Cavapoos are known for many things, but what makes them stand out is their loving, carefree and affectionate personality. They were one of the first “designer dogs” to be created. Part Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and part Poodle, the Cavapoo inherits characteristics from both parents. From the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel side, it inherited its feeling of being part of the pack.
Because of this, the Cavapoo enjoys being part of the family and wants to be with their people as much as possible. They are content doing pretty much anything, whether it’s jogging, playing fetch or just lounging on the couch with its head on its owner’s lap.
The Cavapoo is such a small dog and is often cuddled and even carried around, which suits them just fine. From the Poodle side of the family, the Cavapoo gets its loyalty and intelligence but also gets its Velcro-like personality. Despite being occasionally hyper and wanting to run around, the Cavapoo is also very clingy and wants to be as close to family members as possible at all times.
Do Cavapoos get separation anxiety? Yes, it’s very possible that they will develop separation anxiety when left alone without their family. Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety, and the Cavapoos love for their family makes them no exception.
However, with proper training at a young age, separation anxiety can be avoided and even eliminated. While they will still want to be with their owner, there are ways to teach them that being alone is ok and how to adapt when by themselves.
Whether you have a Cavapoo now and need advice or are hoping to prevent sadness when you’re away from your new puppy, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to read what actual owners have to say about their own Cavapoo!
Preventing Separation Anxiety vs. Stopping Separation Anxiety
In order to stop or prevent separation anxiety in your Cavapoo, it’s important to understand the severity of his separation anxiety. There are different levels of separation anxiety.
Every family dog has some level of separation anxiety. A dog may follow its owner around the house and whine a little when he’s left alone.
Is that considered separation anxiety? To some owners, it may be considered as separation anxiety, but it’s also just a dog that loves his family and wants to be with them and not left behind. Although all Cavapoos prefer to be with their family members, they do not all suffer from separation anxiety.
Here are some things your Cavapoo may do if he is suffering from separation anxiety when left alone.
- Relieving himself in inappropriate places
- Excessive barking, howling, crying or growling
- Obsessive chewing on things other than food and toys
- Pacing back and forth
- Behaving in a frightening or aggressive manner
- Door scratching
It’s also important to realize that there is a difference between stopping separation anxiety and preventing it. If you get your Cavapoo as an older dog and it already suffers from separation anxiety, you’ll have the task of trying to stop the behavior.
If your Cavapoo came into your home as a young pup, you still have the ability with consistency and training to prevent the behavior.
How to Prevent Separation Anxiety
In most cases, it’s much easier to prevent separation anxiety than it is to stop it. Preventing separation anxiety from developing in the first place, should be started on the day you bring your Cavapoo home. Cavapoos are a loving and affectionate dog, and they’re even more adorable as puppies.
As much as you’re going to want to spend every minute with him, it’s important that you get him used to being alone at a very young age. This is best accomplished with a crate. When you buy him a crate, make sure it’s large enough for him to stand up when he’s fully-grown. Here’s the crate we recommend and use with our pup (Amazon).
Before you even get him used to a crate, try leaving him alone in the room to see how long it will take him to start whining or to miss you. When you re-enter the room, act normally.
You don’t want to give him the idea that being alone was a big deal and something that should have him frightened. Even when crate training, it’s important to start with baby steps. Leave him in the crate for short periods.
Give him a few treats or chew toys to occupy his time and mind. If the dog seems to adjust well, increase the time when he’s left alone. The most important thing is to not make a big deal when you leave.
You don’t want him to think it’s a big deal. Many owners make the mistake of hugging their puppy and saying goodbye, which serves no purpose other than to let the dog know something is happening and it’s not good.
A second mistake is getting excited when you come home. The best thing you can do to prevent separation anxiety is to walk in the door and ignore the dog until he’s settled down.
If you do this daily for several weeks, he’ll come to realize that you leaving is no big deal, especially when he has a chew toy to occupy his mind.
How Do I Stop Separation Anxiety?
If your Cavapoo is exhibiting signs of separation anxiety, he’s not doing it be to be bad or naughty but rather because he’s frightened and not feeling safe. The first and best thing you, as his owner, can do is to make him feel safe.
Give him a safe place that he can call his own. In most cases, this is a crate. Again, it’s important that the crate is big enough for the dog to stand up if necessary.
Even if you’re an owner that allows your Cavapoo to have full run of the house and sleep on your bed, he should still have a crate that is all his. Put him in the crate several times throughout the day while you’re home.
At first, you can leave the door open so he knows he can come and go at will. Put his favorite treats and toys (only hard ones) inside the crate so it’s a place he’ll want to be.
You may also want to put in a blanket or towel that has your scent on it so he’ll feel close to you even when he’s alone. Once he becomes more accustomed to the crate, close the door and leave him in it for a bit.
If he starts whining, ignore him until it stops, and he will stop. After your Cavapoo comes to accept the crate as his safe zone, he’ll accept it when he’s alone, and the separation anxiety should all but disappear.
Whether you’re trying to prevent or stop separation anxiety, don’t underestimate the importance of exercise prior to your leaving. A tired dog is much less likely to cause a fuss and will be happy to sleep for a while.
Best Toys/Things to Help Prevent It
The dog market is filled with toys and treats like you wouldn’t believe, and many of them are ideal for preventing separation anxiety. Other than the fact that they love you, one of the biggest reasons your dog will have separation anxiety when you’re gone is boredom and unhappiness. By providing him with toys or treats he loves, you’re taking care of both feelings.
Some dogs do really well if you leave the radio or television on when you’re gone. Just hearing the same noise they hear when you’re home often has them more relaxed and feeling not quite so alone.
I used a streaming service (like Amazon Music) to play special relaxing music playlists for my pup at night and while we were away.
Here are some other things you can get to help prevent separation anxiety:
- Pet camera with 2-way audio and automatic treat dispenser – You can not only monitor and talk to your dog when you’re gone but can also throw him a treat here and there. The Furbo Dog Camera (Amazon) is the most popular and was one of the first.
- Interactive puzzles – Cavapoos are very intelligent dogs that love a good challenge. Interactive games and puzzles allow them to use their brain and occupy their minds. Here’s a bunch of different ones on Amazon.
- Kong dog toys – These are excellent separation anxiety toys because they are filled with treats. Dogs love solving the problem of finding the treat and then eating it and looking for more. See them on Amazon.
- Calming supplements – Some dogs respond very well to holistic or vet-approved calming supplements.
- Separation anxiety vests – These vests help calm the dog by applying gentle pressure on the dog. Check them out – they’re called ThunderShirts!
Other Cavapoo Behavior Problems
Although separation anxiety is the most common problem with Cavapoos, they may also have other behavior problems. Cavapoos, while not super common, can get in the habit of barking excessively, especially if it gives them the attention they want. Not giving into the behavior and early training is the best way to eliminate this problem.
Other behavior problems common with Cavapoos can include:
- Food aggression
- Destructive behavior (chewing on inappropriate things)
Treatment and prevention of these behavior issues all require the same thing: consistent training. Cavapoos are sensitive dogs that do not respond well to harsh training but are also intelligent dogs that catch on to what you want every quickly. A firm “no”, redirecting their attention and providing plenty of exercise often does the trick as well as puppy obedience classes.
What Real Owners Are Saying About Separation Anxiety….
“I made the mistake if shipping him on a plane at 3 months so my one issue is separation anxiety and barking. He is a “guard” dog for sure and barks at visitors and people who come up to my car. He is all bark though and I think it is more a defensive bark than anything.
But besides all that, he is wonderful and is the sweetest thing. Very easy to train when he feels like listening, basically when you have treats lol.”
“For separation anxiety, my little dude does have some but he is not destructive. He whines for 2 to 5 minutes when I leave but stops after that. Has never gone after furniture or walls. I give him puzzle toys filled with treats before I leave. I love him lots and even with all his little quirks. My experiences with Cavapoos doesn’t mean all Cavapoos will be this way. All dogs are individuals but I hope I could give you some insight.”
“We take our cavapoo to doggy day care once a week so she gets that socialization with other dogs. Then the other days we have a dog walker come by and let her out and play with her for 30-40 minutes. Then I get home and we play fetch or go for a walk and that seems to wear her out.”