When you are going to buy a dog, you need to understand that your pet should not stay home alone for a long time. A Yorkie may really get depressed if staying without the owner and may even get a disease called separation anxiety. This disease may develop if you leave your Yorkie for long time periods. Yorkies are really sensitive dogs and the symptoms of this disease may really become vivid just after 30 minutes.
When your pet has separation anxiety, it means that your Yorkie is experiencing a great stress. This stress may be revealed in destructive behavior.
It is not only typical for Yorkies but for all dogs in general. You need to understand that your Yorkie has been bred to be a friend of a human and it is rather difficult for a pet to stay without a friend for a long time. If you see that separation anxiety becomes overwhelming, then you need to take certain measures.
Your Yorkie needs to get some training to feel confident during the daytime. As a result of this training, the disease will go away and the dog will be handling the situation in a healthy way. Barking is the most common symptom of this disease and you may learn from your neighbors that your pet is suffering from separation anxiety heavily. Barking becomes uncontrollable and you may not stop it for a long time. As a result of this uncontrollable barking, your Yorkie may turn physically exhausted each day.
Due to the uncontrollable behavior, they can even injure themselves. Another symptom of separation anxiety may be noticed when you come home. Your Yorkie may become overexcited and it will take time to calm the dog down. Excitement urination is a definite sign that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety.
How Yorkie Feels When He is Left Alone
To better understand this, we need to consider a few things. First, your dog doesn’t have much sense of time, sense of imagination, and prediction. Their brain doesn’t function as ours do.
We all know that dogs, especially the likes of Yorkies, are susceptible to feeling lonely or depressed when they are left alone. However, knowing is not enough. We need to understand why they feel such.
The first to consider is their limitations. Unlike humans, they do not have much sense of imagination and prediction. They also do not have the concept of time. They are examples of creatures who live in the moment. Thus, everything that happens to them in the present time affects them the most.
So expect that when their owners leave, they cannot actually realize right away that they would be left alone temporarily. Since they cannot handle their own emotions, they cannot also comfort themselves by any means.
Another thing to bear in mind is that dogs recognize their owners as the leader or members of the pack. It is in their nature to think that the pack members should always be together; thus, when the member (the owner) leaves, they find it hard to understand what’s going on.
Experiencing this repeatedly can lead to separation anxiety among dogs, though seeing the manifestations of this condition once or twice in your Yorkies cannot guarantee that they are already suffering from it. Here are the symptoms you need to watch out for to weigh whether your Yorkie is having separation anxiety already.
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Signs and Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Yorkies
Separation anxiety may manifest in different ways, but often includes one or more of the following:
One of the most prevalent symptoms of Yorkie separation anxiety is continuous barking. When you are not at home, your dog may bark the entire time. This does not only affect your Yorkie but your neighbors as well.
Destructive Chewing and Scratching
This is another symptom that even Yorkie owners would be pissed off about. When dogs are anxious, they usually chew on household items.
Expect that your Yorkie cannot easily realize chewing is bad, and which items they should not chew or destroy. It may be your pair of shoes, charger cords, any part of the furniture, and even up to beds and blankets. Though they are small, Yorkies can still mess with your things to fight their strong emotion and relieve stress.
We can view chewing among Yorkies as a quick solution though. Since Yorkies chew things to calm their anxiety, we can give them other items for them to chew. It can become a problem only when they chew important items in the household.
You can also observe Yorkies scratching on furniture, beds, and walls. This may also be a possible symptom of separation anxiety.
Loss of Bladder or Bowel Control
Another negative effect on Yorkies when they feel anxious is their loss of bowel and bladder control. This is also an inconvenience on the part of their owners since their dogs just urinate and poop around the house. They forget potty training as they lose control.
Aside from these 3 frequent symptoms, here are more of the manifestations for owners to observe if their Yorkies are experiencing separation anxiety:
- Panicking most of the time
- Excessive self-licking
- Excessive drooling
- High-pitched whining
- Difficulty adjusting when owners arrive back home
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Fear-Related Anxiety in Yorkies
There are some instances that Yorkies feel anxious due to loud noises. Encountering new people, animals, or the environment can also make Yorkies afraid.
Similar to other pets or dog breeds, having a terrible or frightening experience counts as the number one reason for fear-related anxiety in Yorkshire Terriers.
If your Yorkie is hiding, trembling, or tucking his tail, he may be experiencing mild fear. Acts of withdrawal, limited activity, and passive escape behavior can also be considered signs. Whereas others experience panic signs, including potentially injurious motor activity and active escape behavior.
Another important takeaway when raising a dog is he should be given social and environmental exposure, especially during his prime years. Otherwise, he may turn out to be extremely fearful for his lifetime.
If they experience deprivation of social exposure like being in a crate for a long time, dogs like Yorkies are more likely to develop phobia and panic attacks.
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Aging-Related Anxiety in Yorkies
We must also take note that aging Yorkies may show fear-related anxiety due to nervous system changes. Detecting this earlier can save your Yorkie’s life from common health issues.
Aggression, for example, is one of the age-related anxiety symptoms in Yorkshire Terriers.
Several changes in their behavior may also be indicators of physical issues such as joint problems. Elimination patterns may indicate digestive, kidney, and hormonal issues.
There is also this cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) that is associated with anxiety among older Yorkies. Dogs experiencing CDS may also show less cognitive functioning, loss of memory, and perception. This is similar to Alzheimer’s symptoms in humans.
A normally gentle dog may turn aggressive with age due to physical changes, such as
The following physical changes may cause a gentle dog to be aggressive:
- dental problems
- loss of vision
- loss of hearing
- reaction to specific drugs
If your aging dog is already showing these signs of anxiety, take him to the vet to be diagnosed immediately. Prolonging the diagnosis may cause the dog to be more fearful and aggressive.
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Getting Rid of Separation Anxiety in Yorkies
You do not have to stay at home all the time just to keep your Yorkie from having separation anxiety. This is not a hopeless case for both of you. Training him to stay alone is the most effective technique to relieve your Yorkie’s anxiety.
You can start by going out for a morning walk with him before you start leaving for work. During this time, you can also let your Yorkie finish all his potty business so he won’t have to pee and poop around the house while you are not around.
You can also leave your Yorkie with various dog toys such as those interactive noise-producing toys to keep your dog busy. Treat-dispending dog toys also make a great one to keep your little Yorkies busy while munching with their favorite treats.
For your sake, you can also devise ways to limit his reach so you do not have to clean all the mess from chewing and scratching after a long day at work.
Making a routine when bonding with your Yorkie and providing comfort items and basic needs such as food and water are also milestones to keep your Yorkie safe at home.
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Things to do Before Leaving Yorkie Home Alone
We understand how difficult it is to leave your Yorkie alone for work. Seeing that sad face in your pet makes it harder, but they need to be trained so they can get rid of their anxiety at once.
- This is the most difficult part, but ignoring your dog is an effective way. Just leave as usual and don’t look back. No goodbyes and kisses too. Do not re-enter your house just to soothe your Yorkie. Trust the method and aim for long-term improvement
- Take your dog for a 15-20-minute walk in the morning. You can play games for an additional 15-20 minutes if you have more time in the morning or if you get up earlier.
- Make sure your dog has finished his food and has already peed and pooped while you are still there.
- Make sure that all of the toys and other necessary materials are kept in the Yorkie containment area.
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Things to do When Coming Home
It is normal to want to hug and comfort your dog as soon as you get home. It is pretty hard to keep someone you care about away from you for a long period of time.
But this is not helpful in hitting our goal of getting rid of your Yorkie’s anxiety. Instead, make him feel that seeing you again is no big deal and that leaving is a part of his daily routine.
Do not go straight to your Yorkie when you enter the house. You can just let him wag his tail and look at you. After a few minutes, you can open the playpen door and say hello. It is important that he calms down first.
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Seeing our Yorkies showing symptoms of separation anxiety is such a difficult feat. This is a frustrating experience for both owners and their dear pets.
But with the help of these tips that we need to follow, endure, and trust, especially when we need to ignore them in the meantime, we can reduce their stress and anxiety. After all, we all want the best for our Yorkies.