Yes, your anxiety is affecting your dog. Before I start a session with a client and her dog, I make sure that the pet parent is relaxed and ready to work. Dogs are able to figure out when you are sad, stressed out, angry, etc. How do they do that? I believe they do it by looking at our body language, tone of voice, and smell.
A couple of months ago, I had to get a quote for some home repairs, and I just didn’t feel like doing that that particular day, but I’ve already made the appointment, and I did not want to waste this person’s time so I started to get ready, 30 minutes prior to the appointment, while Charlie and Abby slept. Now, once I started to get ready, both Abby and Charlie, woke up and started to pace, followed me around, and tried to make eye contact. I stopped for a minute and looked at both of them, and asked myself, “What is going on with these two?” I realized that I was stressed out, and that I was stressing out my dogs without realizing it. What did I do? I sat down, started touching their ears and neck, and after a couple of minutes Charlie, Abby and yours truly relaxed. And with that being said, yes, we do stress out our dogs, and if we pay attention to them, we’d be able to modify our behavior-human behavior that is-and learn to live a balanced life. Have a great week!
Anxiety in dogs is something that pet parents have a hard time dealing with or recognizing for that matter. These are some of the signs a dog will exhibit when anxious: pacing, drooling, barking, destroying things, nipping, etc. I always recommend for pet parents to have a vet do a physical exam to rule out any medical condition their dog may be experiencing, and once they get a clean bill of health we could start addressing the anxiety in their dogs.
Charlie, a GSD mix, had a lot of anxiety when we got him from the SPCA in Annapolis, MD. By the way, most dogs from shelters are very anxious, it’s rare to find one that is not. Our Charlie went from screaming murder at the top of his lungs any time: we left the room; we exited the car; we went to a new place, etc. How is he doing now? Way better and still working with him, but understand this, your dog’s anxiety will disappear with time if you are consistent with the following:
Walk him! Yes, this gets a lot of that anxiety and pent up energy out of them
Don’t talk too much to your dog. Use your body language, energy and intention instead
Start working with a trainer on basic training and behavior modification
When you are overwhelm, walk away, take a deep breath and work with your dog once you are on a relaxed state of mind. No, you cannot drink wine. Sorry!
The above is just a few of the things you could do to start dealing with your dog’s anxiety. Charlie is super smart, he is a GSD mix after all, but I am still working with him and I have seen amazing results. Don’t despair, be consistent and your dog will one day bring you joy rather than stress. Enjoy your week!
A few pet parents have asked me how do I manage a multi-dog household and this is what I tell them:
Exercise is the #1 ingredient and the most important of all. If your dog is tired, chances that he will have the energy to get in trouble highly decreases. He can run, walk, hike, etc.
Each dog needs to have his own area for eating. If you use a crate, great!
Never leave your dogs loose in the house while you are out running errands
Manners! Dogs have manners so there will be no pushing, pawing, steeping over one another, etc.
Do your best to spend a few minutes with each individual dog
I have Abby and Charlie as my dogs and demo dogs, but I also get my clients’ dogs that stay with us for short and extended times so I make sure that my pack gets along with each other. Now, aside from what I listed above, you, the pet parent, have to practice being a zen person. What is that? A zen person lives peacefully and has a sense of bliss. Yes, this may be the hardest part for most of us to do, but this is good for our dogs, and for us as well. Any questions? Stay safe.
Are you just as confused as other pet parents when it comes to deciding what to feed your canine companion? Don’t feel bad, you are not alone. Alex, our first dog, ate mostly kibble til she got to be about 10 years old or so. Because I saw how much her mobility was declining, after doing some research I ended up mixing kibble and fresh food. Result: within days she was moving around without a problem. Seeing this made me, depending on the dog, mix fresh food and kibble and so this is what Abby and Charlie usually get:
Abby gets, depending on the level of activity planned for that day, about 1/2 cup of kibble and 2 cups of fresh food for the day. Once every blue moon, she gets a little bit of wet food. She weighs about 30lbs.
Charlie gets about 1 cup of kibble and 2 1/2 of fresh food for the day. He weighs about 70lbs.
When I fed them only kibble, Abby’s tush stunk and she did #2 often-more than twice a day-and her mouth smelled, while Charlie’s #2 was too soft and he licked his butt like crazy.
Through trial and error, I figured out what worked best for my dogs and that is a mix of fresh food and kibble. I’d suggest you do some research-books, nutritionist, other pet parents-and slowly see what works for your dog. Just like humans, what works for one person may not work for another. Feed what’s best for your canine companion and don’t forget to take her out for a walk. Stay safe.
Yes, Spring arrived in Maryland last month, but we’re still wearing sweaters and light jackets on certain days. By the way, we are starting to see some wonderful changes on Charlie which I’ll talk about on another post.
Well, enjoy your weekend. Weather permitting, we’ll probably BBQ, take some walks, naps, and just enjoy the weekend. Stay safe!
Abby, “So my mom has not been feeling well these last couple of days, therefore our walks, tummy rubs, treats, and so much more declined considerably. I didn’t know what to do so I asked her to take a look at our old pics and whichever one made her smile to post on her website. And so she picked the above pic. I am staying close to her, and I am trying not to be too demanding. Crossing my fingers, well if I had any, that my mom fells better soon. Sloppy kisses to all of you!”
It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Annapolis, MD and on Sundays we try, operative word try, to take this day to relax, and just enjoy being home. Living with dogs-if you pay attention-could teach you many things, one of them is learning to relax which for most people is hard to do.
I look at them when they are taking a nap, and it’s beautiful to see how they don’t seem to have a care in the world. We, humans, need to learn to do that. Anyway, enjoy your day, and take a moment, or a day for that matter, to relax. Stay safe.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you pet parents and your canine kids! Although the day started cloudy with some flurries, as time went by it turned out to be sunny and nice enough to take a long walk. Aside from celebrating this day about love, we also celebrate it because Charlie, yesterday, has been with us for one year. Could you believe that? Time goes by so fast.
Enjoy this beautiful day with your family, give them extra hugs and kisses, and don’t forget to walk. Stay safe!
Since Abby and Charlie were driving us up the wall-totally my fault of course-this is what their day looks like:
Walking – extremely important therefore I listed it first. If possible, twice a day
Behavior and Training – make your pup wait for you while you take laundry out of the dryer; eye contact to you right before you feed him; sit while you put on his Halti and much more
Structure – your dog should have time for walks, behavior and training, crate time, and naps
Job – find out what your dog loves to do and hire him/her for that job
The above are just a few of the things you need to do in order for your dog to be balanced, and for you to keep your sanity and minimize at all cost your hair turning gray. There are studies that state that stress causes our hair to turn gray so for the sake of vanity if nothing else, follow the above list. Stay safe!