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What every owner should know about dog anxiety

dog behaviorist
Does your dog bark non stop when you are not home? Do they get nauseated during car rides? Is your dog scared of loud noises such as fireworks or thunderstorms? If yes, then these are signs of anxiety. Just like humans, dogs too experience anxiety; and when left unchecked it can affect the overall quality of your dog’s life. Even if you think that your dog’s behavior is manageable in the beginning, it’s not likely to improve without help.
Suspect that your dog has anxiety disorder? Looking for help?

Want to help your dog overcome his/her fear or anxiety? I can help you. As a fully qualified dog trainer, I can teach your dog coping skills without fear, force or bullying. I solely use positive reinforcement with a non-physical approach. Know more about my dog training sessions here

Over here I have tried to help dog owners understand the causes and signs of dog anxiety. Hope you find this read useful.

Causes of dog anxiety and understanding the symptoms

1) Fear – related anxiety

Fear in dogs can be caused due to different reasons. Some dogs are afraid of loud noises whereas some are scared of people or other dogs. In some cases, I have seen dogs are fearful of inanimate objects like hat or umbrella. Some are scared of specific situations like vet’s office or car rides. These fears or phobias can be caused due to different reasons such as – scary past experience, lack of early socialization, or genetic factors.

Here are a few signs that indicate your dog may be suffering from fear-related anxiety –
● Constantly barking
● Acting clingy
● Avoiding eye contact
● Blinking
● Urinating/ defecating in the house
● Walking slowly/freezing
● Hiding
● Drooling
● Lowering of ears

2) Separation anxiety

When your dog is truly scared of being left alone, he/she starts showing undesirable behaviour such as peeing or pooping in the house when you’re not there or chewing furniture while you are away. In some cases, dogs bark and cry constantly until their owners return. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety can even turn aggressive and attempt to stop their owners from leaving the house.

Dogs are very sensitive and can easily follow cues such as their owners picking up the car keys or owners getting ready to leave the house. Behaviors your dog may show before you leave the house include whining, following you around, pacing, refusing to eat or drink, crying and trying desperately to get your attention.

Separation anxiety – Your dog will not grow out of it

If your dog gets anxious or upset everytime you leave him/her alone, then you can join a dog training class. Many owners hope that their dogs will ultimately stop being fearful or anxious. Sadly, it doesn’t happen. If not helped, your dog’s fear and anxiety can turn into aggression.

3) Age-related anxiety

As dogs age, they tend to become more anxious. They may become more clingy or restless. You may notice that they are excessively licking or biting themselves, shaking, panting or pacing constantly. Often older dogs suffer from cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) as a result their memory and learning speed start to decline which can make them confused and anxious.

There are several training strategies that can help your dog overcome fear and anxiety. You can call me on 0333 577 6603 or book a one-to-one session or a virtual home visit.

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