Overview of the Cavachon DogBreed
The Cavachon is a combination of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Bichon Frise. Cavachons typically weigh between 10-25 pounds and stand between 10-12 inches tall. They are considered to be amiable dogs that make good family pets. Cavachons are smart, and they can predict when they will be left alone. This kind of intelligence can trigger separation anxiety far in advance, but it is also a plus for learning healthy behaviors.
Cavachon Separation Anxiety Explained
Separation anxiety affects millions of dogs every year and can cause them to become agitated, destructive, or even sick when separated from their guardians. Dogs with separation anxiety often follow their guardians around the house, become excessively vocal, or engage in destructive behaviors like chewing or scratching furniture.
Cavachons love spending time with their families, and they can become quite anxious when left alone. The Cavachon is a breed known for being particularly prone to separation anxiety. If you have a Cavachon, it’s essential to be prepared for the possibility of separation anxiety and to understand how to deal with it when it does occur.
Some Myths About the Roots of Separation Anxiety
With all the talk about the possible reasons for separation problems, something else must be discussed. There is a widespread misconception that allowing a dog to sleep in one’s bed or showing too much attention will cause an issue. Multiple studies, including one on attachment pet parenting published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, determined that constant attention alone does not have any direct correlation with the development of separation anxiety.
Causes of Separation Anxiety
Cavachons also become anxious when left alone because they do not know what is happening around them. Maybe you’ve been away from them for a long time, or perhaps they’re not used to being away from you. Dogs can also become anxious when there are changes in their regular routine, such as a change in schedule or an unexpected visitor. If your Cavachon is particularly attached to you, they may become overwhelmed and stressed when you are in another room.
How Does Separation Anxiety Affect Cavachons
Cavachons can experience a wide range of anxiety symptoms when separated from their guardians. Your dog wants to please you and needs attention from someone they care about. Your dog will probably look for places to hide where he or she feels safe, which could include underneath your bed or behind your couch.
Some Cavachons will yelp or howl in protest once their owners leave-which means they cannot be left alone for work or errands without creating problems like barking all day long. Cavachons may become destructive or begin self-mutilating when they are left alone for long periods or if their owner is preparing to leave the house without them.
Life Expectancy of a Cavachon with Separation Anxiety
According to dogtime.com, Cavachons have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Separation anxiety can be a serious condition that can negatively affect your dog’s quality of life and lower his or her lifespan. According to a study conducted by Applied Animal Behaviour Science, “…findings indicate that fear, specifically the fear of strangers, is related to a shortened lifespan.” Additionally, the research found a correlation between separation anxiety and other health problems like skin disorders and chronic illness.
Signs That Your Cavachon Might Have Separation Anxiety
The sooner you can identify the symptoms of separation anxiety, the sooner you can help your puppy. Dogs with separation anxiety may become agitated or destructive when their guardians leave them alone. They may also whine, bark, or howl excessively, and some may even urinate or defecate in inappropriate places. In severe cases, dogs may injure themselves or even try to escape from their homes to reunite with their guardians. Look out for the behaviors described in the following sections.
Inappropriate Urination and Defecation
Because a dog is lonely and upset, he or she may soil. If your dog is completely housebroken and has an accident when alone, it may be due to a separation issue. This symptom is easily corrected with a little training and positive reinforcement. Your dog may also urinate when you return out of excitement or relief.
Young canines will whine, bark, or howl when separated from their parents, and these noises are meant to entice the adults to return. Dogs that are afraid of being home alone will frequently bark or make a succession of barks before pausing and repeating the procedure.
Loud barking or howling might be inconvenient since it may result in complaints. Barking can also be caused by boredom or being stimulated by sights or sounds in the environment, but if a dog keeps vocalizing until his family returns, it’s a likely sign of anxiety.
Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety chew things with their owner’s scent on them, which lingers on objects that have been worn or handled. When dogs are left alone, they occasionally chew their owners’ socks, shoes, and just about anything else they can get their paws on. Dogs frequently make beds out of their owners’ dirty laundry for this reason. Excavating or chewing at the fence is another common sign.
Body Language Consistent with Stress
Stress, worry, and body language come in the same package. It’s important to recognize these signals along with any unusual behavior to adapt to your pup’s unique personality. Stiffness where the back arches or the need to constantly move around is typical. A tucking or raising of the tail or quick wagging is also typical. A subtle flicking of the tongue indicates stress is mounting. General restlessness or repetitive behavior can also be a red flag, including manic behavior, compulsive scratching, or changes in breathing such as heavy panting.
How to Care and Treat Separation Anxiety in Cavachons
Cavachon puppies tend to be very active and attached to us as owners even more than their biological parents. A classic book on the social behavior of dogs by John Paul Scott and John L. Fuller found that 10-week-old puppies were apparently more interested in maintaining a relationship with their human than they were in their mothers. It also reported that dogs were more interested in their relationship with food.
Problems that begin in puppyhood can gradually worsen over time, and early training can do a great deal of good to help prevent separation anxiety. Elderly dogs are also prone to separation anxiety as a result of aging. As Cavachons grow older, they become less mobile, compounding these problems.
If your Cavachon experiences separation anxiety, there are many ways to treat it. The best way to treat separation anxiety is through behavior modification techniques. Behavior modification techniques involve gradually increasing the amount of time your dog spends away from you.
The majority of experts strongly criticize avers-based training. Scolding your dog for showing unwanting behaviors might make matters worse. Owners who see such behavior in their Cavachon should try to cheer the dog up with one of the techniques discussed in this section. With some consistency, your pet will begin to associate positive experiences with your absence and eventually become comfortable when they are alone.
First, Observe Your Cavachons Behavior When You are Not Around
It’s critical to obtain an accurate assessment of your dog’s conduct when you’re not around. Separation anxiety may not be the issue if your Cavachon doesn’t do any of these things when you’re not around. If this is the case, he or she is likely to be very happy and content about spending time alone.
However, it’s possible your Cavachon displays behaviors that indicate he or she does feel anxious while you’re away, but rarely enough they don’t constitute a major concern. In this case, your Cavachon simply enjoys spending time with people more than spending time alone, and a little extra attention could help.
Set up a camera or have someone you know observe what your pup does when you are gone. List all behaviors observed. Watch the footage to get a better understanding of your dog’s experience. When you have reviewed the tape, write down what you saw- this will come in handy.
10 Ways to Treat Your Cavachon’s Separation Anxiety
You can use various simple techniques that can help you manage your Cavachon’s separation anxiety. Despite the cause of your dog’s separation problem, whether it’s due to genetics, early environmental factors, a traumatic event, or life experience, know that significant improvements can be made in almost every situation. Not everything will work for every dog or every time, so it’s best to consult with a professional if you think you need help.
Work With A Behaviorist
Working with a professional behaviorist and trainer can work wonders in a short amount of time. As Dr. Peter L. Borchelt and Dr. Victoria L. Voith state in a paper on the treatment of separation anxiety in dogs, “We have found that most separation problems can be solved within reasonable constraints of time and effort of most owners. It is not necessary for owners to take an extended vacation or quit their jobs in order to solve the problem. Usually, 15 to 30 minutes of work per day, several days per week, is sufficient to solve most problems.”
Create a safe, confined area for your dog
There’s no need to spend a significant amount of money to do this, but a few key items are necessary. Ensure your Cavachon has a safe and comfortable space to retreat to when they’re feeling anxious. This could be a Calming Cuddle Bed set up in a designated corner of the room or a gated dog run with a complete view of your Cavachon’s surroundings. As long as it’s a confined area with clean water and some familiar items. Make sure to provide plenty of toys and activities to help them feel secure.
We all know exercise has a myriad of benefits, including acting as a stress reliever for dogs and people. A trip to the park or a hike can work wonders. If you live in a place where you may walk, that’s even better. For your dog, it’s like taking a trip through Doggy Disneyland when walking and climbing through brush and foliage, sniffing out odors left by all sorts of fascinating creatures. It is likely to leave your dog exhausted and relaxed.
You may choose a more intense form of exercise, such as letting your dog run at the park or catching a ball in the backyard. Those activities will certainly tire him out. However, because aerobics promotes the release of adrenalin, it’s preferable to give your dog twenty minutes rest between when he or she finishes running and when you depart home so that his adrenaline levels can return to normal. Exercise should be provided regularly.
Stage a Rehearsal
One way to help ease your dog’s anxiety is by using planned departures. These mini absences are a way for you to teach your dog how it’s okay when mommy or daddy walk away. By leaving the house for very short periods and gradually increasing the length of time you are away, your dog will learn you always come back.
Start by leaving him for gradually more extended periods, and if he does well, increase the duration until you can leave him home alone for the entire afternoon. If it’s so severe you can’t leave the room, try just doing it a few feet at a time. If your dog knows the “stay” command; this will come in handy.
Give Your Cavachon Soothing Soundscapes
Dog’s love predictability. Leave the TV on or put on dog-friendly soothing music. One idea is to make a custom “Sounds of Home” audio recording with the sounds your dog would hear if you’re there. It might be water running as you do the dishes, footsteps, you chatting on the phone, television noises, or anything else that would occur on a typical day. Try 30 to 60 minutes and put it on a loop when you leave.
Go for an Outing
Bring your dog along with you when you run errands. Many dogs are ecstatic to be in the automobile since they know you will quickly return to it after completing your errands.
Always give your dog a chance to see you enter the store, home, or wherever you’re going. Leave lots of chewy treats in your Cavachon’s safe space so it can feel comfortable.
Don’t deprive yourself of a pleasant lunch or supper out by denying your dog a seat at the table. There are restaurants with outside patios that allow dogs to come along for lunch or dinner. Dog-friendly.com covers almost every major city and contains information on where to eat, stay, play, and visit with dogs.
Get a Dog Walker for Short Walks
It’s been well documented that incrementation therapy achieves long-lasting results. This involves gradually increasing periods of separation over time. If you work with a dog walker, he or she should be informed about your goals in advance and agree to them. The dog walker must realize that time is critical, and if it’s 10 minutes, it should not be 12. Time things accurately or have the dog walker send a quick text to the owners when she or he is about to arrive. Dogs are expert detectives, and they can predict that a phone call means the dog walker is coming. If you are working with a trainer, you can gradually increase the duration.
Playtime at the dog park
Doggy wrestling is a big stress buster. When dogs engage in doggie wrestling with their pals, they are more than likely to become exhausted. Getting them to run around between rounds would be ideal. You may also meet new people at the park and set up private playdates. If you go to a lot of dog parks, your dog should have a solid, trustworthy recall, which means he’ll come when you call even if another dog is distracting her.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Nutrition can have a dramatic impact and Diet and canine behavior are closely related. The belief that canned dog foods are less nutritious than dry kibble has been around for a long time, but more and more manufacturers are creating high quality canned foods. Canned-only may be a perfectly healthful alternative as long as high-quality food is chosen and the dog has other chewing options to keep his or her jaws and teeth healthy.
A little detective work is required, since many low-quality brands use water as the first component. Look for a high-quality whole meat source to be shown as the first element in a list of ingredients rather than water. Premium canned meals usually include meat, poultry, or fish broth rather than water.
You are Your Dog’s Greatest Asset
The most valuable asset your dog will have throughout the rehabilitation process is you. If your dog’s stress level is low, significant improvements may be seen in as little as one to three weeks. Customize a strategy plan that acknowledges your dog’s specific concerns and the particular features of your lifestyle. As long as you are a caring owner who wants to help your beloved dog feel secure and have a good quality of life, you should do well. Just remember to set achievable goals and pay attention to your dog’s unique behaviors. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed by the problem; instead, you’ll be empowered to acquire the skills and confidence necessary to relax your dog.