You know the drill when you need to leave the house for work, groceries or an appointment and you’re heartbroken that you can’t always bring your beloved dog with you but that’s the way it is.
Your dog will sense that something is about to happen when you tell them to go in their crate and you grab your things and go out the door without your dog.
Many dogs that haven’t been accustomed to people leaving the house for some time can suffer from anxiety when you, a member of the pack, leaves and he can’t come along.
Looking to buy an Aussiedoodle? Check my recommended doodle breeders!
Do Aussiedoodles Have Separation Anxiety?
Aussiedoodles are prone to develop separation anxiety due to their Australian Shepherd parent but it depends on their upbringing and the way they were trained.
The term “velcro dogs” was at the start developed for the shepherd dogs that would never leave their Shepherd’s side but does this mean that Aussiedoodles have separation anxiety too?
What Is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety happens when your dog is (overly) attached to their primary owner and gets stressed when they leave them behind.
It’s in a dog’s nature to follow the members of their pack so it makes sense that they don’t enjoy being left alone at home but separation anxiety is really the more intense version of that where your dog starts destroying your furniture when you’re not home.
Is Separation Anxiety Bad?
Well, it depends on whether you want to be able to leave your dog behind at any circumstance which could be having to go to work without him, not bringing him along on holidays, getting groceries without him, etc.
Yes, of course, there are people that want a companion dog and are planning to bring him along anywhere but even then you may not be able to always take your dog along.
You can’t exactly bring your dog along to a doctor’s appointment or the hospital so it’s a good idea to train your dog that you won’t and can’t be with him 24/7.
Your dog just needs to learn that if you leave him behind, you’ll always come back so it shouldn’t be a big deal for him.
How Does Separation Anxiety Show In Aussiedoodles?
I’ve had my own Aussiedoodle pup since he was 9 weeks so I have a pretty good idea how this anxiety shows and how to train him that it’s fine being on your own.
The first two weeks with my Aussiedoodle I was exhausted. I couldn’t go anywhere without him or he’d either try to follow me or start crying and that doesn’t even have anything to do with being an Aussiedoodle, it’s really just being a puppy.
Just keep in mind that your pup was just separated from his mum ad siblings and he doesn’t know you or where he is.
You’re his new reference person now and he might have anxiety that you too will leave him.
So like I said, I couldn’t go anywhere without my pup for the first weeks. Even when I’d get up out of bed at night and go to the bathroom I had a little shadow following me to the toilet.
Now with time, I taught him that I’d leave the room sometime but that I’ll come back and it’s no big deal but the training takes time and needs to be done daily otherwise your pup might not learn and understand.
He soon got better and didn’t follow me to the bathroom at night anymore and didn’t cry when I left him in a crate in another room but freely given the choice he still follows me around the house.
I think that behavior comes from partly the Shepherd and partly also the Poodle. The Australian Shepherd will follow you because they are typical “velcro dogs” and want to be with their owners and Poodles love being in the middle of the action, the midst of the family and like to be the center of attention.
For example, if I’m outside in the yard with my mum and my mum is doing gardening work, he’ll always stick around my mum because she’s where the action is happening.
It doesn’t matter if at that point I’d go inside, even me as his reference person and primary caregiver he’d stay where the action is happening.
Today at 20 weeks old he’ll still fuss for a few minutes (2-5 mins) when I leave the room without him but then he’ll calm down and find some other way to occupy himself (sleep, toys or food).
I can even leave him outside for an hour or more with a toy and he’ll occupy himself even without me there. He won’t come looking for me inside but just has his fun outside alone.
But when I’m with him he’ll always try to be close to me and sleep at my feet or next to me.
This is the experience of another Aussiedoodle owner that had the same kind of struggle I did at the start but is also getting better with age and more training.
“I have a 13 week old aussiedoodle that I’ve been with since week 8. He’s got some separation anxieties in that he’ll cry, whimper, and sometimes bark when I’m in the other room for 30-45 minutes. For example, I’ll leave him in the crate while I’m showering and getting ready for work and he’ll whimper and bark for a majority of the time. When I come home he’s completely silent and my neighbors have told me he doesn’t make noise when he’s in the crate and I’m gone.”Reddit
When I leave the house to go somewhere, sometimes for multiple hours it is no problem because he’s fully house trained and can hold his pee for an extensive amount of time (at 20 weeks).
How Do I Know If My Dog Has It?
Trust me, if your dog has separation anxiety you’ll most likely already know. You’ll need to ask yourself these questions:
- Can I leave my dog in his crate and go out of sight (ex. go to the bathroom) without him crying or screaming?
- Can I go to another room by myself?
- Can literally go anywhere in the house without my dog and he won’t make a fuss?
If your answer to these questions was mostly yes then your dog probably doesn’t have separation anxiety or you trained him well to know that you’ll always come back to get him.
How Do I Train My Dog Not To Have Separation Anxiety?
If your dog is still a puppy then you’re in luck because at this point you can easily still do something about it without having to hire a professional dog trainer.
When you have a grown-up dog, his routine and behavior are pretty set in stone that it can be hard as an owner to try to change this behavior. If this is your first dog getting a dog trainer that may be able to read the dog’s behavior better than you is advisable.
Of course, you can try to do this yourself first to see if your dog positively responds to your training.
When your dog is a pup you need to consistently train him daily which will in most cases naturally fit into your schedule unless you don’t use the toilet.
All you really need to do is leave your dog and do it for longer times as your pup ages and he should naturally get used to it.
First, start with just walking around the room when your pup is sleeping and then you can start leaving, closing the door and coming right back inside. Then you can go to the bathroom for a few minutes, go take a shower in the morning without him, get groceries, etc.
You see that you just need to slowly get your puppy used to you leaving.
You need to stay on the same step until your dog is comfortable, meaning that for example you can at one point go to the bathroom without your puppy getting up, wanting to come along or cry when you’re gone.
Now, if your dog is still crying when you leave you can try to keep him entertained so that he won’t even realize that you’re gone but when you come back they’ll realize and notice that nothing bad happens when you leave.
How Do I Keep My Dog Entertained When I’m Gone?
There are a few ways to keep your dog entertained when you leave him alone or make him feel less alone when you leave.
First, you can give your pup an old shirt that you wore for a few days and that smells like you. Then even when you leave your dog will still smell you and won’t feel as lonely.
Then you can try giving him a chewing treat that is ideally so big that there is no way he could swallow it (or pieces of it) and you can leave without having to worry.
He’ll be happily munching away and won’t notice that you’re gone.
Is The Aussiedoodle The Right Choice For You?
If you want to know if this Doodle is the right fit then you can watch the video I made about whom I’d recommend this dog for, based on my own experiences.
Getting any kind of puppy is a lot of work, regardless of their breed they will likely go through a separation anxiety phase. With consistent training, this shouldn’t give you any headaches later on.
Yes, Aussiedoodles are more prone to this than other doodles may be but I love the fact that my dog always wants to be close to me. I don’t see that as a negative but rather positive trait, a true companion dog!
If you’re looking to buy a doodle, check my recommended doodle breeders!