How Exercise Can Help Your Shih Poo Overcome Separation Anxiety

As pet owners, watching our furry friends suffer from separation anxiety can be a heart-wrenching experience. Shih Poos, in particular, are known to be more prone to separation anxiety than many other breeds. If you’re a Shih Poo owner who is struggling to manage your pup’s anxiety when you’re not around, you’re not alone. But the good news is that there are several strategies you can implement to help ease your pet’s anxiety and ensure that they are as calm and content as possible when home alone. In this article, we’ll be exploring the importance of exercise in managing Shih Poo separation anxiety, as well as various other tactics you can use to help your furry friend feel comfortable and at ease when you’re not around.

What is Separation Anxiety?

What Is Separation Anxiety?
For many pet owners, leaving their furry friends alone can be a tough and emotional experience. For Shih Poos, a mix of Shih Tzu and Poodle breeds, the feeling of separation can escalate into something more serious — separation anxiety. It is a condition where a dog experiences intense fear and nervousness in situations where they are left alone. This condition can lead to destructive behavior, excessive barking, and even physical harm to themselves. Understanding the signs and symptoms of separation anxiety in Shih Poos is crucial in managing and treating this condition. To learn more about the signs and symptoms of Shih Poo separation anxiety, visit our article that focuses solely on this topic.

Signs of Separation Anxiety in Shih Poos

Separation anxiety is a common problem among Shih Poos, and recognizing the signs is the first step in addressing the issue. Here are some signs that your Shih Poo may be suffering from separation anxiety:

  • Destructive behavior: If you come home to find that your Shih Poo has chewed up furniture or personal belongings, it could be a sign of separation anxiety.
  • Excessive barking or howling: If your Shih Poo barks or howls excessively when you are gone, it could be a sign of separation anxiety.
  • Potty accidents: If your Shih Poo is typically potty trained, but has accidents when you are away from home, it could be a sign of separation anxiety.
  • Trying to escape: If your Shih Poo tries to escape from their crate or the house when you’re away, it could be a sign of separation anxiety.
  • Depression: If your Shih Poo seems lethargic, refuses to eat, or seems depressed when you are preparing to leave or returns from being away for an extended period of time, it could be a sign of separation anxiety.

Recognizing these signs is important as it will allow you to address the problem head-on. Don’t ignore the problem and assume it will go away on its own. In the next section, we’ll look at how exercise can play a role in managing separation anxiety in Shih Poos.

Shih poo separation anxiety is one of the main challenges of owning a Shih Poo. It is important that you recognize the signs and take action to help your furry friend overcome this common issue.

How Exercise Helps Shih Poos with Separation Anxiety

How Exercise Helps Shih Poos With Separation Anxiety
It’s no secret that dogs need exercise to stay healthy and happy, but did you know that exercise can also be a powerful tool in managing separation anxiety in Shih Poos? Not only does physical activity help to tire out your furry friend, reducing their overall stress levels, but it also releases endorphins, which can improve their mood and overall sense of wellbeing. Let’s dive deeper into the ways in which exercise can help your Shih Poo combat separation anxiety.

To better understand the underlying causes of Shih Poo separation anxiety, check out our article on what triggers this condition. If you’re looking for general tips on how to manage it, visit our guide to handling separation anxiety in Shih Poos.

The Science Behind Exercise and Anxiety Reduction

Research has shown that exercise can be an effective way to alleviate anxiety in Shih Poos. When dogs are active, their bodies release endorphins, which are natural chemicals that help regulate mood and reduce stress levels. Additionally, exercise has been found to increase the production of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which can also lower anxiety levels in dogs.

Furthermore, regular exercise has been shown to have long-term positive effects on a dog’s mental health. By engaging in physical activity on a consistent basis, Shih Poos may experience reduced anxiety levels over time, as well as improved overall well-being.

In addition to these chemical and long-term benefits, there are also immediate effects that exercise can have on a dog’s anxiety level. When a Shih Poo is feeling anxious, it often has excess energy and feels restless. By providing an outlet for this pent-up energy, exercise can help alleviate some of the symptoms of anxiety.

Some specific types of exercise that are particularly effective for reducing anxiety in dogs include:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Playing fetch
  • Agility training

By incorporating these types of exercise into your Shih Poo’s routine, you can help them manage their separation anxiety.

It’s important to note that while exercise can be helpful, it shouldn’t be the only method used to manage separation anxiety in Shih Poos. Crate training, professional training, and other management techniques should also be used alongside exercise to ensure the best possible outcomes for your pet’s mental health.

Benefits of Exercise for Shih Poos

Shih Poos can greatly benefit from exercise when dealing with separation anxiety. Here are some of the key benefits of exercise for Shih Poos:

Physical Health: Exercise is important for a Shih Poo’s physical health. Regular exercise like walking, running, or playing fetch can help keep your dog’s heart and lungs healthy. It can also help maintain a healthy weight, which is important for overall wellbeing.
Mental Stimulation: Shih Poos are intelligent dogs that require mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Exercise provides a great opportunity to stimulate a dog’s mind through new sights, sounds, and smells. This can help prevent boredom and negative behaviors associated with separation anxiety.
Emotional Health: Exercise can be a great way for Shih Poos to release pent-up emotions and anxiety. Physical activity releases endorphins, which can help dogs feel happier and more relaxed. This can greatly reduce anxiety and make it easier for your pup to handle your absence.
Bonding: Exercise is also a great way to bond with your Shih Poo. Spending time together during physical activity can help build trust and keep your dog feeling secure. This can also help reduce anxiety when you do have to be apart.

Regular physical exercise is just one of the tools that can be used to manage separation anxiety in Shih Poos. To learn more about other effective management techniques, check out our article on pro training for separation anxiety in Shih Poos.

Types of Exercise to Combat Separation Anxiety

To combat separation anxiety in Shih Poos, it is important to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. There are various types of exercises that can help reduce anxiety levels, both physically and mentally. Here are some types of exercises to consider:

Exercise TypeDescription
WalkingWalking is a great form of exercise, as it provides both physical activity and mental stimulation. It allows Shih Poos to explore their surroundings, taking in new sights and smells, which can help reduce anxiety levels.
Running/JoggingRunning or jogging is a more high-intensity form of exercise that can help burn off excess energy and reduce stress levels. However, it is important to gradually build up endurance and ensure that the Shih Poo is physically capable of handling this type of exercise.
Playing FetchPlaying fetch is a fun way to incorporate both physical activity and mental stimulation into a Shih Poo’s routine. It allows them to use their natural instincts to chase and retrieve objects, which can help reduce anxiety levels.
SwimmingSwimming is a low-impact form of exercise that is easy on a Shih Poo’s joints. It can be a great way to cool off on a hot day and can help release pent-up energy, reducing anxiety levels.
Puzzle ToysPuzzle toys can provide mental stimulation, which can be just as important as physical activity when it comes to reducing anxiety levels. They challenge a Shih Poo’s problem-solving skills and can help keep them occupied when left alone.

Incorporating a variety of these exercise types into a Shih Poo’s routine can be highly beneficial in managing their separation anxiety. It is important to tailor the exercise routine to the individual dog’s needs and abilities, gradually building up endurance and incorporating new activities over time. Consistency is key, as regular exercise can greatly improve a Shih Poo’s overall well-being and help reduce their anxiety levels.

Creating a Regular Exercise Routine

Regular exercise is an indispensable tool in managing separation anxiety in Shih Poos. It helps to keep them mentally and physically stimulated, leading to reduced anxiety levels. Below are some tips on creating a regular exercise routine for your furry friend:

  • Start slow and build up gradually: Begin with low-intensity exercises such as walking or slow jogging, and increase the intensity and duration of the exercise gradually over time. This prevents injury and helps your Shih Poo build strength and endurance.
  • Vary the exercises: To maintain interest, it’s essential to vary the types of exercise your dog does. You could incorporate outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking, and other interactive games like fetch, frisbee, or agility training. These exercises not only provide physical exercise but also stimulate their minds.
  • Find the right time of day: Some Shih Poos may prefer to exercise in the morning, while others like it in the evening. It’s important to find out when your pet is most active and schedule the exercise to coincide with that.
  • Ensure you have the right equipment: Before starting any exercise routine, check that the equipment is appropriate for your dog’s size and age. The correct equipment can make the exercise more enjoyable for your dog and more comfortable for you.
  • Combine exercise with training: Incorporate training sessions into the exercise regimen to enhance the mental stimulation your dog receives. It also helps strengthen your bond with your pet.
  • Make it enjoyable: Finally, exercising needs to be fun and enjoyable for your Shih Poo. Try to create a routine that matches their personality, likes and interests.

By creating a regular exercise routine for your Shih Poo, you’ll help them become more resilient and better equipped to handle separation anxiety. Remember to have patience and start slow, and soon you’ll start seeing the benefits of regular exercise in your Shih Poo’s behavior.

Other Management Techniques for Separation Anxiety

As much as exercise is important in managing separation anxiety in Shih Poos, other management techniques can also prove to be effective. Below are some alternative approaches that can be used in conjunction with regular exercise routines to reduce the stress and anxiety that your furry friend experiences when alone. These methods involve using calming toys and music, crate training, desensitization training, and the services of a dog sitter or walker. Let’s explore each of these solutions in more detail.

Calming Music and Toys

Calming music and toys can be great tools to help soothe a Shih Poo suffering from separation anxiety. Toys can distract your furry friend and provide them with a positive outlet for their nervous energy. Calming music has also been proven to have a relaxing effect on dogs, and can be a useful way to help your Shih Poo feel more comfortable when alone.

There are many different types of toys available that can help alleviate separation anxiety, and it’s important to find the right ones for your unique pup. Puzzle toys or toys that dispense treats can be great options, as they provide a fun challenge and reward for your dog. Chew toys can also be helpful for reducing stress and anxiety, as they allow your dog to release their tension and keep their mind occupied.

When it comes to calming music, studies have shown that certain types of music can have a positive effect on dogs. Classical music in particular has been found to have a calming effect on dogs, as the rhythms and melodies can create a soothing environment. There are also special playlists or apps available specifically designed for calming dogs, which can be a great option if you’re not sure where to start.

To help you choose the right toys and music for your Shih Poo, here is a helpful table with some additional options:

ToysCalming Music
Puzzle toysClassical music
Treat-dispensing toysNature sounds
Chew toysDog-specific calming music
Comfort toys (e.g. plush toys, blankets)Calming music apps/playlist

Using these types of toys and music, in addition to regular exercise and other management techniques, can help your Shih Poo overcome their separation anxiety and feel more comfortable when alone. Remember, every dog is unique and may respond differently to various strategies, so it’s important to experiment and find the right combination of tactics that work for your furry friend.

Crate Training

Crate training can be an effective technique for managing separation anxiety in Shih Poos. By creating a positive association with a crate, your furry friend will feel safer and calmer when left alone. Here are some tips for successful crate training:

  • Introduce the Crate Gradually: Allow your Shih Poo to explore the crate on their own and get comfortable with it. Place treats and toys inside the crate to encourage them to enter. Gradually close the door for short periods while you are home.
  • Make it Comfortable: Add soft bedding and familiar toys to the crate to make it a comfortable space for your pooch.
  • Use Positive Reinforcement: Reward your Shih Poo with treats and praise for going into the crate and remaining calm inside.
  • Start with Short Periods: Begin crate training by leaving your pooch for short periods while you are still at home. Increase the length of time as they become more comfortable.
  • Do Not Punish: Never use the crate as punishment. Your Shih Poo should view it as a positive and safe space.
  • Gradually Leave for Longer Periods: Once your Shih Poo is comfortable in the crate for short periods, you can begin leaving for longer periods. Start with brief trips and gradually increase until they can be left for a full day.

Crate training can be a valuable tool in managing separation anxiety, but it should not be the only method used. Combining crate training with regular exercise, desensitization training, calming music and toys, and possibly hiring a dog sitter or walker can create a comprehensive plan for managing separation anxiety in your Shih Poo.

Desensitization Training

Desensitization training is a behavior modification technique that gradually exposes your Shih Poo to the triggers that cause their separation anxiety. The purpose of this training is to reduce your dog’s fear and anxiety by slowly increasing their tolerance for alone time. This process requires patience and consistency, but it can be incredibly effective.

The Desensitization Training Process

The desensitization process involves gradually increasing the amount of time your Shih Poo spends alone in a controlled and safe environment. The goal is to help them learn that it’s okay to be by themselves and that you will always return. Here’s an example schedule of how you can gradually build up your dog’s tolerance:

WeekAlone Time
15 minutes
210 minutes
315 minutes
420 minutes
530 minutes
645 minutes
71 hour

Tips for Successful Desensitization Training

Desensitization training can be a challenging process, but the rewards are worth it. Here are some tips to help make the training successful:

  • Stay consistent: Stick to the schedule and gradually increase the alone time, even if your Shih Poo seems anxious.
  • Stay calm: Your dog can sense your emotions, so it’s essential to remain calm and relaxed during the entire process.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Reward your Shih Poo with praise and treats when they handle being alone well.
  • Make it gradual: Don’t rush the process, take small steps to ensure your dog stays comfortable and confident with each step.


While desensitization training may require some effort and time, it’s a highly effective technique for managing separation anxiety in Shih Poos. By gradually increasing the amount of alone time and reinforcing positive behaviors, your dog can learn to feel more comfortable and confident when left alone. Remember to be consistent, patient, and positive throughout the entire process.

Hiring a Dog Sitter or Walker

When dealing with separation anxiety in Shih Poos, it’s important to consider hiring a dog sitter or walker. This can be especially helpful for owners who work long hours or have busy schedules. Here are some benefits to hiring a dog sitter or walker:

  • Companionship: A dog sitter or walker can provide much-needed companionship for your Shih Poo while you’re away. This can help ease their anxiety and provide a sense of comfort.
  • Exercise: A sitter or walker can also provide exercise for your Shih Poo, which is crucial for managing separation anxiety. They can take your dog for walks, play fetch, or engage in other physical activities.
  • Socialization: Regular visits from a sitter or walker can also help with socialization, which is important for Shih Poos who may be prone to anxiety and shyness around strangers.
  • Routine: A sitter or walker can also help establish a routine for your Shih Poo, which can help them feel more secure and less anxious in your absence.

When choosing a dog sitter or walker, it’s important to do your research and find someone you trust. Look for someone with experience working with Shih Poos, and check their references and credentials. You’ll also want to make sure they’re insured and bonded in case of any accidents or incidents.

It’s also important to communicate your Shih Poo’s specific needs and routines to the sitter or walker. This will help ensure that your dog is getting the care and attention they need while you’re away. With a trusted and reliable dog sitter or walker, you can help manage your Shih Poo’s separation anxiety and give yourself peace of mind knowing that they’re in good hands.


In conclusion, it is clear that exercise plays a crucial role in managing separation anxiety in Shih Poos. By providing them with physical activity, we can reduce their anxiety levels and help them feel more relaxed when left alone.

It’s important to remember that exercises alone may not completely resolve Shih Poo’s Separation Anxiety, but it is a helpful tool for managing it effectively. Other techniques such as calming music and toys, crate training, desensitization training, and hiring a dog sitter or walker can also be utilized in combination with regular exercise.

As a pet owner, it’s essential to understand that separation anxiety is a real issue and that it can have severe consequences for your furry friend. By taking an active role in managing their anxiety, we can provide them with a happier and healthier life.

Therefore, it is recommended that Shih Poo owners should aim to create a regular exercise routine as part of their Separation Anxiety management plan, and ensure that it is tailored to their dog’s individual physical needs. By doing so, the bond between the owner and their pet can also be strengthened as a result of increased physical activity and quality time spent together.

In summary, by prioritizing regular exercise and implementing other management techniques, we can help our Shih Poos manage their Separation Anxiety effectively and provide them with a more peaceful and contented life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is separation anxiety in dogs?

Separation anxiety is a behavior disorder in dogs that occurs when they are left alone for long periods of time. It can cause a wide range of destructive and disruptive behaviors.

What are the signs of separation anxiety in Shih Poos?

Signs of separation anxiety in Shih Poos include excessive barking or whining, destructive behavior, attempts to escape, and eliminating indoors.

How does exercise help manage separation anxiety in Shih Poos?

Exercise helps manage separation anxiety in Shih Poos by reducing stress and anxiety levels, promoting relaxation, and providing an outlet for excess energy.

What type of exercise is best for Shih Poos with separation anxiety?

Any type of aerobic exercise that raises the heart rate and gets the blood pumping is effective in managing separation anxiety in Shih Poos. Options include walking, running, playing fetch, and swimming.

How often should I exercise my Shih Poo to manage separation anxiety?

Shih Poos should be exercised for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, to manage separation anxiety. However, more exercise is always better and can lead to more significant improvements.

What is crate training, and how can it help with separation anxiety?

Crate training involves teaching your dog to view their crate as a safe and comfortable space. It can help manage separation anxiety by giving your dog a designated area to retreat to when you are away.

What is desensitization training, and how does it work?

Desensitization training involves gradually exposing your Shih Poo to situations that trigger their separation anxiety. Over time, the dog learns that these situations are not so scary after all, and their anxiety decreases.

Can calming music or toys help with separation anxiety?

Yes, certain types of calming music and toys can help manage separation anxiety in Shih Poos. They can provide a feeling of comfort and security for the dog when you are away.

Can hiring a dog sitter or walker help manage separation anxiety?

Yes, having a dog sitter or walker come by when you are away can help manage separation anxiety in Shih Poos. It provides socialization and exercise while also giving your dog a break from being alone.

Is separation anxiety curable in Shih Poos?

While separation anxiety in Shih Poos is not entirely curable, it can be managed and reduced with the proper treatment and techniques.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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