Help Your Yorkiepoo Overcome Separation Anxiety

two yorkiepoo dogs being held

Yorkiepoo: Brief Overview

The Yorkiepoo is a fun-loving, affectionate dog breed that loves to run and play. They are loyal to their family and love to bark sweet greetings as they follow you around. They are eager to please their loved ones and are exceptionally intelligent, which adds to their trainability. 

The Yorkiepoo dog breed is a result of the adorable Yorkshire Terrier and Mini-Poodle. This explains their beautiful coating, which is usually wiry, curly, or a mix of what you would expect from their parent breeds. They are fairly small, typically staying between seven and fifteen inches tall, and can weigh anywhere between three to fourteen pounds. All these characteristics contribute to their popularity as trusted family companions. However, something to keep in mind as you care for your Yorkiepoo, they are not immune from anxiety issues, particularly separation anxiety. 

Separation Anxiety Explained

Yorkiepoos are well-known for their adaptability. Nevertheless, some circumstances impact that part of their personality. For example, if they weren’t taught to be comfortable adjusting to changing environments or meeting new people from the time they were a puppy, then it shouldn’t be a surprise they will struggle with random changes as they grow. Failing to teach them that being alone isn’t something to fear could also impact their mental health. 

Separation anxiety happens when a Yorkiepoo fears they are being abandoned. When left alone, they aren’t able to process being separated from their family. According to AKC, separation anxiety, or SA, is defined as your dog experiencing distress while their owner is away. Experts in animal behavior have likened separation anxiety to panic attacks that humans might experience.

Anxiety: Root Causes

A Yorkiepoo who struggles to cope with being left alone can also be due to where or who they were with before becoming part of your family. Were they adopted? Did they live in an unhealthy environment? Have they ever interacted with people before meeting you? These are all questions to consider when figuring out the root cause of their anxious behavior. 

What exactly is canine anxiety? Anxiety in humans, canines, and other pets is the fear of something that might happen. That worry collects until their behavior begins to reflect their emotional state. The common root causes of separation anxiety include but aren’t limited to attachment issues, socialization issues, and aging. 

Strong Attachment 

Yorkiepoos are people-pleasers, meaning they love to cuddle, follow their family members around, and generally be there for you, no matter what you’re doing. They are known to form strong bonds with their family. Interrupting that bond by pushing them away, avoiding them, or leaving them alone will have detrimental effects on their mental health. It’s not unheard of for loving canines to develop hyper-attachment or dysfunctional attachment to their family members. 

three black yorkiepoo puppies sitting on wood floor

Loneliness 

When dogs, especially lovable Yorkiepoos, aren’t taught to be happy or preoccupied when they’re alone, it can cause separation anxiety. If they are experiencing loneliness when the family is away, it’s not unheard of for them to exhibit negative behaviors or signs of depression. For instance, they could become anorexic when they’re alone. This means they refuse to eat or drink anything because they are simply too sad to do so. 

Lack of Socialization

If your Yorkiepoo isn’t taught from a young age how to socialize with other people, aside from their caring owner, it can lead to separation anxiety. They may only behave and be friendly and affectionate toward you, but when you try to integrate other people into their lives, that behavior changes. This lack of healthy socialization can lead to over-protectiveness of their family members and acting aggressively toward other people. 

Unexpected Changes

The Yorkiepoo is usually a breed that can adapt well to changes. However, if they aren’t taught from infancy to be comfortable with change, then any change to their environment or even slight changes to their routine can trigger anxiety. For example, a changing work schedule, school schedule, or change to their morning routine could lead to worsening separation anxiety. Other factors to consider are changes to the household. Like humans, canines can feel sorrow in the face of loss. If a loved one has moved or died and your lovable doggo’s behavior changes, it could be a sign they’re feeling a deep sense of sadness. 

Aging

An aging canine may not realize they are growing old and don’t understand what’s happening to the changes in their body. They might experience cognitive decline, hearing loss, changes to their vocal abilities, or changes to their mobility. Cognitive issues might cause them to exhibit different types of anxiety, including fear-based, age-related, and separation anxiety. This is especially the case when their memory is affected. Family members or familiar people might not be as familiar to them. Auditory changes can cause them to whine more or fail to follow commands. Age-related changes to their trachea could result in changes to the sound of their bark. If their mobility isn’t what it once was in their youth, this can also be frustrating for them. All these stressors may contribute to their separation anxiety. It’s not unheard of for well-trained pets to regress as they age. In these cases, don’t meet your Yorkiepoo’s frustration with your own. Instead, understand that those bodily changes are natural, and finding trusted methods of keeping them calm is the best way to treat age-related separation anxiety. 

yorkiepoo sitting in path

Separation Anxiety and Well-being

A Yorkiepoo has a bubbly personality with a gentle temperament. They are outgoing and great with children, seniors, and cats. These traits are part of their normal behavior. When all their physical and mental needs are met, you can’t mistake their happiness for anything else. However, if you notice changes in their behavior, especially when you’re away, it’s time you examine why such changes are happening. A holistic approach to any loveable family pet means considering all aspects of their health. This includes their overall well-being. Yes, they might be the happy-go-lucky pup you would expect when you’re at home. But, what does it mean when that attitude does a complete one-hundred-eighty-degree flip while you’re away?

For example, you have a visitor for the weekend and have to leave your Yorkiepoo with them while stepping out. When you’re at home, your Yorkiepoo seems completely normal. When you leave, your pup suddenly acts aggressively toward your visitor. Acting out of character is a sign your Yorkiepoo isn’t in a mentally healthy place. Their well-being is directly connected to their emotional state. If this happens, knowing that their behavior changes while you’re away is a good thing because, at this point, you are aware that your Yorkiepoo isn’t happy and is exhibiting a common sign of separation anxiety. Knowing about it is half the battle. 

Can anxiety affect a Yorkiepoo’s life expectancy?

A Yorkiepoo has a life span of ten to fifteen years. The longer they live, the more likely they have lived a healthy, happy, and satisfying life. All their holistic needs are met, such as the mental, physical, and emotional parts of their health. This doesn’t mean that your Yorkiepoo will have a shorter life span just because they are dealing with health issues. They can still live their life to the fullest as long as a treatment plan is put into action. 

Separation anxiety can impact a Yorkiepoo’s well-being. Any mental or emotional health issues they experience could lead to physical manifestations. For instance, when anxiety isn’t treated, it can lead to increased stress and even depression. High stress can lead to colitis, a form of chronic diarrhea. Anxiety and stress can result in canine depression. Any dog experiencing depression can seem less active, sad, and suffer a loss of appetite. These health problems will be harmful to their well-being and impact their life expectancy. To avoid these extreme symptoms, get familiar with your loveable animal companion’s anxiety issues. This makes it easier to develop an action plan to treat it. 

Signs Your Yorkiepoo Has Separation Anxiety

Some of the symptoms of anxiety in your adorable Yorkiepoo include, but aren’t limited to, random aggression, drooling, panting, destructive behavior, depression, stress, excessive barking, pacing, circling, restlessness, urinating in the home, defecating in the home, or repetitive or compulsive behaviors. They may also howl while you’re away, chew on furniture or your favorite shoes, or begin chewing or clawing at the door. In some cases, like when they are left in their outdoor doghouse, they may begin digging either random holes or holes near the fence trying to escape. 

Incessant Barking or Howling

This is one of the first signs dog owners will recognize because it usually happens as soon as they shut the door. Imagine, you prepare to leave the house and your Yorkiepoo begins barking as if to say, “Where are we going?” As soon as you shut the door on them, you can hear the barking or howling. Or, you might get a report from your neighbors stating your little pooch is howling or barking while you’re out. Howling is usually due to auditory stimulation, such as the wail of sirens, other dogs howling, or even music. Wolves and domesticated dogs use howling as a method of announcing their location to other canines. Since the Yorkiepoo is part of your family, the howling could indicate they are calling out for you or other family members, as if to say, “Here I am! Please come to me.” If your pup is howling or barking every time you’re away, it’s a common sign they are suffering from separation anxiety. 

Negative Behaviors

A Yorkiepoo who is experiencing any type of anxiety will likely display some behavioral problems. Believe it or not, this is normal behavior for canines, especially since they don’t have the verbal capacity to tell you what’s wrong. While they’re left home alone, they might begin chewing on your shoes, the furniture, or the doors. They might also get into the trash or tear apart objects other than their toys. This type of destructive behavior should not be met with anger. These are cries for help because they simply miss you. If you notice the corners of the doors or windows are being damaged, make sure to check their teeth, nails, and paws for injury. This is a sign of digging as if they are trying to escape their confines. If they are left in their outdoor dog house, digging holes, especially near the fence, is a sign they’re trying to escape. Not to run away. It’s usually indicative of them trying to get out and look for you. 

If your Yorkiepoo begins urinating or defecating everywhere while they’re alone, ruling out medical causes should be your priority. Are they taking any medications that have these side effects? Incontinence could be a result of things you aren’t aware of, such as something they’ve eaten or from other medical factors. If that is ruled out, then separation anxiety is a common explanation for this behavior. Coprophagia, for instance, is when your little pooch defecates and begins consuming its feces. This is something to pay close attention to because most dog-owners wouldn’t be aware it’s happening. After all, separation anxiety is the cause of this behavior, and your Yorkiepoo will not exhibit this behavior when you’re home.

yorkiepoo dog sitting in grass field

How to care for and treat your Yorkiepoos’ separation anxiety

There are steps you can take to decrease negative behaviors and make an impact on your Yorkiepoo’s separation anxiety. Certain treatment plans for separation anxiety include a mix of mental and physical exercise, providing a comfortable area just for them, and encouraging your pup to relax. 

Exercise 

All dogs love to run, jump, and play, especially when they are the type that’s full of energy and like to shower their family with affection. The Yorkiepoo has all these traits, but because of their size, they don’t require a lot of time outside. Although a daily outdoor walk is recommended for all canines, the Yorkiepoo is so small that running around in the house is more than sufficient to meet their physical activity needs. Keeping your adorable canine busy with plenty of exercises will have a positive impact on their anxiety levels. Just don’t forget, mental exercise is just as important. Boredom can be a root cause for some of their disruptive behaviors. Training them in complex tasks for their specific breed is a great way to keep them occupied. For example, dog puzzles come in different forms, from easy to challenging. Don’t be surprised if your Yorkiepoo catches on quickly and solves the puzzles, as they are considered an intelligent dog breed. 

Comfort

When your Yorkiepoo is struggling with separation anxiety, providing them with a safe, comfortable space while you’re gone is a must. This means investing in a comforting cuddle bed and ensuring they have enough water and food while you’re away. Including fun toys, such as plush animals, dog chewable toys, or rope toys is also a great way to improve their comfort and keep them preoccupied when they’re home alone. If they are overly protective of you or get jealous when other people are around, teaching them to interact with non-household members in a healthy, calm manner is important. Eventually, they will become less anxious and more comfortable around other people.

Counterconditioning 

One of the most recommended treatments for separation anxiety is counterconditioning work. This means not reinforcing their separation anxiety by responding to their hyper-attachment. The more you teach them to be independent, the less likely negative behaviors will surface while they’re alone. Paying attention to your Yorkiepoo’s anxiety attention-seeking behavior is only reinforcing their separation anxiety. It’s best not to reward them when they’re exhibiting these undesired behaviors. If you notice they get worked up when you’re trying to leave the house, don’t make a big deal about it. Every time you greet or say goodbye to them remain calm to avoid getting them excited. Teaching them to be comfortable with being alone should include providing them with a calming bed in different areas of the home where they cannot see the front door. Another way to avoid an overly-emotional goodbye is by using distraction techniques, such as giving them chew toys or safe bone treats that will keep them engaged. 

Anxiety Medication

Depending on the severity of their separation anxiety, your veterinarian may suggest anti-anxiety medications. Alternatives or additions to prescribed medicines for your Yorkiepoo’s anxiety include a delicious calming dog treat. A healthy calming snack can help your pooch stay relaxed and enjoy their alone time. Your vet may also suggest a synthetic dog appeasing pheromone or DAP, which may help keep your canine calm while they’re home alone. 

Help your Yorkiepoo live a fulfilling life

There’s no reason why your Yorkiepoo cannot live a fulfilling life when they suffer from separation anxiety. Taking all the necessary steps to help treat their anxiety and stress is all that’s needed. Don’t forget to consider calming products, such as providing them with a comfortable bed and healthy, calming treats. These actions show you love them. Remember, don’t respond with anger, annoyance, or punishment when your adorable little one displays anxiety. They’re experiencing distress, and negative reinforcement will only make them feel worse. Not to mention it does nothing to address their anxiety. Eliminating their separation anxiety may be challenging, but not impossible. Meeting all their holistic needs will do wonders for their anxiety and stress levels. This means ensuring they get enough physical activity, mental stimulation, and a healthy emotional outlet. 

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