By Mackenzie Barry
You are likely very attached to your dog and no doubt the feeling is mutual. You probably play together, eat together and you might even let the sweet guy/gal sleep in the bed with you.
However, building these long lasting, meaningful relationships with your dogs could result in sadness and/or anxiety when you apart. Separation anxiety is the term used for the stress a pet develops when separated from their owner or another furry friend. This can happen as frequently as each day when you leave for work, or could be initiated by separation or death.
Separation anxiety manifests itself differently in each dog. No dog is the same, and the symptoms for separation anxiety are unique to each animal. Your dog could display separation anxiety with typical “bad” behavior, or they could seem depressed and anxious.
Before you determine if your dog has separation anxiety, make sure that the problems aren’t medical or other behavioral problems caused by a lack of training. Take your dog to the vet for a check-up to ensure Fido doesn’t have any underlying medical or other problems that could be affecting his behavior and mood.
Even with a medical examination, it can be hard to detect separation anxiety in dogs. Below, we’ve listed some of the most prominent ways in which dogs manifest their separation anxiety. Your vet a good trainer can help diagnose and treat separation anxiety with your input.
1. Destructive behavior like chewing, scratching, or tearing apart the furniture in your home.
2. Barking and howling when they are left alone even though unprovoked.
3. Escaping from your home.
4. Incontinence which is usually performed while the owner is away.
5. General depression and sadness.
It can be difficult to watch your dog go through these symptoms of separation anxiety and be at a loss of how to help. Separation anxiety can be a debilitating for dogs and may result in an otherwise wonderful pet being relinquished if it isn’t treated.
At Colorado Companion Animal Sanctuary, we know how important it is to work with animals to resolve separation anxiety and other behavioral or emotional issues. Many animals in shelters are there due to behaviors like the ones listed above. Check out our next article for tips on how to help your dog cope with separation anxiety.Read More
by Mackenzie Barry
Your dog is your best friend. You love having her around to cuddle, play, and pet. However, just because you love her doesn’t mean that she is perfect. Training your dog to follow commands and behave properly in your home and community will build upon your existing relationship and teach her to interact well with other humans and pets.
There are dozens of methods for training your dog, but often training programs don’t talk about the basic mistakes that people make while training their dog. Here’s the top three mistakes to avoid:
1. You Only Train in One Place: It’s important to train your dog in all the rooms of your home where you want them to perform that behavior. This means that if you are teaching your dog to sit, you should do it in multiple rooms in the house and outside instead of just one room. This teaches your dog that you want them to sit when you give that command, regardless of where you are in the house or outside.
2. Lack of Confidence In Yourself: Training a dog is hard work. It’s easy to get discouraged when training doesn’t seem to be going correctly. However, if you lose hope and give up, your dog will never get trained. It takes time and patience to train your dog, and many times this means that you won’t see results for a while. Practice and trust that you’re taking the right steps to train your dog.
3. Lacking Consistency: Consistency is the key to any successful dog-training session. If you aren’t consistent with your use of treats, clicks, commands, or anything in between, it’s not fair to your dog for you to get angry over their lack of understanding. Establish rules for yourself about how you want to train your dog and then use those rules each time you train. You can’t expect your dog to learn from mixed or inconsistent messages.
At Colorado Companion Animal Sanctuary, we know how hard it can be to train your dog. However, with a little patience and a lot of practice, most dogs can be trained at home. For those with serious behavioral or emotional issues, consider investing in professional training. Often dogs that would otherwise be euthanized can learn new trick, so to speak. Our animals, even though they have disabilities, are just as easily trained as any other animal. Give us a call at 303.910.2425, and we will tell you all about our amazing animals.Read More