This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
naturalpet


that live with a nervous, angry or depressed person, may be more prone to separation anxiety. The breed and physical requirements of your dog may contribute to anxiety, as well. Dogs are social animals. They need to feel part of a pack, with a sense of rank. In the course of domesticating dogs, humans have become pack leaders in the minds of household canines, so the behavior and habits of the primary caregiver largely influences a dog’s behavior. While it may seem like a good idea to add another animal to the household to keep your companion company, this can actually make matters worse, by confusing its sense of pack hierarchy and creating a state of continuous competi- tion. It may be a better idea to provide substitute leadership in the form of another human. Dog walkers, friends, neighbors or relatives could come by and spend time with the dog when you’re away, acting as a surrogate, temporary pack mate. You could consider a good doggie daycare provider, but there is no permanent substitute for the human alpha leader, who must be a strong, controlling presence whenever you are together. From the beginning of your relationship, a dog will gain trust and faith in your leadership, avoiding costly dog-sitting bills later on.


Once puppyhood is past, you can keep a dog from be- coming bored and tearing the house apart when you’re out by employing the following tips and tricks.


SEPARATION ANXIETY C


RESTORING AND MAINTAINING CALM by Mary Wulff


orky the dog so dislikes being left alone that he has ripped up car upholstery and jumped through win- dows in an attempt to rejoin his humans when they leave the house for school, work or errands. Shay, on the other hand, watches calmly out the window when her hu- mans leave each day.


Dog lovers with a pet that trembles, whines or rushes to the door in anticipation of being left alone know that the problem can interfere with work, school or travel days and make life difficult for you and your companion. In severe cases, a vet may even prescribe a sedative or antidepressant drug for an animal, a practice that seldom reaches the root causes of separation anxiety, and may lead to serious, long- term health problems.


Order in the Pack


To start, it is important to understand that virtually every do- mestic dog lives in a confusing world. Improperly socialized or mistreated, abused or abandoned dogs, as well as those


32 Hudson County NAHudson.com


n Leave the television on, tuned to a nature show channel. Human voices can provide reassurance that humans still exist during your absence. n Leave talk radio on. Soothing music also tames the sav- age beast, and in many cases it will help a lonely, confused pooch to relax. n A toy filled with peanut butter or dog treats might keep him busy. Upon returning home, give the dog the treats that were in the toy and take the toy away. n Ignore the dog for several minutes before leaving the house and when you return. Do not shower him with hugs and kisses as you are leaving, as this may add to his anxiety. n Begin by leaving for short periods of time, and then increase it over a few weeks. Each time you return, have the dog sit, and praise and reward him with a treat when he is calm. n When in doubt, work with a recommended animal behaviorist. Also, consider any physical problems that may be causing the anxiety disorder.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48