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Dog Stress Levels

When a dog has gone over threshold, attempting to train them at that moment will be useless. A dog that is over threshold is in “survival mode.” Her sympathetic nervous system is activated, which controls her body’s response to the perceived threat. Adrenaline increases, heart rate increases, muscles contract and pupils dilate as her body reacts as if it were facing a life-or-death event. In these situations, it is better to just get the dog out of the fearful situation or to try to minimize its impact in these instances. If a trainer fails to look at the dog as an individual who is fearful and views the dog’s failure to obey as a dominance issue, the trainer may start punishing a fearful dog for misbehaving when the dog is actually scared. This is especially true if the trainer ignores the fact that some dogs’ “zone of tolerance” is larger than others. Therefore, some dogs will take far less stress before going “over threshold.” Punishing fear only compounds the fear. The dog may then intensify its attempts to run away, or even go into fight mode and attack the handler. But if flight or fight do not work, and the [...]

By |2023-02-15T11:22:32-08:00January 16th, 2023|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

When Emotions Affect Behavior

When Emotions Affect a Dog's Behavior Some behaviors are the result of anxiety, fear, or excitement. As I have mentioned before, if a learner is too stressed, learning cannot occur. If the anxiety or fear is mild, you can help your dog with some homeopathic therapies. Some of these therapies can also help if you have a high-energy puppy or dog because they calm them down enough so they can learn the behaviors you are trying to teach. Homeopathic Therapies for Dogs ThunderShirt: This is a dog shirt that fits tightly on the dog’s body. It comes from the same reasoning that we use when we swaddle a baby. The tightness can help calm the nervous system and allow  the dog to be present when learning. The ThunderShirt can also be used during fireworks and thunderstorms.   Adaptil Pheromones: These pheromones come in collars, diffusers, and sprays. In some cases, these pheromones help reduce fear and anxiety so the dog can learn with less stress.   Through A Dog’s Ear (and other classical music created to calm dogs): This music was specifically created to calm dogs. You can use this when training; however, it is more beneficial to use when [...]

By |2022-12-15T09:18:16-08:00December 14th, 2022|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Tips For Moving With Your Pet

Moving Can Affect Each Pet Differently Moving can be very stressful for both dogs and people! Each dog is different so it can also depend on each animal. Anxious Dog? If your dog is generally anxious, moving will increase their anxiety. Talk to your pet's veterinarian for a mild anti-anxiety medication such as Trazadone or Xanax. Your pet may also benefit from a thunder shirt or pheromone collar. Anxious Horse? Hire a professional horse mover/trailer to help with the process. They will have the experience and knowledge to make it an easier process for both the horse and you. General Tips For Moving With Pets Routine - Keep a regular routine as much as possible. Get in Walks - Make sure your still setting time aside for regular walks to burn off excess energy and calm anxiety. Manage Your Stress - Make sure your own stress is managed so you don't add to theirs. Visit the New Home - Go to the new home as much as possible to familiarize your pet with the environment. Go to the new home before moving boxes in so your dog has a chance to sniff around or play in the backyard. Bring high value [...]

By |2022-03-21T13:08:51-07:00February 16th, 2022|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Make Holidays Enjoyable for Your Dog

Make The Holidays Enjoyable For Your Dogs As humans we often think of the holidays as a chance to see family members that we don’t see often, go to parties, and eat festive food.  For us this time can be very fun and exciting, but it is also typically more hectic.  As you celebrate the holiday season, take moment to consider the holidays from your dog’s point of view. Don’t Force Your Dog to Socialize With all of the dogs and people I have worked with, I have never met a bad dog, and I have never met a bad person. I have met many dogs that exhibit bad or inappropriate behavior, and I have met many people who don’t know what to do in those situations. I often compare it to a parent who has a child that had severe ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s, or another brain disease. The parents are not bad because they have these children. They just need help figuring out how best to help their children. Asking for help is hard to do, but it is the best thing to do when you love your dog or child. Although we love to invite friends and [...]

By |2022-01-11T19:13:07-08:00December 13th, 2021|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Is The Problem Medical or Behavioral?

Is The Problem Medical or Behavioral? Unfortunately, our dogs cannot talk to us, so when a problem arises, we must investigate to find out what is wrong.  As humans, we often overlook that a problem behavior can be medical. Many times we jump straight to assuming that the dog is doing a “bad” behavior.  As a Registered Veterinary Technician, I am always considering if the reason for an unwanted behavior is medical. Sometimes differentiating if a problem is medical or behavioral can be tricky.  Here are a few things I initially consider: Is the behavior a new behavior? For example, if a dog has been reliably housebroken then begins to have accidents in the house, I will wonder if the dog has developed a bladder infection. Or if a dog that used to love to be petted everywhere begins to growl when someone touches his back, I will ask if the dog has had any recent injuries to their back. How old is the dog? If the dog is over 8 years old and is displaying “strange” behaviors, the dog may be developing cognitive disorders. Has the dog experienced any traumas or frightening events? Dogs can develop Post Traumatic [...]

By |2021-06-27T23:35:32-07:00April 17th, 2021|Blog of the Month|0 Comments
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