I don’t know if it’s that dog’s around town here are nervous about the results of Groundhog Day tomorrow (and hence MORE winter) or are feeding off the stress felt in their homes about the constant bombardment of negative news for their peeps, but instead of the usual winter holiday acquired puppy trainings that usually hit this time of year, I’ve been seeing a lot of serious anxiety dog cases. Some are aggressive or heading there soon (I have a very narrow definition of true aggression and it includes blood) but for many of them it’s just a wide array of behaviors that are interpreted as “bad” by their owners but perhaps not “bad” enough until they call for help.
While I certainly greatly enjoy handling new puppies who have not yet had a chance to develop anything out of the ordinary, my real clinical skills get a workout when dealing with the more anxious dog. I’m always trying to figure out how best to communicate a proactive approach to clients to help them avoid fostering “problems” and certainly and even more importantly, how to fix the ones that are there before they become too big. Sometimes it requires delving into things that are painful for people to hear.
I do a lot of surfing and collegial connecting to get different insight into all aspects of dog behavior and training and recently stumbled across this great article, So You Think Your Dog Is Normal, in The Nashville Free Press written by Tracy Ann of Zen Paws who I talk with often about dogs (and Politics!) and on occasion guest on her radio show, The Politics of Dogs, but haven’t until now read an article of hers. I have to say, it was a very clear and easy to digest explanation for people on their human/dog relationships that I think bears a lot of exposure!