Read these 13 Dog Anxiety Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Dog tips and hundreds of other topics.
When your dog barks, it can mean a variety of things depending on the tone of the bark and the surrounding circumstance.
An excited alert bark may welcome a familiar person who is approaching. A deep bark combined with a growl may be a warning to a stranger approaching. Or you dog may use a short quick bark to alert you of a need. For instance, he's ready to go outside to the backyard and needs you to open the door.
Try listening to the tones of your pooch's vocalizations as well as assessing the situation, and you'll find that you may start to understand you canine's lingo a little bit more.
Dog separation anxiety occurs when a dog who is left alone exhibits extreme signs of distress. This condition is most common to dogs who have been shuffled from home to home. A dog suffering from separation anxiety may become panicked and try to escape to reach his owner. He may develop diarrhea or urinate in the house. He may also bark and whine due to his owner's absence.
Learning to read your canine's body language and determining whether he is feeling anxious can go a long way towards deterring unwanted problems. If your dog draws back his weight on his hind legs, he may be feeling fearful and anxious. He'll pull his ears back closer to his head and he may hang his tail down between his rear legs. He may also lick his lips in a nervous gesture.
If your dog is barking frequently due to fears or phobias, you need to work on boosting her confidence in the situations that cause the barking. For instance, if she is fearful of other canines, she may be barking to assert herself. Help socialize her by allowing her to interact with other dogs on a regular basis. Always introduce your pooch to a new situation slowly. As she becomes more comfortable and confident, her barking should subside.
Puppies chew when they are teething. Adult dogs may chew due to boredom or lack of exercise.
To keep your household disaster free, try the following:
1. Engage your pooch in some serious physical playtime. Try playing fetch in the backyard or taking a jog in the neighborhood.
2. Confine your canine to a designated area while you're gone. This can be a crate or a gated area in the kitchen.
3. Provide lots of chew toys to give those canine teeth something to work on.
If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, there are ways to alleviate the problem.
1. Desensitize your dog. You can help your dog get accustomed to your leaving home by doing so often. Start by leaving for only a few minutes and then gradually increase the time you're gone.
2. Give him an activity. Dogs need to have a reasonable level of stimulation in the home. You can keep him busy by giving him toys or a compatible canine playmate.
3. Try doggy daycare. The companionship with other dogs and people during the day during your absence will give your canine a social outlet.
4. Consider medication. Drugs are available to help relieve psychological problems in dogs too. See a veterinarian if this is an option you wish to use to help your dog's separation anxiety.
Although it is unfortunate that your dog has suffered abuse, there are steps that you can take to ease his life now.
The most important thing to do is to teach your dog to regain a sense of trust to his human counterparts. You can do this by socializing him around a wide variety of people. Start off by allowing him to interact with others on a small scale. Gradually introduce him to varied situations, people, and places.
If your dog shows overt signs of fearfulness or aggression, consult an experienced dog trainer of animal behaviorist immediately.
It is not uncommon for a canine to exhibit fear of loud noises. They may find it over stimulating and disconcerting.
It is important not to inadvertently reinforce your dog's fear by showering him with attention and attempting to soothe him during a thunderstorm. Your dog may continue to exhibit fear in order to get additional attention from you.
One way to alleviate your dog's fear is to desensitize him by continued exposure to thunder and lightening. Another method is to condition him to respond in a different manner to lightening. You may continually reward him for showing signs of calmness during a thunderstorm. If he has the tendency to pace during thunder and lightening, you want to reward him for being able to sit still at that time.
Some dogs may do an intentional hearty shake from time to time. This behavior often displayed when a dog has an undesired experience, such as being tugged vigorously at the leash. You dog is literally "shaking off" the experience and moving on. It is also a method of 'rearranging the furniture and fixtures' as humans do when they brush back hair that's fallen into their eyes, stretching out muscles and tension, etc.
There is no health concern to this type of shaking, which can often be seen in some of the smaller breeds of dogs. However, if your dog is having a more seizure-like form of shaking where he is actually convulsing, you should call your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY!
Digging and chewing are often signs of a dog that is not receiving attention or exercise and is suffering from boredom. Whether or not the dog is suffering from separation anxiety may depend on if the dog is simply expending excess energy or literally attempting to dig and chew his way out of the house. Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety have been known to attempt escape through any means in an attempt to reach out to their owners.
Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety may bark and whine in an attempt to call their owners. If your pooch barks upon your departure in conjunction with other behaviors such as attempting to escape, showing signs of panic, and urinating in the house, it is possibly separation anxiety. However, dogs also frequently bark for other reasons including protecting their homes, vocalizing to other dogs, out of boredom, and during play.
There are number of reasons why a dog might exhibit separation anxiety. Lack of proper socialization, being shuttled to multiple homes, past trauma, and simply a nervous nature can be reasons why a dog has separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is very distressful for your canine and should be addressed and remedied.
If you have attempted to alleviate your dog's stress in your absence and you feel that his separation anxiety needs professional assistance, there are a number of options you can use depending on your specific preferences. An experienced trainer who has previously dealt with dogs suffering from separation anxiety can be an excellent resource. You may also want to consider an animal behaviorist, who will have extensively studied canine psychology. Don't forget to consider your veterinarian as well as there are a number of medications available to aid dogs with psychological disorders.