Researchers in Finland conducted a survey of nearly 14,000 dog owners to determine the causes of canine anxiety. They found that over 72% of dogs experience some form of anxiety.
What types of anxiety are most common, and are there certain breeds that are more anxious than others? Here are a few key findings from the study:
- The most common form of anxiety in dogs is noise sensitivity (fireworks, thunder, etc.) followed by fear of specific things (such as strangers, other dogs, or surfaces and heights).
- Female dogs are slightly more likely to show anxiety and fear than male dogs (51.5%). Male dogs tend to show more separation anxiety.
- Certain behavior problems tend to be associated with canine anxiety, including inattention, aggression, hyperactivity, and compulsive behavior (such as self-biting).
- Some breeds are more anxious and fearful than others. Labrador Retrievers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers show low levels of fear, while Shetland Sheepdogs and Rough Collies tend to be more fearful.
The authors of the study note that canine anxiety can have a genetic basis. However, the prevalence of canine anxiety shows that it is common across breeds and factors like training, socialization, and the home environment play a role too.
Interested in learning more? Check out the full study HERE.