Understanding Separation Anxiety in Lhasa Apso Dogs

It’s heart-wrenching to witness your beloved Lhasa Apso pup whining, barking, and destructing furniture the moment you step out of sight. Separation anxiety is a prevalent behavioral issue in dogs, and Lhasa Apsos are no exception. It’s both frustrating and disturbing to see your furry friend suffer from anxiety whenever you leave the house. In this article, we will delve into the causes of separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs, its symptoms, and how to prevent and treat it. So, fasten your seatbelts and let’s dive in!

What is Separation Anxiety?

What Is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a condition that affects many dogs, including Lhasa Apsos. This is a condition where dogs feel a high level of distress when they are left alone. Separation anxiety is not a simple case of boredom or loneliness, but rather a debilitating condition that can affect the physical and emotional wellbeing of your Lhasa Apso. It’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of separation anxiety, as well as the causes and how to prevent and treat it. To learn more about this condition, please continue reading through the following sections. If you suspect your Lhasa Apso is suffering from separation anxiety, you can also find more information about it in our article on Lhasa Apso Separation Anxiety.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Lhasa Apso Dogs

Separation anxiety is a common issue among many dog breeds, including Lhasa Apso dogs. It’s important for pet owners to recognize the symptoms of separation anxiety so they can take necessary steps to prevent or treat it. Some of the common signs of separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs include:

  • Excessive barking or howling: Dogs with separation anxiety may bark or howl excessively when left alone.
  • Destructive behavior: Lhasa Apso dogs may chew or scratch furniture, doors or windows in an attempt to escape and reunite with their owners.
  • Potty accidents: When dogs are suffering from separation anxiety, they may soil the house even if they are house-trained.
  • Depression: Separation anxiety can lead to depression in Lhasa Apso dogs. They may become withdrawn, lethargic or lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.
  • Escape attempts: Dogs with separation anxiety may try to escape by digging or climbing out of their crate or yard.

It’s important to note that these symptoms may also be caused by other issues such as medical conditions or lack of training. If your Lhasa Apso dog is exhibiting any of these behaviors, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian or a certified dog behaviorist to determine the root cause of the issue.

For more information on the signs and symptoms of separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs, check out this helpful guide, which provides additional details and advice on recognizing and addressing this condition. And to learn more about training Lhasa Apso dogs to prevent separation anxiety, take a look at our training tips.

Causes of Separation Anxiety in Lhasa Apso Dogs

Separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs can be caused by a variety of factors. Here is a breakdown of the most common causes that may trigger separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs:

GeneticsLhasa Apso dogs, like many other breeds, can be genetically predisposed to separation anxiety. This means that if a dog’s parent or grandparent has experienced separation anxiety, their offspring may also be more prone to develop it.
Early Life ExperienceIf a Lhasa Apso dog was separated from their mother and littermates at a very early age, they may be more likely to struggle with separation anxiety later in life. This is because they did not have the opportunity to learn social skills and build confidence during their critical socialization period.
Changes in RoutineMajor changes in a Lhasa Apso dog’s routine, such as their owner starting a new job or moving to a new home, can cause anxiety and stress. This can lead to separation anxiety if the dog is unable to cope with the change and becomes overly reliant on their owner.
Loneliness and BoredomLhasa Apso dogs are social animals and crave attention and interaction with their owners. If they are left alone for long periods of time without any stimulation or enrichment, they may become anxious and develop separation anxiety.
TraumaA traumatic event, such as being abandoned or mistreated, can have a lasting impact on a Lhasa Apso dog’s mental health. They may develop separation anxiety as a result of their negative experiences.

While separation anxiety can be caused by a combination of these factors, it is important to identify the specific cause(s) affecting your Lhasa Apso dog in order to provide the most effective treatment.

How to Prevent Separation Anxiety in Lhasa Apso Dogs

How To Prevent Separation Anxiety In Lhasa Apso Dogs
As a Lhasa Apso dog owner, the last thing you want to experience is coming home to a destroyed house and a distressed pup suffering from separation anxiety. It’s essential to take preventive measures to ensure your furry friend’s emotional well-being and protect your home from any further damage. The good news is that preventing separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs is entirely possible with the right approach. In this section, we will discuss some effective techniques to keep your pup calm and happy when left alone.

Training and Socialization

Training and socialization are crucial factors in preventing separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs. Training helps to establish good behavior and encourages independence, while socialization exposes dogs to different environments and experiences which can help them cope with being alone.

Training should begin at a young age and focus on teaching the dog independence and confidence. Consistency is key when training your Lhasa Apso; make sure you use positive reinforcement techniques and reward good behavior. One way to encourage independence is through crate training. A crate can serve as a safe space for your dog, and help them feel more comfortable when you’re not at home.

Socialization involves exposing your Lhasa Apso to different environments, people, and animals. This can help to reduce their anxiety when they are alone. Socialization can also help to prevent aggression and fear in your dog. It’s important to remember that socialization doesn’t just mean playing with other dogs. It also includes things like introducing your dog to new sounds, smells, and textures.

Here are some training and socialization tips to help prevent separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs:

Training TipsSocialization Tips
Use positive reinforcement techniquesIntroduce your dog to new environments and experiences
Be consistent with your commandsExpose your dog to different sounds and textures
Set boundaries for your dogIntroduce your dog to different people and animals
Use a crate to help establish independenceEncourage your dog to explore and interact with their environment
Engage in regular play and exerciseAttend training classes or group play dates

Remember, every dog is different and may require specific training and socialization techniques. Consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for personalized advice. Training and socialization may not completely eliminate separation anxiety, but they can help to reduce the likelihood and severity of the condition.

Gradual Separation

If you have a Lhasa Apso dog with separation anxiety, one effective technique for helping to reduce their anxiety is to practice gradual separation. Here are some steps that you can take to help your furry friend:

  • Establish a routine: Dogs, especially Lhasa Apsos, thrive on routine. If you establish a consistent routine, your dog will be less anxious when you leave the house.
  • Start with short periods of time: Begin by leaving your dog alone for 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually increase the duration to help him get used to being alone. This will help ease their anxiety.
  • Try a leave and return technique: When you leave the house, don’t make a big fuss. Simply say goodbye and leave. When you return, quietly enter the house and wait for your dog to calm down before greeting them.
  • Leave your scent: Your dog finds comfort in your scent, so try leaving a piece of clothing that smells like you when you leave the house, such as a t-shirt or hoodie.
  • Hide treats around the house: Hiding treats around the house can be a fun scavenger hunt for your Lhasa Apso while you are gone. This can distract them from their anxiety and keep them entertained while you are away.

By practicing gradual separation, you can help your Lhasa Apso build up their confidence and trust when left alone. Remember, anxiety in dogs can take time and patience to overcome, but with these simple techniques, you can make the process much easier for both you and your furry best friend.

Enrichment Activities

Lhasa Apso dogs have unique personalities that require adequate mental and physical stimulation. One of the best ways to prevent separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs is by engaging them in various enrichment activities. These activities help to keep their minds occupied and distract them from your absence. Here are some enrichment activities that you can incorporate into your Lhasa Apso’s daily routine.

Interactive Toys: Interactive toys are a great way to keep your Lhasa Apso entertained when you’re not at home. These toys can keep them engaged for hours and are designed to challenge their problem-solving skills. Puzzle toys, for example, can be filled with treats that your dog must work to retrieve.

Hide-and-Seek: Lhasa Apso dogs love to play hide-and-seek. You can hide their favorite toys or treats around the house and let them go on a treasure hunt. This game stimulates their sense of smell and helps to build their confidence.

Agility Training: Agility training is another excellent way to keep your Lhasa Apso physically and mentally fit. You can set up an obstacle course in your backyard or take them to a local agility class. Agility training helps to build their endurance, coordination, and confidence.

Outdoor Activities: Going for walks or hikes, playing fetch, or simply lounging outside in the sun can be great enrichment activities for your Lhasa Apso. These outdoor activities keep them physically and mentally stimulated, and also help to socialize them with other dogs and people.

Music or TV: Leaving soft music or the TV on when you’re not at home can provide some comfort to your Lhasa Apso. The noise can help to drown out outside noises and may make them feel less alone.

Incorporating enrichment activities like these into your Lhasa Apso’s daily routine can help prevent separation anxiety and keep them happy and healthy. Remember to gradually increase the frequency and duration of the activities to build their endurance and prevent injury.

How to Treat Separation Anxiety in Lhasa Apso Dogs

Dealing with separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs can be a perplexing challenge for dog owners. While prevention is always the best approach, there may come a time when you need to seek treatment for your dog’s anxiety. In this section, we will discuss the various treatment options available for dogs suffering from separation anxiety. It’s important to note that not all treatment methods may work for every dog, so it’s essential to try different approaches until you find what works best for your furry friend. Let’s dive into the different treatment options for separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs.

Behavioral Modification

Behavioral modification is a common approach to treating separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs. It involves identifying and addressing the underlying behaviors that contribute to the anxiety. Here are some effective behavioral modification techniques for treating separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs:

  • Desensitization: This involves gradually exposing the dog to the triggers of their anxiety, in a controlled and safe environment, until they become desensitized to them. For example, you can start by leaving your Lhasa Apso alone for short periods of time, and gradually increase the duration. This will help them get used to being alone and reduce their anxiety.
  • Counter-conditioning: This technique involves changing your dog’s emotional response to things that trigger their anxiety. For example, you can use treats or toys to create a positive association with being left alone. This will help them view separation as a positive experience.
  • Calming aids: Calming aids such as pheromone diffusers or calming music can be used to create a relaxing atmosphere for your Lhasa Apso while you’re away. These aids can help reduce their anxiety and make them feel more comfortable while alone.
  • Distraction: This technique involves providing your Lhasa Apso with stimulating toys and activities to keep them distracted while you’re away. This can help reduce their anxiety and prevent destructive behavior.
  • Training: Basic obedience training can help your Lhasa Apso feel more confident and less anxious when left alone. This includes teaching them basic commands such as sit, stay, and come, as well as crate training to provide a safe and comfortable space for them while alone.

It’s important to keep in mind that behavioral modification techniques can take time and patience to see results. It’s also recommended to seek the guidance of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to ensure proper implementation of these techniques. By using these proven methods, you can help your Lhasa Apso overcome separation anxiety and lead a happy, healthy life.


While behavioral modification is the most effective treatment for separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs, medication can also be used in conjunction with training to manage the symptoms. Medication can help reduce anxiety and stress levels in dogs, making it easier for them to cope with being alone.

Here are some common medications prescribed by veterinarians for Lhasa Apso dogs with separation anxiety:

Medication NameFunctionPossible Side Effects
Fluoxetine (Prozac)Antidepressant that increases serotonin levels in the brain.Decreased appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea
Clomipramine (Clomicalm)Tricyclic antidepressant that affects serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain.Dry mouth, constipation, increased heart rate, urinary retention
Diazepam (Valium)Anxiety-reducing medication that affects the central nervous system.Sedation, loss of coordination, increased appetite
Lorazepam (Ativan)Anti-anxiety medication that affects the central nervous system.Drowsiness, lack of coordination, increased thirst
Trazodone (Desyrel)Serotonin-modulating medication that reduces anxiety and helps with sleep.Restlessness, lethargy, dry mouth, digestive problems

It’s important to note that these medications should only be prescribed and administered by a licensed veterinarian. Additionally, medication should never be the sole treatment for separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs. Behavioral modification, training, and enrichment activities should also be implemented to address the root causes of the anxiety.


After reading about the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment options for separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs, it’s clear that ensuring the mental and emotional well-being of our furry friends is just as important as their physical health.

Separation anxiety can be a difficult and frustrating issue to deal with, but it’s important to remember that it’s not the dog’s fault. Dogs are social animals and they thrive on human interaction, so when left alone for extended periods of time, it’s understandable that they may become anxious and distressed.

The best way to prevent separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs is by providing them with proper training, socialization, and enrichment activities. Gradual separation can also be helpful in acclimating dogs to being alone. However, if separation anxiety does occur, there are various treatment options available. Behavioral modification techniques and medication can both be effective in helping dogs cope with their anxiety.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that separation anxiety is a real issue that can greatly impact the quality of life for both the dog and their owner. By recognizing the causes, symptoms, and prevention methods, we can work towards creating a happy and stress-free environment for our furry friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the most common age for Lhasa Apso dogs to develop separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety can develop at any age but is most common in Lhasa Apso dogs between six months and three years old.

2. Can separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs be caused by genetics?

Yes, separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs can be caused by genetics. If the dog’s parents or previous generations had anxiety issues, it can be passed down.

3. How long can a Lhasa Apso dog be left alone without developing separation anxiety?

This can vary between dogs, but generally, it’s recommended that Lhasa Apso dogs not be left alone for more than 4-6 hours at a time.

4. Will getting another dog help with separation anxiety in my Lhasa Apso?

Not necessarily. It’s important to remember that every dog is unique, and introducing another dog to the family can sometimes make the problem worse.

5. Can a change in routine trigger separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs?

Yes, any significant change in the dog’s routine can trigger separation anxiety. This can include a new house, new family member, or even just changing the time of day the dog is left alone.

6. Is it okay to punish a Lhasa Apso dog for their separation anxiety?

No, punishment can make the problem worse. It’s important to address the root cause of the anxiety through training and socialization instead of punishing the dog.

7. How can I tell if my Lhasa Apso has separation anxiety or is just bored?

If your Lhasa Apso exhibits destructive behavior or excessive barking when left alone, they may be experiencing separation anxiety. If they are simply bored, they may exhibit similar behavior even when you’re home.

8. Do Lhasa Apso dogs grow out of separation anxiety?

It depends on the dog and the severity of their anxiety. However, most Lhasa Apso dogs will require treatment and management for the rest of their lives.

9. Can certain breeds of dogs be more susceptible to separation anxiety?

Yes, certain breeds like Lhasa Apso, Bichon Frise, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can be more prone to separation anxiety.

10. Can separation anxiety in Lhasa Apso dogs cause physical health problems?

If left untreated, separation anxiety can cause physical health problems in Lhasa Apso dogs such as weight loss, gastrointestinal issues, and even self-injury.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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