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Top Dog Breeds With the Worst Separation Anxiety

María Besteiros
By María Besteiros, Expert veterinary assistant and canine/feline hairdresser.. July 2, 2020
Top Dog Breeds With the Worst Separation Anxiety

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Dogs have a special attachment to their human companions. They're used to being with their herd all the time, this is why they get so upset when we leave for work and don't bring them. While some breeds can get used to being alone for a couple hours per day, others will have a harder time.

In this AnimalWised article we're going to talk about the top 10 dog breeds with the worst separation anxiety. We'll explain each one and provide photos as well. Let's get started!

You may also be interested in: Dogs That Shed The Most
  1. Separation anxiety in dogs
  2. Labrador Retriever
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Australian Shephard
  5. Terrier dog breeds
  6. Bichon Frise
  7. Border Collie
  8. Toy Poodle
  9. Spaniels dog breeds
  10. Viszla
  11. Italian Greyhound
See more >>

Separation anxiety in dogs

Dogs can feel separation anxiety when they have a very strong and dependant relationship with their human companions. This is why they begin to feel extremely distressed, nervous and anxious when separated from their companion. This anxiety will lead them to have behavioral issues, such as the following:

  • Urinating or defecating
  • Barking or howling
  • Chewing, digging or destroying objects
  • Escaping
  • Pacing
  • Coprophagia

Although all dogs can develop separation anxiety, some dog breeds are more prone to it due to various factors. In this article we're going to review the top 10 dog breeds with the worst separation anxiety. Nevertheless, it should be said that if you do have a dog with separation anxiety, their condition can improve with some training. Learn more in our article about separation anxiety in dogs.

We also invite you to watch our AnimalWised Youtube video about separation anxiety in dogs.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is a popular companion dog. They're known for being active, kind and affectionate with their family. They were also once used as hunting dogs to retrieve the animals human hunted. Therefore, it's no surprise that they are used to being with their companion all day long. However, nowadays, many of us have to go to work or school and cannot always be with them.

Through training and plenty of exercise, you can help your labrador retriever cope with being without you for a couple of hours.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is also a very popular breed worldwide. Its extraordinary qualities are well known. There is more to see the tasks it performs in the field of assistance or police . They are large dogs that can exceed 40 kg in weight . They have adapted to life both inside apartments and outside homes. Of course, they have a high level of energy , so they must be able to exercise. Nor can forget the stimulation at the mental level. They are excellent students.

If we include it among the most nervous dog breeds, it is for the same thing that we mentioned for the schnauzer, that is, the indiscriminate breeding , which has taken its toll and has resulted in behavioral and health problems. Thus, nervousness, fear, excessive shyness or aggressiveness appear.

Australian Shephard

The Australian Shephard is a beautiful working dog. Throughout its history it has been an active herd dog, working closely with their human companion. This is why, to this day, they require a lot of exercise and time with their companion. However, this also makes this breed prone to developing separation anxiety and behavioral issues when not cared for enough.

Top Dog Breeds With the Worst Separation Anxiety - Australian Shephard

Terrier dog breeds

There are different terrier breeds that can be included among the most nervous dog breeds that are prone to separation anxiety. In general, they are tenacious dogs that bark and have a lot of energy. From these breeds, we can highlight the following:

  • Fox terrier: can develop nervousness before other dogs and suffer when being separated from their companions.
  • Yorkshire terrier: very popular and mistakenly treated as lap dogs. These dogs require plenty of exercise activity and attention. Due to breeding issues, some specimens are naturally nervous and bark excessively.
  • Airedale terrier: this terrier is another one that can get nervous in the presence of other dogs. They have a tendency to trigger fights and can also develop other behavioral issues when away from their companion.
  • West highland white terrier: also known as Westy, these are another popular breed of terriers. The problem, in addition to his propensity to suffer skin problems, is a nervous temperament. Therefore, they will need a lot of attention and exercise.
Top Dog Breeds With the Worst Separation Anxiety - Terrier dog breeds

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dogs are alert and curious. They make great little watchdogs, however, they're not aggressive at all. In fact, they get along well with children and other animals. Throughout history, these dogs belonged to royal families. They were constantly pampered and used as a lap dog. Later on they were also used in showbiz. Meaning that, these dogs were used to being accompanied all day long.

Nowadays, these dogs make a great companion for any single person or family. They're very energetic, loving and loyal. However, they can also be very dependant. This is why we must be careful when adopting this dog, as they are prone to separation anxiety.

Top Dog Breeds With the Worst Separation Anxiety - Bichon Frise

Border Collie

The Border Collie is a highly regarded dog. They're a pastor dog that nowadays also participates in different mental and physical ability games. They are very intelligent, so they have an easy time learning. But they are also very active dogs. An apartment will not be your ideal home. These dogs need a lot of attention and space to play.

This breed is also prone to separation anxiety due to their high energy and loyal relationship with their human companion. When separated for a long time they may begin to show the symptoms of separation anxiety we've previously listed.

Top Dog Breeds With the Worst Separation Anxiety - Border Collie

Toy Poodle

Toy Poodles are one of the most popular types of poodles in the world. These dogs are energetic, loving and dependant. They enjoy spending time with their human companion and their family. They're known for being playful, smart, positive and extremely loyal.

With that being said, they are prone to separation anxiety as they are very dependant and loyal to their companion. They need love and attention, so when they don't get it they can begin to show signs of separation anxiety.

Spaniels dog breeds

Spaniels form a group of hunting dogs. In our list we're mentioning the Cocker and Springer. These breeds were born as hunting and retriever dogs, although now they make a great companion dog. Some caretakers noticed these breeds for their aesthetics but they forgot that these dogs are not lap dogs. This contributed to some behavioral issues.

These dogs need a high level of stimulation, both mentally and physically. Without it, they become nervous and experience anxiety. As they are used to working alongside their companion, they may also experience separation anxiety and begin to have behavioral problems.

Top Dog Breeds With the Worst Separation Anxiety - Spaniels dog breeds


Viszla dogs are originally hunting dogs. They are very active dogs that love being in water. They need an active and dynamic human companion to care for them and provide them with their needs to be a healthy and happy dog. As they were bred to hunt with their human companion, they don't get on well without their human and nothing to do.

These dogs need lots of activity and company. When they're left alone with no entertainment, they may begin to develop certain separation anxiety symptoms.

Top Dog Breeds With the Worst Separation Anxiety - Viszla

Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound is the smallest of all greyhounds and one of the oldest companion dogs. The origin of this breed dates back to ancient Egypt and is thought to be one of the first companion dogs. However, the development of this breed took place in Italy during the renaissance, hence their name.

These dogs connect so well with their human companions that when left alone for many hours they begin to experience separation anxiety and distress.

Top Dog Breeds With the Worst Separation Anxiety - Italian Greyhound

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  • Fogle, Bruce. (nineteen ninety five). The Encyclopedia of the Dog. London. Dorling Kindersley.
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Top Dog Breeds With the Worst Separation Anxiety