Specialist in in Canine Behaviour
Stress and Seperation Anxiety
I am writing about my female dog Sheba she is a Rottweiler who weighs in at 40 Kilos – well trained and who has never left my side since joining our family when she was about 12/18 months she is now 11/ 12 years of age.
Having been involved in the canine industry for nearly 60 years I have learned so much about moving home, kennels, separation anxiety and the consequence of extensive stress. I was now faced with my own dog Sheba whom I found tied up on a chain with local yobs throwing stones at her and she was a very nervous dog who produced 9 beautiful pups. I found out later that they were all of nervous disposition.
A large percentage of dogs suffer separation problems when they go into kennels. Many are triggered by stress suffered earlier. Owners are unable to deal with the root causes such as nervous barking which is stress based and not making our visitors welcome. Unfortunately there is no research for us to study other than our individual dog experience and each cause is different. It took Sheba about 6 months to come to us and always cowering and peeing. Often I explained to my wife Susan this stemmed from a prior cause of being chained to a Chiringito“ ( Coffee stand on the beach) at around 8 months pregnant with youths throwing stones at her on the beach.
If I deal with these incidents in mind ‘Maybe’ by adjusting our behaviour and approach it could show a different result. I had to work out the cause of this behaviour.
We put her food bowl down with (Basic Royal Canine Maintenance).
Dogs do suffer stress and if we remember that dogs have similar emotions that we have, then we will be in a much better position to understand and help them when they over-react to circumstances. Getting to know your dog will help you to see all of these things.
After feeding she disliked playing but after a month she would pick up a rubber Zoom Grooming tool and run with it so my other dog Boy Boy (BB) he could not get this ‘treasure’. I was constantly telling her she was a good girl etc. but this play was only for a few minutes it was obvious she was not socialised and had not been cared for before coming to us( I broke the chain and brought her home).
I now refer to the major involuntary urine when greeting with no tail wag or indications of her being happy. Note: involuntary urine leakage greeting is common in senior females that are spayed. Most vets stock or can advise a hormone tablet for your pets to deal with the problem.
My final concern was to get her to come to us without cowering through fear it would appear that my dog Boy Boy was during the 10 years the Alpha. Those that know anything about the Rottweiler breed will be aware that they are a herding animal. If my wife and I sat too close to each other Boy Boy would certainly try to get in the middle of us he always was using his body to move Susan he was so dominant.
Having lost Boy Boy, we are giving Sheba our undivided attention and bearing in mind she is about 11 years old we decided to take her out every morning to coffee shops.- She quickly learned to lay own under a table with a special bone and thinking back to nature most animals like to chew all day i.e. cows sheep horses chickens all farm animals. Most if not all owners do not know how to get their nervous stressed based dogs occupied to bring down the stress level..
I approached various colleagues to seek advice. The consensus was I had drawn a Blank .I believe that the ethos of my proven method will be noted by many. I sincerely hope my method will eventually be used by many on the internet throughout the world.
To occupy and train animals one need s treats. So what treats are available and would it be possible with such treats? Chews or Chewies are a type of leather treated substance with unnamed chemicals which could cause hyperactivity or underactivity. Biscuit‘s they are downed in a few seconds.so what then can be used for a longer period?
I noted that Calcium large bones are as hard as brick. Much thinking and observation I could see that Sheba did not show too much interest even though I rubbed tuna on the calcium bone. She licked it off and walked away. Again after much thought I went to a garage and asked them to saw off the end knuckle and observed it had a hole which could be fed with soft treats I obtained from Liddle’s ‘Orlando Meaty Stick ‘of course one can find their own but I do not recommend cheese it is too hard and soft cheese will only last a few minutes. In any event anything lactose like cheese as it is not good for dogs or cats.
Filling the calcium bone with soft meaty treats worked wonders and now Sheba spends hours nibbling the bone which in turn is reducing any stress there might be. It is documented elsewhere that some nervous people overeat due to the fact they too need to chew. Many turn to chocolate and cakes and other turn to nail biting and even skin biting etc.
Sheba now comes to us wagging her tail has little if any interest at small street dogs that bark at her. Susan and I are so happy in this change which only took a few weeks.
Now we are a happy family! It is interesting to note that Sheba – who was a rescue dog came to us at the age of 3 now an old lady who is queen bee chewing all day and very much loved. We feel blessed to have given her a safe and happy life and in return she has done the same for us.
She knows all our secretsJ Let’s face it we all talk to our pets.
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