8 Dog Breeds Most Prone To Anxiety

8 Dog Breeds Most Prone To Anxiety

It is not uncommon for dogs to develop anxiety. This can be the result of specific trauma, it might relate to the loss of memory and subsequent confusion due to old age, or you might just have a naturally anxious pup on your hands.

Many dogs have been bred specifically for human companionship and therefore crave to be around their humans all the time. As a result, they can get very anxious and stressed when they are left alone and separated from their humans for extended periods of time. 

But which dog breeds are most prone to developing anxiety? Here is our list of the eight breeds most likely to experience anxiety.

Bichon Frise

dog breeds prone to anxiety bichon frise

The Bichon Frise is a prime example of a dog specifically bred for human companionship. They are gentle, playful, and affectionate, and just love accompanying their humans on adventures or curling up for a cuddle.

But the fact that they were bred for attachment means that when they are left alone, they can be prone to distress and separation anxiety. You might notice that when you are home, they like to follow you from room to room. They are keeping an eye on you so that you don’t go anywhere without them.

Border Collie

dog breeds prone to separation anxiety Border Collie

Border collies make great working dogs because they are energetic and intelligent. They often work as herding dogs or are trained for competitive sports. But their high level of intelligence means they can easily become bored.

Rather than suffering from anxiety when left alone, these dogs suffer from frustration as they have a lot of energy and their active minds have nothing to occupy them. They are likely to wreak havoc. They should be thoroughly exercised before you go out and leave them at home.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

dog breeds prone to anxiety Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These gorgeous little pups with their long, soft ears were bred to be lap dogs and enjoy spending a lot of time with their human companions. They are very likely to become depressed and anxious when left alone for extended periods of time.

These dogs can develop other kinds of anxiety issues, and you might find that they have a tendency to yap and display territorial behavior. But avoiding this is all about proper training and socialization.

German Shepherds

dog breeds prone to anxiety

German shepherds are very intelligent and disciplined dogs, which is why they make such good working dogs for police and other services. Their size also means they can complete tasks that smaller dogs could find challenging.

But they are bred to always have something to do and be guided by human handlers, so they can become anxious and stressed when they are left alone, with no clear task for extended periods.


dog breeds prone to anxiety Greyhounds

While you might think of greyhounds as sporting dogs with their incredible physique for running, they actually make great household pets. While they do need to get their daily exercise, they are happy to spend most of the rest of the day as couch potatoes.

Greyhounds bond quickly with their owners, which is a wonderful experience but also means they can be prone to developing separation anxiety when left alone for long stretches of time. But don’t let this stop you from adopting a retired racing hound.

Jack Russell Terrier

dog breeds prone to anxiety Jack Russell Terrier

These are little bundles of energy that were first bred as fox hunting dogs in England, and they are intelligent, athletic, fearless, and also pretty vocal dogs. This means they are another breed that has a tendency to bore easily and get into destructive trouble when they don’t have something to do.

Jack Russells can be best compared to two-year-olds, who need constant attention and discipline from their parents. They also bond with their humans like a child and can become distressed if they don’t know where you are for extended periods of time.

Labrador Retriever

dog breeds prone to anxiety Labrador Retriever

Labrador retrievers make excellent household pets because they are intelligent and highly trainable, and they also love people and bond quickly. They play well with children and soon form friendships when new people or animals enter the home.

But because these pups are so personable and quickly become part of the family, they are likely to develop separation anxiety if they are left on their own for long. Their high energy and intelligence mean that when this happens, they can be prone to destruction.


dog breeds prone to anxiety Poodle

Poodles are another breed that was developed for companionship, and they may also be the smartest of all breeds. This, combined with their low-shedding coat, makes them a favorite household pet. They come in full size, miniature, or toy sizes.

But, as with all dogs specifically bred for companionship, poodles will become distressed if they lack human contact. Their intelligence means they can also become bored easily. This makes them doubly susceptible to separation anxiety.

Which Dog Breeds Can Be Left Alone?

If you know your schedule means that your dog will probably have to be at home alone for extended periods of time, it is best to avoid all the breeds on the list above. Not only will you have to deal with the potentially destructive behaviors associated with separation anxiety, but just knowing they are unhappy can be challenging.

Instead, consider dog breeds that are more independent and better able to cope with being left “home alone.” These include the miniature schnauzer, chow chow, Basenji, Basset hound, Chihuahua, French bulldog, and Maltese. 

But, while these dogs will fare better when left alone for several hours, remember that all dogs need love and affection and that adopting a pup means making time for them, every day.

You can learn more about managing separation anxiety in dogs here.


What dog breed has the most anxiety?

While anxiety in dogs is often the result of experience and upbringing, some dog breeds are more prone to developing anxiety than others. 

It is usually breeds that have been bred specifically for human companionships, lap dogs such as poodles and the Bichon Frise, and dogs that have been bred to work alongside humans, such as golden retrievers and Jack Russell terriers that are most likely to suffer from anxiety.

Which dogs can you leave at home all day?

If you are looking for a dog that you can leave alone for most of the day, you need to look for breeds that are either independent and don’t crave significant amounts of human attention or that are low energy and will be happy to spend most the time snoozing while you are out of the house.

Good breed choices include the miniature schnauzer, chow chow, Basenji, Basset hound, Chihuahua, French bulldog, and Maltese. 


Are you looking for a way to support an anxious dog? Consider the Original Calming Bed.


Do you have tips for dealing with an anxious pup? Share them with the community in the comments section below.

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