Brittany spaniels are excellent companion dogs. They are conveniently sized, athletic, outdoorsy, love spending time with their owners going for walks, and playing fetch. These spaniels have lots of energy, so it’s essential to provide them with an outlet.
Brittany spaniels cannot be left alone for too long. If you want to leave them at home for a few hours, you must train them and provide them with an activity. Boredom and loneliness can incite destructive behavior, which any owner wants to avoid.
Brittany spaniels are emotionally sensitive and are ill-equipped to handle stress. Owners of this breed generally commit to staying with their dog at all times, which isn’t always possible. This article hopes to uncover what makes Brittany spaniels so anxious to be alone and what you can do to help him.
Do Brittany Spaniels Have Separation Anxiety?
Brittany spaniels experience separation anxiety more than other dogs, and they hate being left alone for more than a few hours. They often express anxious feelings by chewing and excessively barking.
If you come home to chewed-up furniture after leaving your dog by himself, you cannot blame the dog and be angry at him. Awareness of certain breed traits is essential when you own a Brittany spaniel.
There are several ways to help your Brittany spaniel cope by himself on occasions when you need to be away from home, but unless you take the necessary steps, expect his panic to result in destructive behavior.
Being left alone at home can be a worrying experience for some dogs. There is a spectrum of behavior. Some dogs might be more vocal about their anxiety, leading to barking, whining, and howling as if to call their owner back, which is very sad when you think about it.
Other dogs are more destructive in their behavior, but the reasons are because they’re sad, lonely, and bored.
While separation anxiety is the most common reason for home urination, it helps rule out any medical issues. Incontinence is a health condition whereby a dog voids or leaks his bladder.
Dogs with this condition are often unaware that they have soiled, and they sometimes urinate in their sleep. Before attempting to modify your Brittany spaniels behavior for separation anxiety, it would be helpful to first talk to your dog’s vet. Several medical issues can cause frequent urination, and they include:
- Urinary tract infection
- Hormone-related issues linked to spaying surgery
- Kidney disease
- A weak sphincter due to old age
- Bladder stones
- Neurological issues
How Do I Know If My Brittany Spaniel Has Separation Anxiety?
One of the most common gripes of Brittany owners is that their dogs are destructive or disruptive when left alone for any time length. Their dogs might bark, howl, dig, chew, defecate, urinate. They display various behaviors.
Some argue that these dogs need to learn polite home etiquette and manners, which is true to a point, but it is more a symptom of separation anxiety.
You will often see these dogs become anxious when they see their owner preparing to leave the house. For example, if they see their owner take their car keys or put on their coat, they will start crying or drooling, which will inevitably worsen once the owner leaves.
These signs are not proof that the dog isn’t house trained, but rather these are signs that the dog has separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is brought on when dogs become distressed because of separation from the humans they’re attached to. Some dogs seek to escape if they have severe separation anxiety, resulting in household destruction or self-injury.
Why Does My Brittany Spaniel Have Separation Anxiety?
Many of the reasons cited why dogs have separation anxiety are conjectural. There is no solid evidence showing why some have separation anxiety.
However, since more dogs are adopted from shelters, this behavior can stem from a bad experience in puppyhood. Some individuals believe that a loss of a family member in a dog’s life can result in separation anxiety.
Most people who own Brittany spaniels expect them to have separation anxiety. It’s a characteristic that’s inherent to the breed.
Brittany spaniels are the ultimate companion dog; all they want is to be with their owner and feel loved. However, if separation anxiety is new to your otherwise calm spaniel, you may want to consider the following reasons:
Change in schedule
A sudden change in schedule regarding how long or when a dog is left by himself can trigger the onset of separation anxiety.
If your dog is used to you working from home and spending all day with you, naturally, he won’t be too happy to be on his own for six hours at a time if you get a new job.
Change in household numbers
If a family member is missing due to death or moving away, this can bring separation anxiety.
Change in residence
Moving to an entirely new home can be upsetting for any pet and illicit separation anxiety.
How Do I Get My Brittany Spaniel Used To Be Left Alone?
If your Brittany spaniel is a new addition to your family, you can begin training him to get used to being alone for short periods.
It’s never a good idea to leave a Brittany spaniel by himself for too long. These dogs are exceptionally sensitive and don’t cope very well with stress.
You should strongly consider allowing a trusted neighbor or friend to mind your dog if you need to be away for a day or two. Keep in mind this should be a person your dog likes.
Nevertheless, you can help prevent separation-related behavior if you need to be elsewhere for a few hours. Encourage your dog to connect the training experience with something enjoyable such as toys, treats, and praise.
Stick to a pace that suits your pet’s reaction – don’t push your dog to the point that the experience becomes distressing. Consider the following steps:
1. Start by encouraging your spaniel to go to his bed and stay there for a short period with you present. Offer your dog a reward for staying quietly in his bed.
2. Tell your dog to stay, then move away. Come back and reward.
3. Repeat this routine, progressively staying away for more extended periods. If your spaniel reacts, don’t punish him but don’t reward him. Instead, repeat the previous step.
4. Advance the training and begin leaving the room before returning. The next stage is to go out and close the door behind you before staying out for more extended periods. When you get to this point, begin to vary the duration that you are absent.
5. When you reach the point that your spaniel is happy to be left for up to an hour by himself, it should be okay to leave him alone for more extended periods.
Treating Separation Anxiety
No loving dog owner likes the thought of their dog feeling sad and lonely in their absence, and half the dogs that suffer from separation anxiety won’t exhibit any signs. For that reason, we have some helpful suggestions to help your Brittany spaniel cope better on his own:
1. Make sure he has enough to keep him occupied
Your buddy needs to have exciting things to do when you are absent. Brittany spaniels are intelligent and need mental stimulation.
A puzzle toy such as a treat stuffed bear is sure to keep him busy. Consider hiding treats around your home to give your pet a little treasure hunt; it should take his mind off feeling alone.
2. Encourage your Brittany spaniel to relax in his free time
Before you leave the house for a few hours, it would help to take your buddy out for a walk beforehand. This will give him a chance to eliminate and get some well-needed exercise.
Return home about thirty minutes before you plan to leave, offer him a small meal – this should put him in the mood to relax.
3. Reduce disturbances
If your dog tends to bark at the sight of people, other dogs passing by the window, or loud noises, it might help to close the curtains and leave your dog in a quieter part of your house.
4. Hire a dog sitter
Most dog experts advise against leaving your dog alone for more than four hours. It may only take minutes of you being absent for your dog to feel separation anxiety. Availing of a dog sitting service might help your dog feel more relaxed when you’re not present.
While it’s possible for Brittany spaniels to be left alone, you can’t suddenly leave one day for an hour and not expect your dog to feel sad and frightened.
You should first prepare your dog well in advance so that he doesn’t freak out if you need to be away for two hours. You have the choice of hiring a dog sitter if your pet hates to be alone.
You mustn’t punish your Brittany spaniel for showing outward signs of separation anxiety; this will only hurt him as these dogs are sensitive souls.
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