Ever wonder if German Shorthaired Pointers get separation anxiety? In short, German Shorthaired Pointers (GSP) can, and do, get separation anxiety. Some dogs are simply more prone to separation anxiety than other dogs.
These dogs tend to be dogs that are often described as Velcro dogs. Now, if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, we’ll take you through that below before we cover some of the reasons why your dog might experience separation anxiety. One thing that is important for us to get straight now, is that not all Velcro dogs will get separation anxiety, and not all dogs with separation anxiety are Velcro dogs. Confused? Don’t worry, we’ll clear it all up below.
Are German Shorthaired Pointers Velcro Dogs?
Yes, a German Shorthaired Pointer is a perfect example of a Velcro dog. A Velcro dog is simply a breed of dog that lives to please their owners, loves spending time with them, and would prefer to go with them wherever they go. Sound familiar? Exactly, because GSP’s are one breed of dog that become easily attached to their owners. Like Velcro.
However, as we said earlier, just because a dog is a Velcro dog, doesn’t mean they will have separation anxiety. A Velcro dog is a dog that would prefer to spend time with their owners as much as possible, but will not become anxious and distressed when they aren’t together. A dog with separation anxiety will. They’ll be unhappy and possibly destructive whilst you are away, because they are so distressed without you.
That’s an important distinction to make, because we can train even Velcro dogs such as a GSP to deal with separation without feeling any sort of anxiety. Below we’ll look at some reasons a GSP might develop separation anxiety, so you know how to avoid it happening with your dog, and so you can leave them alone for a period without becoming distressed.
Reasons For Developing Separation Anxiety
There are multiple reasons a dog might develop separation anxiety, and the list below is not exhaustive. By training your dog from a puppy, you can avoid these circumstances from happening and potentially stop separation anxiety from developing altogether.
The first thing isn’t something we can actively change, but it is something we need to be aware of. GSPs are Velcro dogs and want to be with you as much as possible. Therefore, we know they are already going to be pretty dependent on you from the moment you bring them home. Which is why if you have a Velcro dog, you ought to train them to deal with separation early on, and by early on, we mean the same day you bring them home.
But don’t fall down the trap of thinking that your breed isn’t a Velcro dog so you don’t need to worry, because as we said earlier, not all dogs that develop separation anxiety are Velcro dogs. They might be the most independent dog in the world, but that doesn’t mean they won’t become anxious when you leave. So no matter the breed, train them to deal with separation as early as you can.
Left Too Long Alone and Too Young
The second thing to think about is how long your GSP puppy has been left for. Leaving a puppy of any kind alone for too long can be a very traumatizing experience for them that might cause anxiety later on. From the moment you bring your GSP home, you should start training them to be used to being alone, but that doesn’t mean you should just head out to work and leave them for eight hours. This isn’t fair, and will almost certainly result in separation anxiety and enormous problems for you down the road.
Start small. Maybe close the kitchen door behind you as you walk inside to grab a drink, leaving your GSP outside the door. Then come back to them and make a fuss, because they’ll see that even when you leave, you’ll come back to them. Build this up over time, leaving them for longer periods as you do so, but always make sure you come back and make them excited to see you. Overtime, your dog will learn that you always come back, no matter how long you’re gone, and so they won’t be distressed by you leaving.
But remember, this takes time and should be something you work on gradually. A GSP loves spending time with you, so shocking them early on with large periods without you will almost certainly cause anxiety and distress for your puppy.
Keep Them Occupied
Another thing to think about is what you are leaving your GSP with when you leave. If they’re just sitting around doing nothing whilst you’re gone, they will be anxious because they’ll have nothing to do but wait for your return. Rather than just leaving them alone with nothing to do, give them something to distract them. A great thing for a puppy is a food toy, you know, the ones where you hide treats inside and they have to move it around to get them out.
GSP’s are very intelligent and keeping their brain active is a good thing to do whilst you’re away. Make sure they have plenty of distractions, whether it’s chew toys or music or a few tasty treats, giving them something to distract themselves with whilst your away will make them feel much better in the long run.
Not Getting Enough Exercise
The last thing to think about is how much exercise they’ve had before you leave them. A GSP is an active dog with lots of energy stored up inside them. Failing to burn off some of this energy with them before you leave will lead to a lot of pent up energy and anxiety when you’re gone. Do you know what the least anxious dog in the world is? A sleeping one.
Take your GSP for a nice long walk before you leave them alone, let them run off their energy and tire themselves out. By the time you’re leaving, your GSP will probably be so sleepy they couldn’t care less whether you’re home or not.
Yes, German Shorthaired Pointers can get separation anxiety. But, if you train them to be used to separation from a young age, then they won’t develop this at all. Follow the tips above, and look into some tips of your own, and you’ll find that a GSP doesn’t have to develop separation anxiety. Will they always prefer time with you compared to time alone?
Of course they will, they’re Velcro dogs and love nothing more than being with you, but that doesn’t have to turn into separation anxiety if you train them correctly.
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