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Rescued Dogs And Anxiety

Feb 28, 2008
If you have never heard of separation anxiety in dogs, you should know that it's very real and dogs will experience intense anxiety when they are left alone for extended periods of time. This affects dogs which are rescued from animal shelters very commonly. Although it is a very wonderful and noble thing to rescue a dog, he or she may easily develop this condition due to abandonment feelings, lack of attention at the shelter or just because of their own unique personality. In order to help your dog overcome it, they will need a lot of love, attention and care.

Dogs are very much the social animal. Of course, they travel in packs in the wild, and when they are domestic animals, they consider their human family their pack. Through this pack, they receive the essentials they need for survival and happiness. When a dog has experienced abandonment from a previous owner, they are more likely to develop this anxiety when you leave them at home.

Some of the things you will see with rescued dogs who have anxiety are:

- Gnawing and licking themselves, digging and chewing toys, using the bathroom in the house although they are trained. This is especially true when you are gone, and you may come home to a disaster area in your house or back yard.

- Shadows you through the house, trying to keep you in their sight.

- You might notice that he or she goes completely wild when you get home, including jumping on you, licking you and whining. This may continue for some time. When you go through your routine to leave the house, you will notice that your dog acts strangely, such as whining and even trying to keep you in the house.

- You have noticed that the dog does not want to be outside alone.
Here are some of the things you can do to help your furry pal become better adjusted and happier:

First of all, the dog should never be hit or mistreated in an effort to 'teach' him or her good behavior. You should have patience and know that dogs will learn to behave better when things are calm and secure and they feel comfortable. When you get ready to leave, you should try to be as discreet as possible. Then, when you return, you should disregard your dog. Although it sounds heartless, when you pay attention to him or her and pet and comfort your dog, you are validating the dog's fears. After a few moments, calmly pet your dog and talk low to him or her for a few minutes.

Another thing you can do is leave your pet with something comforting to him or her, such as a blanket to lie on, a piece of clothing that smells like you or something else familiar that will calm him or her. In some ways, dogs are like children. Getting into a good daily routine with your dog will help him or her be happier and will alleviate some of your dog's anxiety. By saying the same thing to your dog before you leave and then when you get back, you will teach him or her that you are coming back and that they have no reason to fear your absence. Practice this by doing your normal leaving routine, and then just sit down. As you continue to do this, your dog will become less stressed at the leaving process.

An important warning is to avoid use of muzzles, chains or crates to keep your dog from tearing the house apart or getting into mischief while you're gone, as this will simply make the situation worse. Rather, try to move things in the house that your pooch can get into and continue to practice the routines. After a while, you should see definite improvement in your favorite furry friend.
About the Author
Is your dog traumatized when you leave him alone? Don't get mad or frustrated. He may be suffering from dog separation anxiety. Learn proven and humane tips to help him overcome dog separation anxiety once and for all! Visit http://www.dogseparationanxiety.net today!
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