There are many types of fears and anxieties that dogs can develop and a wide range of symptoms. Solutions are tailored to suit the individual dog. Below are some of the more common problems we can help you with:
One of the most common complaints of pet parents is that their dogs are disruptive or destructive when left alone. Their dogs might urinate, defecate, bark, howl, chew, dig or try to escape. Although these problems often indicate that a dog needs to be taught polite house manners, they can also be symptoms of distress. When a dog’s problems are accompanied by other behaviours, such as drooling and showing anxiety when you prepare to leave the house, they may indicate that the dog has separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset because of separation from their guardians, the people they’re attached to. Escape attempts by dogs with separation anxiety are often extreme and can result in self-injury and household destruction, especially around exit points like windows and doors.
Some dogs suffering from separation anxiety become agitated when you prepare to leave. Others seem anxious or depressed prior to your departure or when you aren’t present. Some try to prevent you from leaving. Usually, right after you leave a dog with separation anxiety, the dog will begin barking and displaying other distress behaviours within a short time after being left alone—often within minutes. When you return home, the dog acts as though it’s been years since he’s seen his mom or dad!
When treating a dog with separation anxiety, the goal is to resolve the dog’s underlying anxiety by teaching him to enjoy, or at least tolerate, being left alone and has no reason to stress over your whereabouts.
Loud noises can come in many forms from a car backfiring to the annual fireworks, and a thunderstorm can absolutely terrify some dogs. Just try getting some sleep with a 30kg Labrador trying to bury his head under your pillow and you’ll no doubt agree this creates a serious problem for some dog owners. We look to desensitise the dog to loud noises and teach you to help them understand that these noises are normal and nothing to be concerned about.
It may surprise people to learn that it is fairly common for dogs to be afraid of men, children and strangers. While in some cases this fear may stem from receiving some sort of abuse from the party in question, most of the time it is due to lack of socialization. Dogs who are fearful should be slowly desensitized in a non-threatening manner. Keep in mind that a fearful dog may growl, snap, or bite someone as a result of this fear.
Many dogs develop a fear of particular objects: the vacuum cleaner, holiday decorations, a child’s toy. Very often this type of fear is not a big deal, as many objects can simply be moved out of sight. In certain cases, however, it can be problematic. For instance, if your dog refuses to walk past a chair in the house or if he turns into a trembling mess every time you need to vacuum the carpet. In this case, you may need to slowly introduce your dog to objects he is afraid of in a positive, happy manner.
Well, who does enjoy going to the doctor or dentist? It’s not unusual for dogs to be afraid of going to the veterinarian. A dog’s first exposure to going to the vet usually involves strange smells, being handled in new ways, being restrained, and getting vaccinations. It’s no wonder dogs can easily become fearful of a trip to the vet! If there are no other phobias involved, this fear can often be easily fixed simply by bringing a dog to the vet for a few social visits that don’t involve an examination.
Many dogs are afraid of riding in the car. The fear is usually due to a lack of early exposure to car rides or negative experiences with riding in the car, such as getting car sick, riding in the car to be left at a shelter, or only going for a car ride for a visit to the veterinarian. It’s possible to overcome your dog’s fear of riding in the car by working to change the dog’s association from a negative experience to one they look forward to.
A Guarantee You Can Count On
We can’t guarantee we can fix your dog… that’s naive, as dogs are not machines! Our fur kids are beautiful living creatures, that can be both unpredictable and complicated creatures, just like us.
What we can guarantee is that we are that confident we can help, that if we can’t improve your dog’s problem or issue and ‘bring some balance back to your family’, you don’t have to pay a cent… Now that’s a guarantee you can count on!