Stress Signals

Reducing Your Dog’s Anxieties

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, speaking about the Great Depression, said, We have nothing to fear but fear itself." If only it were that simple when dealing with dog behavior! Fear-related behaviors can be debilitating to the inappropriately fearful dog. They are heartbreaking

Does Your Dog Have an Eating Disorder?

Anorexia, bulimia, and weird pregnancy cravings are common in humans, but did you know dogs have eating disorders, too?

Involuntary Urination

When my dog Popcorn woke up one morning many years ago in a puddle of urine, I panicked, certain that only a deadly illness could cause this perfectly housetrained dog to wet her bed. I rushed her to the vet, where he did a thorough physical exam and urinalysis. I can still remember the relief I felt when my vet told me it appeared to be a simple case of incontinence. As it turns out, incontinence, which is defined as involuntary urination, is quite common in dogs, especially spayed females, where about one in five dogs (20 percent) is affected.

Signs That Your Dog Has Stress

Learn to recognize signs of (and then reduce) your dog's stress. If possible, remove the stressor from your dog's environment entirely. For example, if he's stressed by harsh verbal corrections, shock collars, and NASCAR races on TV, you can probably simply stop exposing him to them. For stressors that can't be eliminated, a long-term program of counter-conditioning and desensitization can change the dog's association with a stressor from negative to positive, removing one more trigger for stress signals and possible aggression.

Help for the Home-Alone Dog

As soon as the kids went back to school and Carly was left home alone during the day, things in and around the Hoye’s house began to get chewed. Initially, they thought it was just puppy teething, and to save the rugs and furniture (not to mention the hardwood floors and woodwork around the doors and windows in their restored Victorian) the Hoyes started leaving Carly outside during the day. But she soon advanced to chewing the lattice off the sides of the deck and the shingles off the sides of the house.

Your Dog’s Pet Peeves

Eavesdrop on a group of dog owners discussing their dogs, and along with a lot of brags about newly trained behaviors and hard-won trophies and titles, you’re likely to hear a fair number of complaints about the annoying things their canine companions do. Well guess what? If you could eavesdrop on a pack of dogs at the dog park, you might well hear a litany of things that humans do to annoy their dogs!

Causes of Reactive Dog Behavior and How to Train Accordingly

“Reactive” is a term gaining popularity in dog training circles – but what is it, exactly? In her book Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals, Applied Animal Behaviorist Karen Overall, M.A., V.M.D., Ph.D., uses the term to describe animals who respond to normal stimuli with an abnormal (higher-than-normal) level of intensity. Take a deep breath and relax. We have positive training solutions for dogs who "go off" or "lose it" in certain circumstances.

Calmative Herbs for Canine Panic Attack Occurrences

Dark clouds boil on the horizon, and a slow rumble of distant thunder delivers a slight vibration in the window panes. Jake, a large long-haired Chow-mix, is already nervous. He paces the living room, wild-eyed and panting, his body trembling with anticipation of the first dreaded clap of thunder. When it strikes, he tries to hide under the coffee table, and just like last time, he is too big to fit. The very same vase that was glued together after Fourth of July is reduced to a heap of jagged shards.

Living with a Difficult Dog

By your own standards, your dog’s life may not seem all that stressful – after all, he doesn’t have bills to pay, does he? But when you apply the more scientific definition of the word – anything that alarms or excites him, triggering his sympathetic nervous system into action and flooding him with the “fight or flight” chemicals adrenaline and noradrenaline – you may be able to see how many seemingly unrelated things in his environment actually contribute to his “misbehavior.”

Dealing With Submissive Urination

Submissive urination is a vexing challenge with some puppies and young dogs. Most grow out of it eventually, but in the meantime, how can you help your pup put a cork in it? In the canine world, when one dog wants to show deference to another, more dominant dog, he may urinate as a sign of submission. The more threatened he feels, the more likely he is to urinate. This is an involuntary reaction, an instinctive behavior that all dogs are born “knowing” how and when to exhibit. In a pack of dogs, this programmed behavior is a valuable survival mechanism. Puppies are extremely vulnerable to the wrath of adult dogs in the pack, and built-in submissive responses signal normal adult dogs to automatically shut off the aggression, thus keeping puppies from being hurt.

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Guilt

We often read discussions of whether dogs experience guilt; we’ve published a few, too. But here is a twist I don’t think...