How to cope with separation anxiety in King Charles Spaniels

How to cope with separation anxiety in King Charles Spaniels

Breed Facts

There are few more heart-warming sights than your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel bounding toward you after a long day at work. These furry bundles of affection love you more than anything else, and they don’t care if you know it!

This unceasing, unconditional loyalty is one of the many reasons why the Cavalier is such a great choice of furry friend. As always though, there is a downside to such undiluted affection. While no dog will enjoy being left alone, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel really struggles with it.

Why Does My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Have Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety is a very common condition in many dogs. As pack animals, canines do not seek or enjoy time alone. As companion dogs, this is even more prevalent for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

This has historically been lapdog breed, which means that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel craves human company and interaction. Separation anxiety, the overwhelming sense of angst that envelops a canine when left alone, is a big problem for this dog.

This breed will always want to be surrounded by their human pack and will panic and grow very stressed if they are left to their own devices. Put bluntly, your dog will start to panic that you might never come back if you leave the house without them! If that’s the case, who is going to feed them, play with them and fill their water bowl?

You will need to patient with your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and build trust with them. Separation anxiety can become a real problem if left untreated. Unless you get on top of the condition, it can become detrimental to your quality of life – and that of your pet.

Is My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s Separation Anxiety Dangerous?

Separation anxiety in any dog can be dangerous, and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is no exception.

A dog that is struggling with separation anxiety will bark and howl, which could potentially damage your relationship with your neighbours. They also will chew and destroy anything in sight, whether that’s furniture or personal possessions. Not only will this be annoying and expensive, but it could also lead to your dog breaking his or her teeth.

Finally, there is the possibility of your pet attempting to escape the house in a desperate attempt at reuniting with you. This could obviously place them in grave danger. Whether attempting to negotiate busy roads without a leash or hurting themselves crawling through a small space in a fence, there is a lot of potential for injury or worse.

Perhaps worst of all, you need to remember the key word in this condition – anxiety. An anxious dog is an unhappy dog, and these frayed nerves could cause all kinds of health problems. If a dog is afraid and anxious they may lose their appetite, lose interest in play and exercise, and become prone to a number of health concerns.

Can My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s Separation Anxiety Be Cured?

Yes, it can. However, you will have to be very patient, and very consistent! Telling your spaniel off for crying, whining and howling when you leave the house will achieve nothing. That will just make the whole experience even more distressing. Instead, you will need to make the scenario altogether less frightening for your pet, building a steady trust.

How Can I Reduce My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s Separation Anxiety?

If you are patient and follow the advice found below, you will be able to slowly but surely reduce the worry associated with leaving your dog alone.

  • Take your dog for a long walk and playtime before beginning any separation training. Remember, a tired dog is a sleepy dog – and a sleeping dog will not kick up a fuss while you are away!
  • Slowly introduce your dog to the idea of being alone. Leave a room and close the door behind you for a few seconds – gradually increasing the time. After a while, step up the training and stand outside your front door. Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will still be able to smell you, and this will make them slightly less frantic.
  • When you feel your dog is ready for more prolonged time alone, leave the house for two minutes. Just nip to the local shop and back. Again, gradually increase how long you are away over a steady period of time. Don’t try to run before you can walk – going from two minutes to an hour with nothing in between will end badly.
  • When you come back, give your dog their favourite treat. This will create a positive association with your leaving; your spaniel will start to realise that a departure means a treat upon return!
  • Above all, be patient and be consistent. Don’t abandon the training for a few days because you get busy, then trying to pick up where you left off. Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will need consistency to understand what you are trying to achieve. If you miss a day of training, start again from the beginning.

If you follow these steps, you will be able to reassure your dog that leaving the house without them is not necessarily terrifying. Remember, your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will never like being alone. Getting them used to the idea, however, and trusting that you will return, will make both of your lives considerably easier. Just don’t take this to mean that you can leave your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for hours on end. This will always be a sociable breed of companion dog and will only truly flourish with human company!



Pets for studWanted pets

Accessories & services

Knowledge hub


Support & safety portal
Pets for saleAll Pets for sale