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Great Danes are gentle giants and love spending time with their owners and families.
While we might want to spend all day at home with our dogs, the reality is, we have jobs to go to and things we have to do, so it’s mostly an impossibility.
But as a dog that seeks to spend all of its time with its ‘family,’ separation anxiety in Great Danes can be a bigger problem than it can be with other dogs. It is nothing to worry about, though.
With proper socialisation training, your Great Dane will learn to relax and can live a comfortable, happy life.
What is separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a disorder where your dog will experience excessive activity when separated from the people or home environment that they are used to. It’s a natural manifestation in puppies of all breeds. After all, can you imagine being taken away from your family and home, taken somewhere new and given a new bed and new place to stay that’s nothing like what you’re used to?
It’s also common for dogs that have been recently adopted, for much the same reason. Dogs are creatures of routine and habit and used to living in packs. When you take their family group away from them, a dog tends to panic.
However, in most dogs, this is a short term problem and only lasts until they adjust to their new surroundings and circumstance.
Are great danes prone to separation anxiety?
Like we’ve already said because Great Danes are very people oriented breeds, they’re more susceptible to separation anxiety than most breeds, so it’s important to know how to deal with separation anxiety, and how you can make your dog’s life comfortable while they adjust.
Great Dane Characteristics:
Great Danes are fantastic family dogs and regularly described as
All of these things mentioned above add up to a dog that will love you and your family like no other breed, but also be incredibly attached to you and have less independence and confidence when alone.
Training Your Great Dane to Deal with Separation Anxiety
- When you first bring them home, don’t fawn all over them and give them endless attention. It teaches the dog that this behaviour will be standard, so when you leave the house, and they’re getting no attention, it hits them harder.
- Establish rules and boundaries from the moment you bring them into the house. Consistency and routine help dogs settle into a new lifestyle and adapt to a new household.
- Don’t isolate yourself from your new dog at night, especially if they’re a puppy. Packs of dogs all sleep together with the rest of its family, including puppies. The way to deal with this, especially if your dog wants to try and get in your bed with you, is crate training, or teaching your dog that it has its place that is close by and safe.
- If you have neighbours close by, give them the notice that you’re training a new dog, and if there is any barking, it shouldn’t last long. You can also ask them if they’re willing to let you know if your dog frequently barks or for long periods.
- Work on separation training every single day. Wherever your dog is going to be when you are not at home, spend some time with them there. Play with them, and show them that this is a safe place that they are comfortable in.
- To start training, when your dog is in its area, physically separate yourself from it. The easiest way is to close a door, providing a barrier between the two of you. Then open it again immediately. Repeat this five or six times.
- Next time you shut the door, keep it closed for a few seconds at a time, and repeat. Over time, increase the time you keep the door closed.
- If your dog starts barking, protesting or otherwise trying to get your attention, you keep the door closed and don’t let the dog barge through to get to where you are. It teaches your dog to understand that you will come back, but it can’t bark to make it happen.
Tips for Separation Anxiety in Great Danes
Great Danes are intensely physical animals and respond better to training and separation if they’re tired.
If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety and you can’t train them, see a specialist dog behaviour expert.
Separation anxiety in Great Danes is a real thing. But with training, love and care, both you and your pet will learn to get through this. Just take it slow, and remember, short term pain leads to long term pleasure.