear it as an alarm that you're leaving.
While adults can conceptualize and think more in-depth, dogs have the mentality of your average two to three-year-old. This means that object permanence is not their strong suit—simple tasks for desensitization help more than you know. After you've had time to work on this with your full grown Goldendoodle, you'll want to begin building up their confidence.
A great way to build up their confidence is to leave the house in short bursts throughout the week. First, you'll want to go for about 5-10 minutes. Then, come back inside wearing your work or "outside" clothes and sit on the couch. Do this multiple times throughout the week, extending the time you're outside, and your dog will begin to be more confident alone.
As you see improvement in your dog's confidence, you'll no longer have to work on these methods. Always be sure to reward Goldendoodle adults when they greet you as you enter. This triggers a serotonin response in their brain that makes them happy when you leave!
Using dog cameras when you're at work will assist you in observing their behavior when they're running solo. If you purchase one with a microphone on it, you can even tell them commands through the camera.
Sudden Clinginess in Goldendoodle Adults
If you find that your full grown Goldendoodle has suddenly become more anxious and clingier than other days, you'll want to assess their physical health. Just because they're a "designer dog" doesn't mean they aren't susceptible to illnesses. If you don't groom your full grown Goldendoodle properly, their bodies may become cesspools for infection – especially in their ears and teeth.
There are a few reasons why your full grown Goldendoodle is experiencing some ear irritation, or ear-itation if you will! Moisture, wax, and sebum can build up in the ear canal. Due to their fluffy ears and fur, it's not uncommon for this to occur. Unfortunately, a Goldendoodle's ear provides the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply and cause infection. Canine ears have a slightly different anatomical design than humans. Couple this with their external anatomy, and unfortunately, ear infections are typical for the full grown Goldendoodle
As soon as bacteria becomes trapped in the ear canal, there's no way to stop the spread and reproduction unless infection medication is given. There are both drops and oral medicines that aid in preventing bacteria from growing even further. When the bacteria can't reproduce anymore, the infection goes away. In the days leading up to the ear infection discovery, your full grown Goldendoodle may become lethargic, and you may see them pawing at their ears more. They most likely won't itch the ear, as it will become too painful, but it's a possibility.
When cleaning around your pup, you may sense a foul smell. This is another sign of an ear infection in your full grown Goldendoodle Sometimes infections spread before becoming painful for your dog, so keeping an eye out for all signs is imperative. The eardrums of your full grown Goldendoodle can become ruptured like humans when too much fluid builds up behind the eardrum. If they're keeping their head tilted more than usual, along with some of these other symptoms, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian immediately. Serious infections are incredibly painful and can spread beyond the ear canal, making the infection increasingly more dangerous and take much longer to heal.
Goldendoodle adults that are smaller in stature than your average full grown Goldendoodle are more susceptible to periodontal disease, which directly affects the gums and teeth. When their teeth aren't properly taken care of, the gums tend to recede, and tartar begins to build up. If left long enough, infections can occur and can spread, causing fatal or near-fatal septicemia.
You may have seen this type of gum disease in adults, as it's relatively common in all ages that don't take care of their teeth. You'll want to brush your Goldendoodle's teeth daily, if not weekly, and make sure that you're having their teeth taken care of at the veterinarian. Unfortunately, the average Dentabone is not a preventative measure for tooth health.
A full grown Goldendoodle may be prone to health issues like hip dysplasia. There are also various skins diseases like sebaceous adenitis that attack the sebaceous glands in a dog's skin. Unfortunately, it's an immune disorder, and the glands in their skin can cause a plethora of skin and fur issues. Since the glands generally exist to make the skin and hair soft and supple, the immune disorder can cause uncomfortable issues for your full grown Goldendoodle.
Your pup is known for its iconic curly fur. The Poodle side of your dog's breed mix comes with curls and a striking pattern. Unfortunately, this means that sebaceous adenitis is easier to spot. You may find patches of hair falling out and their skin drier and more prone to cracking than before. This can be pretty uncomfortable for your full grown Goldendoodle that's usually playful and rambunctious.
You may find that there are white scales on their head and where their spinal column is. Around those areas, there are wefts of hair that may become more matted than usual due to oils and itchiness. For those that have a full grown Goldendoodle itching like crazy, you may want to take them to the vet. Infections can arise from spots that are scratched too much, and there may be infections occurring below the skin that the eye can't see.
Your dog wanting help presents itself in the form of clinginess, so when a full grown Goldendoodle becomes clingy out of nowhere, it's important to observe their mannerisms, their eating patterns, and their overall energy. Sometimes they're just emotionally exhausted due to anxiety, but if it becomes recurring or in waves, you should seek medical advice from your vet.
If your full grown Goldendoodle is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek veterinarian assistance as soon as you can. There are topical and oral medications that will lessen the symptoms your pup is experiencing.
Anxiety-inducing Health Problems in Goldendoodle Adults
Goldendoodle adults may not be out of the clear just yet when it comes to their health. They may be healthy as puppies but as they age their health can decline. Of course, we want to select the most healthy Goldendoodle when we're on the search for our fur-ever companion, but we may not always know what to look for. Many health issues may come along with the Goldendoodle, one of them being hip dysplasia.
One of the most common signs of hip dysplasia besides lethargy is limping. If you notice your dog isn't walking or running like they normally are, there's a good chance something more serious is going on. Other signs that they may be experiencing hip dysplasia include swaying when they walk and a significant decrease in their normal activity levels.
When your pup is starting to feel the effects of health issues like hip dysplasia, they're often more lethargic than they usually are. They can also become quite anxious and clingy, wanting some maternal or paternal comfort. If you notice their behavior doesn't let up, you should seek advice and testing from your veterinarian. Your vet may recommend joint supplements and physical therapy as a baseline for their treatment.
Separation Anxiety is Easy to Identify and Treat
At the end of the day, you know your dog's behavior more than anyone. You'll want to train and treat their symptoms based on how they're acting. No single article will help you resolve all their problems, but it can help steer you in the proper direction. Always make sure you're taking the health of your full grown Goldendoodle into account when they become suddenly needy, and always make sure to socialize them properly.
When training your Goldendoodle, remember to familiarize yourself with your pup and socialize them so they become more confident. Without working on these core values, your pup's separation anxiety may stop them from living a full life. Don't forget to exercise them often, and remember: a tired dog is a happy dog!