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Part 2: Training Tips from our Endustry Expert

August 15, 2020 | Tips and Training

How can I alleviate anxiety my dog may feel when we are gone working or at school all day and he/she is left alone?

Part 2 of a 3 part series where our industry expert Penny Milne sheds some light on some all important training techniques and tips.

First I’d suggest that you monitor the dog when you leave. Try to determine if he is actually anxious. Set up your cell phone, your laptop or nanny cam to record his activities, or use Skype on your laptop connected to Skype on your cell phone, so you can watch him in real time. What does he do, and when does he do it? Does he immediately start whining and looking for you? Does he rest quietly until someone walks by outside and then bark? If your video monitoring suggests you do have a separation problem to solve:

Review your dog’s exercise routine

  • A tired is a good dog.
  • Additionally, exercise is stress relieving for dogs, as it is for people.

Create a calm predictable routine

  • Leave the dog quietly, with no fussing on your part,
  • Encourage him to lie on his bed,
  • Give him a yummy food-stuffed toy, such as a Kong which has been stuffed, (perhaps with kibble smushed together with fat-free cream cheese, then corked with a dog biscuit, or the fat end of a carrot…)

Practice Departures

Part 2 of a 3 part series where our industry expert Penny Milne sheds some light on some all important training techniques and tips.

First I’d suggest that you monitor the dog when you leave. Try to determine if he is actually anxious. Set up your cell phone, your laptop or nanny cam to record his activities, or use Skype on your laptop connected to Skype on your cell phone, so you can watch him in real time. What does he do, and when does he do it? Does he immediately start whining and looking for you? Does he rest quietly until someone walks by outside and then bark? If your video monitoring suggests you do have a separation problem to solve:

Review your dog’s exercise routine

  • A tired is a good dog.
  • Additionally, exercise is stress relieving for dogs, as it is for people.

Create a calm predictable routine

  • Leave the dog quietly, with no fussing on your part,
  • Encourage him to lie on his bed,
  • Give him a yummy food-stuffed toy, such as a Kong which has been stuffed, (perhaps with kibble smushed together with fat-free cream cheese, then corked with a dog biscuit, or the fat end of a carrot…)

Practice Departures

  • Start on a day when you can stay home, and practice the “calming routine”,
  • Ensure that your monitoring is in place.
  • Baby steps — Leave very briefly – perhaps 10 seconds.
  • If that makes your dog anxious, then do less!
  • You may need to do “pre-departure” activities, such as walking towards the door, then returning to sit on the couch.
  • Then maybe walk to door and wiggle handle, then return to sit on couch, repeat, maybe opening door, but not going though it… etc.

Consider using Adaptil (a man-made mimic of a calming pheromone), and or a Thunder shirt

Summer Tips

  • Dog houses are not good shelter during the summer as they can trap heat. Make sure they have a shady spot if outside and plenty of water. A child’s wading pool with fresh water is a good option to cool off in.
  • NEVER leave your dog in a vehicle on a hot day. The temperature inside a car can soar to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes!
  • Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water.
  • Avoid prolong exposure to hot asphalt or sand. It will burn their paws just like it burns a humans feet.
  • Dogs that are brachycephalic (short faced) such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Japanese Chins, Pekingese, Pugs etc. have an especially hard time in the heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs. Keep them inside with air-conditioning when possible

Beach Tips

  • Make sure your dog has a shady spot to rest and plenty of fresh water.
  • Dogs with short hair, white fur, and pink skin can sunburn. Limit their exposure during the day and apply sunblock to ears and nose.
  • Check with lifeguard for daily water conditions. Dogs are easy targets for sea lice and jellyfish.
  • Running on sand is strenuous exercise. An out of shape dog can easily pull a tendon or ligament, keep an eye on their activity.
  • Do not let your dog drink sea water. The salt can make them sick.
  • Always rinse your dog off after time in ocean water. Salt and minerals can damage his coat.
  • Not all beaches allow dogs, check before heading to the beach.

Water Safety

  • Most dogs enjoy swimming, but some cannot swim. Some dogs hate the water. Know your dogs skills and preferences before trying to make him swim.
  • NEVER throw your dog in the water.
  • Don’t let them overdo it, swimming is very hard work and he may tire quickly.
  • If swimming at the ocean, be careful of strong tides and currents.
  • If you have a pool make sure your dog knows where the stairs or ladder are located. Be sure that pool covers are firmly in place, dogs have been known to slip under openings in covers and drown.
  • Never leave your dog unattended in water.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke is serious and often fatal as a result of a dog’s prolonged exposure to excessive heat. Here are some signs of heatstroke and the actions you should take if your dog is overcome.

Early Stages:

  • Heavy panting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Bright red gums and tongue
  • Standing 4-square, posting or spreading out in an attempt to maintain balance

Advance Stages:

  • White or blue gums
  • Lethargy, unwillingness to move
  • Uncontrollable urination or defecation
  • Labored, noisy breathing
  • Shock

If your dog begins to exhibit signs of heatstroke, you should immediately try to cool the dog down.

  • Apply rubbing alcohol to the dog’s paw pads
  • Hose down with room temperature water or drape wet towels over the dog
  • Allow him to lick ice chips
  • Offer Pedialyte to restore electrolytes

If you cannot cool the dog down and see advanced stages of heatstroke , transport to the vet immediately.

Ref: American Kennel Club

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