Even though dogs are emotionally intelligent, they suffer from similar emotions as humans. The anxiety, which remains untreated for a long time, changes in depression. Depression was first identified in the early 1980s by Nicholas Dodman, a professor section head at Tufts University and program director at animal behavior department of clinical sciences.

Separation Anxiety pug

Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression

The symptoms of anxiety are destructive behavior directed at home, self-inflicted trauma, inappropriate elimination, and excessive vocalization (whining, barking, or howling) only in the owner’s absence. The signs of depression are a loss of appetite, lack of interest, excessive sleeping and licking, and hiding from owners.

Dog Breeds That Suffer From Anxiety And Depression

Megan Cole in Dogs Can Experience Anxiety and Depression mentioned a study by U.K.’s Sainsbury Pet Insurance that shows that depression and anxiety are usually found in British feline and canine population. The reports show that in 2008, mental illness was found in 623,000 cats and dogs.

Hyperactive and highly intelligent dog breeds suffer from mental illnesses most often.

1. Border Collie

Border Collies are working dogs that are highly-intelligent and high energy dogs. They can perform amazing tricks and are highly trainable dogs. They can get bored easily and may indulge in destructive behaviors like ripping apart the pillowcases, damaging the doors and windows, etc. They are highly prone to suffering from separation anxiety, and if ignored for long, they can suffer from depression, which is equal to no more tricks, training, and love from your pooch’s side.

You can hire a dog sitter when you are away from home. Involve him in performing different exercises and learning new tricks to tire the mental and physical energies. In case of separation anxiety, you can leave behind treat dispensing toys that require a puzzle to be solved or use a pet camera with treat dispenser to train your dog from afar.

Did you know? Dogs are consistent in behavior. They keep knocking at the door of success until they achieve their goal.

2. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise is a perfect companion that loves to cuddle up in your lap or handbag. They are happy-go-lucky dogs and love to be the apple of your eye. However, as soon as you leave them alone, they can become aggressive and destructive. Their anxiety, when overlooked, can quickly change into depression.

Desensitization and counter-conditioning can work well for Bichon Frise. Moreover, give them attention when you are home.

3. German Shepherd

German Shepherd anxiety

German shepherds are herding dogs that enjoy leading and directing others. They are obedient, trainable, and intelligent dogs. But, prolonged separation times and lack of adequate physical activity can cause anxiety in German shepherds. To prevent anxiety, they require people or other dogs around them to stay engaged. A miniature German shepherd can be a better option.

4. Cocker Spaniels

Cocker Spaniels are hyperactive dogs belonging to hunting group of dogs. However, they are compassionate, resilient, friendly, and intelligent. They do not like being left alone. They may develop the hyper-attachment disorder, as they love to be around their owner. The hyper-attachment has to be adequately treated before you start leaving them home alone.

Keep in mind to provide adequate exercise to Cocker spaniels to positively channelize their energy.

5. Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds are scent dogs that were bred for hunting rodents. They are social dogs that can develop separation anxiety. They are incredibly loyal and devoted to their owners, so separation anxiety and depression can develop in them if they are not given proper time and attention.

You can use the method of counter-conditioning and desensitization. Besides that, you can hide treats in the home for the Basset Hound to hunt for when you leave.

6. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever separation anxiety

Labradors are family dogs and working dogs. Their personality traits include loyalty, smartness, intelligence, and friendliness. Labradors love to be around children and other house pets, so to avoid development of anxiety and depression in them, you can buy a pair of labs to engage them. They require mental and physical stimulation, and to enjoy their love and companionship forever; you have to fulfill their energy needs.

Dogs believe in giving all their love and attention to their owners. Can’t we return their love by fulfilling some of their basic needs regarding exercise and mental stimulation? We need to think about why the rate of anxiety and depression is increasing rapidly!


About the author:

Fiona Appleton is a Labrador owner. She is the manager of UltimateHomeLife that has been developed to help people solve the troubles of pet ownership. She is an active advocate of animal protection campaigns. She wants people to understand that dog-behavior is reflective of our behavior.