Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

Personal protection puppy training
Rescue animals pose many problems that are not always apparent to those people adopting or rescuing them. I will discuss some of the dog behavior problems that we often encounter when dealing with rescue animals. Malnutrition of very young dogs can lead to stunted development, both mentally and physically. Neglect may be one of the leading causes of many of the dog behavioral problems we currently see in dogs.
Families where both adults work often end up with dogs that never get properly housetrained because their owners are never home to take them outside when they have to eliminate.
There is another classification of behavior problem called "rage syndrome" that is frequently seen in Springer Spaniels. As previously mentioned, many dogs are forced out of their homes because they are never properly housetrained, they are destructive, or they bite. Many of these dogs get adopted because they are purebreds and it may be only a matter of weeks before the behavioral problems resurface, often with dire consequences.
It will take concerted efforts on the breeders' part to pay more attention to selecting breeding stock with good temperament and pay less attention to choosing animals solely on looks and proper movement. Many breeders are already doing temperament testing prior to placing puppies, but recent works have shown little correlation between traits as a puppy and future behavioral problems. We can never hope to have clients with properly socialized dogs if we don't make the effort to teach them. We must all work together—shelters, breeders, rescue organizations, breed clubs, training clubs, and veterinarians. Many of these medical problems may not surface for weeks, months, or, in some cases, years.


First, though, I would like to discuss a few of the medical conditions that can greatly influence an animal's behavior.
Often these dogs exhibit a pronounced pain response if touched or pushed on the spine or rump.
The first group of diseases includes many skin diseases we see in dogs caused by hypothyroidism and atopic or inhalant allergies. Many of these dogs become so food-motivated that they become overly protective of their food bowl, chew toys, and treats.
As experienced dog owners, we know how important it is to spend a lot of time with puppies prior to the time they are 14-16 weeks old, or even better, prior to 10 weeks old. These problems will continue as long as people purchase dogs without knowing how to properly train and socialize them, especially during the first four months of life. It will also take concerted effort by breeders to be sure the prospective buyers know the bad traits of each breed as well as the good ones so the new owners can be ready to head off dog behavioral problems before they get established.
The handling a puppy receives once it leaves the breeders' home and whether or not it is properly socialized will determine future behavior.
I am alarmed how many times I have clients come into our office with new puppies that are five to six weeks old. During the subsequent puppy visits, the veterinarian should ask the client if the pup is showing any behavior problems and address them before they get out of hand. These dogs often have chronic ear infections, usually secondary to their allergies, and chronic pyodermas or skin infections. Then, after they bark at the neighbor dogs, strangers, or sounds in the night, the neighbors complain, they end up at the humane society. The best use of temperament testing is for selecting dogs that will be able to excel in the obedience ring.


The main emphasis of the first visit must concentrate on things such as proper socialization with small children, proper bite inhibition techniques, housetraining, destructive behavior, and a brief description of basic 101 dog psychology. These pups never learn proper puppy play behavior and bite inhibition, and their new owners suffer the consequences. We have to be able to teach them how to think like a dog and direct them to good puppy training classes before behavioral problems start.
The owners get discouraged with the scratching and bad odors and the dogs often lose their "house dog" status and become outside dogs.
The dog stops eating for a split second, without so much as a growl, and the child walks by.
These dogs often chase their tails and exhibit a type of rage syndrome where they become glassy-eyed and can often make unprovoked vicious attack, often directed at their owners. Most of these dogs are eventually euthanized because nobody knows when the attacks will occur or what provokes them. These animals are often beaten by their owners, which is very inhumane to do to an animal with a condition he cannot control. The owner then takes the dog to the vet, often after the husband beats it within a hair of its life, to have it euthanized because it bit their child "without any warning." Another dead dog or at least a trip to the humane society for just being a dog, and another child who grows up terrified of dogs.



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