Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

Personal protection puppy training
Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn't necessarily an apartment dog make — plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise.
Some dogs are simply easier than others: they take to training better and are fairly easygoing.
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blase attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with a wagging tail and a nuzzle; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. If you're going to share your home with a dog, you'll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello.
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia.
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world's smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if he is compatible with you and your living space.
Easy to train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word "sit"), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly.
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn't puncture the skin).
Dogs that were bred to hunt, such as terriers, have an inborn desire to chase and sometimes kill other animals. A vigorous dog may or may not be high-energy, but everything he does, he does with vigor: he strains on the leash (until you train him not to), tries to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies -- always begging for a game -- while others are more serious and sedate. He owes part of his renown to a small puppy who was plucked from a bullet- and bomb-riddled breeding kennel in France during World War I by Corporal Lee Duncan. The German Shepherd has held many jobs other than movie star: leading the blind, chasing down criminals, sniffing out illegal substances, serving in the military, visiting the sick, and herding stock are just some of the jobs held by this versatile breed. The breed also has an aloof and sometimes suspicious nature — great for a watchdog but not the sort of family dog who'll make guests feel welcome. If you're buying a puppy, you'll get a slightly different kind of German Shepherd depending on whether you choose an American versus a German breeder. Fans say that American-bred German Shepherds are calmer than their German counterparts, but critics say these dogs have lost some of their talents for working traditional German Shepherd jobs, and are more prone to behavior problems such as separation anxiety.
German breeders, on the other hand, breed German Shepherds for their working abilities as well as to fit the breed's traditional look. German Shepherds isn't the breed for you if you're away from home frequently or for long periods of time. These dogs shed, shed, shed — in fact, their nickname is the "German shedder." Brush him several times a week and buy a good vacuum. He's got a reputation for being a great watchdog — and he is — but the German Shepherd should never be chained or tethered just to stand guard. To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. HistoryThe German Shepherd is a relatively new breed, dating back to 1899, and he owes his existence to one man: Captain Max von Stephanitz, a career captain in the German cavalry with a goal of creating a German breed that would be unmatched as a herding dog. Centuries before von Stephanitz came along, farmers in Germany, as in the rest of Europe, relied on dogs to drive and protect their herds.
In 1898, von Stephanitz retired from military life and began his second career, and what would prove to be his passion: experimenting with dog breeding to create a superior German herding dog.
Von Stephanitz saw many fine herding dogs, dogs who were athletic, or intelligent, or capable.
One day, in 1899, von Stephanitz was visiting a dog show when a wolfish-looking dog caught his eye.
Although he had intended for his breed to work as herding dogs, as Germany became more and more industrialized, von Stephanitz saw the need for such dogs fading. Making good use of his military connections, von Stephanitz convinced the German government to use the breed. Although German Shepherds made their way to the United States before the war, it wasn't until the war that the breed became popular in the U.S. One such dog was a five-day-old puppy plucked from a bomb-riddled kennel in France by an American corporal from Los Angeles.
Although the Allies were impressed by the German dogs, they weren't so happy with the dog's German roots. In England, the dog was renamed the Alsatian Wolf Dog, after the German-French border area of Alsace-Lorraine. Von Stephanitz stayed closely involved with the development of the breed, and as early as 1922, he became alarmed by some of the traits that were turning up in the dogs, such as poor temperament and a tendency to tooth decay. After World War II, American- and German-bred German Shepherds began to diverge dramatically. In the past few decades, some American breeders have begun to put the emphasis back on the breed's abilities rather than just appearance, importing working dogs from Germany to add to their breeding program. Like every dog, the German Shepherd needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young.
HealthGerman Shepherds are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy's parents. Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: Commonly called bloat, this is a life-threatening condition that affects large, deep-chested dogs like Golden Retrievers, especially if they are fed one large meal a day, eat rapidly, drink large volumes of water after eating, and exercise vigorously after eating. Degenerative Myelopathy: Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive disease of the spinal cord, specifically the part of the cord that communicates information to the brain regarding the hind legs.
Allergies: Some German Shepherds suffer from a variety of allergies, ranging from contact allergies to food allergies. NOTE: How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. You'll need to take special care with feeding and exercising a German Shepherd puppy, however. And don't let your German puppy run, jump, or play on hard surfaces like pavement until he's at least two years old and his joints are fully formed. Overfeeding your German Shepherd and letting him pack on the pounds can cause joint problems, as well as other health conditions. For more on feeding your German Shepherd, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog.
Coat Color And GroomingThe German Shepherd was originally bred to herd flocks in harsh climates, and his medium-length double coat fits the job perfectly, protecting the dog from rain and snow, and resistant to picking up burrs and dirt. The coat types of the German Shepherd are as varied as his color; some German Shepherds are longhaired. Sometimes jokingly called "German shedders," the breed sheds year-round, and generally "blows" — sheds a lot of hair at once, like a snowstorm — twice a year.
Bathing the dog too often strips the coat of oils that keep it healthy, so start running the bathwater only if your dog really needs it. Children And Other PetsIf he's well trained and has had plenty of exposure to kids, especially as a puppy, a German Shepherd is a great companion for children.
The German Shepherd can also live peacefully with other dogs and pets, as long as he was taught to do so from puppyhood. Rescue GroupsGerman Shepherds are often purchased without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one. Breed OrganizationsBelow are breed clubs, organizations, and associations where you can find additional information about the German Shepherd. The German Shepherd Dog is a natural protector and so adaptable and intelligent that he has performed just about every job known to dog.
Dogs that tend to be more sturdy, playful and easygoing around children and more tolerant of children's behavior. President Herbert Hoover owned a German Shepherd named King Tut, who was perhaps the first dog to play a successful role in a presidential campaign, helping Hoover to appear kind and approachable. The protective but loving German Shepherd is a great choice for families with children, but singles and couples who love the outdoors also match up well with this breed. The German Shepherd is highly intelligent and will not be content to live life as a couch potato.
German Shepherds love children and make great family dogs when they are given early socialization and training. Most of us think of the German Shepherd as a black and tan dog, but they can also be sable and solid black.


As his name suggests, the German Shepherd originated in Germany, where he was created in the nineteenth century primarily by Captain Max von Stephanitz, who wanted to develop a dog that could be used for military and police work. The adaptable and attractive dogs soon drew the attention of dog lovers in other countries. After the war, movies featuring Rin Tin Tin and fellow German Shepherd Strongheart brought the breed back into favor. One of the best known modern German Shepherds was the first and so far only member of the breed to win Best in Show at Westminster Kennel Club, in 1987. The German Shepherd is naturally protective of his home and property and will always alert you to strangers or intruders, but if you welcome someone into your home, your German Shepherd will accept them, too. If your Shepherd is a family companion, he needs to live indoors with your family and receive opportunities to exercise his brain such as learning tricks, helping you around the house by picking things up and bringing them to you or serving the community as a therapy dog. German Shepherds are smart, active dogs who will do best with smart, active owners able to give them focused attention, exercise, training, and lots of one-on-one time. German Shepherds can also be way too much dog for even the most well-meaning of people because they were created and bred to work for many generations.
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Like many large breeds, German Shepherds can suffer from a wide variety of heart diseases, including murmurs, valve diseases and enlarged hearts. Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database, the German Shepherd Dog Club of America requires them to have hip and elbow certifications from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and GSDCA temperament test results on file with OFA.
Careful breeders screen their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas and a puppy develops one of these diseases despite good breeding practices.
Whether you want to go with a breeder or get your dog from a shelter or rescue, here are some things to keep in mind. For more information about the breed or to find a list of breeders, visit the website of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America. Avoid breeders who only seem interested in how quickly they can unload a puppy on you and whether your credit card will go through. The cost of a German Shepherd puppy varies depending on his place of origin, whether he is male or female, what titles his parents have, and whether he is best suited for the show ring or a pet home. And before you decide to buy a puppy, consider whether an adult German Shepherd might better suit your needs and lifestyle.
Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents, are all good qualities in an apartment dog. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," and even "thick-skinned," can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. An anxious dog can be very destructive, barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem.
Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can't pant as well to cool themselves off. Breed isn't the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily. Our ratings are generalizations, and they're not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds: Some dogs shed year-round, some "blow" seasonally -- produce a snowstorm of loose hair -- some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you've got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you're a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog that needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it. This doesn't mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they're at an increased risk. Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. When choosing a breed, think about how the dog vocalizes — with barks or howls — and how often. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they'll take off after anything that catches their interest.
Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday.
Others need daily, vigorous exercise -- especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.
At the end of the war Duncan brought the puppy back to his hometown of Los Angeles, trained him, and turned him into one of the most famous dogs in show biz: Rin Tin Tin. Originally bred to herd flocks all day, this is a high-energy dog who needs a lot of activity and exercise. But if you expose a German Shepherd to many different situations and people starting in puppyhood, he can learn to take new people and circumstances in stride. In general, American breeders are often aiming to create dog show champions, and they breed puppies more for that distinctive German Shepherd look than for those distinctive German Shepherd talents.
Before a German Shepherd is bred in Germany, he has to pass numerous tests to prove he measures up to the physical and mental benchmarks the breed is known for. To raise a social and well-behaved dog, expose your German Shepherd puppy to many experiences, places, and people. This is especially important for the German Shepherd, who sometimes suffers separation anxiety, or extreme anxiety when left alone.
Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments. Some dogs were legendary for their skill, and sheepherders would travel days to breed their female dogs to a notable sire. Stephanitz studied the breeding techniques of the British, noted for their exceptional herding dogs, and traveled throughout Germany, attending dog shows and observing German-type herding dogs. He was determined that his breed would continue as a working dog, and he decided that the dog's future was in police work and military service. During World War I the German Shepherd served as a Red Cross dog, messenger, rescuer, guard, supply carrier, and sentry. Allied servicemen noted the dog's bravery and intelligence, and a number of dogs went home with these soldiers. The corporal took the puppy home, trained him, and turned him into one of Hollywood's most recognizable four-legged stars: Rin Tin Tin, who appeared in 26 movies and helped popularize the breed in America. During wartime all things German were stigmatized, and in 1917, the American Kennel Club (AKC) changed the breed's name to the Shepherd Dog.
The AKC went back to using the original name of German Shepherd Dog in 1931; it took until 1977 for the British Kennel Club to do the same. He developed a system of tight quality control: Before any individual German Shepherd was bred, he needed to pass numerous tests of his intelligence, temperament, athleticism, and good health. In the United States, the dogs were bred to win dog shows, and breeders put more emphasis on looks and on the dogs' gait, or way of moving. It's now possible to buy American-bred German Shepherds that live up to the breed's reputation as a capable working dog. He's a reserved dog; he doesn't make friends immediately, but once he does, he's extremely loyal. The German Shepherd can be trained to do almost anything, from alerting a deaf person to a doorbell ring to sniffing out an avalanche victim.
Socialization helps ensure that your German Shepherd puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Not all German Shepherds will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.
Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition. Dogs with DM act as though they don't know where their back legs are, and cannot move them properly. German Shepherds grow very rapidly between the age of four and seven months, making them susceptible to bone disorders.
The American Kennel Club doesn't recognize white as a color for this breed, however, and won't let white German Shepherds compete in conformation shows, although they're allowed in other competitions.
If you want a German Shepherd, be prepared for hair on your black pants, on your white couch, and pretty much all over the house. It shouldn't be that often; despite his notoriety as a shedder, the German Shepherd tends to be fairly clean and odorless.
Introducing an adult German Shepherd to a household with other pets can be more difficult if the dog isn't used to getting along with other dogs or cats.
The German Shepherd has made a name for himself as a police and military dog, guide and assistance dog, search and rescue dog, and detector dog. While Rin Tin Tin is the most famous of the early German Shepherds, he was not the first to come to the United States. German Shepherds braved artillery fire, land mines and tanks to supply German soldiers in the trenches with deliveries of food and other necessities. When he comes from parents who have good temperaments and has been socialized to become familiar with many different people, sights and sounds, he is an intelligent, easy to train, devoted, protective and fun-loving dog.


While many German Shepherds are raised successfully in kennel situations, these are working dogs who have demanding and interesting tasks to do that give them the needed exercise and mental stimulation. He will enjoy going for walks or hikes, chasing a ball, or getting involved in a dog sport. But almost no one really needs a trained protection dog -- most people or families simply need a watchdog and a deterrent.
Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality. German Shepherds from working lines have an extremely strong drive to work and may be more dog than most people can or want to handle.
This neurological disease is similar to multiple sclerosis in humans and results in a slow, creeping paralysis of the dog's hindquarters. Many of them have a genetic component, and a good breeder will discuss health problems in her lines. German Shepherds are more likely than many breeds to bloat, a condition in which the stomach expands with air.
Advances in veterinary medicine mean that in most cases the dogs can still live a good life.
Keeping a German Shepherd at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life and relieve the aches and pains of arthritis in old age.
Trim his nails every few weeks, as needed, and brush his teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will without question have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as is possible.
Disreputable breeders and facilities that deal with puppy mills can be hard to distinguish from reliable operations. Puppies are loads of fun, but they require a lot of time and effort before they grow up to become the dog of your dreams.
Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time owner to manage. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.
If you want a heat-sensitive breed, the dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you'll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. Breed isn't the only factor; dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least 6 to 8 weeks of age, and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills. If you're a neatnik you'll need to either pick a low-shedding breed, or relax your standards. If you're buying a puppy, it's a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in, so you can ask the breeder about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives. If you pick a breed that's prone to packing on pounds, you'll need to limit treats, make sure he gets enough exercise, and measure out his daily kibble in regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a chew toy that's been stuffed with kibble and treats. Dogs that like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you'll need a high, secure fence in your yard. Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Obedience training, beginning with puppy classes, is important for getting him used to other people and dogs, as well as teaching him basic canine manners.
The German Shepherd is happiest living indoors with the family, but with access to a large, fenced yard, where he can burn off some of his natural energy.
However, as von Stephanitz noted, no one had developed the herding dogs of the region into a distinct breed. Later renamed Horand v Grafeth, the dog's powerful physique and intelligence so impressed von Stephanitz that he formed a society — the Verein fur deutsche Schaferhunde — to found a breed out of Horand's descendents. A German Shepherd who's under-exercised and ignored by his family is likely to express his pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking and chewing.
The dog is unable to belch or vomit to rid itself of the excess air in its stomach, and the normal return of blood to the heart is impeded. If your German Shepherd is scratching, licking at his paws or rubbing his face a great deal, suspect that it has an allergy and have him checked by your vet. The German Shepherd desperately needs to exercise both his body (jogging, a romp at the dog park) and his mind (training exercises like agility or obedience competitions).
Save your dog, and your belongings, by giving him safe chew toys and bones so he can entertain himself when you're not playing with him. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. Brushing their teeth with a soft toothbrush and doggie toothpaste also helps keep gums and teeth in good shape. You may need to hire a professional trainer to help, or get advice from the rescue organization if that's where you acquired the adult German Shepherd. They're not suited for life in the backyard or a doghouse, but need to live indoors as a member of the family. Any dog, no matter how nice, can develop obnoxious levels of barking, digging, food stealing and other undesirable behaviors if he is bored, untrained or unsupervised. Whether you want a German Shepherd as a companion, show dog, canine competition dog or all three in one, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines. Breeders should sell puppies with a written contract guaranteeing they'll take back the dog at any time during his life if you become unable to keep him, and with written documentation that both the puppy's parents (and if possible, his other close relatives) have the appropriate health and temperament certifications. You'll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. These breeds generally aren't a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.
The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl. If you don't see a rescue listed for your area, contact the national breed club or a local breed club and they can point you toward a German Shepherd rescue. German Shepherds still work livestock on farms and ranches around the world, including the United States. A socialized, well-mannered German Shepherd who lives with his family will protect them as part of his nature. Watch your dog carefully for signs of pain and discomfort that come on gradually rather than suddenly, and check his nails at least once a month to watch for signs of uneven wear. Bloat and torsion strike very suddenly, and a dog who was fine one minute can be dead a few hours later. Seek out a breeder whose dogs have working titles in sports that require athleticism and good health, not just ribbons from the show ring. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won't chase, but you'll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you'll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
EPI is diagnosed with a simple blood test, and treatment is simple, too: pancreatic enzymes are added to the dog's food. The following year, people interested in the breed formed the German Shepherd Dog Club of America. If you are interested in acquiring an older dog through breeders, ask them about purchasing a retired show dog or if they know of an adult dog who needs a new home.
Suspect bloat if your dog has a distended abdomen, is salivating excessively and retching without throwing up. Start training early, be patient and be consistent, and one day you will wake up to find that you live with a great dog. Breeders who have tested their stock for this condition are likely to be among the most conscientious of breeders, so ask to see the results of the DNA-based DM Flash test, conducted by the University of Florida or the University of Missouri, as submitted to the OFA. Gastric torsion requires immediate veterinary surgery, and most dogs that have bloated once will bloat again. Ask the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and found to be free of problems.
It's thought to be caused by different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog's elbow, causing joint laxity.




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