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5 Dog Breeds That Are Prone to Separation Anxiety

Any dog owner who’s ever had an anxious and hyper pet knows that separation anxiety can create quite the mess. Of course, knowing your best friend is distressed is painful enough, but a dog with true separation anxiety can lose control and wreak havoc while you’re apart. Separation anxiety is more than just whimpering, whining, and barking while they’re alone; it can result in your dog destroying an entire room, chewing up the sofa, or if they’re confined, potentially hurting themselves in an attempt to escape. Any dog can potentially experience this under the right (or wrong) circumstances but studies show that there are actually a handful of breeds which are most prone to separation anxiety. Most often, it turns out, they’re the ones most likely to be considered “people dogs” — the same breeds you’d most likely have as family pets or service dogs, where the dog is easily treated just as much a member of the family as anybody else.

Here are five: 

Labrador Retriever

Perhaps one of the most common All-American family dogs, the Labrador is an exceptionally loyal and affectionate companion that genuinely loves being with their family. And this is precisely why trouble starts for a high number of young labs once the family leaves.

German Shepherd

GSDs are often associated with being service dogs in police forces and prisons. The German Shepherd has a lot of energy and a temperament that makes them good to work with. They’re obviously also dogs that can associate with and cooperate with people, meaning once they’re left alone they’re liable to feel as if something is “off” and, as a result, act out. Studies have shown a large number of this breed experiencing cases of separation anxiety. 

Vizsla

The Hungarian Vizsla is often called a “velcro dog” because it can form such a strong attachment to its owner. Bred to be a perfect hunting dog, when left alone the Vizsla is known to start howling excessively and they can also chew up a storm while they’re at it. This kind of behavior is actually completely contrary to why they make such great hunting dogs, as they’re often calm and collected in the outdoors and while joining their owner for a hunt.

German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a great hunting dog. So again, we’re talking about an animal that is accustomed to working alongside people. Not only does the German Shorthaired Pointer work well with people, though, it’s also a breed that’s made for doing so outdoors. This turns into a perfect recipe for a restless and anxious dog should you ever choose to leave one alone indoors for extended periods.

Australian Shepherd Dog

Like the German Shepherd, this is another breed that is perfect for working alongside their owners. These are dogs that genuinely enjoy working, whether it’s herding or search and rescue, which is why they are also prone to boredom easily. The Australian Shepherd Dog is actually happiest when it’s busy, which is a character trait that lends itself to some severe cases of separation anxiety.