Your dog is naturally fearful, not very bold, does not like to be alone?
Confinement and post-confinement have had negative effects on the behavior of our pooches. Even if some dogs are not at all prone to anxiety, a good number of them suffer from it for multiple and varied reasons.
Get to know your canine better by discovering the origin, symptoms and consequences of anxiety in dogs, as well as our good advice to follow to avoid it as much as possible!
The origins of anxiety can be diverse and varied, but include:
- Loud bangs (fireworks, thunder, firecrackers, gunshots)
- An event that is out of the ordinary (a move, a stay in a boarding house, the arrival of a new resident)
- A past trauma (abuse, accident, abandonment)
- Poor socialization
Symptoms of anxiety (occurring alone or in combination):
- Your dog follows you everywhere, all the time
- Your dog is always on the alert
- Your dog is restless, runs around in circles
- Your dog tries to run away
- Your dog salivates and gasps a lot
- Your dog sometimes urinates inside
- Your dog moans and barks frequently
- Your dog yawns a lot
- Your dog hides in a corner
- Your dog shakes
- Your dog licks its front paws
- Your dog sheds a lot
- Your dog has digestive problems
Consequences of anxiety:
- The anxious dog may completely disassociate (from humans and other dogs) resulting in a totally isolated dog
- An anxious dog can become hyper-attached to its owner, resulting in even greater anxiety when the owner is away
- An anxious dog can be extremely destructive (furniture, objects) and may even injure itself while trying to escape
- In the worst case scenario, an anxious dog is likely to become aggressive, with fear resulting in a need to defend itself
- Separation anxiety
A rather spectacular phenomenon that many dogs suffer from (the master and the neighbors too). In the absence of the master, the dog barks incessantly, destroys everything in its path, does its business indoors. In the presence of the master, the dog is glued to him and asks for his attention at all times.
- Don't skimp on socialization - with other dogs, with other humans, in different environments (country and city). Your dog must be confronted as soon as possible with multiple situations that will allow him not to be anxious later in his everyday life.
- Don't systematically respond to his cries when he is small (even if it is very hard, it is for the well-being of your dog).
- Make sure your dog gets enough exercise in a day (physically and mentally). Boredom can lead to stress.
- Don't pamper or mother him too much (his mother will have done the work until he is 8 weeks old), a dog must be able to stay alone and keep an ounce of independence
- Make him sleep in his place, in his basket and not elsewhere
- Do not give in to all his whims, it is up to you to initiate contact with your dog so that he responds to them and not the other way around.
- Do not lock your dog in a room while you are away, he will consider the place as a place of abandonment. If you have no other choice, spend time with your dog in the same room so that the place is not only associated with negativity.
- Don't punish your dog for doing his business indoors (there's no point unless you catch him red-handed) and don't clean up in front of him, as this can make cleaning up a game and encourage him to do it again.
- Be firm and disciplined. When you leave, don't say goodbye. When you come home from an errand or work, don't give him a party, and don't let him have yours. Although it may seem cruel, it's best to ignore your dog for a few moments so that he's calm and doesn't think of your return as a joyous ceremony, but rather as something quite ordinary.
- Don't use an aversive collar (electric, choke or spike).
- Don't yell at your dog, as this will only make him worse. Be calm.
- Distract him with something positive
Medication may be necessary for chronic and severe anxiety. Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian or a dog trainer if you are overwhelmed by the situation.
See you on The Pets Ark !
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