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Is your pet becoming less active, less playful, or desiring shorter walks? The following symptoms could be early signs of OCD, Arthritis or Hip Dysplasia.

  • Moving more slowly
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Weight shift to another leg
  • Personality change
  • Reluctant to walk, jump or play
  • Refuses using stairs or the car
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in behavior
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lagging behind
  • Yelping when touched
  • Limping
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Posts Tagged ‘Barking’

How to Stop A Puppy From Barking

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Stopping a puppy from barking can be a difficult task, simply because barking is a natural form of communication for puppies. Puppies bark for many reasons: attention seeking, anxiety, boredom or just playing. Puppies and barking are a natural combination.

If you can establish the reasons why a puppy is barking so much, it will be easier to find a solution to the problem.

To figure out why your puppy is barking uncontrollably you first need to determine the situations or conditions that precede an episode of barking. If your puppy is barking at you, it’s usually trying to get your attention. If this is the case, just ignore it and avoid eye contact. When the puppy stops barking you can shower it with all the attention you want.

Don’t talk to your puppy while it’s barking at you and don’t relent and give in if the barking continues. If you do give in, the undesirable behavior will be implanted in the puppy’s brain as the best way to get your attention whenever it wants something.

If a puppy continues to bark while standing over its food bowl it’s just letting you know that it’s guarding its food. Puppies who bark for no discernible reason may simply be frustrated or bored.

If left alone, a puppy often becomes anxious and will bark continuously until its human returns. If you find out that your puppy barks a lot while you’re gone from the house it could be anxious about being alone, it could be bored, or there may be something disturbing it like dogs barking outside or noisy cars and trucks.

If you make your puppy’s surroundings more interesting the unwelcome barking may end. You can also give your puppy different toys to play with every few days, and be sure it gets a lot of exercise. If the puppy barks a lot and seems bored when you’re home try spending a little more time playing with it and giving it the attention it craves.

Stopping a puppy from barking too much will help calm shattered nerves, whether they’re yours or the next door neighbor’s.

Dominant Dogs

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Dominant dog behavior usually develops over a period of time. Dominant dogs will often growl or bark at their owners when the dog’s demands aren’t being met.

If there are two or more dogs living in the same household, the dominant dog will be considered by the other dogs as the alpha dog, or leader of the pack. Such dominating dogs often try to gain leadership over their owners also.

To prevent this type of unwanted behavior you must learn how to recognize dominant dog behaviors and take steps to change those behaviors if you want to have an obedient and loving companion rather than a terrorizing monster running around your house.

Some of the symptoms of dominant behavior in dogs are similar to the symptoms of separation anxiety so it is important to distinguish between the two. To determine if your dog is really showing signs of dominating behavior you’ll have to find a way to monitor its behavior to see if it behaves in a dominating manner around other dogs or only when left alone.

If you notice any of the following symptoms of dominating dog behavior you may want to seek the assistance of a professional trainer who can train your dog to be more obedient. If you find that your dog’s disobedience and dominant behavior is resulting in biting and aggression, most trainers won’t work with your dog.

Some of the signs of dominant dogs are:
Always acting stubborn, barking loudly, consistently ignoring your commands, pushing ahead of you whenever you open a door in the house or to the outside, resistance to being walked with a leash, growling and barking when it doesn’t get its way or when corrected for doing something wrong.

It isn’t easy dealing with dominant dogs. If your dog disobeys you and growls at you when you try to correct it, don’t shout or express frustration. You have to remain calm and speak to it in a firm commanding tone.

Although it can be a daunting and challenging task to permanently change the behavior of a dominant dog, it is possible to successfully change your pet’s behavior if you remain calm and persistent at all times during any training sessions.

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Separation anxiety in dogs occurs more often than most people realize and is not limited to just a few breeds, sizes, or ages of dogs. Separation anxiety is a dog’s panicked response to being left alone and if not treated and corrected, can eventually result in the deterioration of a dog’s mental and physical health.

Separation anxiety should not be confused with misbehavior. It’s a mistaken belief that when a dog digs up its owner’s garden or pees on the carpet, it’s simply seeking retaliation for having been left home alone. Sometimes the reason for this type of behavior is nothing more than boredom; but before dismissing the dog’s actions as bad behavior, you should consider whether the dog may be in a state of panic because you left the house and it suddenly found itself without the one person it loves the most.

Separation anxiety can also result when a dog suffers a traumatic experience, like a major earthquake or the death of a human or another pet in the same household. In a lot of cases, no single triggering event causes it. Some breeds are just genetically predisposed to separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety almost always includes one or more unacceptable behaviors when the owner is not at home:

* Destructive behaviors, such as chewing pillows or furniture, mutilating plants, or unrelenting door scratching;
* Constant barking, whining, or howling;
* Urinating or defecating in the house;
* Intense, persistent pacing around the room;
* Attempting to “escape” a room or dog crate to the point of self-injury.

Not all unacceptable behavior can be attributed to separation anxiety; in fact, most behaviors cannot. If the owner arrives home to find their dog chewing on a shoe or perhaps the furniture, in all probability the dog simply feels that what it is doing is enjoyable and since no one is home, the time is right for gnawing away uninterrupted.

There are several actions that indicate separation anxiety should be considered a serious matter:

1) The bad behavior occurs every time the owner leaves the house;

2) The bad behavior occurs only when the owner is not around;.

3) The dog visibly displays anxious behaviors before an owner even leaves the house. For example, the dog knows that when you put on a coat it means you’re leaving the house and starts pacing around the room and whining or howling.

Desensitization is a method that’s often used to treat a dog with severe separation anxiety and involves getting a dog accustomed to the owner leaving the house without taking the dog along. You’ll probably need to seek help from a veterinarian or dog trainer if you feel that desensitization would be the best treatment option. Be advised that it usually takes around eight weeks to bring a dog’s separation anxiety under control.

Separation anxiety in a dog has very little to do with the dog’s training or discipline. Its unwelcome behavior results from the severe panic the dog feels when its owner is absent. If the problem is not treated and eliminated, it can cause serious psychological suffering for a dog.

Understanding Dog Language

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Understanding dog language may not seem too important when you have a loving, friendly pet dog. However, as a human being you know that clear communication is extremely important in developing strong, meaningful relationships; that communication is just as necessary with your pet dog.

Imagine meeting someone that you are going to live with for 8 years, 10 years, or possibly longer. Both of you speak different languages. Since you will be living together for a long time, you realize how important it will be to learn each others language. You need to do the same with your pet dog.

From your dog’s point of view, he’s always been speaking his language by barking and woofing, or whatever unique noises he makes, and he may have thought you understood, especially if every time he “communicated”, you handed him yummy, delicious doggy treats. You never seemed to understand what he was communicating but assumed it was normal because, after all, who speaks dog language except dogs? Imagine his excitement if you really did understand what he was trying to tell you.

Canine body language has been studied for many years by researchers and scientists. They have been able to identify a very reliable and consistent language that dogs use to help them communicate their intentions to other dogs. Research has shown that a dog’s main goal in using its language is to lessen and settle any conflicts with other dogs. Not to develop romantic relationships or quick liaisons with other dogs. Or to gossip as so many humans enjoy doing.

Dogs use this same language with us, but we haven’t learned enough to understand what they are trying to tell us. Growls and barks are often easy for us to understand when we consider the circumstances of the moment. But wouldn’t it be great to really learn how to understand your dog and how to communicate back in such a way that he’d understand you too!

This is not to suggest that you growl or bark at your dog. Simply that if you take the time to understand your dog’s BODY LANGUAGE, you will be better able to observe and “listen” to your dog. You’ll become a better friend to your best friend. This will become especially important if your dog should lose its hearing as he grows older. This happens with certain breeds and is quite common as a dog ages.

When you interact with your dog, watch for his yawn, licking of his lips, a rapid shaking of his body as if he were just coming out of the pool, a quick flick of an ear, and the turning of his head. These are just some of the many cues dogs will use to communicate with us each time we interact with them, and when they interact with one another. They use their “language” for all intents and purposes to tell us and other dogs, “Hey, everything’s cool. I mean no harm.. Calm down a bit.”

As humans, we are very forward and a bit domineering when paying attention to our dogs. The way we use our bodies to speak is very different than the way dogs use their bodies.

Dogs meet each other in an arc rather than head on. A dog considers it rude to walk straight toward them and make direct eye contact. Dogs do everything they can to avoid a face-to-face posture and direct eye contact that we as humans consider normal and appropriate.

Dogs will turn their head away, sometimes even sniff the ground upon approaching another dog, then walk up side-by-side with one another and sniff each other’s butts! That would really be unheard of for humans to do! But this is standard procedure for dogs.

It’s easy to see why our intentions are not always clear to our dogs. What we do as humans, often doesn’t make sense to your pet dog.

If you take the time to learn the basics of canine body language it will help you become a good dog communicator. You will have the opportunity to improve the lives of not only your dog, but each and every dog you meet. If you open yourself to learning the language dogs use to communicate with each other, you can greatly improve your understanding of your companion and help reduce the stress and anxiety in his life.

By learning how to understand dog language you’ll be able to listen to your beloved pet and build a stronger and deeper bond between you. And don’t forget the hugs, the tummy rubs, and the behind the ear scratches. Your dog will love you for those tender moments when no other form of communication is necessary.

You’ve brought your pet into your life and you love him or her. Open your heart, your eyes and ears and really listen; hear your dog speak his own language. You’ll not only love the new found communication, but your friends and neighbors may be amazed at your understanding of what your dog, and possibly theirs, is trying to tell you. That is if your neighbors don’t mistake you for being psychic or slightly touched in the head! But then, who do you spend the most time with – your pet or your neighbors?

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