Tag Archives: behavior modification

Abby’s Vet Visit: She Did Great!

Abby, “Mom, please let me sleep and stop taking pictures of me!”

Taking Abby to the vet is-I know a lot of pet parents will no believe me-wonderful. She is calm, friendly, curious, and cooperative. When she was younger, she was hyperactive so I had to take her for a long walk before her vet’s appointment, and although I no longer have to do that, I still walk her.

If you have a dog like Abby, going to the vet should be a walk in the park, but if you have one like Charlie, well, that is another post for another day. Enjoy your week and stay safe.

Treating Dog Anxiety

Abby, Charlie and Remy after a nice morning walk. If they were guard dogs, they would all be fired!

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:

  1. Walk him! Yes, this gets a lot of that anxiety and pent up energy out of them
  2. Don’t talk too much to your dog. Use your body language, energy and intention instead
  3. Start working with a trainer on basic training and behavior modification
  4. 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!

Have A Great Monday! Really?

This is how Abby and Charlie helped me do chores today.

As you could see from the above picture, my canine kids certainly know how to start the week. Monday was never my favorite day, but now I am starting to learn to appreciate every day. Yes, even Monday.

Charlie, “What in God’s green earth is that light? Moms!”

I had to post the above picture. Charlie seemed to be fascinated by that candle. A minute later he moved away from it. The novelty wore off fast. Anyway, enjoy your week and stay safe!

Lessons From Our Dogs: Let’s Relax

Blast from the past. Dexter and our Alex, and on the background Walter.

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.

Charlie’s Behavior Rehabilitation And Training -Part IV

Charlie to Abby, “Who is that? Got the license plate number? Well, did you?”

Charlie is doing better every day, so much so that I was able to take him out to the deck-no leash or collar-and let him hang out with Abby while I had some work done outside the house.

By the way, at the beginning he didn’t know how to stay in bed while I was in the kitchen doing dishes, or in the living room watching TV, but lately he has been able to fall asleep and has allowed me to do my chores while he snores. Yes, you read it right, allowed me.

Seriously speaking, sometimes we think that we train our dogs, but I am starting to think that they train us. Oh well! You know what? It’s never a dull moment when you share your life with a dog, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Take care.

Revisiting Dogs And Separation Anxiety

Abby and Charlie, “We have to defend our garbage from all critters, humans and intruders!”

As you can see in the above picture, Abby and Charlie take their job seriously. Our routine is to drop off the garbage, sometimes we have to do 2 trips, and pick up our mail.

Charlie’s separation anxiety is slowly starting to disappear. He no longer screams murder when left him in a room alone. We’ve been able to go shopping without a problem. Also, Charlie no longer goes bananas when we put Abby in the car first. He gets excited, which is normal, but even that is manageable.

I realized very early on that Charlie needed to get exposed to everything and that’s exactly what we’re doing with him. It helps that Abby is there to lend a paw to her younger brother. To those pet parents out there dealing with a variety of issues, we all have issues by the way, don’t give up and work hard. Our dogs are worth it. Enjoy your weekend!

Dogs And Separation Anxiety

Alex, “Mom, quit torturing me and give me some watermelon please!”

Our Alex, a pit bull mix, was one of the best dogs I’ve ever had as a pet and as my helper when working with other dogs to modify their behavior, but my girl, when we got her as a puppy, had bad separation anxiety so it took us a while to get her to be balanced. Let me tell you that she was worth it. We had her for 13 years, and even now I don’t think that it was long enough.

Dexter, Boxer mix; Bella, pit bull mix; and Alex, pit bull mix.

Our Charlie, the new addition to our family, has separation anxiety and he is getting better as time goes by:

-We couldn’t leave him in any room by himself because he would scream murder at the top of his lungs. Nowadays, he is able to stay by himself for a short period of time.

-Charlie would bark/whine when Abby went out to do her business. Recently, he only makes a funny sound, yes sometimes he still whines, but the intensity and length of time is but a couple of seconds.

-When we placed Abby in the car first, Charlie would go berserk. As time went by, he understood that he would get in the car too so he does get excited, but it’s manageable.

The above is just a few of the things we’re working on with Charlie and his separation anxiety. To those pet parents that are probably asking themselves, “How long will it take for that separation anxiety to disappear?” Let me tell you that it depends on the dog, the activities you are doing with him, the behavior and training you are working on, and the consistency and commitment on your part. Work hard, but also remember to take a break every so often. Stay safe.

Relaxing At Home With My Pack

Charlie and Abby during one of our walks this week

We are continuing with Charlie’s rehab and training, but during the weekend we change a bit our schedule. Yes, they do still take a walk. By the way, walking is great for us humans too.

Abby and Charlie relaxing in their beds after a nice walk

The weather here in Annapolis, MD today, Saturday, is gorgeous so we will take walks, naps, watch TV, eat, and enjoy each other’s company this weekend without feeling guilty about it. What are you and your doggies up to this weekend? Stay safe.

Dogs And The Roles They Play In Our Lives

Abby, “Take the picture mom. This is my good side.”

Abby is my personal trainer. How’s that you’d ask? I have to take her for walks, outings, and running so being active because of Abby is an understatement.

Abby, “Always buckle up!”

Abby is my traveling companion. We went to Montreal and Quebec last year and she did wonderful.

Abby, “Mom, it’s dinner time. Let’s go.”

Abby makes me laugh. She looks a bit serious, but she is really a funny girl.

Our dogs play many roles in our lives, and the imperfect human that I am sometimes forget this important detail, but Abby is always there to remind me about it. Aren’t I a lucky person?

Dogs And Our Moods And Behavior

wp july 31 2020

There’s research that shows that dogs do sense our moods and behavior, even smell our emotional state.  I’ve learned this from personal experience from our dogs: Casey, Alex, Bella and Abby.

Casey, a Staffie, would sit perfectly still next to me when I got angry.  Funny, one time I told Cynthia that I wasn’t angry, but Casey sold me out.  Traitor!  Alex, a pit bull mix, would get close to me and shiver.  Bella, a pit bull mix, would try to make herself small.  And Abby, a Beagle/Bulldog mix, runs toward me and with a concern look on her face looks me in the eyes.

Dogs are amazing teachers, and living with them gives us the opportunity to live a balanced and healthy life.  Do you think your dog senses your moods/emotions?