We specialize in working with dogs that have fear based issues like aggression and canine separation anxiety. Many behaviors that we are asked about, have a basis in fear and anxiety. Just like we humans, you might be highly intelligent and know all the stuff on that test but, anxiety makes it almost impossible to think and use your talent.
Anxiety can cause aggression or other behaviors like being destructive or barking all the time. Even dogs that just seem to be too happy, excited or unable to relax, maybe stuffing from anxiety.
Fear and Anxiety, related but, not the same
Most people are familiar with the fight, flight or freeze response in animals. That is correct, we are animals. Just like our dogs, being startled or running away from a giant bear is a normal response to something that might be a danger to us. Anxiety is different from fear. Fear is a feature of anxiety but, anxiety disorders go beyond simply fear. The majority of dog training focuses on conditioning and finding the triggers of behavior. Experts in behavior realize that triggers actually have very little to do with correcting the behavior.
Major classifications of human and canine anxiety disorders
One of the most important parts of determining the best training or treatment methods is to analyze the behavior of your dog. Those that are experts in behavior understand that there is a lot of observation, testing and measuring behavior in order to find the best solution for your dog. Novices in behavior do not understand that behavior during normal everyday activity gives experts valuable information and an understanding of the overall condition of the canine being treated.
Dogs and humans suffer from general anxiety disorders, specific anxiety disorders and things like obsessive compulsive disorder and PTSD. The science of behavior has moved past treating these things with a lot of talk. We have deciphered the most use techniques and translated them to dog.
Puppies and adult dogs can even suffer from attachment disorders, just like we humans. We have done a lot of work with dog attachment disorders and have a high success rate in correcting these behavioral challenges.
Anxiety is not What You Might Think
Anxiety is a spectrum of behavior ranging from slight frustration all the way to full-blown panic attacks and similar episodes. Regardless of the categorization of, Anxiety, it is a fluid disorder and not defined by “triggers.” Triggers are a feature of Anxiety, not the underlying cause of the disorder. It takes a lot of tools, education and experience practicing the art of helping any animal with anxiety. Since most cases of animal aggression are often caused by anxiety. You have to have your chops down for treating anxiety.
Successful treatment of anxiety require a plan designed for your dog, not all techniques for anxiety work on every dog. Here is the kicker, by the time the majority of dog trainers realize that their dog training techniques are not working for this dog it is too late, you have done more damage to the canine in question.
Anxiety and/or Attachment Disorders in Puppies
Yes, puppies can have anxiety and aggression. Have a new pup that is not well socialized? Well, the pups lack of social success likely has little to dog with puppy socialization. Puppies can be aggressive or have any of the anxiety related behaviors of an adult dog. Think you might have an aggressive puppy? We have had great success in helping puppies that are just not quite ready for puppy play group.