All dogs are pack animals. This means they love being with their family and often experience a sense of safety and comfort when the other members of their pack are around.
The pack mentality is often believed to be the source of the incredible bond that can be formed between a dog and an individual or family. Unfortunately, this close bond can also be the source of separation anxiety when a dog spends a significant amount of time alone, or if they have a previous history of abandonment or temperament that makes them more susceptible to anxiety.
The good news is that with a little information and some trial and error, you should be able to find a solution that will help your Frenchie with their separation anxiety.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is often exhibited by dogs who spend a lot of time alone, or who have a history of abandonment or neglect. Some dogs also have a temperament that may result in separation anxiety, even if they are only left alone for a short amount of time.
The anxiety is a result of the dog being nervous that the owner won’t return or feeling unsafe without their owner. Separation anxiety is often noticed when a normally well-behaved dog starts acting out or exhibiting unusual behavior.
Why do French Bulldogs get Separation Anxiety?
French Bulldogs are especially susceptible to separation anxiety because of their fun temperament and desire for companionship. These traits make Frenchies wonderful pets, but they also mean most French Bulldogs are less independent by nature. The more dependent or social a dog is, the more likely they are to deal with separation anxiety when left alone.
What are the Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in French Bulldogs?
Signs of separation anxiety can include:
- Excessive barking
- Chewing on furniture or door frames
- Chewing on their paws
- Shaking or shivering
- Scratching doors or walls
- Urinating or defecating
How do you Manage Separation Anxiety?
Managing separation anxiety requires a process to find what works best for your Frenchie. A good starting point is to try to keep things as calm as possible when you leave and come home. Paying too much attention to your Frenchie when you leave or getting them excited when you come home will only reinforce the idea that something unusual and potentially worrying is happening.
You can also try to crate train your Frenchie; This will give them a designated safe place where they may feel more secure when you’re gone.
Giving your Frenchie a special treat or toy when you leave can also help with anxiety, especially since chew toys are also a great way for dogs to relieve stress. Just make sure any toy you leave out for your Frenchie is safe for them to have unsupervised.
A final thing to try is to leave the T.V. on or play music when you leave. The noise can sometimes comfort and calm dogs and help them feel like they’re not alone.
It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all, immediate solution to fixing your Frenchie’s separation anxiety. You will likely have to try several different methods to find one that will work the best for your pet.
You can always talk to your vet if you find yourself hitting a wall, but with some patience, knowledge, and a little creativity, you should be able to find a way to help ease your Frenchie’s separation anxiety.
Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle. We share our Frenchie experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.