Psychological predispositions of the Cocker Spaniel – Managing separation anxiety

Owner's question

"Hi! Our Cocker Spaniel, his name is Misi. Misi always seems very sad when we leave the house and unfortunately he wrecks havoc in our absence! Is there anything we can do to help him?"

Answer from the vet

"Hi! Thank you for raising this question. From what you have described, it seems that Misi may be suffering from separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety is a common problem with Cocker Spaniels, as they are very affectionate and have difficulty tolerating the absence of their owners.

Symptoms of separation anxiety include excessive whining or barking, chewing, scratching, vomiting, or excessive drooling when the owner is not home. Any problems with your behaviour should always be discussed with a professional.

A vet or animal behaviour expert can advise you on how to deal with this problem!

One possible treatment method is positive reinforcement training.

This means rewarding your dog when he behaves calmly when you leave or return home. You can also create a 'safe space' in the home where he can relax when you are away.

Your vet or behaviourist may also recommend treating anxiety with anti-anxiety medication or pheromone therapy.

Every dog is unique, so it's important to develop a personalised treatment plan for your Spaniel with the help of a specialist!

Treating separation anxiety is a time-consuming process and requires patience from the owner.

It is important to support and encourage your dog through the process and remember that the symptoms are not your dog's fault, but a natural reaction to separation stress!

Never punish him for his anxiety behaviour as this can only increase the anxiety."