This video just came across my Facebook feed. I was in tears by the end. Please watch this, and if you have time the entire movie! Science and the top dog trainers in the world all say that aversive and abusive training is not successful and can lead to more behavior problems with your furry friends. It just doesn’t work, unless you want to be bit or have a dog that is more reactive and likely to bite you.
1. There are some things we can smell better than dogs
2. Dogs are much more likely to eat something if they smell it on the muzzle of another dog
3. Animals that live around humans vocalize more
4. Dog vision in terms of identifying people is very limited
5. Short Rapid sounds vs. Slow sounds to excite or calm dogs
6. Dogs are red and green blind. Yellow and Blue toys are the best for their vision.
7. Signs of Stress: Sniffing, looking away, stiff body and closed mouth, fight flight freeze or frantic, yawning, tongue flick, whale eye.
8. The look most people identify as ‘guilty’ on a dogs face is actually a look of appeasement (not guilt!)
9. Humans are primates and we like to pat dogs, they find this annoying.
10. Hugging a dog is considered very rude and possibly threatening by the dogs (NEVER do this to a dog you do not know very well!)
Well summer is here and that means nicer weather (hopefully!). With the nicer weather brings lots of opportunities for dog owners to take their dogs out and do fun things with them! And my mom always says, exercise is a huge help with dog separation anxiety!
Here are my top ten favorite exercises that helped my dog separation anxiety:
There is nothing like a nice long walk with my mom and dad to tire me out! I love it when my owners let me stop and sniff things and read pee-mail!
2. Play Fetch With a Ball (or keep-away in my case!)
This is my sister’s favorite game and I love it too! We really like the orange Chuck-it balls! BEST-BALLS-EVER!
3. Go for a Hike
Every summer my mom and dad take us up mountains on hikes! It’s so great to smell all of the wild animals and see the new places! I’m usually tired for days after a hike like that!
4. Go for a Swim
Swimming is probably the best thing EVER in summer! I can do it for WAY longer than other exercise because it keeps me cool!
5. Hunt for Bunnies
I like chasing bunnies, but my sister Brie LOVES to hunt them. She gets so tired from sniffing around looking for them. Sometimes I help her but sometimes I get bored and eat grass instead.
6. Practice Obedience and Tricks In a New Environment
This can be very difficult for me! I find it hard to focus when there are all kinds of new and exciting things going on around me! This can make me very tired mentally after I have to focus so much!
Nothing better than doing a little digging… of course ONLY in the places your owners allow you to! I love it when my mom buries stuff int he sand and I have to dig it out. So much fun!
Here is a video of me and my sister Brie digging!
8. Go On a Bike Ride! (a swim at the end to cool down is a bonus!)
This is the ultimate tire me out fast exercise! I like to tug on the leash and try to pull my mom and dad faster… they can’t even bike as fast as I can run!
9. Go for a Run With My Favorite Human
Running with my dad is also so much fun! I get very tired but it’s nice to have a partner to run with, and it is a little slower than biking so I can also see what is going on around me!
10. Play Outdoor Search!
This is my favorite game! Mom hides treats or a toy and I get to search for it! It is really hard outside and boy oh boy does it tire me out to use my nose that much!
Hope you are all having a great summer and this will help you be tired so you don’t have as much dog separation anxiety!
Woof! Manchego the Anxious Dog.
Ps. Don’t forget to check out our Dog Separation Anxiety Program! These are all of the things my mom did to help me get over my dog separation anxiety!
My mom has been taking me to the park at least two times a week. I don’t even get to go off-leash! Basically what we do is stand around and look at dogs playing. Then whenever I see the dogs she says ‘YES!’ and I get a treat! Pretty awesome hey? (except for the not getting off-leash part!)
My mom says that we do this because I am a reactive dog. So whenever I see other dogs I get really scared that they might hurt me and I lunge and bark at them to make them go away. I guess this whole ‘see dog = get a treat’ strategy is working for me, but I still feel afraid.
I guess I have to trust my mom because she did help me get over my dog separation anxiety!
Hope you are all doing well and getting over your Dog Separation Anxiety (or any other anxiety issues)!
Manchego the Anxious Dog
Ps. Did you see that our dog separation anxiety cure program is released?
I want to take a moment to address managing your expectations around dog separation anxiety cures. I have seen many people get a Thundershirt, throw it on their dog in the middle of a thunder storm, or put it on them and leave them home alone immediately if they have dog separation anxiety and then claim that it doesn’t work.
I want to remind you that there is no instant cure for fear-related problems and dog separation anxiety. Fear and anxiety are some of the most powerful emotions that exist. You can’t just make it go away by snapping your fingers, giving a pill or putting a on Thundershirt. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your Thundershirt:
Use Classical Conditioning.
The first time you put it on your dog give them a lot of praise… GOOD DOG! Give them a jackpot of their favorite treat, we’re not talking pieces of kibble here we’re talking dehydrated bison hearts or cheese. Something that is VERY smelly and you dog will do backflips for. Then after 30 seconds or a minute of giving them treats with the Thundershirt on, take it off and stop the treats.
Repetition is Key.
Do the above randomly over the next few days or weeks. Always giving praise and lots of goodies and keeping the Thundershirt on for a longer period of time. The goal is to get your dog super excited when they see the Thundershirt come out!
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Day.
Dinner time! Every time you feed your dog dinner put on the Thundershirt. When he or she is done eating take it off!
Your Dog Isn’t Food Motivated?
Find what motivates your dog… The ball? Tug of war? A dog massage? Freedom in the back yard? Find what motivates them and substitute it for food in the tips above to build positive association with the Thundershirt.
Thundershirt = Happy!
Once you’ve got them to the point where they are ecstatic when they see the Thundershirt you are ready to put it on them when you can predict a scary time or when you predict they will have dog separation anxiety.
Timing is Still Key.
Try to put it on the at least 20-30 minute before this negative event happens. You don’t want them to associate the Thundershirt with the negative event. This is the number one reason why you have to condition them to like it because if you don’t they will associate the hundershirt with whatever they are scared of!
Continue the Positive Association Work.
Keep putting on the Thundershirt randomly in positive situations. You want to keep reinforcing the positive associations!
Manchego the Anxious Dog