Understanding Your Dogs Mood

November 7, 2009

in Cat Health

Our pets share the same instinct that we as humans have. We have an innate reaction to a threat that we have been born with. It’s a flee, flight or fight reaction to a dangerous situation; real or perceived.

The above response is an automatic one and considered to be a normal part of behavior. Abnormal responses, which are learned behavior, can be untaught little by little with training. Which category does your anxious pet fall into?

Your dog can exhibit symptoms of anxiety in ways such as excessive barking, uncontrollable urination or whining. These are triggered by either visible stresses or separation. The most common stress a dog experiences is separation anxiety.

Constant and unwarranted fear of a certain sound that can cause your dog to react such as fireworks or thunderstorm is considered a phobia. These are the most common fears that are associated with a phobia for dogs. They may have experienced something in the past and are associating that with a memory causing a response.

As dogs get older, they may experience more separation anxiety then in the past. This can be caused by the decline in memory and thoughts. Anxieties and phobia see their onset around the beginning of social development which is about 12 to 36 months. Between 8 to 10 months they may experience a fear or withdrawal which is normal.

Now we will talk about some symptoms associated with anxiety. Obsessive licking and biting themselves can be a sign of anxiety. If your dog is trembling, withdrawn or is tucking its tail then there it’s possibly exhibiting signs of mild fear.

There are many reasons for the development of such phobias and anxieties in our pets. Being locked in a crate can cause a phobia or panic due to the inability to escape or get out. Also for puppies the lack of exposed to social interaction for the first 14 weeks of their puppies’ life can manifest a fearfulness in your puppy.

If you adopt a dog that came from a prior abusive situation, they might suffer some form of anxiety. Separation issues can be the cause of a previous abandonment experience. Whatever the issues are, be sure that you continue to nurture the dog and work on positive affirmation when you see efforts being made to curb the behavior.

Not to worry, most of these behavioral issues can be treated with medication and behavior modification. However, some dogs may not respond to the behavioral modifications. Additionally, medications can take up to 2 weeks in some cases before you will see results.

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