Understanding Puggle Separation Anxiety

puggle in yard looking to the left

Everyone loves a Puggle! These friendly dogs thrive on attention and playtime. Puggles are wonderful dogs; they’re affectionate and love to be around people. But that doesn’t mean they don’t suffer from anxiety.

It’s common for dogs to feel separation anxiety when left alone. Although the name sounds serious, separation anxiety is something you can support.

Many dogs are naturally sociable and clingy, but some breeds are especially prone to separation anxiety. Unfortunately, a Puggle dog, known for suffering from separation anxiety, can sometimes feel devastating for owners, but Puggles crave companionship.

Puggles are so affectionate that they have a reputation for not being able to resist human contact. They will follow you from room to room as if they’re glued to your feet. Puggles also like to curl up on their owner’s lap or get into bed with them at night. They can be vocal (like their beagle relatives), which can drive some people crazy. Puggles can even become quite destructive if left alone for long periods of time.

Treating dog anxiety isn’t always easy, but the good news is you can do it with almost any breed. As with any form of anxiety, it is essential to be patient and understanding with your pet.

But what exactly is separation anxiety? How do you know if your Puggle is struggling with separation anxiety? And, what steps can you take to support your Puggle and ease its stress?

Keep reading to learn more.

Puggle Separation Anxiety Explained

So, what exactly is separation anxiety?

According to the ASPCA, “separation anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset because of separation from their guardians, the people they’re attached to. “

It’s a fact that many dogs (from puppies to older dogs) suffer from separation anxiety, but your Puggle is particularly prone to it. To better understand why separation anxiety is so common for a Puggle, we must look at the two breeds crossed to make your cute pup!

The Puggle breed is a pug-beagle mix. Puggles are affectionate and playful creatures, which they get from the Pug side of their personality. They love to be around others for their own personal entertainment and really enjoy the attention of others. But, unfortunately, the Puggle also inherited the Pug’s fierce attachment. Because of this, they also have the Pug traits that encourage separation anxiety.

On the other hand, there is the Beagle, which is also somewhat notorious for having separation anxiety. They enjoy being in the company of their companions and feel anxious when they separated. So, it comes as absolutely no surprise that their offspring suffers from separation anxiety.

The Puggle’s neediness and tendency to follow you around is not necessarily a bad thing. If you want your dog to depend on you, then that is a good thing. But this can be trying for those dog owners who prefer more independent dogs. However, do not give up on your Puggle for being this way until you have tried different training methods.

“A team led by scientists from the University of Lincoln in Lincoln, England, identified four major forms of distress for dogs when separated from their owners. These include a focus on getting away from something in the house, wanting to get to something outside, reacting to external noises or events, and boredom. Included were over 2,700 dogs representing over 100 breeds in the study.”

The challenge to understanding your Puggle’s separation anxiety is that most people don’t have time to read all the symptoms (because they are at work or away from home), so they don’t realize this is happening to their dog. Instead, they think the dog is being bad when left alone. Therefore, it’s essential for people who leave their dogs alone in the home with no human companion or family member there to know the symptoms of separation anxiety. Most often, proper training and support from guardians can successfully treat separation anxiety.

puggle in grass

Causes of Separation Anxiety in Puggles

It is relatively common for dogs to feel some anxiety when left alone, but if a dog experiences extreme anxiety or becomes destructive, he may have separation anxiety.

At its core, a lack of trust causes separation anxiety. Dogs are pack animals who, left to their own devices, live in a hierarchy with an alpha animal that rules over other pack members. To be accepted in their pack, all members must prove their worth to the alpha leader. Therefore, if any member of a dog’s pack were to abandon them, it would create a deep-rooted fear that all the other members could leave at any moment as well. This fear can cause dogs to become more clingy and dependent on their owners for comfort and reassurance.

A diagnosis of separation anxiety happens when a dog can’t cope with being left alone and experiences severe stress that disrupts his life.

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, it may be because he’s not getting enough exercise. That makes him more stressed and anxious, which leads to even less activity, and a vicious cycle ensues. Anxiety can also stem from boredom. A dog that doesn’t have any mental stimulation can quickly become stressed. If you work long hours and don’t have the time to play, consider finding a dog walker or doggie daycare to give your dog some exercise and socialization during the day.

Your puppy might be more likely to develop this condition if separated from his mother and siblings too soon, or if he suffered from other traumatic events during his puppyhood. And stressful events such as moving homes or switching schedules can trigger an episode of separation anxiety for your Puggle.

A dog that suffers from a persistent, unwarranted fear of being left alone characterizes separation anxiety. Therefore, your dog’s general fear of being alone causes his separation anxiety.

Puggle separation anxiety is a common behavioral problem, especially for those under the age of two. Some dogs show separation anxiety behavior even when their owners are at home, especially if the owners are out of sight of the dog.

Your Puggle’s anxiety manifests in behavior like refusing to be left alone, becoming destructive when left at home, or becoming anxious or frantic when his owner prepares to leave.

Puggle Puppy Stands in the Grass looking for a playmate

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How Separation Anxiety Can Affect Your Puggle

If your Puggle has separation anxiety, it can manifest in various ways. For example, your Puggle may bark, whine, or even cry or howl as you pack a suitcase, leave the house, or embark on a trip to work. He might also follow you around the house, not wanting you to leave his sight.

Some dogs with separation anxiety will greet their owners warmly when the owner returns home-but only briefly. Then, after just a few minutes, they go back into their own private space and continue to avoid people and other animals.

Puggles with separation anxiety are often affectionate, excitable, and social. But as you walk out the door to go to work or run another errand, it’s not unusual for these dogs to act out in destructive ways to prevent you from leaving.

All dogs suffering from separation anxiety will exhibit stress signs when separated from their guardians. For example, they may urinate or defecate in the house, chew on things they shouldn’t, dig at doors or windows, bark and howl incessantly, and even try to jump through plate-glass windows to get back to their guardians.

There are different degrees of severity among dogs with separation anxiety. Some dogs get mildly affected (for example, they bark for a few minutes the first few times you leave them alone). Other dogs are more severely affected (for example, they destroy door jams and eat furniture). Some dogs can even develop OCD from their separation anxiety in some extreme cases.

puggle in grass

Life Expectancy of a Puggle With Separation Anxiety

While separation anxiety can be uncomfortable for you and your dog, it should not take many years off its life. With your support, you can help to ease its stress and feel safe even when you’re not around.

Managing stress and anxiety is an essential factor in making sure your Puggle’s separation anxiety does not reduce its quality of life. The average life expectancy of a Puggle with separation anxiety is fifteen years.

A Pug / Beagle ("Puggle'') mixed breed dog listening with a head

Signs That Your Puggle Might Have Separation Anxiety

In recognizing whether your Puggle has separation anxiety, there are a few different signs you can look out for to confirm your suspicions. For example, if your dog has separation anxiety, you might notice he drools excessively, scratches at doors, or chews furniture.

A dog with separation anxiety might urinate or defecate when left alone or separated from his guardians. Acting out like this could occur in the house, yard, crate, and car. And, your dog may show these behaviors even if they are house trained.

A dog with separation anxiety may chew on objects, door frames, or window sills, dig at doors and doorways or destroy household objects when left alone or separated from his guardian. These different behaviors triggered by anxiety can cause self-injury. If this behavior does not exist when the Puggle’s guardian leaves home, these signs are not because of separation anxiety. If something like this happens only when the guardian goes away from the home, then it is a sign of separation anxiety.

When you are far from home, your dog may display signs of anxiety. Some signs are easy to spot, but other symptoms can be more subtle. A video camera helps diagnose separation-related disorders. It can provide evidence of anxiety by capturing dog behavior that occurs when you’re home but not observing your pet. A video camera will record even subtle changes in behavior and help identify a pattern of anxious behavior that might otherwise go undetected. Taping dog behavior with a video camera mounted in the home can also be a valuable way of both diagnosing separation-related disorders and monitoring improvement by recording behavioral change. Capturing dog behavior on video allows you to see changes that do not leave physical evidence, such as pacing, panting, mouth licking, body shaking, and stereotyped behavior. Video recordings also allow you to view your pet’s reaction from different angles when he hears familiar sounds like the telephone ringing or doorbell chiming.

How To Care for and Treat Your Puggle for Separation Anxiety

Being a dog lover means providing support, even if you have anxious dogs. Treating this type of anxiety requires a multifaceted approach. Reducing your dog’s stress is a primary goal and helping your Puggle feel more comfortable being left alone. To ease separation anxiety in dogs, we need to change the dog’s emotional response to being left alone.

The first step to treat separation anxiety is identifying and eliminating any triggers that cause the behavior. For example, if your dog is anxious about being home alone after being left alone at a boarding facility, bring your Puggle home for extended periods before leaving until he’s no longer worried. The same goes for new guardians — don’t change your dog’s schedule without first giving him time to adjust to his new surroundings.

If you’re seeing a trainer who uses food-reward training during lessons, you can also have that person work with your dog while you’re gone until he stops showing signs of anxiety when you leave. Next, you can take your dog to an animal behaviorist who can give you an idea of the root cause of your pup’s issues. You may also seek advice from a certified canine professional trainer or a professional dog groomer.

If your pup is comfortable in most situations but has trouble interacting with people and other animals, then socialization techniques can help him gain confidence. It’s essential to introduce your Puggle to new people and dogs at an early age and continue that process throughout its life to learn appropriate behaviors for unique situations. In addition, socializing your Puggle will help ensure that it doesn’t develop unnecessary fears and anxieties later on in life due to lack of exposure during puppyhood and adolescence.

puggle in sand

How To Help Your Puggle Live a Fulfilling Life With Separation Anxiety

Don’t despair if your dog’s separation anxiety is driving you crazy. Many situations can cause dog distress. If a dog has anxiety issues, there are usually clear signs. It’s essential to understand the symptoms of dog anxiety, so you can help your dog cope.

The problem is a dog who regularly feels frustration, fear, and uncertainty may cause self-injury. We are not saying here that you can never use a crate. Some dogs with mild separation anxieties might do well in a crate when left alone or separated from their guardians. However, dogs with severe separation anxieties will benefit significantly from additional help. In addition, it’s easy to train your dog to enjoy being crated.

The counterconditioning approach may help you support your Puggle through separation anxiety when you leave home. Counterconditioning, or associating a previously conditioned fearful response with something else, like delicious food, is often a viable alternative to medication and behavior modification. For example, if you are worried about leaving your dog alone because of separation anxiety, you might try giving him some delicious treats while you’re leaving the house. Whether you use food-stuffed toys or regular ones will depend on the individual dog, so experiment with the approach and see what works best for your Puggle. It is essential to realize that counterconditioning is only a helpful strategy if your dog’s anxiety level is mild.

Another option is desensitization. Desensitization is a process in which you accustom your pet to what causes fear. You can do this by exposing your Puggle to increasingly more threatening situations until the pet realizes there’s no reason to be scared. You don’t do this all at once; instead, you progress step-by-step. Desensitization and counterconditioning are complex and can be tricky to carry out. You must avoid fear, or the procedure will backfire, and the dog will get more frightened. Because treatment must progress and change according to the pet’s reactions, and because these reactions can be difficult to read and interpret, desensitization and counterconditioning sometimes require the support of professionals.

If you’re wondering how to treat separation anxiety in your Puggle with homeopathic support, consider CBD oil. Although CBD oil is best known as a treatment for human anxiety and depression, many dog owners report it can also be effective in treating dog anxiety.

CBD oil has recently become one of the more popular natural remedies for dogs with anxiety because of its wide range of positive effects on humans and animals. CBD oil, reportedly to treat many health conditions, including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Additionally, CBD oil is entirely safe for dogs when used appropriately. It contains no psychoactive component, meaning it won’t induce the “high” commonly associated with other cannabis products such as marijuana or hashish.

Finding the right solution for your Puggle takes time and a little extra effort from your side, but relieving their separation anxiety is worth it!

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