Poodles are a popular choice for canine companions due to their extreme loyalty. This craving for human attention can create a neediness that makes the dog anxious if his people aren't nearby. Taking a few step to train and reassure the dog helps keep the bond but break the dependency.
Poodle dogs are characterized as being excitableable critters despite whatever stimulus is in their immediate environment. Thus, determining if certain behaviors are "normal" or truly indicative of anxiety is best done by someone that knows the dog's history. That being said, a dog experiencing increased anxiety barks all the time, has begun to destroy anything it can get its teeth and paws around, has reverted to potty accidents in the house, is frantic when his human companions leave and is even more frantic upon their return.
How People Make It Worse
As humans, we fuss when we say goodbye to someone. We hug. We kiss. We linger. In our feeble misguided attempt to let our canine companion know that we value them and will miss them during separation, we often add fuel to the dog's brewing anxiety by making too much out of departure. Paying an excessive amount of attention to the dog right before leaving sends the message that this goodbye is more final than just a trip to the grocery store or an eight-hour shift at work. Rather, it is best to spend quality time an hour or so prior to leaving and then simply leave without making a scene. The dog will view your absence as part of the routine instead of a break in the routine.
Practice Your Absence
The best way for your dog to adjust to your absence is for you to actually be gone. Make absence a regular part of the day. This gives the dog the idea that you being gone isn't unusual. Start with shorter durations. This allows the dog to experience you leaving and returning within time frames that don't seem to prolong the absence. The dog then has a successful experience with you leaving rather enduring a stressful stretch of time. Gradually increase the amount of time you are gone and or the amount of times you leave throughout the day. This demonstrates to the dog that your coming and going is just normal activity for the household.
While You Are Gone
If possible, take steps to simulate the same noise level that exists when you are home. If your children watch television or play video games and the dog is adjusted to hearing and seeing that type of stimulus, consider leaving the television playing while you are gone. Some dogs enjoy watching other animals on television. If your home is filled with chatter when the family is present, leaving a radio tuned to talk radio can help fill that void.
Amy M. Armstrong is a former community news journalist with more than 15 years of experience writing features and covering school districts. She has received more than 40 awards for excellence in journalism and photography. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Washington State University. Armstrong grew up on a dairy farm in western Washington and wrote agricultural news while in college.