Labrador anxiety- Proven steps to handle it,labrador anxiety,separation anxiety

Labrador Anxiety- 5 Proven Steps To Handle It

Labrador anxiety is a serious issue that can disturb the relationship between you and your dog. The causes of anxiety may include some situations, some kinds of environment, and some animals which are not habituated to your dog.

It is easy to handle Labrador anxiety in the beginning stages itself before your dog starts suffering from it.

Labradors are loving breeds that tend to develop a great bonding with your family, hence they prefer to stay and spend quality time with you. Therefore any form of separation and leaving them alone for long periods can create anxiety in them.

This leads to unusual destructive behavior which can be emotionally disturbing for both you and your dog.

When the owner cannot understand this kind of dog behavior, it can cause the dog to get punished and in severe cases, this might result in the dog being abandoned.



Labrador anxiety symptoms- Check if your Dog has these symptoms

  • Trembling
  • Panting and rapid breathing
  • Tucked tail
  • Trying to hide below the beds and in the corner spaces
  • Excessive continuous barking
  • Scratching the doors and windows
  • Whining and Howling
  • Escape behavior such as continuous running
  • Excessive self-licking and chewing
  • Drooling a lot
  • Destructive behavior. For example, my first dog used to destroy the furniture when he was anxious, my couch was always a victim when my dog used to get anxious.
  • Urinating and defecating indoors even if your dog is trained properly.

Check for these kinds of symptoms. If they are excessive, your dog is likely being suffered from anxiety.

Labrador anxiety- Proven steps to handle it


Main causes of Anxiety in Dogs

The main causes of anxiety in dogs are due to separation from the owner, disturbing noises and Confinement. Thus anxiety in Labradors can be classified into three types. Have a look below

Separation Anxiety

Noise Anxiety

Confinement Anxiety

Out of these, separation anxiety is one of the major kinds of anxiety that Labradors suffer with. So, let us talk about this now.


Labrador Separation Anxiety- 5 steps to handle it

Labradors are one of the most intelligent breeds that develop a deep emotional attachment with humans rather than their doggy friends. They are great attention seekers and want to stay and play with you.

Hence sometimes, a little action of taking your vehicle key, putting on your jacket, or carrying a luggage bag can also make them anxious. Hence leaving those emotional creatures alone for a long period of time can cause separation anxiety in them.

Labrador Separation Anxiety- 5 steps to handle it,labrador separation anxiety

Some owners do not treat this as a problem. Leaving separation anxiety unattended can make it a serious behavioral problem that is harmful to your Lab.

This could become a more serious problem in the case of senior Labradors.

Therefore follow these 5 proven steps to handle Labrador separation anxiety successfully.


 1. Teach him to stay Alone

As a quote says, “There are No Bad Dogs only Bad Owners”.

Hence, training your dog effectively can mould your dog into the way you want them to be.

Labradors are intelligent breeds and can be trained easily. From the stage of the puppy itself, offer your dog a safe, separate place to sleep. It is “His/Her place to sleep”. I do not recommend allowing your dogs to sleep along with you at least during the night times because they need to be psychologically trained to sleep in their places alone, away from you.

So even when you leave home they should be comfortable enough to sleep in the safe, comfortable place provided to them.

2. No emotional Goodbyes

Dogs may not understand your language properly, but they can understand your body language very quickly, so do not feel bad when you leave your dog because your body language might make your dog feel that you will not come back again.

Hence do not exhibit any kind of behaviors such as saying goodbye, kissing, and hugging your dog while going out. So remember, “No goodbyes to your dog”.

Do not create the emotional thought in your dog’s mind that you are leaving him. Do not give any kind of extra attention to your dog while going out of your house and it must be done as a normal routine.

3. Practice short interval departures

When I used to leave my room, my dog used to start barking and when this became a daily routine, my dog understood that going out is a normal process.

So go out for a few minutes, stay for a while and come back, then your dog will understand that even if you go out, you will come back. Slowly increase the time interval duration and your dog gets adapted to it.

Labradors like patterns, and when you follow the same pattern of going out and coming back, your dog will understand that you will come back for sure even if you go out and he will not become anxious.

4. Exercise to make your dog tired

In these busy days of work, you may rarely have time to exercise your Labrador. This is one of the biggest mistakes that could contribute to anxiety in dogs.

You have to know one thing, “A Tired dog is a Calm dog”. A tired dog sleeps very well. Exercising your dog before you leave the house makes the dog completely exhausted and it is likely to sleep as it has low energy levels.

A dog without any form of exercise, which means a dog with high energy levels tends to exhibit destructive behavior due to anxiety.

Studies also indicate lower forms of separation anxiety in dogs that have regular exercise.

Hence provide proper exercise for your Labrador and it could really help him in calming down.

5. Distraction is the key

Giving your Lab its favorite things can distract him easily. I generally give my dog its favorite toy to play with when i go out.

You can feed your dog its favorite food, and give him its favorite toys to keep him engaged.

Sometimes your dog might think that he will get the treat when you leave the house. Even this works.

Keeping him engaged can help him to avoid separation anxiety. Every Dog is unique and different in behavior, hence proper steps are to be adopted according to the behavior of your dog.


Punishing your Labrador for issues of separation anxiety

You generally talk to your friends or watch a movie or listen to music when you are fully stressed. But what about your dog? Who else does he have to share his stress? It’s just you. The destructive behavior during separation anxiety is his way of expressing his stress.

Punishing your dog for destroying things and for other forms of weird behavior can make the dog more stressed. Increasing stress is not at all a solution for your stressed Dog.

Always remember that any form of serious punishment can be very painful for your Dog.

Labrador anxiety- Proven steps to handle it,Punishing your Labrador

Your dog usually has a short-term memory. Suppose your dog has destroyed the furniture in the afternoon, and you came home from the office in the evening. Punishing your dog at that time is not useful, as your dog cannot relate the punishment given to the destruction it has done in the afternoon.


Finally, Patience is the Key. Every dog is different and every dog takes its own time to get rid of separation anxiety. If you can train your dog properly there are fewer chances that your dog suffers from anxiety.

Be patient in understanding and handling your dog and you can stay happy with your doggy friend forever that does not overreact when you go out.

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Danielle Rose Schlehahn, Separation Anxiety in Canines and Potential Mitigation Options,, 2013.

Sarah E.Lofgrena, Pamela Wienerb, Sarah C.Blott, Management and personality in Labrador Retriever dogs, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 2014.