Dogs are adorable, which is why they are the most popular pets in the world. They get very attached to their owners and can serve as guard dogs. Some dogs get more attached to their owners than others. French Bulldogs are dogs that can’t stay a minute without their owners.
You might find yourself in a dilemma when you are about to leave the house, and your Frenchie does all berserk. Stress no more, as here is a guide on how to stop separation anxiety in French Bulldogs.
What Is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is when your dog experiences varying stress levels when you are not with it. It may sound simple, but it is a very serious issue. Separation anxiety is more of a behavioral issue than an issue with obedience. It could often lead to your Frenchie showing destructive behavior, which is not good.
Dogs are social and pack animals, so they don’t prefer to be isolated. They want the company of their owners and feel lonely when separated from them.
Are French Bulldogs Prone To Separation Anxiety?
French Bulldogs are more prone to separation anxiety than most other dog breeds. Frenchies are well-known to feel the need for their owners when separated. However, it doesn’t mean that your Frenchie will have it.
Although most French Bulldogs are prone to separation anxiety, some may not show signs of having it at all. However, it is a common concern of almost all Frenchie owners.
Therefore, it is vital to identify if your Frenchie has separation anxiety and learn how to deal with it.
Separation Anxiety French Bulldog: Symptoms
What symptoms your dog will show, and the severity of the same all depends on how bad your dog’s case is.
Here are a few common symptoms that your French Bulldog will show if it has separation anxiety:
- Destructive chewing
- Digging at scratching at walls, doors, and windows
- Howling and barking
- Eating its poop
- Destroying things in the house
- Loss of appetite
- Heavy panting, pacing, and drooling
- Uncontrolled urination and defecation
- Attempts at escaping
How To Stop Separation Anxiety In French Bulldogs?
If you identify that your Frenchie is suffering from mild to moderate levels of separation anxiety, here are a few things you can do to stop it. It takes time, and you won’t see results immediately.
Counterconditioning is all about associating something your dog dislikes with a positive experience. For example, you can give your dog its favorite treats whenever you are about to leave home. That way, your dog will start associating your departure with getting tasty treats.
Practice A Calm Routine
Practicing a calm routine when you are going to leave the house and as soon as you come back is vital to help your Frenchie deal with separation anxiety.
Don’t give your dog too much attention when you are about to leave. Also, don’t give it too much attention when it greets you happily as you return home. Let your dog calm down before you start giving it some sort of attention.
You can also try alternative methods, like putting your shoes on and not leaving home immediately. Instead, you can do other things around the house so your Frenchie will associate you wearing shoes with something else.
Over time, your French Bulldog will learn not to make a big deal of you leaving or returning home.
Give It A Calming Object Or Product
A calming or anxiety product will help your dog deal with nerves associated with separation anxiety.
Many anxiety products can help your dog deal with separation anxiety better. Some examples include essential oils and similar products that can help take the edge off.
It’s best to speak to your vet about this, as they can recommend similar products that won’t cause any side effects. If not, you can check the market for any suitable product to use on your French Bulldog.
French Bulldogs don’t like the idea of being left alone. It’s a negative thing for Frenchies, who often think their owners will never return once they leave.
The trick is to distract them when you are leaving and stay neutral (don’t feel guilty or bad). That way, your dog will forget why it is upset and that you are leaving.
Experts recommend giving your French Bulldog a KONG ball filled with peanut butter to distract you when you leave the house. Your Frenchie won’t realize you are leaving and will be too occupied with what it has got.
Give It A Safe And Comfortable Space
Your primary intention should be to leave your French Bulldog feeling as comfortable as possible. That way, it is less likely to feel anxious when you are away.
It depends on what your Frenchie finds to be comfortable. If your dog loves to be crated, crate it before leaving the house. If it prefers to stay in a specific room, leave it there before going.
The main goal here is to find a room or place in the house that your French Bulldog feels most comfortable in.
Use A Remote Camera
Current technological advancements have made it possible to monitor your dog from wherever you are. A remote camera allows for monitoring and engaging your French Bulldog remotely. Ensure that you have a high-quality camera that provides clear visibility so that you can see what your dog is doing. Some of these remote cameras let you see and talk to your dog whenever possible.
Try Short Absence At First
Before you leave your Frenchie alone, try doing some practice sessions to see how it goes. Before leaving it all day, try a few cycles of short absence. Leave the house for four to five minutes and come back. You can even hide or lock yourself somewhere in the house and monitor your Frenchie’s behavior when they can’t see or hear you. That way, you’ll know how it will react once you leave it for a long time. It will also get your French Bulldog used to staying without you and slowly move away from having feelings of separation anxiety.
Burn Off Excess Energy
Burning off any excess energy your French Bulldog has could also help with separation anxiety. Taking your dog for a walk before you leave can help tremendously. It can help your Frenchie sleep and rest longer when you are out of sight. It will also make it a lot easier for you to leave your dog alone.
You can also use specific tools and devices that ensure your dog’s safety when you take it out for walks or want it to engage in some form of exercise to burn off excess energy.
Something like a smart dog collar with a virtual fence will help keep your dog within boundaries and from getting out of sight. It will trigger a vibration, noise, or shock by the collar whenever your dog crosses the boundary.
Don’t Punish Its Behavior
Separation anxiety is a behavioral issue and not related to obedience training. Punishing should not be done as it will only increase its fear and anxiety the next time you leave the house.
Respect your dog for what it is; even if it destroys one of your favorite things, there’s no point punishing it for some it can’t control.
Use A Pet Sitter
If you have to go out a lot, you need to think more about your Frenchie’s safety and separation anxiety. If you spend more time outdoors, getting a pet sitter is best to reduce your dog’s time alone. That way, your dog won’t feel your absence as much as it would if it is home alone.
Invest In A Separation Anxiety Jacket Or Anxiety Toys
Anxiety jackets or puzzle toys can help make your dog feel much calmer when you are not around. These can vary from stuffies to rubber toys or mats.
Separation anxiety jackets are also a good solution, as they will make your Frenchie feel like someone is hugging it, which helps calm its anxiety. These jackets help dogs deal with loud music, thunderstorms, fireworks, and other stressful situations. Try and see which one works best for your Frenchie.
French Bulldogs feel separation anxiety and don’t like to be left alone. Therefore, owners must take measures to help their Frenchies deal with separation anxiety. Failure to do so will lead to Frenchies showing destructive behavior. Using calming products, separation anxiety toys and jackets, remote cameras, positive reinforcement, and counterconditioning are a few ways to help your dog deal with separation anxiety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Okay To Leave My French Bulldog Home Alone?
French Bulldogs do not do well alone. Therefore, if you plan to keep it alone for the entire day, getting a pet sitter or training it first to deal with separation anxiety is better.
How Long Can I Leave My French Bulldog Home Alone?
A French Bulldog should not be left alone for more than 8 hours as it could get frustrated and show destructive behavior.
Is Separation Anxiety Curable?
Separation anxiety is a treatable condition. It is possible to do this through training and behavioral modification.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/eLDpa__e4io
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