Have you ever noticed your American Foxhound has a super close bond with you? Does he or she ever become anxious, angry, or act out when left alone? American Foxhounds are prone to separation anxiety. This is quite common in some dog breeds. Separation anxiety is where a dog has a really strong bond with their owner and can’t seem to control their anxiety or emotions quite well. Keep in mind though that in puppies you have to determine if it is boredom or actually separation anxiety. Let’s take a closer look at why American Foxhounds are more susceptible to getting separation anxiety.
The Root of the Behavior
American Foxhounds are high energy dogs who have a strong pack mentality. This is one of the reasons why American Foxhounds make such great hunting partners. In the wild, they hunted in packs and lived within their pack community. They were not alone very often as they relied on the pack for support and all of their daily needs. An American Foxhound tends to adore their pack family and they will follow you anywhere. However, separation anxiety is a big issue with some American Foxhounds. This is especially true if they are not exercised enough or do not have something to entertain them when you are gone. There are many symptoms of separation anxiety that you can be on the lookout for. When you are leaving, if your Foxhound is pacing, whining, shaking or blocking the door, they may have separation anxiety. Also while you are away your dog may scratch or chew on objects, soil inside the house, or even urinate on the carpet if they are going through anxiety from being left alone.
If your dog is exhibiting any of these behaviors you may want to look into ways to help with separation anxiety. Be patient with your dog during this time period. These behaviors are not your dog wanting to be destructive. It is due to your dog not knowing how to deal with what they are feeling. It’s really important not to give your dog negative attention during these outbursts. Your negative attention may only further the problems at hand. This is why patience is key. You may want to hire a professional dog walker to come and take your dog out for a walk while you are gone. And if all else fails, talk to a professional trainer or behaviorist. We would like to think we know all the answers for our pet's behaviors, but the truth is, sometimes it’s okay to ask for help. There are many specialist out there that are trained for these types of issues.
Encouraging the Behavior
If your Foxhound has separation anxiety, this can become a big issue, especially if he or she is getting into things or peeing in the house while you are gone. It might be a good idea to get your dog a companion so that he or she won’t be so lonely while you are gone. American Foxhounds love companionship, so if this is a feasible option, it is highly recommended. Also, make sure your pup has several toys to keep him or her occupied while you are away from home. Another good thing to think about is whether or not your American Foxhound is getting enough exercise. An American Foxhound who gets a lot of exercise seems to exhibit fewer signs of separation anxiety. Try to get your dog out to a few local dog parks or take a few long walks with them each week to help remedy this. Ideally, it is a good idea to have a decent size yard for your American Foxhound to run off some energy, as well. If your dog's separation anxiety is pretty extreme you may want to consult your vet or a dog behaviorist for more options. It doesn’t hurt to get expert advice at all in situations like this.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you believe that your dog is just bored and it is not separation anxiety at all, leave a few toys out that will snag your pup’s attention while you are away from home. Some dogs just get bored, especially high energy dogs that need something to do. Leaving a few toys out may be ideal to curb any boredom or destructive behaviors. Also, cage training may help ease any fears your dog may have and will give them a safe place to retreat to. It will also help keep your dog from destroying your property when you are at work or out shopping.
Separation anxiety in your pet can be tough to deal with, but there are some really great solutions out there. Look into all your options and choose the right method to help you and your amazing American Foxhound. It is important to address this issue before it becomes a big issue.