Dog Friendly Tips: 3 Common Dog Fears and Solutions
Learning about the different fears in dogs is extremely important, as it will teach you how to identify and resolve fear issues in your own dog. Three of the common dog fears include thunder, fireworks, and being alone.
A fear of thunder, also known as astraphobia, is quite common in dogs. A mild phobia of thunder can cause the dog to shake, hide his tail, and lower his ears during a storm. Dogs with a more severe case of astraphobia will usually display behavior such as; hiding, running, urinating or defecating, and destroying things.
If your dog has a mild case of astraphobia, there are a few things you can do to soothe his fear:
Keep your dog safely indoors until the thunder storm is over.
Provide a quiet area (crate, small room, etc.) for your dog to hide. You can also place a sheet over the area to make it more comfortable.
Play games, practice basic obedience, or do other activities to distract your canine from the storm.
Once your dog has calmed down during a storm, reward him with a treat so that he knows this is good behaviour.
If your dog has a severe form of astraphobia, ask your veterinarian to refer you to a canine behaviour specialist. Anxiety medication may also be prescribed in addition to training.
Dogs with a fear of fireworks display behavior similar to that of astraphobia. Although most people turn to sedatives and anxiety medication to help their dog cope with this fear, it should only be used as a last resort. There are many techniques you can use to resolve your dog's fear of fireworks.
One technique that works particularly well for most dogs is called desensitization. It's a form of training that gets your dog used to the sound of fireworks so that he's eventually indifferent to it. Desensitization can be done in six steps:
Record or find a video containing fireworks.
Play the video at a low volume at least three times daily.
If your dog seems fearful, lower the volume so that he's more comfortable.
Repeat the process until your dog can listen to and watch the video at a high volume without being in fear.
3. Being Alone
Dogs with separation anxiety often become destructive when left alone. They may also bark excessively and urinate or defecate in inappropriate places. Like with a fear of fireworks, a mild case of separation anxiety can also be resolved with desensitization.
Four tips you can try to correct separation anxiety in your canine include:
Prevent Boredom - Boredom can cause signs of separation anxiety such as barking, destructive behavior, and pacing back and forth. To make sure your dog isn't actually suffering from boredom, provide him with sufficient exercise and playtime during the day. Also, be sure to provide your dog with a variety of toys such as; mental stimulation games, chew toys, squeaky toys, etc.
Change Your Routine - Most dogs with a fear of being left alone start to show signs of separation anxiety even before you're out of the door. This is because they're familiar with their owner's daily routine. Try changing your routine so that your dog doesn't anticipate you leaving. This could be something simple such as leaving your purse behind or putting your shoes on in the car.
Be Less Obvious - Being subtle when leaving your dog alone is important. The more attention you give your dog when he displays unwanted behavior, the more he will react to your leaving.
Practice Leaving for Short Periods - This last tip can be time consuming, but it is the most effective. Start off by stepping out of your home for a few seconds, and then come back inside before your dog becomes anxious. Once you see that he is calm, step outside again. Repeat this process a few times while slowly increasing the time you are away. It may take a few weeks, but you should eventually be able to leave the home for 10, 20, or 30 minutes at a time without your dog getting anxious.
Sonia Manning provides information and resources about dog health conditions including symptoms, causes and treatments for common infections, illnesses, and skin and joint conditions. In addition, she provides tips for keeping your dog healthy and happy!
Visit her website http://www.doghealthconditions.com/ to find answers to your questions about your best friend's Dog Health Conditions.
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