Hi everyone! Today I would like to talk about dog behavior!
This is Kristi. I’m one of the veterinary technicians with Posh Dog Knee Brace.
Today I want to talk a little bit about what we have been seeing over the last year or so. We all know how covid put a damper on EVERYTHING and so it seemed one bit of happiness was getting a new dog or puppy. Remember how shelters across the country were saying “we’ve adopted out all our animals!” Yay! We have homes for them!
On the flip side of things, these animals were being brought into homes were everyone in the family was home 24/7 and so being left alone or being socialized with other animals and people didn’t happen. Let’s fast forward to when things started to get back to normal. Our dog has been with his family for the better part of a year and now all of a sudden no one is home with them. This has created a lot of separation and social anxiety for these dogs.
It’s really important to do your research and assess your living situation before getting an animal, especially dogs. Dogs a very social animals and they need to be able to interact properly with their families but also with other people and other animals as well. Puppy classes or training classes in general are highly recommend at any point in a dog’s life but especially new puppies and adopted dogs.
Everyone can teach their dog to sit and stay but what about reacting to other dogs on a leash or feeling comfortable with touch? Petting their head, a little bit is not the same as trimming nails or cleaning ears, letting a veterinarian look for areas that hurt. Taking them to classes or using a behaviorist can help immensely with these problems.
Maybe you are reading this and thinking, “that’s my dog, but he’s older than a puppy.” It’s not too late for them. You will have to put time and effort into their training and I highly recommend a behaviorist if you dog is really nervous or has behaviors you don’t like but things can change for the better. You just have to be willing to work with them and be patient with them. This will take time and consistency but learning your dog’s language will help you learn how to communicate with your dog in a positive way.
I like to use myself as an example. I have grown up with dachshunds (wiener dogs) my whole life and I have an old guy now. If anyone doesn’t know a doxy’s personality, let me tell you they are a big dog in a small dog package. They can be loud and love to bark at anything! When I was doing classes with my girl, one thing I asked the trainer was how do I get her to stop barking when someone comes over? I’m yelling at her to stop and she keeps going for 5 -10 minutes.
The trainer said, she doesn’t understand English, she understands emotions. When you are yelling and giving her attention, you are basically saying to her “THERE’S SOMEONE HERE, WE NEED TO BARK!” And she is thinking “THERE’S SOMEONE HERE, YOU ARE BARKING TOO, LETS ALL BARK TOGETHER. YAY, THIS SO MUCH FUN!” I thought hmmm…ok so what should I do? Ignore her. What? Ignore her. It will take some time but if you pretend, she doesn’t exist, she will figure out there’s nothing to bark at.
Tell people before they come, that you are working on teaching her to not bark so they MUST ignore her as well. Do not give her the time of day until she gives you the behavior you want.
The behavior I wanted was for her to not bark. I will be honest, this took a while, like several months, but eventually, she would bark a maybe a minute and then be done as opposed to her barking for 5-10 minutes.
The point is, if you want a well-behaved dog and a dog you can work with, especially when they are injured or not feeling well, it’s important to establish good communication with your dog. Trainers and behaviorists are excellent resources and worth the investment to have a well-behaved dog. Your relationship with your dog will be so much better too.
Always feel free to contact Posh with any questions or concerns you can reach us on our contact page or Facebook page.
Kristi, CVT Posh Dog Knee Brace