Symptoms and Causes of Anxiety in Rottweilers

Any dog can become anxious, and rottweilers are no exception. No one likes to see their beloved pet unhappy, so it's important to look out for signs of anxiety and to act quickly when you see them. In some cases, anxiety is easy to deal with, but in other cases it can be more complicated. The first course of action with an anxious rotty is to take him to see his vet. A veterinarian may be able to recommend what you should do next, or may be able to refer you to another specialist.

Separation Anxiety

The most common type of anxiety in rottweilers is separation anxiety. As the name suggests, this is a type of anxiety that manifests itself when a dog is left alone or separated from his owners. More often than not, a dog who experiences separation anxiety will become destructive when he's left alone and will chew up anything he can get his teeth into. Since rottweilers are big, strong dogs, they can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. However, anxious dogs may also bark or howl the whole time you're out, or chew or lick themselves. There's no one clear cut reason why some dogs get separation anxiety and others do, but it could be related to traumatic experiences in the past or simply be part of their personality. The obvious solution is to avoid leaving your dog alone for more than a few minutes, but this isn't always practical. Potential solutions include making sure your dog has plenty of exercise before you go out and leaving him with toys he can chew. Sometimes getting a second dog can help, as dogs are social animals and like to be with a pack member whether human or canine, but occasionally this will only exacerbate the problem.

Other Causes of Anxiety

A range of other factors can cause a your rottweiler to become anxious. These include pain or illness, aging, traumatic past experiences, watching things out of the windows, being in stressful situations or a change in circumstances. If you can figure out what it is that's causing your dog's anxiety, it may be possible to simply remove the stressor and relieve your rotty of his anxiousness. For instance, if your dog becomes anxious after looking out of the window and seeing squirrels in the tree, keep your blinds or curtains shut so he can't look out.

What to Watch Out For

If you're worried that your rotty might be stressed or anxious, there are some telltale signs you can look out for. These include destructive behaviors, obsessive behaviors (such as chewing at himself or obsessive barking), diarrhea, panic, trembling, hiding, reduced activity, or tail tucking.

Seeking Help

It's vital to take your rottweiler to the vet if he's showing symptoms of anxiety. Sometimes these symptoms can actually be caused by an underlying medical issue, such as hyperthyroidism, brain tumors or poisoning, so it's important that you rule these out. If there's no physical issues with your rotty, anxious behavior can sometimes be cured using training techniques, such as conditioning. These techniques are fairly complex, so it's best to see a canine behaviorist or psychologist who can teach you how to help your dog. In some cases, if you've already tried everything else, your veterinarian will prescribe your dog anti-anxiety medication to calm him down. The problem is that medication only masks the anxiety, rather than curing it, and some drugs may have unwanted side effects, so this should be a last resort.

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